Walking in Bulgaria's National Parks
Pirin, Rila and Central Balkans National Parks
By Julian Perry
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.
Seasonssnow 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
CentresTeteven, Divchovoto, Apriltsi, Troyan, Kalofer, Karlovo, Sevlievo, Kazanlak, Rila Monastery, Samokov, Malyovitsa, Govedartsi, Borovets, Kostenets, Bansko, Razlog and Melnik
Difficultywalks 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 SeeAncient 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
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Julian Perry was born and raised on the southeast coast of England, but for the last 20 years has spent most of his time in the Bulgarian mountains, where he now runs a specialist eco-tourism company, Balkan Trek, organising walking and wildlife-watching holidays.View author profile
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