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Over 200 Mountain Huts in Bulgaria to Welcome Tourists for Christmas, New Year Holidays

More than 200 mountain huts in Bulgaria are waiting to welcome tourists for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Spending the holidays in the mountains will be the most affordable and cosy option for Bulgarians pressed by energy costs because the huts that will work during the holidays are heated with wood. 
Accommodation with a festive dinner cost between BGN 60 and BGN 100 per night, depending on the hut’s category, Bulgarian Tourist Union Chairman Ventsislav Venev told BTA. 
А group of 5-7 people can enjoy the holidays with a mountain hike and take advantage of the services of a mountain guide, for which the group will have to pay between BGN 120 and BGN 150 for a one-day trip, for larger groups the prices are negotiated according to the complexity of the chosen route, the number of people, etc. 
Compared to last year, holiday packages’ prices have gone up but well below the rate of inflation, Venev said. Unfortunately, the huts’ conditions are not very good at the moment and in order to be competitive, hut owners opt for the lower price to offer to tourists, he added. The renovation delays are also due to a delay of the licensing of the BTU as a nationally represented organisation, which in turn would allow it to apply for various programmes to improve accommodation conditions. 
Venev noted that mountain huts are for people who are looking for a different experience – close to nature. Mountain guides can take them to places that they cannot visit on their own, show them life in the high mountains so they get a different emotional charge, which cannot be offered in cities and hotels, he added. 
According to preliminary data, most of the huts on Vitosha mountain near Sofia are already almost 100% occupied. Mountain huts on the higher part of the mountains, which are difficult to access, will rather not work during the holidays because of problems with water supply, electricity, and photovoltaic systems are relatively weak and cannot meet the needs of a large influx of tourists, especially at New Year, Venev said. 
The Bulgarian Tourist Union does not yet keep statistics on how many foreigners have chosen to spend the New Year holidays in huts in Bulgaria. However, there has been exceptional interest from foreigners who live in Bulgaria and have property in the country, Venev added.
The BTU owns between 60 and 70 huts and manages about 150 sites handed over by the state, which the organisation has given to the tourist companies, members of the BTU, for sports and tourism activities and events. The vast majority of the huts are of the ‘two edelweiss’ category and only a few are of the highest category, ‘three edelweiss’, which is the specific ranking for this type of tourist site only.