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Mountain tourism – a step forward in Covid-19 times

Photo: BGNES

Owing to the new coronavirus pandemic, this year many vacationers have turned their backs to the seaside resorts and have succumbed to the charm of the Bulgarian mountains. After all, they provide wonderful opportunities for lengthy hikes and recreation in clean fresh-air-filled forests, alongside some picturesque landscapes.

Since mid-July, a tendency of accelerated interest for mountain holidays can be observed here in Bulgaria, according to Georgi Benchev, a “Huts and Trail Marking” expert from the Bulgarian Tourism Union (BTU).

 “What characterizes this year is that people prefer to organize their stay in mountains individually,” says Georgi Benchev for BNR “Horizont”. “Single-day excursions without sleepovers prevail. The tourists get their information about routes, prices and contacts with different huts from our information centre and then organize their holidays on their own. I hope that this positive tendency of filling out hut rooms will be preserved. Apart from that, everybody knows – a holiday in the mountain is far safer for our health and incomparably cheaper than a big resort stay.”


Prices in the mountain huts can vary between 10 leva(5 euro) and 18 leva(9 euro) for a single bed, while a seven-day excursion with accommodation, food and guided hikes can cost between 290 leva (145 euro) and 320 (160 euro) leva for a single person. However, conditions in these places do not always meet the high standards of vacationers, since the country has not been financing huts for years now and BTU is forced to rely on own funds,” says Georgi Benchev.

“Alpine sites are the most problematic since access is limited strictly to off-road vehicles, on foot travel or mules. For this reason, we insist on getting the targeted financing back. We are currently working on getting support from the country because such places cannot be economically independent without any subsidies and external help.”

Nature lovers and travellers are doing their best to popularize Bulgaria’s beautiful nature. The digital nomads Asenand Laura have created a brand called Balcanic, through which they aim to show Bulgaria to travellers from all over the world and also to inspire 7 million Bulgarians to get out in nature. They do it by setting a personal example.

“Balcanic is a brand which sets out to attract positive-minded people and show them an alternative lifestyle,” explains Asen Velichkov for BNR Radio Sofia. “We call it the “traveller’s lifestyle”, in which we embark on shared journeys in nature, experiment with various types of sports, and meet inspiring persons. Our main focus, however, is connecting with each other through person-to-person and person-to-nature communication.”


While choosing a recreational site in the mountain, we must not neglect our personal safety. Georgi Benchev advises us to get mountain insurance at all times.

“Consulting with the hut-keepers is mandatory, especially in places higher up in the mountains. Unfortunately, the weather up there is quite dynamic and must not be downplayed. For this reason, it is of paramount importance to keep an eye on the forecast, to always go out with fully-charged phones and not to go hiking with sneakers, since a single slip can be fatal.”

Compiled by: Diana Tsankova

English version Boris Totchev

Photos: BGNES

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