Trail Running in Bulgaria

There is a legend that says that when God created the Earth, he left a piece of land for himself. That piece of land represented the Heaven and later God decided to give this land to the Bulgarian people so that they have to take care of it.

 

 

 

Geographically Bulgaria can be described as a mountainous country as a large part of it has altitudes of up to 2900m above sea level. The total number of mountains is 39 and 8 of them are higher than 2000m. The variety of landscapes make our mountains suitable for hiking and trail running all year round.

 

However the climate can be really challenging as the country is situated between the continental climatic zone to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. The winter season is usually full of snow from December till the end of April at altitudes around 2000m and this period is extended with two months above this altitude. This means that there is plenty of terrain to explore aside of the highest mountains while they are still covered in snow.

 

 

Summer in opposite is a very suitable season for roaming the highest mountains – Rila, Pirin, Central Balkan and Western Rhodopes as the climate there is cool while at lower altitudes it gets really hot. The warmest months are July, August and September. Depending on your current physical condition and the weather there are endless possibilities for trail running suitable for everyone’s needs.

 

 

The terrain that Bulgarian mountains offer is very random – from unpaved rural roads that go deep into the forests to narrow trails that cross the mountain tops and take us to spectacular views. Literally there is something for everybody throughout the year – no matter what you are looking for! In combination with the delicious Bulgarian food and the mineral water springs in many of the villages around the mountains every trip can have its unique overprint.

 

Three of the European long-distance walking paths cross Bulgaria – E3, E4 and E8 (see map above). They have a total length of 1300 km and around 45000 m D+. In 2018 our colleague guide Kaloyan “Kofe” Peychev set the fastest known time for running all three routes in 26 days. Organisation was made by himself and the running was self-supported which means that he carried almost everything needed for the trip. You can be sure that it takes special skills to create and accomplish a multi-day adventure like this and we are sure that you’ll feel confident and safe on the trails with Kofe as your guide!

 

You can check some of our itineraries here.

 

Author: Lyuben Grancharov

“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.