To get to know Bulgaria, one has to dive into its authenticity, to taste the product of its nature, to backpack across the country and to gather bouquets of memories and impressions.
The eco-friendly outdoor activities are easily combined with the opportunity to enjoy rural and alternative tours. One can get acquainted with the authentic Bulgarian folklore ad can stay in a traditional vintage house in the regions of Rila, Pirin, The Rodopi Mountains, Strandzha, Stara Planina Mountains (the Balkan Range), the Upper Thracian Valley, the Danube and the Black Sea Coast regions.
Bulgaria is amongst the highest ranking European countries when it comes to bio variety. The diverse natural resources guarantee the existence of a vast variety of animal species, some of which are only found in Bulgaria, and some are facing extinction.
RILA NATIONAL PARK is the largest park in Bulgaria. It is situated 100 km south of Sofia and includes the central part of Rila Mountain. There are 4 conversation areas within the range of the park. Most of the woods in Rila are centuries old and consist of spruce, scotch pine and white fir. The number of endemic species at the territory of the park is 57. There are over 3,000 animal species occupying the park and the bird species are 99.
THE PIRIN NATIONAL PARK is famous for its plant diversity and is considered one of the most interesting places in the country from a botanical point of view. On its territory there are almost 1,300 plant species and the most interesting of them all is the edelweiss, which is the symbol of the Bulgarian Tourism Union.
THE CENTRAL BALKAN PARK has preserved the amazing variety of animal and plant species of Sredna Stara Planina (the Middle Balkan Range). The park is spread on 716 sq. km in the heart of Bulgaria. It has centuries-old oak forests, wide ridges, a string of crude peaks and nine conservation areas.
THE VITOSHA NATIONAL PARK is one of the most visited parks in the country. Its close proximity to the capital makes it a preferred destination for nature lovers, alpinists and families. There are very good conditions for hiking, walks and relaxation in the beautiful wilderness.
SREBARNA CONSERVATION PARK is located 16 k west from the town of Silistra and 2 km south of the river Danube. The territory of the park covers the self-titled lake, and the surrounding area. There are 65 plant species, 39 mammal species, 21 reptile species and 10 fish species, but the biggest treasure of Srebarna are the birds – 179 species.
RUSENSKI LOM is situated 30 km south of the town of Ruse. The conservation area is a fascinating mixture of caves and rock formations, historical memorials and zones with a rich variety of species.
THE ROPOTAMO CONSERVATION PARK is situated 50 km south of Burgas. The fifth of the river is one of the most interesting landmarks in the country. Lilies cover the surrounding small lakes, and thick woods grow around the river.
The Ropotamo River has sections of salt water running through it, as a result of the sea flow. This is the reason for the great variety of fish species in the conservation park.
The “Water-Lily” Conservation Park is part of the Ropotamo Conservation Park. Its greatest attraction is the diversity of water-lilies and marsh snowdrops. Rare plant species grow in the woods that surround the park.
THE KAMCHIA CONSERVATION PARK is located in the lower valley of the Kamchia River. These are the largest centuries old river by the woods in Bulgaria. The conservation park is a wonderful place for bird watching – there are around 200 species living here, as some of them face worldwide extinction.
The river is the home of turtles and water snakes – you can see them if you take a boat ride down Kamchia.
SILKOSIA is a wood conservation park in Strandzha Mountain, situated between the villages of Balgari and Kosti. It includes part of the Veleka river catchment and it is the oldest conservation park in Bulgaria.
Here you can find a great variety of plats, soe of which are rare and others typical for other geographic locations, which makes the place unique from specific point of view. The end section of the park is filled with swamps.
The coast of the ATANASOVSKO EZERO LAKE is situated north of Burgas and its northern side is connected via a channel with the Black Sea. Due to this fact, the lake is filled with salt water, and its south side is used for salt production. In the lake there are over 230 plant species. Many of the plat in the conservation park are endangered from extinction and under the protection of the law.
The biggest treasure of the Atanasovsko Ezero Lake are the birds – in such a small area one can see 70% of all bird kinds found in Bulgaria – over 300 bird species, 12 of which are facing extinction worldwide.
The river sediments of the DANUBE have formed several islands which constantly change their shape, as water keeps remodeling them. The islands of Vardim, Ciber, Persina (Belene) are inhabited by colonies of rare and endangered bird species.
Belene is the biggest Bulgarian island in the Danube River. Its swamps are the home of many fish and bird kinds, and its surface is covered by woods. You can visit the island on an organized boat trip from the Svishtov harbor.
THE SOUTH RODOPI ECO TRAIL is located in the Rodopi Mountain, close to the village of Yagodina. The trail is 18.5 km long and leads through areas located among 3 rivers. The route will take you to several waterfalls, as well as the Devil’s Bridge – a local place of interest.
THE TRAN’S ECO TRAIL includes the gorges of the rivers Erma and Yablanitsa, 80 km north-west from Sofia. There are several routes with different levels of difficulty as the longest one is 13.5 k and on this route there are several observation platforms, seven bridges and a few resting places.
THE KOPREN ECO TRAIL begins from the village of Kopilovci, located 130 km from Sofia. The expedition lasts around five hours and it is recommended that the group should be accompanied by a professional guide. The trail will take you to the foot of the Kopren Peak. The total length of the route is about 20 km, as part of it passes close to the Bulgaria-Serbian border and you can enjoy the view of two beautiful waterfalls.
THE EMEN (NEGOVAN) ECO TRAIL is 25 km away from Veliko Tarnovo and the walk along this route is about 3 hours long. The hills unveil a view to the river, and the area around the trail is surrounded by small plains which are a good place to rest. The trail goes through the Emen canyon from which the 10 meter high Momin Skok waterfall can be seen. It forms a small pond, suitable for swimming and fishing. The route ends at the Negovanka damp.
Trail VIRA FERRATA is located in the Dryanovo region. The route takes around 3 hours, as the starting point is the Dryanovo Monastery. This trail is fairly easy to like. It takes you along the bed of the Dryanova River, close to Sini Vir and to the Strinava Plateau.
THE KRUSHUN ECO TRAIL is located at the West Predbalkan Region. The route goes through the Maara area, close to the village of Krushuna which is based 190 km from Sofia and 57 km from Pleven.
THE BOROV KAMAK (ZGORIGRAD) TRAIL starts close to the village of Zgorigrad, which is 6 km away from the town of Vratsa. Its route follows the bed of the Leva River by the slopes of the Vratsa Balkan. Using a system of bridges and steps, after the ascent the route reaches the 63 m tall Borov Kamuk waterfall and continues through a mountain plan where one can rest before heading towards the end of the trail at hut Purshevitsa.
THE DRYANOVO ECO TRAIL begins close to the Dryanovo Monastery. The route is between 3 and 4 hours log and it is considered of an average difficulty due to the steep sections. The trail follow the bed of the Andaka River. The cave Bacho Kiro is located in the same area, where through a system of bridges and stairs the route passes over a precipice and there you can enjoy the view to the river gorge.
ECO TRAIL BYALA REKA is situated in The Central Balkan National Park. It begins northwest from the town of Kalofer, close to the Kalofer Monastery. The route takes you through 8 bridges over stretches of the river with a swift current and forms a trace with the shape of the number 8, with a total length of 1830 m.
ECO TRAIL BAZOVETS is 20 km away from the town of Tryavna and guides through the Central Balkan Rage and ascends for about 3 km. After reaching the highest point of the route – peak Bazovets (897 m) the trail descends unveiling a view to several small huts, where you can take a break from the expedition.
THE STRANDZHA TRAIL starts close to the village of Sroilovo, where the beautiful waterfall Dokuzak is situated. The length of this route is 2.5 hours and the terrain is accessible.
The beginning of the trail takes you on a narrow forest road through a beautiful mixed forest. After 20 minutes you reach a unique facility called “forest sniper” where you can learn more about the typical of Strandzha plant species.
THE ACCESSIBLE ROUTE – BEKLEMETO is a round trail with a total length of 1.6 km. It offers access to the wild nature to people with physical disabilities in the Central Balkan National Park.
The outgoing point of the route is the town of Troyan from north and from south – the village of Karnare. The trail leads along high mountain plains and offers a picturesque view to the beautiful nature of Stara Planina.
The name of the cave ‘LEDENIKA’ comes from the fascinating ice sculptures which form in its antechamber during the cold parts of the year.
The cave is situated 16 km from Vratsa, it is 300 m long and it has 10 halls.
One of the most interesting caves in Bulgaria is called MAGURATA and is located in close proximity to Belogradchik. The galleries of the cave are more than 2500 m long. The heritage of the pre-historic people found in the cave is considered to be one of the richest in Europe – the walls of the galleries are covered with rock drawings. Some of the images are thought to represent an ancient calendar and that the cave has been used as an ancient sanctuary.
THE YAGODINSKA CAVE is located in close proximity to the village of Yagodina, in the Western Rodopi Mountains. The cave is famous for the numerous stalactites, stalagmites and cave pearls found there.
One of the most beautiful Bulgarian caves- UHLOVITSA – is situated on 1040 m above the sea level, 3 km from the village of Mogilitsa, close to the Bulgarian-Greek border. A steep hill leads the visitors to the entrance of the cave, as the ascend takes 30 to 40 minutes.
BACHO KIRO cave is the first utilized cave in Bulgaria. It is situated close to the Dryanovo Monastery. The cave has 4 levels, and its galleries and tunnels are about 3600 m long. Researchers and archaeologists have found that the cave has been inhabited during and after the Stone Age, as numerous artefacts such as blades, knives and other subjects made from bone were discovered there.
THE DEVIL’S THROAT is also situated in the Trigrad region. The cave is deep and not long and it is categorized as chasmic. Here you can witness the highest situated underground waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula.
The main gallery is named ‘The Roaring Hall’ after the constant river roaring noise.
HARAMIYSKA cave is situated in the rocks above the road near the Rodopi village of Trigrad. The cave can only be visited by organized groups with a qualified guide securely equipped.
THE STONE MUSHROOMS are rock phenomenon near the village of Beli Plast, 19 km from Kardzhali. ‘The mushrooms’ are about 2.5 m tall, their stumps are colored in pink as a result of a specific mineral found in the area. A different mineral paints the caps in green. The rocks have been shaped in this way as a result of an underwater volcanic activity – after the withdrawal of the water, the erosive processes have finished the re-shaping of the stones.
THE STONE WEDDING is a fascinating and unusuall group of rock formations. The natural phenomenon is located 5 km away from the town of Kardzhali, near the village of Zimzelen. The rock shapes which resemble people and animals have been formed as a result of erosive processes. The metal oxides have colored the stones in various colors.
One of the most interesting rock phenomena in Bulgaria is THE STANDING STONES (Pobiti kamani) – located about 20 km from the city of Varna. The rocks resemble pillars with different height, as some of them are 5 m tall. Most pillars are cone shaped and are hollow from the inside.
CHUDNITE SKALI is a beautiful natural landmark located at the shore of Tsonevo damp, 2 km from the village of Asparuchovo and 90 km from the city of Varna. This natural phenomenon is a composition of 10 white rocks with beautiful shapes. They have been formed by the friction of water and wind to the limestone, and they are shaped like white castles.
THE BELOGRADCHIK ROCKS are possibly the most famous Bulgarian natural phenomenon. They are located in the Belogradchik region, 175 kilometres from the capital and 66 km from Montana. The area of rocks is 30 km long and around 3 km wide.
THE LION’S HEAD is an interesting rock phenomenon whose silhouette resembles a lion’s head. It is situated between the towns of Primorsko and Sozopol, near the Ropotamo River. You can notice the beautiful stone at one of the highest points of the Ropotamo conservation park.