Sport and Infrastructure

    Hiking and climbing
Bulgaria is a quite popular destination when it comes to mountain climbing and hiking. Since a very big part of the country is covered in mountains (nearly 30%), there are many beautiful spots you can visit. A lot of Bulgarians are quite involved in this kind of activities, since this is the way of getting away from the big city and just enjoy the sound of nature (besides the really amazing views you can enjoy). It is often called a hiking paradise by foreigners.
There are 39 mountains in Bulgaria for almost each hiker’s taste – from high and rough alpine types (like Pirin and Rila), to gently rolling hills and mighty rounded peaks, topped with rocky wreaths and rugs of flowers and green grass (such as Stara Planina and Rhodopes mountains). There are quite a lot of hiking tracks, but one should bear in mind that not all the tracks are very well marked. So it is very important to be well-prepared when going out in the mountains. Also, have in mind that many of the huts in the most visited areas are often fully-booked during the weekends and the summer season, so if you want to spend a night there – call them beforehand. Usually the conditions are good, but still it depends on the particular hut.
For more information about the hiking routes you might visit BgHike, BulgariaWalking, Bulguides or any other reliable website on the Internet.
Bulgaria is very attractive for the fans of cycling, yet this kind of activities are not that popular among local people. The outstanding beauty of the landscapes that you can discover while cycling in the country might make you fall in love with Bulgaria. There are many empty roads you can enjoy in the mountains and in the countryside where you won’t be bothered by any cars. The amazing panorama on the Danube river is one not to miss, or if your passion is riding in the mountains, then you should definitely visit the Rhodope mountains where you can see some of the most incredible views in the world.
There are nearly 1 900 000 km of mapped routes in the country, but there are no proper cycling tracks so don’t be surprised. Of course, you will have to be well prepared if you are planning to hit the road. Be careful with the cars and have in mind that during the summer season the main roads, especially near the Black sea coast, are quite busy. Also, it is good to know that many of the Bulgarian drivers are not as tolerant to cyclists as drivers in Western Europe.
You can visit one of the biggest websites in Bulgaria for cycling - CyclingBulgaria

If you are a fan of fishing, then Bulgaria is the right place for you! There are many amazing places in the country where you can go to relax and just enjoy the sound of nature. Bulgaria is very rich when it comes to places where you can go fishing – there numerous rivers, dams, lakes and even the seacoast. So if are around, prepare your stuff for fresh and seawater fishing. There is one style of fishing which is getting more and more popular – kayak fishing, which you can try in the Black sea. If you want to do it in a lake or a dam you can hire a boat – they are easily available.
It is good to know that most of the fish species spawn during the spring and it is generally prohibited to fish in the period from April until mid-June. However, angling in certain lakes and small dams is allowed throughout the year in the so-called sports fishing basins. Also, there is a fishing permit (called bilet in Bulgarian) which you need to have in order to fish. You need it for lake, river or dam fishing; for sea fishing you don’t need one. There are permits for one year, six months, one month, one week, permits for children and for disabled anglers. You can apply for one in the local offices when you get there and the prices are reasonable. Naturally, you must carry your permit with you.

Football is the most popular sport in Bulgaria, as in every other European country. It was introduced in the country back in the end of the 19th century by some Swiss gymnastics teachers. Since then, it has become a real passion for many Bulgarians. There are many football clubs, the most famous ones being Levski, CSKA, Ludogorets and Botev Plovdiv. Also, there are some world famous footballers like Hristo Stoichkov and Dimitar Berbatov, who played in one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Usually, every town has a stadium where you can watch a game. Of course, the interest is higher in the bigger cities, but still you can enjoy a good game almost everywhere.
If you are a fan and enjoy playing football, it’s good to know that there are a lot of football fields in every big city. For a small fee per hour you can gather a team of yours and play without being bothered. Usually, there are numerous programs initiated by the local municipalities which stimulate football and other sports activities among young people in recent years. Also, there are many football clubs where you can get professional training and enjoy playing football.

Even though golf is not the most popular sport in Bulgaria, there are some golf courses which provide real good quality golf conditions. Also, Bulgaria is considered as one the best golf destinations in the world by some web platforms. In 2013 one of the golf resorts (Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort) hosted the European PGA World Match Play Championship.
Some of the resorts are located near the northern Black sea coast - the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort, Black Sea Rama Golf villas and Lighthouse golf & spa. The prices are reasonable and the landscape is unbelievable with incredible sea views. The three golf resorts are located near the main road, which makes them really easily accessible. Other big golf resorts are located in other parts of the country, such as Pirin Golf & Spa, Pravets Golf & Spa, St. Sofia and Air Sofia.
It is good to know that Bulgaria has its own Golf association – Bulgarian Golf Association

Bulgaria is quite popular when it comes to hunting. Combining the amazing nature and the diverse animal species, here you can enjoy one of the best hunting conditions. Hunting and sport shooting are part of Bulgarian history since the mid-20th century when most of the hunting huts were established. Having more than 20 000 ha of hunting ground, the country is one of the best hunting destinations in Europe. Besides, Bulgaria is a habitat of 18 mammal species and 20 bird species which are hunted in the country. Usually, the accommodation is very affordable, with reasonable prices (much lower than in some other European countries) and there are also many luxury hunting lodges for every taste.
There are many hunting fields spread all over the country. Most of them are in the North-east part of Bulgaria – Tervel, Palamara, Karakuz, Voden, Seslav, Cherni Lom, Momino, Dunav, Balchik, Sherba. In the South – Rusalka, Mazalat, Chekerita, Ropotamo and Gramatikovo. In the Rhodope mountain – Tumrush, Kormissosh, Zhenda, Izvora, Dikchan, Borovo, Rodopi. Near Sofia – Vitoshko, Aramlietz, Vitinia, Pravets, Rossitsa and Midjur. Every place offers a different kind of terrain and animal species, as you can guess, so it’s better to check your interests and the place you would like to go. There are plain terrains in the north and south and high-mountain terrains in the Rhodopes.
If you want to know when the hunting season starts for every specific species, it’s better to check it on-line or just visit the biggest hunting portal in Bulgaria which is translated in English, German, French, Portuguese and Russian – BulTours.

    Winter sports
Bulgaria is very attractive for foreign tourists when it comes to winter sports and snow activities. With its beautiful mountains and low prices, the country is the perfect place to go skiing, snowboarding or just relax amongs the white beauty. Since nearly 30% of Bulgaria is covered in mountains, there are a couple of big ski resorts – Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets. The resorts are highly developed and offer various high class services and perfect skiing conditions. The ski resorts and Bulgarian mountains in general, receive a good amount of snow during the winter and spring season, so this is not to worry about.
Bansko is the Bulgarian ski-resort with the longest ski runs, and the best condition for winter sports in the country. Located 925m above sea level, the town of Bansko combines a rich cultural and touristic environment to suit every taste. There are numerous hotels offering various services, alongside a Gondola lift to the ski area.
Pamporovo – Located in the heart of the Rhodope mountains, Pamporovo is one of the most modern resorts in Bulgaria. It is good to know that this is the sunniest ski-resort in Bulgaria, but that doesn’t make it the least snowy. The ski runs are really high-quality, provided with snow cannons.
Borovets – among the three largest ski resorts in the country, Borovets is the closest to Sofia. It is a modern ski resort in the foot of the Rila Mountain. It is an Alpine type resort, which provides perfect conditions for winter sports as skiing, snowboarding, ski jumps and biathlon, night-skiing, etc.
The prices of the hotels, huts and ski equipment are lower than in most of the other European ski-resorts, but the quality is almost the same. For example, you can hire ski equipment for about 15 euros per day and if you like to have a personal ski-instructor, you can have benefit from this service for less than 20 euros.
Diving in Bulgaria might be called the hidden gem of the country, since there are many ancient artifacts lying on the bottom of the sea. The brackish water provides perfect conditions for the preservation of wrecks from all ages. Also, it is good to know that the majority of the wrecks are located on the seabed between depths of 15 and 40 meters. In summer temperatures in Bulgaria reach 30-35⁰C with seawater temperature nearing 26-27 degrees which makes the conditions for scuba divers really good.
Some of the diving places are located in Varna, Kavarna, Sozopol and Nessebar. Cape Shabla and Cape Kaliakra also hide many interesting things to see. There are many diving centers in the country, such as Angel Divers (located in Nessebar), Baracuda (in Varna), Black Sea Scuba (in Kaliakra, Golden Sands and Varna) and many more.

    Other sports
Other sports that are quite popular in Bulgaria are volleyball and tennis.
Volleyball is considered the most popular sport in the country after football. In fact, the Bulgarian volleyball team was one of the best in the world in the past few Olympiads, which makes the sport very honored among Bulgarians. There are many volleyball clubs where one can train. The sports facilities in the big cities are in good condition, since most of them have been recently renovated.
I doubt there is a tennis fan who never heard of Grigor Dimitrov. He is the greatest Bulgarian tennis player in history and probably he is the reason why tennis has been getting so popular among Bulgarians in the past few years. There are a lot of tennis courts in really good condition, where you can see young kids training. Usually this sport is quite expensive for Bulgarians, but considering the expenses in the other European countries, it might be considered to be cheaper in Bulgaria.

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