Independent Self guided walking tours in the mountains of Bulgaria
While we mainly offer guided hiking and mountain biking trips to the mountains of Bulgaria and in the nearby countries, we understand and respect that many people would prefer to travel in a more independent and flexible manner and organize things by themself. Unless you want to take it completely adventurous and just hang around, that usually means more planning hassle, time spent on the computer researching and requires some skills in navigation, planning, dealing in emergency situations, etc. You should also be aware of the potential risks you take walking in the mountains in unknown areas.
We believe that the info section of our website is helpful in that task. But still, there is a lot of things to consider when planning an independent trip to the mountains and sometimes the information you find in the web is vague or simply missing. We hope that the Self-Guided Trips section of our website, by providing professional advice and assistance from mountain guides, we’ll fill this gap and help you organize your walking trip to the mountains of Bulgaria in the best manner.
The cost of our self guided service only, without any transport and accommodation arrangements and expenses included, is 75ЕUR/day – total price for the group.
We also provide paid phone consultancies for the price of 25/40 EUR for 30min/1h respectively. We can plan together, go through your itinerary, answer any questions or do a little research for you. Please contact us to arrange a call.
If you only need a map to start your tour, check our Shop.
What can we do for you:
- To suggest you the most suitable route and itinerary according to your preferences, time frame and the season. We prefer to customize each tour and offer personal alternatives.
Each season has it specifics and each area has it best time to visit. We can suggest when is the best time to visit the Seven Lakes area, for example, and what are the specific risks of walking in the mountains here in May or in November. The mountain landscapes are constantly changing and you wont see a certain area in the same way in Spring or in Autumn. We are able to plan a good route in the mountains of Bulgaria in nearly every season. We understand that the holidays are some of the most valuable days for you, so we plan efficiently avoiding long bus and car journeys and visiting places that are not really worth, because its to crowded in August, for example.
- To post to your home country or provide upon arrival paper maps with the walking route drawn.
We prefer not to meet you on the airport and shower you with stressful information on how ti find this or that trail. We believe that we can provide on-line enough comprehensive information and advise, so you’ll feel confident and prepared for your Bulgarian self guided trip prior to arrival. Careful advance planning is crucial in order have smooth and rewarding travel, so we’ll prefer to send you all the info, including maps, in advance, and help you to study them. We would suggest you a hiking route and provide the most relevant maps with the specific route shown on them.
- To assist you in using your smart phone as a navigation tool. We’ll help you to install a gps-map, upload trail tracks and follow them if needed in emergency situations.
Most of the mountain maps of the mountains of Bulgaria are not that precise. They are good to get a common view of the regions, to find the main hiking trails, but sometimes the navigation might be confusing, especially if you are not skilled in reading maps and compass usage. We’ll be happy to assist you in getting familiar with the GPS technologies and using your PC at home when researching the route and your smart phone as a navigation tool when planning and walking. Of course, these electronic devices have their limitations and if you want to have your personal GPS transceiver with relevant maps and tracks during the trip, we are able to provide assistance as well.
- To send you route notes with important info about the walks – walking times, important junctions, water sources, places to see, sleep, eat, options in bad weather, and so on…
There is tons of small details which are impossible to know if you haven’t been on the route – an experienced guide would tell you a lot about each area. Information like “At what time is the last cabin of the gondola lift?”, “How much water should I carry?”, “How long to the next place to stop/eat”, alternatives to the routes in bad weather, emergency shortcuts, shelters, is useful when walking an unknown route in the mountains – we provide all that in descriptive route notes.
- To suggest the best places to stay overnight and provide contacts for direct booking.
It is very easy to book accommodation by yourself via phone or email or using the on-line booking operators and your credit card. We can help with info on the most suitable places to stay according to the specific route, and you can choose and book without any surcharges, taxes and mediators.
- To suggest different transport means and options according to the route and your budget.
There is relatively comfortable and reliable public transport in Bulgaria, which is also cheap. Sometimes it convenient to use it to approach the mountains, sometimes you can get a local transfer or a taxi. There is also reliable Bulgarian transport companies that may provide quick and comfortable transport during your holiday. You can also rent a car and drive by yourself. We’ll be happy to give recommendations on the most efficient, comfortable and the cheapest way to travel.
- To 24h assist you in any issues on-line or via phone – prior to the trip and during the trek.
Of course, no matter of the careful planning and preparations, you may have some ongoing questions, need some advice, need help in an emergency situation and so on. We’ll be available to assist you in each occasion and can give advice on how to ensure good connection between you and the rest of the world while on your mountain trip.
Bonjour, nous souhaitons venir une semaine ds les Pirins début aout 2020.
2 personnes, bons marcheurs.
Nous avons l’habitude des traiking.
Quel est le prix pr nous faire un topo et réserver les refuges?
Thank you for the request. We can offer you our self-guided service in English only (all route descriptions, support, etc are in EN), sorry for the inconvenience. You can choose between our programs or request a custom one. More info on our services here: https://bulguides.com/self-guided-trip-request/. We do not offer hut reservations only, but whole packages.
I used the Self Guided service this summer to in order for my family to do a continuous trek through the Rila and Pirin with as few transfers as possible and keeping off the more exposed routes, which isn’t straight forward by any means. Lyuben did a great job for us and I was very impressed by how detailed his advice was (in excellent written english) and how responsive he was via email through quite a necessarily lengthy planning process. The accommodation booking service for the mountain huts is well worth having as well if you don’t speak Bulgarian. The gpx files that he sent us of our route were spot on and it was really good to be able to contact Lyuben whilst on the trek for advice should anything unexpected come up. This is a highly professional service and I would thoroughly recommend it.
Hi. I will be traveled to Bulgaria in mid May 2019 for about 10 days. I am interested to do a multi-day hike, probably 3- 5 days, prefer to hike independently but worried about language barrier. And also love to run some trail. Can you advise and what is the charges for the consultation?
Hi Vivian. I have been living in Bulgaria (Sofia) now for almost 3 months and when it comes to language barrier, Bulgarian people are very patient and will eventually understand you. I am American and knew absolutely not one word of Bulgarian except DA is yes and Ne is no. One more thing, nodding your head (as if to silently say yes) mean NO (NE) in Bulgaria. Shaking your head (as if to silently say no) means YES (DA) in Bulgaria. My wife neglected to tell me this and I felt stupid and confused a lot of people when I first came here. Either way. If you choose a consultant to plan your trip, language will not be a problem. At least for me a lot of people in Sofia speak English. Enjoy your trip.
I used Margarita of Bulguides’ Self Guided services to book the mountain huts for me on the scenic, alpine E4 route and to help me out with language difficulties etc.. It was well worth the money especially dealing with communication difficulties in the less used huts and with some suspicious villagers as I left Bulgaria. The “Tourist Guide E4 in Bulgaria” which Bulguides offer is also worth buying.
Dear John, thank you very much for the positive feedback!
I’m looking to do a hike sometime in early feb that requires minimal gear and is somewhere between 1-3 nights long. I was thinking a hut-hut hike would be great for gear purposes. Don’t really have an area in mind but just some beautiful scenery is all we’re looking for. I have experience hiking and ski touring and with maps but a good trail would be useful. Any advice would be great!
Cheers and warm regards,
We are a family with 3 kids (13,15, and 17) and want to do a 5-6 day hiking in the Rila mountains.
We are used to travel by ourselves (can use a map), and want to travel without a guide.
We are not in a good shape, so the walking per day cannot be too long or too difficult.
Can you assist us with the planning of the rout, and the logistics (place order at the relevant huts, etc.)?
What is your offering and what is the fee?
Hi Ronny, sent you an email!