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Walking Holidays in Bulgaria

Walking Holidays in the Rila Mountains

Balkan Trek's tailored-made mountain walking holidays in Bulgaria's Rila Mountains offer you the chance to explore on foot the stunning mountain landscapes of the 'Rila' National Park. During your holiday, an experienced and qualified Balkan Trek mountain guide will lead you on a daily programme of exciting mountain walks, that will see you walking through ancient forests and and rugged rocky terrain as you thread your way on foot through the Rila Mountain's dramatic alpine-type landscape of mighty peaks and ridges. Because the 'Rila' National Park is a rugged wilderness area, the walking is quite demanding, with long steep ascents and descents; however, the rewards are immense. During the course of a mountain walking holiday in the Rila Mountains you can also visit the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the largest monastery in Bulgaria, and enjoy walking in the footsteps of the celebrated hermit monk Ivan Rilski.

Walking Holiday in Rila National Park

Walking in Rila National Park

Walking in Rila Mountains

Walking Holidays in Bulgaria's Rila Mountains

Holiday Highlights

- Challenging mountain walking amidst dramatic alpine landscapes.

- Ascent of Mt. Musala (2925m), the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula.

- Beautiful alpine flora, rich diversity of birds and many rare butterflies.

- The fascinating history and culture of the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

- Delicious traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

- An experienced, fully qualified, knowledgeable and highly enthusiastic guide.

NB: Unlike many other walking holiday companies in Bulgaria who attempt to cut costs by making their guides have to double up as drivers, we employ separate professional drivers with licensed vehicles for all our walking holidays in Bulgaria as we believe it is not only safer to have a driver fully focused on the road, but also allows our guides to concentrate fully on looking after you!

Further Inspiration

The Rila Mountains lie in the south-western part of Bulgaria. Measuring 83 kilometres from east to west, and 52 kilometres from north to south, the Rila Mountains cover a total area of 2629 square kilometres. The average altitude of the Rila Mountains is 1487 metres, but 140 peaks top 2000 metres. Furthermore, the Rila Mountains can lay claim to the highest peak in the entire Balkan Peninsula with Mount Musala (2925m). 

In terms of the Bulgaria endemic flora, the Rila Mountains rank fourth. About 50 Bulgarian endemic species and subspecies have been found in the Rila Mountains, most of which are glacial relicts and distributed in the sub-alpine and alpine zones. There are 10 local endemics, plants whose distribution is confined to the Rila Mountains including the 'Rila Primrose' (Primula deorum). 

The remoteness and inaccessibility of some parts of the Rila Mountains means that large carnivores and other elusive mammals such as brown bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), wild cat (Felis silvestris) and Balkan chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra balcanica) all survive here in reasonably good numbers. There are also many interesting birds. Hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), ring ouzel (Turdus torquatus), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) and nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) can all be found in the extensive forests, whilst the rocky alpine pastures have Balkan horned lark (Eremophila alpestris balcanica), rock thrush (Monticola saxatilis), alpine accentor (Prunella collaris) and water pipit (Anthus spinoletta). Cliffs and precipices hold wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) and alpine chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus). Raptors to look out for in the Rila Mountains include golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus) and booted eagle (Hieraeetus pennatus).

Further Information

If you are interested in a tailor-made walking holiday in Bulgaria's Rila Mountains, then please email Balkan Trek with more details of your own special requirements and plans, and we will be happy to design and organize for you the perfect walking holiday in the Rila Mountains!

Responsible Tourism Promise

All our walking holidays in Bulgaria are operated in accordance with our strict Responsible Tourism Policy, ensuring that the walking holidays we offer in the Rila Mountains are not only of the highest quality but also help preserve the Rila Mountains' natural and cultural heritage!