Landscapes of Bulgaria, especially for trekkers and nature lovers


Landscapes of Bulgaria, especially for trekkers and nature lovers

Text and photos: Erik Pontoppidan , Copenhagen, Denmark

Copyright: Erik Pontoppidan



In the south-western Bulgaria, very close to the Greek border, you find the Rila and Pirin mountains. Although mostly known for skiing in winter, they offer great treks during the summer period. Green pine woods, fertile meadows, plenty of horses, an abundance of blue lakes, hospitable mountain huts and hotels, interesting historical sites – thatīs part of the experience you may expect in the area.

In June, 2007, I trekked one week in Rila and Pirin, crossing the two mountain chains. Most of the trek took place at altitudes between 2.000 and 3.000 meters, with great views of the surrounding mountains. The historical climax of the trip was the visit to one of Bulgariasīs most famous tourist attractions, the Rila Monastery, placed in a wonderful, peaceful valley. Before the return to Denmark, I stayed half a day in the town of Plovdiv – a positive surprise. The old part of Plovdiv has an abundance of historical atmosphere with plenty of old, well-maintained, beatiful houses in romantic streets.



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1-4: From the Rila Mountains. The area offers you an abundance of great views and landscapes.


1: Descending from the Rila Mountains through fertile meadows, heading for the Rila Monastery. You will find plenty of horses in the heights.
2-3: The Rila Monastery is one of Bulgariaīs most famous tourist attractions. Itīs placed in a beautiful valley full of pinewoods, and everywhere, you can hear the calming sound of water from the surrounding mountains.
4: Trekking in the Pirin Mountains, close to the mountain hut at Lake Tevno (2.512 meters). The mountain in the background is Mount Kamenitsa (2.822 meters).



1: The hospitable mountain hut at Lake Tevno (2.512 meters), where we had an overnight stay.
2-3: Descent from the Pirin Hut (1.640 meters) to the Melnik village. The mountains in the far background on photo nr. 3 are the Rodopi Mountains.
4: The Melnik village is surrounded by impressive, unique sandstone rocks.



1-4: Plovdiv was a positive surprise. Especially the old part of the town has an abundance of historical atmosphere, with plenty of old, well-maintained, beautiful houses in romantic streets.


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