With this post we want to set a series of posts about Bulgarian mountains. The information online is scarce and scattered across many websites which makes planing your trip kind of hard, even if you know the language. That’s why we want to do as much as we can to help anyone interested in visiting them. And why would anyone be interested?
– They’re amazingly beautiful.
– They’re really cheap to stay.
– The refuge managers are usually really nice people that would welcome you as if you were a member of their family.
Mountains should never be underestimated. Weather can change extremely fast up there and you should always take precaution. Never and we mean never think that you are mightier than nature. Don’t head out for a hike if the forecast is bad and in case you don’t know what the forecast is, just ask the refuge manager.
Make sure you know which path you’re taking and which markers you should follow. Taking a map of the region with you is a must. Paper ones are better because they don’t run out of battery. It’s good practice to inform the refuge manager which way you’re headed. That way you’ll increase your chances in a possible search. And since we’re at search and rescue, you should always have the Mountain Rescue Service‘s number. There’s even an app for sending distress signals easily. And last but not least, having a mountain insurance is a good idea.
There are no shops up in the mountains so here are a few necessities you should get in advance:
As we already said weather changes extremely fast and you should always have a raincoat standing by. Otherwise you and your bag will get wet in no time.
Bring your own soap and shampoo. Baths are different in each refuge and you shouldn’t rely on hotel like conditions.
This may sound funny but same as the soap – you can’t rely on hotel like conditions. Most refuges are hard to supply so don’t expect to find a shop.
Toothpaste and toothbrush are a must for any travel so make sure you don’t forget them.
Again no hotel towels. My suggestion is to get yourself a microfiber towel – it takes much less space than a normal one.
We don’t want to get into details about the usual equipment for mountains in this post. What you do need though are hiking shoes and a good backpack. The shoes have special sole units with strong grip. We would recommend Vibram sole units as we are pretty satisfied with them. The other main advantage of hiking shoes is that they support your ankle making it much stronger on uneven ground.
There are may different hiking backpacks with all kinds of technologies but they all have one main difference from normal backpacks. There is a belt like attachment at the bottom which you can strap around your waist. That way the load is carried not only by your shoulders but spread through your waist and back.
This equipment costs a little bit more but it saves you a lot of pain, trust me.
We want to share some websites that we use to plan our own trips. As we already said the information is scattered and planning your trip takes some time.
– Bulgarian Mountains is a website that has information about all refuges in Bulgaria. Sadly there is no English version but it includes a map which gives you an idea of where the refuge is located. It also has information about routes from and to each hut. Some of them also have images.
– Chalets in Bulgaria has information about each hut including route times and starting points.
– Pirinmap is a website specially for Pirin. It includes detailed routes with an interactive map.
– Weather webcam has links to webcams of many refuges and other locations. It’s useful if you want to check what the weather is like.
– There’s an app called “Bulgarian mountains” which basically includes the information of the first two websites. Sadly there is no English version but it requires no internet connection and you can check some information on the way.
That’s basically what you need to know about hiking in Bulgarian mountains. We are searching for more information regularly so this post will be updated in future. If you would like some more information about a specific trip or about traveling in Bulgaria as a whole, just ask us.