Mountain Huts in Bulgaria
If you like hiking in the mountains you can spend good time in Bulgaria. We have cool mountains like the Balkan, Rila, Pirin, Vitosha, and so on. And there are many tourist huts and shelters in them. This page will give you a short introduction to the mountain huts and shelters in Bulgaria. At the bottom you'll find links which will give you full details about each of the currently usable huts.
Where are the huts?
Everywhere. We don't have any big mountain without huts. Chances to get lost for days without finding shelters in Bulgarian mountains is low if you are well fit. For example in the Balkan huts are planned to be reachable within a day of walking, at most.
Finding the huts is a different matter however. Usually there are tourist signs that you can follow to reach a hut. Sometimes they are not very visible, not in good condition, or plain wrong. Most textual signboards are only in Bulgarian.
If you are lost in the mountain and trying to find a hut your best bet would be the GPS or a paper map. Your second best bet is to meet someone and ask for directions. This is easy in mountains like Vitosha, which are full of hikers, and less easy somewhere in the middle of the Balkan. It's highly recommended to be prepared with maps and / or GPS.
In the event you get lost and can't find shelter, going downhill might be a decent strategy for success because you'll most likely reach a road. If you feel you are getting exhausted without a chance to reach civilization, call 112.
What To Expect
There is no luxury in mountain huts. Hopefully you don't expect it. In most cases you can expect a bed and sometimes food. It varies from hut to hut. Some huts can be very cold in late or early summer because the owners decide to stop heating while nights in the mountain are still cool.
Most Bulgarian huts have good people to manage them but there quite a few exceptions. If you talk with treckers you'll hear all kind of funny or scary stories with odd-personality hut owners.
Kitchens, when available, may offer you a couple of tasty dishes. Usually soups (shkembe chorba, bob chorba) and sometimes grill. Having a mountain herbal tea (maybe with rum) is a must for good experience.
One of the unpleasant things in Bulgarian huts are the large companies with drunk idiots who have nothing to do in the mountain in the first place. Your best chance to avoid them is to avoid the most popular large huts with easy access by road. Finding company of idiots is harder in a remote hut deep in the mountain.
Another warning: cleanness. Or the lack of it. Of course you should be prepared for this in the mountain, but the pigsty in some huts can go beyond your expectations.
Some Cool Huts
Let me throw a selection of a few huts you might be interested to visit. This is not at all a comprehensive list - for such have a look at the links at the bottom.
The Rila Lakes Hut
This hut is beautiful and a good starting point to visit the Seven Rila Lakes.
Planinarska Pesen (Mountaineer Song) hut in Vitosha
This hut is loved by many treckers here because of the lovely area around, and the good food.
Shelter "Cherni Vrah"
This is not a hut but just a shelter and provides no accomodation. But you can have a rest inside after climbing the peak and have a cup of tasty hot soup.
Vihren Hut in Pirin
This hut is not very good by itself, but it's the top starting point for climbing the Vihren peak, seeing Okoto, and other interesting objects.
This hut is part of the Kom - Emine trail. It's located in a lovely area and is close to the "Singing rocks" natural reserve.
There are many other interesting huts in Stara Planina (Balkan), Rila, Pirin, Rhodopes, and so on. Check the recommended links below to learn more about them.
One of the best sites with information about Bulgarian huts and shelters is Planinite.info. The English version is incomplete so I recommend you to use Google Translate and read the Bulgarian version.
This site here has an interactive map with most huts and info about them.
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