Bulgaria self guided hiking vacation

“A mix of challenging and moderate self guided walking in the mountains of Bulgaria. Bags transferred and time to explore cultural highlights, too!”

Highlights

Yagodina | Rodopi mountains | Yagodina caves | Trigrad | Trigrad walk | Trigrad Gorge walk including Devilís Throat caves | Beden village to Liaskovo village walk | challenging walk to the Miraculous Bridges | Kosovo | Bachkovo Monastery | Plovdiv

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Bulgaria self guided hiking vacation

Environment

We advise all of our clients to stay to the marked paths. This is to maintain the environment as they pass so that it remains pristine for walkers using the pathways in the future. It is also important in order to keep some distance from the local wildlife which can include bears and wolves in the woods. We also advise that they take all of their rubbish with them until the end of the day and recycle or dispose of it as is appropriate.

The vacation includes a tour of the Yagodina Cave, with a human history dating back 8,000 years. The cave is the longest known in the Rodopi Mountains and by touring the cave it ensures that many more people in the future are able to enjoy it.

As much as is possible on this trek we have tried to ensure that the walking is done from hotel to hotel, meaning that there is no need to be transported from or to a hotel each day and reduces the need for transportation journeys and their effect on the environment. When the luggage needs to be transferred we use the hotels or local companies to ensure that the driving required is kept to a minimum.

Community

All of the hotels we use in Bulgaria are small and family run enabling these establishments to continue into the future. They are the establishments which are most in need of the tourism income and their ability to continue their success is important to the Rodopi Mountains area. We also arrange for our clients to eat either at the hotels or at small local restaurants, again keeping the income in the small towns and villages where they stay overnight. We also use either the hotel, local companies or local taxi companies for the luggage and people transfers necessary for this trek. This also keeps the environmental impact to a minimum.

For the time that our clients have in Plovdiv we have included a brief half day walking tour of the city. This enables our clients to get the most of their time in the city and experience local activities and traditions as well as the history of the city and country.

1 Reviews of Bulgaria self guided hiking vacation

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 29 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing all the beautiful wildflowers. May was a wonderful time of year to be there. Also the very warm welcome we received from local people in the smaller villages.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


You need to be aware that the trekking company in Bulgaria promotes the opportunity for solo travelers to save costs by traveling with a couple who've already booked. As you are mainly staying in very small places if someone else books the same dates you are likely to end up spending every evening of the vacation with them as well as some time during the day. This happened to us (without any prior notification) and meant that the vacation was a very different experience from the one we had been expecting. You also need to be aware that a lot of the walking is along tracks rather than footpaths and some days you spend a fair bit of time in the forest so you don't always get much in the way of views but there is plenty of wildlife and other interesting sights to enjoy.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We were mostly staying in small hotels and guesthouses so it did feel like the vacation benefited local people but I think some of accommodation providers could do more to reduce their environmental impacts. There were a few things that it would be very easy to improve e.g. avoiding the use of bottled water.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was a good vacation but we would have enjoyed it more if we had been able to spend more time together as a couple. The nature of the accommodation and the type of walking means that booking solo travelers on to the same dates as couples will inevitably mean the three people having to spend a lot of time together. While the solo traveler can save money as a result, there is no advantage for the couple involved and more consideration should be given to the impact it will have on their vacation experience. The walking was good but compared to other self guided walking tours we have done with other companies we felt less effort had been put into ensuring that the most interesting routes were being followed.

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