For the many, not the few – Bulgaria offers a wide range of activities and attractions for all kinds of visitors looking for a daily dose of health. Bulgaria is a country that everyone can enjoy all year round, with quiet mountains to immerse oneself in, sunny beaches to rest on, and magnificent monuments whispering history. Whether you are looking for culture, relaxation, or adventure, Bulgaria offers something for you. Here are some of the reasons why it’s the ideal vacation spot.
Sopot is a tiny village nestled at the foot of the southern slopes of Stara Planina, the Balkans’ largest mountain range. The range stretches about 560 kilometers across Bulgaria, from its western border to the Black Sea. Sopot is located in the center.
The surrounds, apart from the main ridge, are flatlands with minimal air traffic to deal with. On favorable days, out-and-backs and triangles of 100 kilometers are routinely flown.
Sopot is 140 kilometers east of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, and 60 kilometers north of Plovdiv, the country’s second largest city and cultural center. Both cities have international airports, and Sopot is accessible from either by bus or rail. The landing location and vehicle park are approximately two kilometers outside of Sopot, and the takeoff is a south-facing grassy slope with a chairlift.
Conditions of Flight
April and May had extremely strong conditions, with thermals of more than 5-6 m/s. In May, there is a lot of overdevelopment and thunderstorms. From June through August, conditions are warmer and smoother but still excellent, and with south breezes, the whole ridge performs well.
Inversions are frequent in late fall and winter, but on the correct days, the mix of sunlight and cold air unlocks the area’s potential for some fantastic winter cross country flying.
When should you go?
The months of April to October are the most dependable, although the winter isn’t out of the question.
1,340m at launch
2,300m2 of cloudbase
Hang glider access
Hang gliders may launch from the chairlift, which makes it quite accessible.
Must be flown
The Stara Planina’s major roads go east and west, although you may also venture into the flatlands and explore. For an excellent aerial viewing trip, go east along the ridge towards the village of Kazanlak, passing over several fascinating locations.
Dangers and inconveniences
Avoid flying in northerly winds, and keep an eye out for high winds in the chain’s valleys. Maintain a high altitude above the mountains.
A military airfield lies 40 kilometers from Sopot, and the airspace is occasionally blocked for up to a week in the spring and fall. Landing is prohibited in certain locations, so check with local pilots before flying.
In the Sopot and Karlovo districts, there are many hotels, guesthouses, and rooms in private homes that range in price from €10 to €30 per person per night. The landing field also offers free camping. Pilots frequent Skynomad Guest House and Hotel Shterev (www.shterevhotels.com). A British pilot runs Rose Valley Lodge. Skyviewsopot.com is another option.
Take the entire family
Bania, Hissarya, and Plovdiv are all neighboring towns with hot mineral springs (25km, 40km and 60km from Sopot). Plovdiv is one of Europe’s oldest towns, having lots of ancient monuments and structures to see during the day and a vibrant nightlife. Biking, hiking, and horseback riding are all accessible in the region for those who want to be more active.
At the bottom of the lift station, the Shambhala extreme sports and meditation center provides a variety of activities ranging from Zorbing to yoga, as well as an adventure park with a high ropes course.
Information on the weather
The summer is hot, dry, and sunny, with an average temperature of 31°C in July and August. Winters are chilly and snow is frequent, although early fall may be mild and pleasant. The wettest months are May and June, while August is the driest.
How do I get there?
Both Sofia and Plovdiv have international airports with European airlines, and buses and trains run from both to Karlovo (5km from Sopot) and Sopot itself, but driving is the most convenient option.
Start paragliding in Bulgaria now!
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Sopot, located on the south slopes of a mountain range that stretches for more than 500 kilometers, is a good location for free cross-country flying in Bulgaria and Europe. Furthermore, the cable lift transports you from the landing zone to the 850-meter-high take-off, where you may try paragliding.
Price: Starts at 100.00 lv.
Flight duration: 10-15 minutes; 20-25 minutes and over 40 minutes (May to October)