Why travel and trek in Bulgaria?
Summary of contents of this page:
- Why travel and trek in Bulgaria?
- 1. Biodiversity:
- 2. Protected surface:
- 3. Wooded area:
- 4. Bulgarian treasures:
- 5. It's fashionable:
- 6. Cheap, cheap:
- 7. Exclusive tourist destination:
- 8. Green paradise nearby:
- 9. Exotic culture:
- 10. Covered health emergencies:
- More facts about Bulgaria.
- The best time for sightseeing.
If you are thinking of visiting Bulgaria, and you like nature trips, You will be glad to know that there are 3 National Parks, 11 natural parks and 17 Biosphere reserves. Thanks to its biodiversity, Bulgaria ranks second in Europe (of course Spain ranks first).
2. Protected surface:
Within the European Natura2000 Network, The country has 228 protected areas for habitat protection, what the 29,5% of its territory.
3. Wooded area:
He 35% of the area of Bulgaria is occupied by forests (Source: HIM-HER-IT 2010: «Bulgaria – Environmental Summary»). That is why hiking in Bulgaria is a luxury for lovers of Nature Tourism and in particular hiking trips made in a wooded environment..
4. Bulgarian treasures:
The tranquility that is lived there, the beautiful nature and the tasty cuisine, are the 3 main pillars of Bulgarian inland tourism. Without forgetting mythical places like the Rila monastery.
5. It's fashionable:
Visiting and sightseeing in Bulgaria is in fashion, unlike other classic European destinations that are in decline, the number of Spanish visitors to Bulgaria increases every year, don't be the last to find out !!!.
6. Cheap, cheap:
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since 2007, however it has not yet adopted the Euro, keep own currency, the “Lev”, and the Bulgarian average salary is very low compared to the European average, all this that allows the products and services, maintaining quality, are very cheap for foreigners (forget london or paris, You will return from Bulgaria with a suitcase full of fashion and gifts with the best quality / price ratio) .
7. Exclusive tourist destination:
The population density is only 66 inhabitants / km2, in front of 118 on average of the European Union and 93 from Spain, which together with its extensive wooded and mountainous area guarantees that outdoor activities can be carried out with greater tranquility and exclusivity than in classic European destinations, That is why hiking in Bulgaria and other activities such as trekking are a unique and different experience..
8. Green paradise nearby:
The main adventure destinations are relatively close to Sofia's main airport and are also easily accessible by low-traffic roads., which reduces the times for transfers compared to other European destinations. If you have only a few days, don't waste your time at the European mega-airports, queues and blocked roads, in Bulgaria everything is easier and faster!!!. There are daily flight departures from Spain to the capital, Sofia, that arrive in just 3 hours.
9. Exotic culture:
If you are looking for an exotic cultural trip, that's your best destination in europe. Traditional Bulgarian culture is rich in Thracian heritage, Slavic and Bulgarian, along with influence from the Greeks, romans, ottomans and celts. The Cyrillic alphabet of the Bulgarian language that is currently used and that is originally from Bulgaria stands out, not from Greece or Russia as some mistakenly think. All of it, along with the majority cult of the Orthodox Christian religion, endows Bulgaria with a unique cultural exoticism within the European Union.
10. Covered health emergencies:
Bulgaria has a universal healthcare system and by belonging to the European Union, it is enough that you travel with your ID and your European health card issued in Spain to be treated for any health emergency, income or operation. However, at hikingeuropa.com we will recommend you take out additional insurance depending on the level of risk of the activity you are going to carry out., for repatriation or other expenses, It is not mandatory but it is recommended for your peace of mind, we give you that advice for free, only you decide whether to hire it or not.
More facts about Bulgaria.
The best time for sightseeing.
The best time to visit Bulgaria depends on the activities we want to develop there. If we are going to do outdoor sports and activities, such as a trekking trip, the best season to travel is obviously Spring and Summer. You can see all the activities we organize by clicking on the Start. And remember that there is a time difference so you have to advance the clock one hour when you get there compared to the time in Central Europe.
Starting in April the countryside is a spring explosion of flowers, colors and aromas, Spring is the best time for sightseeing in Bulgaria because the temperatures are pleasant for activities. Field, rivers, waterfalls, etc… They are in their greatest splendor and we will feel like the only tourists in the country. High season comes in July and August when Bulgarians mainly take their holidays and some foreign tourists arrive., although it never becomes crowded as in other European destinations. September and October are also a very good time to visit Bulgaria, temperatures are mild, there are hardly any tourists and the trees begin to show the full range of autumn colors, verdes, yellow, red, brown,…being a paradise for fans of nature photography. Bulgaria is also a booming destination for winter sports fans, there are recent well-equipped ski resorts with a much lower influx of tourists than in the rest of Europe.
Bulgaria has a Continental type climate. Winters are generally cold and humid, yet summers are hot and dry, although on the Black Sea coast the climate is milder and more similar to the Mediterranean climate. In summer temperatures reach a maximum of 30º-32º and the minimum in winter fall slightly below 0º.. However, logically there are important differences in meteorology between mountain areas and flat areas. This variety of climates offers many possibilities to those who intend to go hiking in Bulgaria or other outdoor activities.
However to have a reference of the Bulgarian meteorology, you can read the data from this table, which collects the average figures of the last 30 years:
|My||Average daily minimum temperatures (°C)||Average daily maximum temperatures (°C)||Average total precipitation|
|Average number of rainy days|
The official currency is the lev (cam in plural). The approximate change of the lev is € 1 = 2 takes, which makes it very advantageous for our purchases. There are no problems to change euros in the many bank branches or exchange agencies in the cities, or at the Sofia airport. The use of credit cards and ATMs is not very widespread outside the cities, so before leaving the cities it is advisable to get cash for daily expenses in rural areas.
By belonging to the European Union, in Bulgaria we will be treated free of charge for any emergency or hospitalization by presenting the European health card. However, we recommend hiring some type of additional travel insurance that covers the expenses in the event of a possible repatriation., rescue, etc., especially if you are going to practice adventure sports, such as trekking, Mountain biking, canyoning or climbing.
Citizens of the European Union do not need a visa to enter the country. Passport entry allows a stay of up to 120 days from the date of entry and with ID of 30 days.
The citizens of Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and the USA. can stay in Bulgaria without a visa for a maximum of 90 days. Citizens of other Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru do need a visa to travel to Bulgaria. However we recommend to inquire about applicable legislation before traveling to Bulgaria in case there have been changes since the publication of this information.
Hiking in Bulgaria is a joy for many reasons, one of them is the natural and national parks of Bulgaria that treasure an enormous natural wealth: an exuberant unspoiled nature, great biodiversity, endemic plants and rare species of plants and animals, as well as other unique natural phenomena. They are currently 3: The National Parks “Rila”, “Pirin” and “Central Balkans”.
Rila and Pirin have alpine typology. They have steep peaks and sharp peaks. The highest peak in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan region is Musala Mountain (2.925 m), is located in Rila, almost identical height reaches Vihren peak (2.915 m) which belongs to Pirin.
In the Bulgarian mountains there are more than 35.000 km. of marked trails. A gift for lovers of hiking and nature trips. A particular feature of these mountains is that you can reach almost all the peaks above the 2.500 meters high without having to use alpine-type aids. The summer routes are marked with paint on the rocks and trees, while winter trails have metallic markers. Wild camping is prohibited, but there are limited areas within natural parks where it is allowed. In case you need any kind of assistance in the mountains, you have to contact the local Mountain Rescue Service on the phone number 112, keep in mind that although it matches the number used in Spain, being in Bulgaria you will be answered on the phone by Bulgarian officials.
Highways are underdeveloped, They mainly communicate the capital with the East of the country. In rural areas, movements are slow and especially problematic in remote mountain areas.
Bulgarian cuisine is one of the oldest on the continent. It has Greek and Turkish influences and bases its ingredients on fresh local products., and in pork as a source of protein. Cheeses are widely consumed in multiple recipes and varieties, as well as the yogurt that is not only consumed as dessert but in different dishes and drinks. In the daily meal it is easy to find a great variety of salads, and meat in the form of kebab and kyufte by the Turkish influence. In the more traditional cuisine we can try more elaborate dishes such as kavarma stew, sarmi, … And sweet desserts with nuts like baklava. Between drinks, both the pivo (beer) as the wine they are of good quality, but the most popular is coffee, so coffee shops proliferate in many cities, these being the preferred meeting place for locals. If you want to know the traditional cooking recipes you can find them in our section of “Bulgarian cooking recipes“.
Bulgaria is a peaceful country, there are hardly any popular revolts or strikes and it does not suffer terrorist acts. However the abrupt change from communism to capitalism has led some people to begging or crime in some cities., however, the state security services work effectively to prevent crimes, keeping them below the European average, and in any case thefts can be easily avoided using common sense. Also there is no harassment of tourists by beggars or pickpockets, as it happens in other European capitals…