Trail Running in Srem Bulgaria

The rolling hills and numerous valleys of the Sakar region offer incredible trail running opportunities, with hundreds of kilometres of consistently maintained forestry tracks, well used animal trails, fishing and hunting paths and even some impressive Roman roads!

The KBS/Srem Trail Running Routes

While we encourage you to explore the region and can offer links to several specialised online maps which outline all our local tracks, we also offer our own singposted trail running routes for those who want to hit the ground running.

Around Srem village itself, we have set out scenic and varied trail running courses offering 5km, 10km, 15km and 21km set trails. All our trails traverse the local terrain and utilise farm tracks with good footing, although they can get swampy in places if it has recently rained. All trail runs start and finish in the centre of Srem (with various shops/freshwater spring).

The 15km trail run takes runners on a circuit to the historic village of Capitan Petko Voyvoda (with shops/water spring) and back again, while the 21km trail run follows the old farm track to Lesovo village (the last village before the Turkish border with shops), before returning back towards Srem and dropping down to the Tundja and following the river bank back to Srem.

Our 5km trail run is a short circuit behind Srem village with a nature trail, freshwater spring and areas along the Tundja banks. The 10km trail run circuit leaves the village to the south-east and passes the Thracian Sun-Circle monuments, before heading down to the Tundja when the river slows and attracts an impressive number of water-fowl species.

For those who want to enjoy the trails at a slower pace, we’ve ensured where ever possible that our routes include the best views, known wildlife spotting areas, picnic-places, archeological sites and even some cold-war bunkers.

Trail Running, Ultra Racing and Sky Running in Bulgaria

Why race in Bulgaria? Well, there’s the topography for starters… for a relatively small country, Bulgaria packs a LOT of terrain, with seven impressive mountain ranges, miles upon miles of stunning coastline, vast agricultural plains, plus rivers, lakes and ancient forests. In short, the country is a trail runners paradise, and more and more people are beginning to see its potential.

The climate is perfect too. With most races held through the summer and autumn, the mountain temperatures are ideal for running, with Tryavna Ultra offering temperatures between 15 and 28 degrees, Persenk Ultra near Asenovgrad in August with temperatures of 13 to 22 degrees and the Pirin Ultra in Bansko in September at 10 to 13 degrees. Its not only the balmy temperatures, it’s also the (mostly) dry summers which offer solid footing and (hopefully) dry feet.

Let’s not forget the costs and fees associated with entering Bulgarian Ultras either. Early bird offerings are around 20 to 55 Euros for the shorter distances (21 to 30km) and under 80 Euros for the 100km plus ultras. Add to this the incredibly affordable accommodation (and food) options, plus camping, AirBnBs, home stays and more.  

The social aspects are pretty great too! Read the testimonials and you’ll see, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had when you pack hundreds of ultra runners into a small Bulgarian village for the weekend.

Bulgaria’s BIG Four Ultra Trail Races

The Tryavna Ultra

The first trail Ultra of the season, held in mid-July (15th July 2022) offers 150km with 6,684 D+, 100km with 4,200 D+, 76km with 2900 D+ and 42km with 1,700 D+, 21 km with 680 D+ with 3km fun runs for kids and families.

Not only is it located in one of the most beautiful towns in Bulgaria, but fans of the race consistently call it the best organised, the friendliest and certainly one of the most beautiful races, in Eastern Europe.

For more information visit: here.

Balkaniada Sky Race

 Held on 30th July 2022 in the Central Balkan National Park, the trail race takes place in the highest and most picturesque part of the Balkans.  This particular trail race only launched in 2021, however it is already winning a loyal following. The 2022 edition offers three distances, 44km with 2,500D+, 25km with 1,600D+ and a 10km with 780D+.

For more information visit: here.

The Persenk Ultra

This trail race held in the Rhodope Mountains south of Asenovgrad is Bulgaria’s oldest Ultra Race, having launched in 2013. The stunning setting offers four races between 160km and 30km.

The 160km with 7,490 D + has a categorization by ITRA of 6 difficulty points and mountain difficulty of the same. It is a qualifying competition for UTMB 2023 and participants require two qualifying points within a set period (check site for updated 2022 dates).
There’s also the Wild Pig Ultra at 110km with  4,710 D + and a difficulty rating of 5, plus a 50km with 2,740 D + and a 30km with 1,600 D +.

The race starts and finishes in the town of Asenovgrad, the gateway to the Rhodope Mountains and offers many affordable accommodation options. For more information about the Persenk Ultra visit: here.

The Pirin Ultra (Skyrunning)

Pirin Ultra is held in the Pirin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The location is the home of Bulgarian skyrunning. Launched in 2016, it took only three-years for the race to become part of the World Skyrunning series.

By 2019 the race had three routes, and, once again the 66Km was part of the Skyrunning World Series.  This year, sees the sixth edition of Pirin Ultra held from the 23th to the 25th of September 2022. 

The races are 160km Reverse with 11,000D+, the 38km Pirin Extreme, part of the Skyrunner® World Series with 3,300D+ and the 66km with 4,200 D+.

The race takes place in Bansko, Bulgaria’s centre for mountain sports. Thanks to the town’s well developed ski resort  and various additional mountain activities there are many accommodation options in all price ranges.

For more information visit: here