Although Bulgaria might not be everyone’s bucket-list destination, it shouldn’t be underestimated. From the vast swathes of forest and mountains to its golden beaches and colourful towns, Bulgaria is a wonderful melting pot of nature, culture and history. Our Bulgaria walking holidays steer you along pretty hiking trails over meadows, forests and mountain tracks that showcase its soul-stirring scenery.
The Rodopi Mountains are popular with walkers as they are largely free from human influence and the flourishing ecosystem offers a huge wealth of biodiversity. As you explore the untamed landscapes; scenes of glacial lakes and lofty peaks unfurl before you. Visiting Rodopi villages along the way, the locals give you an insight into the fascinating culture and age-old traditions of Bulgaria. Interrupting the landscapes, medieval monasteries and domed churches take you on a journey into the past where you can see incredible murals and wood carvings.
This relatively unexplored part of Europe is filled with natural gems such as enchanting caves, limestone gorges and ancient woodlands, where wolves, wild cats and bears roam. The Devil’s Throat Cave is one of the most spectacular with its cascading waterfall and it’s steeped in ancient legend that tells of how Orpheus rose from the underworld. You might also spot the elusive wallcreeper bird here, whose patterned wings are compared to those of a butterfly.
For those looking for more challenging walking trips, Bulgaria is home to a wealth of mountain peaks that provide expansive views across the landscape.
Bulgaria Walking Holidays
8 DaysfromCAD 2,675
Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)
Spectacular trekking in Bulgaria's mountain landscape
Brown Bears: Found roaming the forests and mountains, it’s estimated there are 700 brown bears in Bulgaria, with the majority of the population in the Central Balkans and Central Rhodope. The bear is one of the most iconic and captivating of Bulgaria’s animals and there are ongoing conservation projects to protect it. As you walk along ancient forest trails, there’s a chance you’ll see evidence of bear activity such as their tracks on the ground and where they’ve scratched at trees.
Griffon Vultures: While there are several species of vulture found in Bulgaria, the Griffon vulture is arguably the most impressive. Following near extinction just decades ago, the population now continues to grow, with many of them found in the Rodopi Mountains. Its distinctive ruffled neck, finger-like wings and beautiful colourings make it easily recognisable. Griffon vultures feed on carcases and tend to hunt in groups high up in the mountains where you’ll see their nests tucked into cliffs and rocky outcrops. They start to mate in December and then build their nests in January where they’ll lay just one egg in March.
Wolf: The Rodopi Mountains are home to one of the greatest populations of wolf in Bulgaria and their diet consists mainly of hoofed mammals such as roe deer, red deer, wild boar and chamois. There are believed to be around 1,200 grey wolves living in the mountains of Bulgaria and while you might spot one on Bulgaria walking trips, they are extremely shy and will stay out of the way of humans. Highly fascinating creatures, wolves are known for their intelligence, and you’ll most likely see them roaming the forests and mountains between October and May.
Red Deer: Mostly found in the Rodopi Mountain forests and pastures, the red deer is one of the animals you’re likely to see on Bulgaria walking trips. You’ll also see many paintings of the deer inside ancient churches and monasteries. Rewilding teams have gone to great efforts to protect the animal and reintroduce them into the Rodopi Mountains. Autumn is the mating season and when you’re likely to see the males rut, which is a fabulous wildlife spectacle. Only the stags have antlers and they are the most distinctive feature of the red deer, measuring approximately 70cm.
European Bison: A relative of the North American bison, the European bison became extinct in the early 20th century, however, due to its reintroduction to Bulgaria in the 1960s and following huge conservation efforts, it can now be found in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is the largest surviving wild land animal in the continent and an adult male weighs between 400kg and 920kg. They typically feed on shrubs, trees and grass and play an integral role in the ecosystem of the forest.
I already submitted a review form and won’t add to the comments made there. But I realsied that I wasn’t prompted to say anything about the two hotels we stayed in (or maybe I missed that). These were: Edom Hotel (Wadi Musa / Petra). This was really excellent. Clean, efficient, well-placed and a pleasure to visit. I have no idea why it is only described as “comfortable” rather than being given a deserved 4* rating. The only minor downisde was no bottled water in rooms. Days Inn Hotel Amman. Well, at least the staff are nice and we got bottled water in the rooms! But in other respects it is poor and certainly not deserving of a 4* rating. Everything is tatty, the corridors and rooms – despite being notionally non-smoking – reek of cigarette smoke (this applied to two visits and two different rooms a week apart) and, on our second visit, the bath had not been cleaned – there was a wet pile of hair in the middle of it. I am sure that Amman can do better than this for the same money.
Having been to both Greece and Turkey before it was fascinating to visit the island that has been a focal point of tensions between the two nations. The trip was an excellent mix of walking & sight seeing with plenty of spare time to do other things if required.