Is wild camping allowed in Bulgaria?

No, wild camping and standing free with the motorhome is not officially allowed in Bulgaria. However, according to many reports by campers, wild camping is usually tolerated by residents and authorities.

Last researched: Spring 2020

Although wild camping is prohibited by law in Bulgaria, it is not punished in most cases. Especially, away from tourist areas and large metropolises, the chances of getting into trouble with authorities and residents are relatively low.

However, to avoid any problems, you should keep a few points in mind when setting up camp in the wilderness.

  • Stay away from the big cities because they have stricter controls.
  • Avoid nature parks and nature reserves, as in the worst case the penalties can be up to 1000 €.
  • If you want to spend the night in a private area, you must ask the owner for permission beforehand.

Of course, you should follow the general rules of wild camping. By the way, in Bulgaria it is strictly forbidden to light a fire away from public fireplaces, so use your camping stove if you want to get something to eat.

Aerial photograph of a parking space
Aerial photograph of a parking space
Forest in autumn
Forest in autumn

Tips and tricks for wild camping in Bulgaria

From the Balkan Mountains with their vast forests and deep gorges to the beautiful sandy beaches of the Black Sea, Bulgaria has something for every taste. Thanks to the mild climate you can go on a wonderful camping trip from spring to autumn and see the enchanting landscape of this Balkan country.

The streets
The condition of many roads in Bulgaria is substandard. This is especially true for country roads and smaller municipalities. On the roads, you can find potholes, big stones, or other obstacles like stray dogs. To avoid damage to your car, in the middle of nowhere, you should not drive at night in unknown areas if possible.

Traffic rules
In Bulgaria, driving with a low beam even during the day is obligatory. From 15 November to 01 March, you have to have winter-tires mounted. If you do not drive with your low beams on or fitted winter-tires, you should make sure that any penalties at police checks are never to be paid in cash, but always by direct debit. If a 'policeman' demands cash, he is not a real policeman.

Toll
All vehicles, except for motorcycles, require a vignette on Bulgarian roads. Since the beginning of 2019, the vignette is digital and can be purchased at petrol stations, border crossings, or from road authorities. You can also buy it before you start your journey at www.bgtoll.bg. If you drive without a valid vignette, you can be fined up to 150 €.

Obligation to carry
To avoid penalties, make sure that you carry the equipment required in Bulgaria. In addition to a first-aid kit and warning triangle, every vehicle in Bulgaria must be equipped with a fire extinguisher. During vehicle inspections, Warning vests are not mandatory. However, if you have to leave your vehicle on country roads or motorways, all vehicle occupants will need a warning vest.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Bulgaria

Bulgaria has long since ceased to be an insider tip when it comes to travel. But what do you know about Bulgaria? What do Bulgarians have to do with perfume? Why is Bulgarian yogurt so special? We have compiled the answers and eight other interesting facts for you here.

Fact #1 - Age
Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe, which has not changed its name, since its foundation in 681. With over 7.000 years, the capital Sofia is the second oldest city in Europe.

Fact #2 - Alphabet
The monks Cyril and Method developed the glagitory alphabet. It is the predecessor of today's Cyrillic alphabet and was named after the monk Cyril.

Fact #3 - Special reason for dismissal
In 2010, Dimitar Kerin, a member of the city council, was dismissed to "take better care of his virtual farm." He played too much Farmville.

Fact #4 - Gold
The oldest gold treasure in the world was found in the cemeteries of Varna. It is over 6.000 years old. Varna is the birthplace of goldsmithing.

Fact #5 - Smart Population
According to Mensa, the Bulgarian population, in terms of average IQ, ranks very high. One of the smartest people in the world is Daniela Simidchieva from Bulgaria, with an IQ of 200.

Fact #6 - Yoghurt
In Bulgaria, Yogurt has a very special taste. The reason is the bacteria Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, which only occurs in the Bulgarian air.

Fact #7 - Valley of Roses
The Valley of Roses is an area in Bulgaria. The roses grown here are processed into rose oil, which is an important component of perfume. 70% of the world's rose oil comes from this region.

Fact #8 - The eighth wonder of the world
Is what Bulgarian folk music is also called. Need proof? The song 'Izlel e Delyo Haidutin' was sent into space as part of the Voyager Golden Record.

Fact #9 - Rafail's cross
The Rafail cross can be admired in the monastery of Rila. There are 104 religious scenes with 650 small figures on the 81 x 43 cm large cross. The carving took 12 years.

Fact #10 - No lost flag
The Bulgarian army has never lost a single flag in a war. No country has ever conquered a Bulgarian flag during a battle.

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