Bulgaria has been something of a well-kept secret over the years – a small country, tucked away in Eastern Europe. But recently interest in visiting Bulgaria is rising, and with good reason: Bulgaria is, quite simply, stunning. Visitors feel like they have stepped away from the chaos of modern life when they behold the country’s pristine natural landscapes. And with three enormous and diverse national parks to choose from, hiking is often at the top of most tourists’ to-do lists when they come here. In fact, we’ve already written a blog with some good reasons to hike in Bulgaria’s national parks. If you’re a climber, you need to put Bulgaria at the top of your destination list! Here are five reasons why.
Climbing in a Class of Its Own
Bulgaria boasts an abundance of mountains, meaning that climbers are spoiled for choice. With the Rila and Pirin massifs, the Balkan range, and the Rhodopes — to name just a few. As you might expect, with this variety of locations, you’ll find there’s also a variety with respect to the type of climbing you can do: trad climbing, alpine ascents, deep water soloing, bouldering, and mixed and ice climbing in the winter months… phew! The choices are endless! There are also via ferrata routes which are excellent if you are just beginning your climbing journey. With this much on offer, Bulgaria truly is in a class of its own when it comes to climbing.
Climbing the Path Less Traveled
Since Bulgaria is not a very well known climbing destination for many mountaineers around the world, you’ll find that many of these mountains are less busy than many other top climbing locations. If you aren’t traveling with a tour company, a great way to find the less well-known climbs is by talking to the locals — and you will find that locals are friendly and always happy to help. However, the better option is to come climbing with Excedo Travel! Our adventure guides are skilled mountaineers and we know some of the most exciting climbs out there. And, most importantly, we’ll make sure you don’t end up on the beaten track.
The 7 Rila Lakes Hike
By now you’ve probably got the picture… Bulgaria is beautiful. But it’s a point we can’t stress enough! The only way to really understand this fully is to experience it. Perhaps the best way to sample Bulgaria’s natural beauty in a day is to go on our 7 Rila Lakes for Hiking Junkies daytrip. Our route will take you into the heart of Rila National Park, on challenging tracks that will keep you away from the crowds at this extremely popular location and show you the best of Rila’s scenery and biodiversity. Disclaimer: this trek has a T3-T4 difficulty (as per the Swiss Alpine Club classification system), so it is for experienced mountaineers. One of the hike’s highlights is Skakavitsa Waterfall – the highest waterfall in the Rila Mountains. The views from this waterfall are truly spectacular and it is a popular location for ice climbing in winter.
Easy Access to Remarkable Climbing Spots
As we’ve mentioned, Bulgaria is relatively small and whilst on the face of it this might seem like a negative, it is actually a real gift. With so many potential climbs to explore you’ll be hard-pressed to decide where to go. Can’t decide whether you want to climb Malyovitsa Peak in Rila National Park, or spend your holiday exploring the Pirin Massif? Well, you might not have to choose. Most locations are fairly easy to get to from Sofia, and if you stay in the town of Vratsa, you’ll find the crags are even closer! In fact, there are plenty of charming places for you to make your base near your climbing location of choice.
Here in Bulgaria, you aren’t just a visitor – you’re a dear friend we haven’t got to know yet! When you travel around Bulgaria you’ll find there is a real range of places you can stay — from five-star hotels to unique family guesthouses — but one thing is the same across the board: the Bulgarian hospitality is warm and welcoming. After a hard day of climbing, you will always be able to settle down in a comfortable space with a hearty meal.
So there you have our five reasons to climb in Bulgaria. And if the choice seems dizzying we have you covered. With our Tailor-made Tours of Bulgaria we can craft a climbing trip to suit you, making sure you get to the places you want to see while incorporating as much or as little climbing as you like! If you have any questions, or if you want to start planning your trip then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Bulgaria is waiting for you!