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guided hiking and self-guided walking tours in bulgaria

Starting an individual walking tour for the first time is always an exciting issue, which needs some initial preparations and information background. We hope the FAQs below will help you make it better and do this type of traveling more frequent in the future: 

information about self-guided toursWhat is included in the tour price?
At the bottom of each tour’s webpage you will see what is included in this particular tour in general. More details about that (if any) can be received directly from the provider of each particular tour when filling out the enquiry form. Normally only the ground-only services are included – accommodation in double rooms with en-suite facilities (where this is not possible a remark will be available in the "Accommodation" chapter below the itinerary), different mealplan (bed & breakfast or halfboard in most cases), luggage transfers and/or short transfers in connection with the tour, detailed roadbook and map in English (or other languages if available). Pick up/drop off at the airport is not always included but for some tours these can be ordered extra (public transportation and entrance fees for lifts, caves etc. are not likely to be included in the ground price).

What sorts of accommodation are normally used?
It is a phylosophy of the self-guided walks to use home stays, family-run hotels, huts, pensions or good 3*** hotels in general where travellers can experience in detail the local way of life at first hand, habits, food and personal attitude too. This approach is inseparable part of the idea of the self-guided tours, which main delivery is the ultimate and direct experience among tourists, nature and local people without the interference of any mediators (guides). Supplements for upgrade in the accommodation sometimes may also be available.

inn to inn walking tours difficultyHow difficult the tours are?
Although all trips are suitable for good walkers with no special skills (e.g. no rock climbing or ice-walking experience is needed) some tours are easier than others. Initial idea about the difficulty level of each tour can be received from the number of kilometers walked per day as well as from the uphill/downhill walking details. On average the daily treks comprise appr. 13-18km walk (taking about 4-5 hrs), with uphill/downhill walk ranging between 400 and 800m. However details on the terrain are something essential before desiding to take a tour or not. This information can be provided by the supplier of each tour when you fill out the enquiry form.

How do you make a reservation?
Below each tour you will see a link to an enquiry form, that will be send directly to the supplier of the tour. You are welcome to mention inside any details that would be of interest for you. Any further correspondance will be made directly between you and the tour supplier. Although we do our best to secure fast replies from the suppliers (normally within 24hrs) sometimes answers can be delayed. In such cases we would be happy to push the supplier for faster answer so please do not hesitate to inform us of any delays on that matter.

group size self-guided toursWhat is the average group size?
In general the self-guided tours are run anytime within the best period for each particular trip. Most of them have a minimum group size of 2 persons, while some are also possible for individuals. It is very likely that you will meet other parties following the same route at the same time. In such cases you can either join them on some of the days (if they don't mind of course) or you can walk by yourself only. In any case please do respect the tourists' right to walk without your company and do not bother them in case you feel they wouldn't really enjoy your company during the daily treks. Do not forget that most of the people coming on a self-guided trek have chosen this type of holiday only because they wish to spend some time on their own without anyone walking by their side.

What sort of equipment should you bring along?
When booking a self-guided tour it is generraly taken as granted that you have some experience of walking without a guide following maps and tourist signs. This also includes at least basic background of what you might need going somewhere. Checklist with recommended and/or necessary equipment can be requested from the provider of each tour prior departure (or earlier when filling out the application form).

roadbook for self-guided vacationsWhat is a roadbook?
The roadbook you should be given prior departure (or received on spot in the first accommodation on your route) is the most important staff of your travel documents. You will read inside notes about your tour which will help you stay on the right path all the time. Remarks of specific parts of the route are also available (e.g. where to expect water fountains or alcoves good for picnic or where you will be able to buy some refreshments etc.). Please take some time and study the roadbook in advance as for some of the days you might be expected to choose between two options and you should have to decide which of them you will choose depending on your physical condition and the weather forecast and advise your provider in time in case changes of the transfers should be made accordingly.

How can you get to the starting point?
Initial information on how to get to the starting point (and also how to get back from the last point) is available either in the trip dossier of each trip or in the pre-departure information which you can request from the tour's supplier. You can check the links there for the schedule of the public transport you will have to use in order to reach the first hotel (in case pick up from the airport is not included in the package price or not ordered extra). Please do not hesitate to contact the supplier asking for more information.

typical walking dayHow does a typical day look like?
Normally in the evening of the previous day you read the roadbook for the next day and decide when to start. Please do inform yourself about the weather forecast in advance so that you can change your plans in order to avoid showers or storms. In some mountain trips weather information is available at the reception. Otherwise you can try asking your hosts about that. Now that you are aware of what is expecting you, you can arrange your day as per your wishes, leaving more time on places of interest of you. The breakfast unless strictly fixed in the roadbook is usually available after 7.30.

What should you read before you go there?
We do encourage everybody to read more about the destination they are going to before getting there. Please note that the roadbook and the trip dossier will give you only information that is essential for the walking trip itself but not about the history of certain places or the local habits and holidays etc. The guide books of “Lonely Planet” or “Rough Guide” referring to your destination are may be the best choice for you although for some rural regions it would be best to find something on the Internet. Again further information can be requested from each tour's supplier.

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