Our grading system explained
- Expedition Grade
Bulgaria is a Balkan nation in the Southeast of Europe, neatly situated between Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. Despite its relatively small size, in which it occupies just 2% of Europe, Bulgaria’s biodiversity is among the richest in the continent, allowing a wide array of plant and wildlife to call the country home. This impressive range of flora and fauna is set among an equally impressive range of landscapes, including wild mountains, sandy beaches and verdant valleys decorated with many lakes and rivers. This biodiversity is conserved within three national parks, 11 nature parks, 16 biosphere reserves and 565 protected areas.
Just over 1/3 of Bulgaria is made up of mountain ranges, more commonly found in the central and southwestern parts of the country. These areas consist of five main mountain ranges, Rila, Balkan, Rhodope, Balkan and Vitosha. Our Gentle Walking Bulgaria trip explores three of these mountain ranges. Most time is spent among the Rhodope Mountains, the largest mountain range in Bulgaria, characterized by its striking river gorges, ancient caves and unusual natural sculptures. Time is also spent exploring both the Pirin and Rila Mountains towards the end of the trip. Walking in the Bulgarian Mountains offers an excellent insight into years of Bulgaria’s significant history.
As well as mountains, Bulgaria is also jam-packed with fascinating history and heritage. In ancient years Bulgaria was populated by Thracians, Ancient Greeks and Romans, to name a few, all contributing to the countries cultural heritage, leaving behind their stories in the form of stunning architecture. Most commonly you will see a fantastic selection of Bulgarian monasteries, all stunning pieces of artwork in their own right encompassing their own snippet of intriguing history.
Complimenting this history is a kaleidoscope of culture, including the 2019 European Capital of Culture, Plovdiv, boasting its very own ‘Old Town’ showcasing ancient Roman remains and traditional Bulgarian architecture. The small mountain villages visited on our Gentle Walking Bulgaria trip are all fine examples of rich culture. Visitors interest in local culture and traditions are widely embraced by the locals.