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Explore Bulgaria's national parks with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Walking in Bulgaria's National Parks
17 Nov 2017
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
1st Published
20 Jan 2010
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Walking in Bulgaria's National Parks

by Julian Perry
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to 12 multi-day treks in Bulgaria's highest and wildest mountain ranges in the Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan national parks. The treks are aimed at fit, experienced mountain walkers, with steep ascents and exposed scrambles. The routes range from 7 to 61km and include a full-day ascent of Mount Vihren.

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Cover: Paperback - PVC
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
Weight: 280g

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For walkers and naturalists, Bulgaria is a paradise. There is an amazing variety of landscapes and a rich biodiversity, yet mountains dominate much of the country. The treks in this guidebook are based in the Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan national parks which cover the three wildest and most majestic mountain regions of Bulgaria.

This guidebook contains route descriptions for 12 two to four-day treks, including one single day trek, that cover spectacular scenery and offer an unrivalled opportunity to encounter some of Europe’s rarest plants and animals. Each walk is broken down into day stages with each stage finishing at either a mountain hut or another suitable source of accommodation. The distance of each trek varies from 7 to 61km in length and covers a variety of terrain including panoramic ridges over Musala and Vihren, the two highest peaks in the country.

The walks in this guidebook are challenging and are aimed at fit, experienced mountain walkers. The trails are often physically demanding, with long steep ascents and descents, often over rocks and boulders. Furthermore, most of the ridge walks require a good head for heights – especially the exposed scramble along the Koncheto crest (Walk 12). Be sure to read the route description carefully before setting out.

As well as providing detailed route descriptions for many of the most outstanding walks offered by these three national parks, it also contains a great deal of background information about the history and geography of places passed along the trails, along with comprehensive details of the wildlife likely to be seen.

  • Seasons
    snow can be a hindrance until the end of June; wildflowers at their peak in July; August and September have stable sunny weather; early October is great for photography; not safe in winter due to avalanche risk
  • Centres
    Teteven, Divchovoto, Apriltsi, Troyan, Kalofer, Karlovo, Sevlievo, Kazanlak, Rila Monastery, Samokov, Malyovitsa, Govedartsi, Borovets, Kostenets, Bansko, Razlog and Melnik
  • Difficulty
    walks are suitable for fit and experienced mountain walkers; long steep ascents and descents, often over rocks and boulders; most of the ridge walks require a good head for heights, especially the Koncheto crest and the ascent of Vihren
  • Must See
    Ancient beech forests of the Boatin reserve; traverse of the Triglav massif; rock outcrops of the Sokolna reserve; Rila Monastery; Malyovitsa ridge walk; Musala (2925m); Melnik Pyramids; Rozhen Monastery; the Koncheto crest; Vihren (2914m); outstanding birdwatching; exceptional variety of butterflies

January 2013


The sentence at the top of the page should read: '... crosses one of the headstreams of the Krayovitsa', not Krivnishka Reka.


The sentence at the bottom of the page should read: '... a short rocky crest that drops away precipitously on the left towards the Chanakgyolski Ezera cirque', not right.


Protected Territories
Travelling to Bulgaria
Travelling to the Mountains
Walking in Bulgaria
Food and Water
Mountain Rescue
About this Guidebook
Key Facts and Figures
Part 1 The Central Balkan National Park
Walk 1 The Boatin, Tsarichina and Kozya Stena Reserves
Walk 2 The Severen Dzhendem, Stara Reka and Steneto Reserves
Walk 3 The Dzhendema and Stara Reka Reserves
Walk 4 The Peeshtite Skali and Sokolna Reserves
Part 2 The Rila National Park
Walk 5 The Rila Monastery Nature Park and Forest Reserve
Walk 6 Sedemte Ezera and Zeleni Rid
Walk 7 The Central Rila Reserve
Walk 8 The Ibar Reserve
Part 3 The Pirin National Park
Walk 9 The Pirin Wine Trail
Walk 10 The Yulen Reserve
Walk 11 Mount Vihren
Walk 12 The Bayvuvi Dupki–Dzhindzhiritsa Reserve and Koncheto
Appendix 1 Route Summary Table
Appendix 2 English–Bulgarian Glossary and Pronunciation Guide
Appendix 3 Further Reading
Appendix 4 Mountain Huts and Other Useful Contacts
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