Bulgaria: What to Climb?
Bulgaria has a diverse landscape, so there are many places worth visiting. Tourists most often look for the mountains Bansko, Rila, Pirin or Rhodope. Bulgarians generally do not like mountain tourism much, so along the way you will meet foreign tourists rather than locals. Transportation to a given place is not always easy, sometimes it is necessary to combine a bus and a train, during the summer season connections are not so frequent, as mountain resorts are used mainly in winter. But if you ask the locals, they will be happy to help you find the right path or connection, despite the language barrier.
It is possible to get to Bansko from Sofia or Plovdiv by train. An older train runs from Plovdiv, the journey takes over 7 hours, but it is an experience! You drive around the mountains and forests, it's a very nice spectacle and you won't even think you're on the road for 7 hours. Bansko is a very nice town. It is not so touristy, so the prices for accommodation and food are very low compared to, for example, the capital. It is typical for its houses, which have a specific architecture. If you are in Bansko, be sure to spend at least half a day exploring the city and then head to the mountains. There are many routes, but I recommend going directly to Vichren, which is the highest mountain in the Pirin Mountains. The journey is not difficult, so it is also suitable for beginners or non-athletes. At the top you will find a mountain hut with the option to buy food or drink. And if you get tired of the mountains and hiking, there are many ponds and forests around, which are very nice for a walk.
The Rila Mountains are located a short distance from the capital Sofia. A one-day or two-day trip to the Seven Rila Lakes is quite tempting. It is best to go to the town of Sapareva Baňa, then to Paničiště and from there it is possible to get on the cable car, which will take you up. During the summer it is a very popular destination, so on weekends or holidays you will literally meet columns of tourists. This is a very simple route that even smaller children can handle. With numerous breaks, you can walk a little over 2 hours and along the way you may meet horses or local pets. At the lakes, it is possible to sleep in mountain huts or in your own tent.
Pirin is probably the most attractive Bulgarian mountain range, where tourists go most often. Roads are marked everywhere, so you don't have to worry about getting lost. Follow the red tourist sign everywhere and you will reach the top of the Pirin hut. It is torn from history, older, but maintained. The views from the mountains are amazing and breathtaking! Along the way, it is quite possible that you will meet local hunters or hunters. And I don't think anyone would mind if you set up a tent and slept here, quite the opposite.
Bulgaria is made for fans of mountain tourism. Unspoiled nature, it is possible to camp almost everywhere, the prices in mountain huts are very favorable and it often happens that you do not meet almost anyone on the road.
Text: Martina Koşar
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