Our favorite active outdoors and adventure things to do in Bulgaria

It’s no secret we just LOVE active outdoors and adventure! Sometimes we get really close 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 things to do 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.

Paragliding near Sopot, Bulgaria

Jeep off-roading near Belogradchik rocks

Belogradchik rocks didn’t make it to the New7Wonders of the World but they are 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.

Off-road Bulgaria - across Belogradchik rocks by jeep
Can you believe this is the beginning of March? Spring, spring, where are you?
Off-road Bulgaria - across Belogradchik rocks by jeep
Our all-mighty off-road jeep – only can it cross any terrain, but it also looks very photogenic!

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!

Пътуване до Каварна, България - каяци, лодки, разходки, пещери, гледки и традиции по северното Черноморие
The unrealistically beautiful colors of the landscape when you kayak in the Black Sea
Пътуване до Каварна, България - каяци, лодки, разходки, пещери, гледки и традиции по северното Черноморие
Start the track and let’s row!

Rock-climbing on Vitosha mountain

A friend sent us to 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 a 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!

Rock climbing on Vitosha mountain, Bulgaria
Rock climbing on Vitosha mountain, Bulgaria

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 of 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!

Rafting on the Struma river

We’ve been wanting to go rafting for ages. Finally, we did it in Bulgaria – the most famous spot for adventurous rafting in the country is the Struma river. We chose rafting.bg and went down the river for almost 17 kilometers. It offers class III rafting, but some of the rapids could be class IV. We were lucky that it was raining the whole week before so it was a decent amount of water. But it could always be better.

💡 Tip: Don’t let photos discourage you. It’s much more relaxed and chill experience than what it looks. Just stick to the captain’s instructions and everything will go according to plan. Falling out of the raft should be at places where you can voluntarily do it.

Our favorite spots for active outdoors and adventure in Bulgaria: rafting on the Struma river
Our favorite spots for active outdoors and adventure in Bulgaria: rafting on the Struma river

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.

Open water diving at Arapya beach, Bulgaria
Photo credit: Dive Center Arapya
Open water diving at Arapya beach, Bulgaria
Photo credit: Dive Center Arapya

Climbing mount Vihren in Pirin mountain

Mount Vihren in Pirin mountain 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 for some exercise to avoid collapses along the trek.

Climbing mount Vihren, Pirin mountain, Bulgaria
The battle between mist and sunshine

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!

Bungee jumping from Vitinya bridge
Bungee jumping from Vitinya bridge

Driving a buggy in Dobrogled

We never guessed that we’ll sleep in a yurt in Bulgaria and will browse the forests around Dobrogled, Varna with a buggy. It was full of adrenaline, craziness and noise experience and it was totally worth the shaking and the post-noise over 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 out of the buggy.

Driving a buggy in the woods of Dobrogled, Bulgaria
Driving a buggy in the woods of Dobrogled, Bulgaria
Driving a buggy in the woods of Dobrogled, Bulgaria

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 flying 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 harsh, 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.

Hot air balloon over Rose Valley, Bulgaria
Hot air balloon over Rose Valley, Bulgaria
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So those were our favorite things to do in Bulgaria on the adventurous side. Have you tried anything extreme in Bulgaria? What is your favorite active outdoor thing to do? Would you go on an adventure in Bulgaria? Let us know in the comments!

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11 Responses

  1. Never knew Bulgaria had such a lot of adventure options. Except bungee jumping I would like to try others.
    Great captures, they do excite the adventure spirit. 🙂

    • Bungee is not everyone’s cup of tea! Good there are so many other options to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Bulgaria! 🙂

  2. Jean

    Looks like an epic adventure destination! I’d love to go kayaking out there.

  3. brmsimmons

    I would have never thought of Bulgaria as an adventure destination but apparently I was completely wrong. There is sky diving, scuba diving and everything in between!

    • Yes, you can go very adventurous and extreme in Bulgaria. A lot of people are surprised to heat that 🙂

  4. What adventurists you are! I’m not an adrenaline junkie but always willing to document those who are.

    • Your role is quite important – documenting those emotions is not an easy task!

  5. Hey guys,

    I might have been on a kayak near you in the Black Sea waters 😉

    I’ve also done paragliding from a small hill at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain and I even flew it myself 😉 I almost landed on a tree and kept the instructors on their toes… But all ended good.

    And I’ve climbed Vihren without any preparation, extreme, eh?

    Some of the other activities in your post I’ve done in other countries as well but not in Bulgaria. Your post got me a few cool ideas for the upcoming months 😉

    And here’s one for you too – what about a parachute jump, have you done it? How about we jump together? 😉


    • Thank you, N.! Good to know about your adventures across Bulgaria and elsewhere!
      Who let you fly the paraglide yourself? That’s extreeeme!
      We can totally plan parachute jumping together sometime soon!

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