Trekking in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria

Bulgaria sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, right in the belly of the Balkans. Its location makes it a cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman and Persian influences. It has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes and crafts and its capital, Sofia, at the foot of the Vitosha mountain dates back to the 5th century B.C. Bulgaria has a wide outlet on the Black Sea and borders Greece, Serbia, Romania, Turkey and Macedonia.

South of Sofia lie the Rila, Pirin and Rhodope Mountains. The Rila Mountains are the highest in Bulgaria and indeed the entire Balkans, with its highest peak, Mount Musala, standing at an impressive 2,925m. The highest peak in the Pirin Mountains is Mount Vihren (2,914m) and in the Rhodope Mountains it is Golyam Perelik (2,191m). Adventure Alternative offers an excellent trekking trip through the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges on this moderate trekking adventure.

The mountains of Bulgaria not only offer stunning beauty, but a chance to interact with the local communities and experience the unique history of the region. Get lost in time admiring the many glacial lakes trekking among her majestic peaks and ridges while exploring her tiny mountain villages.

Much of the Balkans are still quite isolated. Don’t expect to be surrounded by tourists on Adventure Alternative’s winter trip to the Rila Range. See the mountains in a whole new way during the winter months and enjoy a winter ascent of the Bulgaria’s highest peak, Mount Musala (2,925m).

The natural landscape of Bulgaria is diverse, consisting of lowlands, plains, foothills and plateaus, river valleys, basins, and mountains of varying elevations. About 70% of the country’s territory is hilly land and 30% is mountainous. In the central part of the country lies the Balkan Mountain Range and from south to north its western area is crossed by the Iskar River, which forms a picturesque gorge more than 70 km long.

Bulgaria boasts a large amount of stunning coastline. Known as the Bulgaria Riveria, this less-known European beach scene is the perfect spot to unwind and relax. For a happening beach scene head to Sunny Beach and if family fun is what you are after, Albena is for you. Lastly, if you are the camping in solitude type, check out the remote Silistar beach.

Eye-catching mountain lakes, sunny beaches, gorgeous rose valleys, vast forests, curative hot springs and deep chilly caves help make Bulgaria an attractive alternative to traditional European tourist destinations. Bulgaria is the second most biologically diverse country in Europe and three national parks have been established in the country: Pirin National Park (UNESCO natural heritage site), Rila National Park, and the Central Balkans National Park. There are also 11 nature reserves – Belasitsa, Balgarka, Vratsa Balkan, Golden Sands, Persina, Rila Monastery, Rusenski Lom, Sinite Kamani, Strandzha and the Shumen Plateau. Wherever you end up, you can’t go wrong trekking through Bulgaria’s mountains with Adventure Alternative.

As part of the EU, UK residents can use their GHIC card in Bulgaria.