I loved this trip. The hiking was a great level for a sporty but relaxed holiday, with hikes that were just the right length and suitably varied. The scenery was stunning and the mountains weren’t crowded, we passed a few local hikers but were largely on our own. Jose the guide was so passionate about the area and was full of information about the plants and animals of the mountains.
Bulgaria Walking Tours
Our Best Bulgaria Walking Tour
Top 5 Animals to Spot on Bulgaria Walking Trips
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.
Jade Rolph Sierra de Aitana Trek
Simon Greenslade Spice Trails of Kerala
An amazing adventure exploring beautiful Kerala with local guides.
Eileen Bickers Spice Trails of Kerala
This trip was just great on many levels. We had a very enjoyable holiday with a great small group and we all got on and laughed throughout the trip.
Trekking for the first 6 days after arriving in Munnar, was through stunning scenery, tea plantations, mountains, views, a village seeing real local life. However it wasn’t always easy in 28-30 deg with some pretty steep ascents and I found it challenging at times even being quite fit although not at my peak! I think calling it a level 3 rating in difficulty underestimates the walking. We walked from 7-16 km each day. Camping was wonderful, excellent food was cooked in basic conditions and our hot lunch was carried by the guide each day. Just had to carry a lot of water & sun stuff.
The second week was amazing too. As per itinerary we saw Madurai, temple is spectacular, we all did the street food tour & all ok after! Peniyar National park walk and the boat trip were great, saw elephants and other wildlife. The houseboat was so relaxing and the food was amazing. Out homestay was wonderful too, we were all together and spent time on the beach but it was v hot.
Our guide Santosh was A** and looked after us so incredibly well, took us to all our dinners & lunches not included so we didn’t have to think at all!
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