Excellent tourist opportunities
Rila National Park offers excellent tourist opportunities. The chalets, lodges, and network of well-maintained tourist trails within the Park provide convenient accommodation and make hiking in the area easy and attractive. Two major European tourist routes, E4 and E8, cross Rila National Park territory.
The Park administration encourages pedestrian tours or hiking trails to limit and mitigate the human impact on the terrain. Specialized routes have been developed and designated within Rila National Park for wildlife enthusiasts, extreme sports athletes, equestrians, and mountain biking enthusiasts. One of these new trails is the newly inaugurated Friends of Plants Botany Route.
Along with its diverse natural heritage, Rila National Park is also rich in cultural and historical landmarks, affording excellent opportunities for showcasing local culture and traditions. The hot mineral springs around the Park are an additional tourist draw and provide opportunities for spa resorts and treatment. The Park Directorate cooperates actively with gateway communities toward the development of ecotourism.
The Park contains 178 tourist chalets with a total of 1,500 beds, most of which are operated by the Bulgarian Tourism Union. In addition, there are four tourist lodges that provide basic accommodation and are used primarily in inclement weather. The Management Plan allows no more than one overnight stay per person at the lodges, while recommending a limit on the number of overnights at chalets within the Reserves Zone. The Park Directorate is currently building short-term rest areas where camping, campfires, or rest stops will be allowed subject to strictly defined norms regulating the number of tents and overnight stays.
A major goal for the Park Directorate is to provide optimal conditions for sustainable tourism. There are eight principal entry points into the Park. The Directorate, in collaboration with the Bulgarian Tourism Union, maintains facility safety, and periodically renews the markings and signs along the tourist routes.
Large events within the Park can only be organized in strict compliance with established ground rules and conditions, and only with the express permission of the Park Directorate. Disposal of solid waste is forbidden throughout the entire Park territory.
Visitor safety is a priority of the Park Directorate. They have implemented safety rules to contribute to a pleasant and memorable stay in the Park. When necessary, the Park Directorate works with the Mountain Rescue Service.
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