Mountain biking is a pleasure in all Bulgarian mountains, as bikers enjoy the ride and the scenery alike. What is more, keen bikers can find not only trails but also accommodation with all creature comforts. One such destination is Borovets, a mountain resort in Rila Mountain, with a dedicated mountain biking park. In Pamporovo and nearby Chepelare in the Rhodopes, in Sopot, a town in the folds of the Central Balkan, or in Vitosha, a stone’s throw from the capital Sofia, mountain biking is auspicious thanks to the packages provided. Details about the mountain bike trips in Bulgaria.
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For aficionados of diversity, the areas for mountain bikers also abound in other opportunities to sample other leisure time activities, such as paragliding, water rafting, horse trekking, to name but three. Renting mountain bikes, together with complete toolkits, and helmets, will ensure all bikers will have safe and enjoyable riding. Both novices and seasoned bikers can find exciting trails. In the Rhodopes, bikers can tour caves, ride across meadows, through gorges and verdant coniferous forests, visit ancient sanctuaries, the Kurdzhali dam, the Thracian site Perperikon, etc.
An easy trail in the Rhodopes starts from Trigrad near the border, and follows the road which hugs the gorge end, to the Yagodina cave. Pamporovo and Bachkovo are other locations on the easy trail. The Iskar river valley near Sofia is another great choice for mountain biking, as the gorge abounds in cliffs and towering peaks, together with caves and waterfalls, fields and meadows.
Rafting in Bulgaria will delight fans of this breathtaking activity. There are two popular hubs for rafting. The choice of rafting from the town of Kresna, along Struma, a river around 130 km away from the capital, guarantees memorable hours of enjoyment along the river which flows between two mountains, Pirin and Malashevska. Rafting there is practiced mostly in April to July and October to November, when the water level is high. The length passed reaches about 10 km, and is covered in professional rafting boats, with 6 or seats.
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The equipment for rafting is provided by the organizers, comprising a helmet, a neoprene suit, a life jacket, and water boots. The other hub for rafting is the Iskar river, where the rapids fill rafters with adrenaline, and rafting goes on for around three hours. Equipment like wetsuits, boots, helmets and life jackets are provided there too.
When people consider rafting along the Iskar, they should also plan to visit the Temnata Dupka (Dark Hole) cave with its impressive underground lake. The Iskar rafting is carried out in spring and in the early part of summer, when the river has sufficient depth. When the summer comes and the river depth decreases, inflatable kayaks are offered. Then, in September and October, comes another auspicious period for rafting, especially enjoyable because of the autumn profusion of colors on deciduous trees. Rafting trips are implemented with guides, but everyone is invited to steer the raft in certain sections. An especially exciting opportunity is a rafting safari, in groups which move from place to place each day. Not only the Iskar and the Struma valleys, but also the rivers in Pirin and the Rhodopes can be explored during rafting safaris.
Paragliding is enjoyable because of soaring high, to see stunning panoramas and take amazing photos. It can be an entirely customized experience, starting from the duration, then the program of the flight, and the places which the flight will reach. Using paragliders, inflatable wings which are foot launched, tourists can fly for amazing lengths reaching 400 km, and the height to which they can soar exceeds 6 km.
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Novices can take beginner courses to learn to control a paraglider and start flying from small hills. Courses for intermediate paragliders enable people with experience to soar to ridges and glide from higher mountain altitudes. In Bulgaria, paragliding can be practiced in mountain, flatland, and seaside flying sites.
In the mountains, the best base is the small town of Sopot, and other popular spots are Sliven, Kom, Buzludzha, Mussala in Rila which is 2,925 m high. In the flatlands, the sites recommended are Madara and Shumen, Vratza and Topolitza, sites which abound in rocks, great starting points for the activity. Along the sea coast, resorts and resort towns like Varna, Burgas, Albena are among the grounds where paragliding can enable everyone to see whole areas down below, with the sand fringed by forests and fields. Overall, Bulgaria boasts 166 sites where paragliding can be practiced. Silistra and Ruse on the Danube, Targovishte and Gabrovo in the Balkans, or Smolyan in the Rhodopes are just a few of the many sites where paragliding is offered.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts will find ample opportunities in Bulgaria, thanks to the abundance of rivers where these activities are enjoyable especially in spring and early in summer. Bulgarian lakes are also wonderful areas where canoeing and kayaking are among the staple activities. Last but certainly not least, the seaside is a long stretch inviting for plenty of canoeing and kayaking.
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Trips around hubs for these activities enable participants to experience new challenges, get to know diverse localities, visit mountain rivers, lakes, seaside resorts, etc. Novices can take courses, and together with seasoned canoe and kayak fans will enjoy the challenges posed, the accommodation in open air camps and in small hotels. From the end of March until mid June, canoeing and kayaking lovers are coming to Bulgaria to enjoy their favorite hobby.
During Black Sea kayaking, the Kamen Briag village, with its unique rock surroundings, the Kaliakra Cape, the town of Balchik with its impressive Botanical Gardens, the natural reserve of the Kamchia river near Varna, Emine Cape which is the easternmost part of Bulgaria, the ancient Nessebar, a town with its old part belonging to the UNESCO heritage sites, the Ropotamo river with water lilies, are all unmissable spots.
Fans of canoeing and kayaking on lakes will enjoy the lakes in the Rhodopes: Mihalkovo, Dospat, Kurdzhali, Ivailovgrad and Studen Kladenec. The Danube, Bulgaria’s northern border, is also auspicious for canoeing and kayaking. There is an international kayaking tour which starts in Germany, the country where the Danube starts, and ir reaches Bulgaria in August, so enthusiasts can join it, passing from the west to the town of Silistra, just before the river enters Romanian territory.
During vacations, activities such as horse riding enable tourists to indulge in memorable equestrian vacations. One itinerary starts from the town of Koprivshtitsa and goes through the Sredna Gora mountain. The Rhodopes are another terrain where horse riding can be practiced with pleasure. In the Balkan Range, the area around the town of Teteven invites for horse riding vacations. Tourists can take combined tours of the Rhodopes, Sredna Gora, and areas of the Balkan Range. Horse riding in Bulgaria in details
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The horses offered for riding belong to a cross between Arabian full blood horses and East Bulgarian horses which combine the strength of the former and the toughness of the latter and are around 1.60 m in height. Guides knowledgeable about horses provide advice on how to deal with these gracious creatures. The riding bases: the Balkan, the Valley of Roses, and in the Iskar ranch provide the horses for riding through diverse settings and experiencing communion with nature. The village of Apriltsi, in the Balkan, functions all the year round. There the horses are groomed and bred, to provide worthy companions for riding outings.
The Valley of Roses base, between Karlovo and Kazanlak, two picturesque towns, lies in the Sveshten village. The settings around are picturesque and replete with mountain charm. The chalet offers accommodation with all amenities after horse riding trips. In the Iskar ranch, on the bank of the Iskar lake, over 60 horses are bred and trained, suitable for beginners and for seasoned riders. The very terrain of the Valley of Roses ranch, with low hills and flat areas around, invites for smooth riding. After riders have had an outstanding time riding, it is time for picnics and barbecues.
Those looking for ATV trails will have to choose among a plethora of trails in almost all regions of the country. In the Rhodopes, the destinations are especially luring, as the roads to them pass through forests, or tourists have to follow paths, pursuing the routes that the ancient Romans once took through the mountain. The difficulty of the routes enhances the delight, and there are a profusion of opportunities for snapping and videoing.
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The most exciting routes lead to the Chudnite Mostove locality, to Rozhen, to the resort of Pamporovo, or to the town of Chepelare. Trails in the Balkan Range enable everyone to sample the beauty of the mountain, reach sanctuaries, have tea in the cozy chalets. When touring in the Sredna Gora mountain, there are opportunities to visit the Hisar spas down in the mountain folds, and rise to the ridge of the mountain which rises to just over 1,000 m.
Skiing and snowboarding
Winter invites skiers and snowboarders with the Bulgarian mountains extending a diversity of slopes, from 2,600 to 1,630 m. Tourists can use the lifts to reach the tops, and are invited by difficult to easy slopes. There are children’s slopes in Borovets, the oldest winter resort, in Rila, and in the Balkan skiing center of Kom-Berkovitsa. Ski and snow boarding in Bulgaria in details
Skiing and snowboarding in Bulgaria
In Rila, Borovets is the most visited, but the Malyovitsa resort is a favorite too. In the Rhodopes, Pamporovo is the most famed resort, with slopes starting from the Snezhanka peak. Another nearby resort is in Chepelare. Bansko is a doubtless favorite with skiers and snowboarders, in Pirin, in the southwest. For tourists staying in Sofia, the choice is abundant; many prefer the convenience of Vitosha, rising quite nearby, with the “Aleko” skiing center.
Everyone can rely on inviting snow, plenty of facilities, artificial snow facilities on standby, and all amenities in the hotels.
In general, all activities tourists indulge in while in Bulgaria enable everyone to soak in nature’s beauty while scaling heights and cliffs, following routes which hug banks and lake shores, or stopping to explore sites steeped in history.
In the hubs for all leisure time activities and sports, there are abundant opportunities for combining diverse activities to experience the delight of active vacationing to the fullest. Bulgarian mountains abound in routes with rugged beauty and challenging difficulties, and the vistas that unfold from peaks and from paragliders beg to be snapped and shared.
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