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Butterfly Holidays in Bulgaria

Butterflies of the Struma & Mesta Valleys

Butterfly Holiday:  Struma Valley & South-western Mountains

Butterfly Holidays in the Eastern Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains

Butterfly Holiday: Eastern Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains

Butterfly Holidays in the Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains

Butterfly Holiday: Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains

Butterflies of the Central Balkan National Park

Butterfly Holiday: Central Balkan National Park

Butterfly Holidays in the Rila & Pirin National Parks

Butterfly Holiday Rila & Pirin National Parks

Balkan Trek's unique bespoke butterfly holidays in Bulgaria are offered to individuals, couples, small private groups and societies. All butterfly holidays can be tailor-made to suite your own requirements, and are carefully designed to provide a comprehensive exploration of the most rewarding butterfly hotspots in Bulgaria, including many of  the officially designated Prime Butterfly Areas in Bulgaria.

Despite its relatively small size, Bulgaria is blessed with a very rich variety of butterflies. Almost half of all the species of butterflies found in Europe have been recorded in Bulgaria. At the moment, the number of species of butterflies known from Bulgaria is 213 (though this number is thought likely to rise to about 220 species), making it perhaps the most rewarding non-Mediterranean country in Europe for a butterfly holiday.

The Bulgarian butterfly fauna comprise 27 species of butterflies from the Hesperiidae family, 6 species of butterflies from the Papilionidae family, 25 species of butterflies from the Pieridae family, 1 species of butterfly from the Riodinidae family, 58 species of butterflies from the Lycaenidae family, and 96 species of butterflies from the Nymphalidae family. The mountainous areas of Bulgaria are a special focus for many butterfly holidays, being particularly rich in butterfly species, including a high number of endemic butterfly taxa.

Thankfully, at present the conservation status of butterflies in Bulgaria is relatively good, with less than 15% of butterfly species in Bulgaria currently classified as being of conservation concern. This makes Bulgaria an ideal destination for butterfly photographers and enthusiasts, as many rare and highly photogenic species can be seen on a butterfly holiday in Bulgaria. To increase the chance of finding and photographing the rarest and most interesting butterflies in Bulgaria, we focus our butterfly holidays in many of Bulgaria's Prime Butterfly Areas.

Currently, some 50 Prime Butterfly Areas have been nominated in Bulgaria, covering almost 20% of the country. These Prime Butterfly Areas in Bulgaria were selected to include the most important regions for a total of 53 target species of butterflies, that is rare, threatened and restricted species of butterflies which have been identified as butterfly species of conservation concern.

These Prime Butterfly Areas represent some of the best butterfly sites in the country, and therefore make the ideal focus of any butterfly holiday in Bulgaria. The majority of the Bulgarian Prime Butterfly Areas are clustered in the south-western part of Bulgaria and include sites along the Struma Valley, as well as mountainous regions such as the Rila, Pirin, Belasitsa, Slavyanka and Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains. The Eastern Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains, Strandzha Mountains and Central Balkans are also excellent regions to include in a butterfly holiday in Bulgaria.

With the arrival of spring, a butterfly holiday exploring the butterflies of the Struma Valley & South-western Mountains or the butterflies of the Eastern Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains are both excellent choices for a butterfly holiday in Bulgaria, offering up butterflies such as Southern Festoon (Zerynthia polyxena), Freyer’s Purple Emperor (Apatura metis), Grecian Copper (Lycaena ottomana), Little Tiger Blue (Tarucus balkanicus), Green-Underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) and Eastern Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama).

With the onset of summer, the butterflies of the Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains become the ideal focus for a butterfly holiday in Bulgaria, offering butterflies such as Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisy), Apollo (Parnassius apollo), Nettle-tree Butterfly (Libythea celtis), Common Glider (Neptis sappho), Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi), Eastern Large Heath (Coenonympha rhodopensis) and Nickerl's Fritillary (Melitaea aurelia).

Alternatively, a butterfly holiday focusing on the butterflies of the Central Balkan National Park can be rewarding in the early summer, offering up a range of interesting butterflies such as Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne), False Eros Blue (Polyommatus eroides), Bog Fritillary (Boloria eunomia) and a variety of high mountain ringlets including Bulgarian Ringlet (Erebia orientalis), Almond-eyed Ringlet (Erebia alberganus), Nicholl's Ringlet (Erebia rhodopensis) and Water Ringlet (Erebia pronoe).

Mid-summer is the time to turn one's attention to Bulgaria's high mountain butterflies, when an exploration of the butterflies of the Rila & Pirin National Parks can offer such butterflies as Bosnian Blue (Plebeius dardanus), Balkan Fritillary (Boloria graeca), Mountain Alcon Blue (Phengaris rebeli), Bulgarian Ringlet (Erebia orientalis), Nicholl's Ringlet (Erebia rhodopensis) and Cynthia's Fritillary (Euphydryas cynthia).

To find out more about the opportunities for tailor-made butterfly holidays in Bulgaria, and to discuss your own specific plans and requirements, please email Balkan Trek. We will be happy to design and organize for you a unique and highly rewarding butterfly holiday in Bulgaria.

Furthermore, all our butterfly holidays in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains are organized in co-operation with the local NGO 'Wild Rodopi', ensuring that you not only have the best opportunities to observe and photograph some of the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains rarest and most beautiful butterflies, but will also be directly contributing to the work of the NGO 'Wild Rodopi' and help funding their efforts to research and conserve the butterflies of the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains.