It’s no secret we just LOVE active outdoors and adventure! Sometimes we get really closer to what some may call extreme, but we wouldn’t classify our activities in the open air as too extreme or too boring. Things that have to do with heights and depths often give you a different perspective, including a new viewpoint over lands you think you know well. For example, Bulgaria. So here it is, the list of our favorite spots for active outdoors and adventure in Bulgaria.
Paragliding over Sopot
There’s no better way to explore Stara planina, the Rose Valley, and its vineyard jewels than seeing all of that from a bird’s eye view. All you need is the right wind and a professional paraglider to navigate and fly the paraglide.
💡 Tip: At first I was worried about taking-off but it took less than a second for the wind to embrace us and take us to unbelievable views.
Jeep off-roading near Belogradchik rocks
Belogradchik rocks didn’t make it to the New7Wonders of the World but they are a remarkable rock formations you can hike on, climb, fly over or… well, jeep off-road! We chose the latter and explored parts of the misty rocks while trying not to bump our heads and other parts of the body into the jeep chassis. You go up and down, observing wildlife, the rocks, or tiny country houses. You have to hold tight and enjoy the ride!
💡 Tip: Use opportunities to go of the jeep and walk a little. Not only will you see amazing stuff but also your body will have the time to relax for the next leg of the bumpy ride.
Sea kayaking near Kavarna
Northern Black Sea in Bulgaria has its attractive scenery and just-as-big-as-necessary waves to be the perfect location for sea kayaking. And when you do it with the right kayaking guru, it is just relaxing and picturesque experience.
It can take few kilometers of rowing for you to grow from a complete beginner to a self-confident kayak enthusiast who wants to improve their technique while enjoying the scenery around. Thanks to Galin from Trip Kavarna for introducing us to the sea kayaking and the picturesque Black sea coast.
💡 Tip: The best way to meet a wave is by facing it. Don’t go parallel to the wave with your kayak!
Rock-climbing on Vitosha mountain
A friend sent us in the nearby mountain of Vitosha for a crash course on rock-climbing. We were fast learners but still needed some help – all those support ropes could be quite confusing. Good it wasn’t too high of a rock!
Rock climbing is a tiring experience and it requires energy and positive attitude. It’s like outdoor active problem-solving with some sweating but the results can be rewarding.
💡 Tip: Going down is a bit harder than climbing up. You have to be brave and not overthink it too much!
Powered paragliding (or paratriking) over Primorsko
OK, we kind of love flying. So Bistra received a gift from her friends – a tandem paratrike flight over the coastline. The powered paraglider has a motor so you take off and land on a runway just like airplanes do. Still you can feel the wind caressing your face, you can enjoy the views over the sea, the beaches, the forest, the town and the resorts, even а sunken car after a flood. The Black sea coastline is so beautiful that you must zoom out and enjoy it from birds sight.
💡 Tip: Take your camera and let the instructor in your tandem take care of flying. Enjoy the fast-changing scenery to the fullest!
Scuba diving near Arapya beach
Some years ago the off-the-beaten-path Arapya beach in the southern Black sea coastline of Bulgaria offered Bistra her first diving experience. It was September and the sea waters were not very calm therefore the visibility down there wasn’t perfect. But it was her first open water diving experience so it was memorable and the instructor not only helped for a safe and pleasant stay underwater, but also showed some playful dish and an abandoned anchor.
As the photo/video shooting gear was not sufficient back then, we borrowed some photos from Dive Center Arapya‘s website.
💡 Tip: Do not forget to breathe! I know views down there can be literally breath-taking but you need to use your aqualung for what it’s meant – to help your lungs under water.
Climbing mount Vihren in Pirin
Mount Vihren in Pirin is not the highest in Bulgaria, but it’s probably the most challenging. The scenery changes as fast as the weather can, so it is both rewarding and very tricky to conquer this peak. Steep stones make it even harder for those with knee pains. Trekking in the area is a must activity for all the active outdoor junkies in the area.
💡 Tip: Get acquainted with the forecast and all the possible routes. Prepare with some exercise to avoid collapses along the trek.
Bungee jumping from Vitinya bridge
By the time of publishing this article, Vitinya bridge (a.k.a. Bebresh Viaduct) is the highest bridge in Bulgaria and the Balkans, so you can imagine the bungy jumping opportunities it offers. The surrounding nature is beautiful and you jump over a road with operating traffic to raise your adrenaline even higher. The bridge is 120m high and Nace was the one brave enough to decide all of a sudden that he’ll jump. Here’s some footage of the highest bungee jump in Bulgaria and also Nace’s first bungee jump.
💡 Tip: It is a lot of preparation for you to get ready for the jump. So don’t quit when you’re at the edge – just don’t look down and fly like a bird!
Driving a buggy in Dobrogled
We never guessed that we’ll sleep in yurt in Bulgaria and will browse the forests around Dobrogled, Varna with a buggy. It was a full of adrenaline, craziness and noise experience and it was totally worth the shaking and the post-noise in the years. Driving a buggy is something we suggest for those who fancy off-road and speed, as well as for those who want a slow ride around trees, bushes and fields.
💡 Tip: Put on the seat belts and sit as you would in a car. Poses below are just for pictures, unless you want to fly our of the buggy.
Flying with a hot air balloon over the Rose Valley
While Nace was photographing the traditional rose-picking in the Rose Valley region, he heard some noise. Thanks to that, two weeks later we were on a hot air balloon over Koprinka dam, Koprinka village, overlooking the mountains at the distance and the happy people (and horses) below. We were raising higher than the mist and going down to zoom in on different areas. It is mesmerizing how this thing flies moved by different streams of air at different altitudes. Landing with the basket in the middle of a field was a little bit harsch, but part of the adventure.
💡 Tip: Flying a hot air balloon is art and science, so pick carefully the company you want to fly with. And it can get pretty hot in the basket, so taller people – sorry – you may have to bend a little to not overheat your hairstyles.
Have you tried anything extreme in Bulgaria? What is your favorite active outdoor thing? Would you go on adventure in Bulgaria? Let us know in the comments!
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