The answer to that question is certainly not a simple one since the country has gorgeous highland ranges and at least a dozen of them deserve to be explored on foot. Hiking in Bulgaria is one of the primary reasons to make you love this land and topping one mountain at the expense of all others is not easy. Here follows a quick overview of the main ranges.
Rhodopes – the mountain with a soul
Spreading over the largest territory compared to every other hill chain or massif, it is one of the favorite areas for hiking in Bulgaria. The Rhodopes are vast in size but not too high neither too steep, so even the travelers with small or no experience can endure the walk for several days with sleepovers at some lodges or huts. Some of the highlights during the hike might include Krastova Gora area, the waterfall Slivodolsko Praskalo, the cave Dyavolsko Garlo, the rocks of Belintash, or the rocky bridges called Chudnite mostove. It is hard to count all objects worth the visit in the mountain that – according to local people – has a soul on its own.
Rila – the top of the Balkans
The highest peak on the map of Balkan Peninsula – Musala, is located there. Standing tall 2925 m above the sea level, the mountaintop is one of the main goals for hiking in Bulgaria. There are several routes to approach the peak and the most popular starts from Borovets ski resort. Compared to the magic of the Rhodopes, Rila has a harsh beauty, but some must-see objects besides the peaks are situated there. Rila Monastery and the Seven Lakes top the list of the most popular destinations.
Pirin – gorgeous and dangerous
Some of the most dazzling mountain views in Bulgaria can be seen in Pirin. The range is located just south of Rila, so if you have a good plan, visiting both mountains in one week (or shorter period) is possible. Putting the gorgeousness of the Pirin range, the area is one of the most challenging for hiking in Bulgaria.
Stara Planina – from border to border
The mountain that divides the country in two gave the name of the whole region. The Balkan Mountains spread from the western border of Bulgaria to the eastern frontier where it ends up in the Black Sea. One of the main challenges for hiking in Bulgaria is exactly the trip all the way from west to east. This route in Stara Planina, as it is officially known in the country, is called Kom-Emine. It will take more than one week to hike the 600 km long route – the record time set three years ago by a professional hiker is 4 days and 13 hours. But Stara Planina has plenty of other options for shorter journeys.