Red Bull X-Alps

Aaron Durogati goes Vol Biv in the Balkans

Red Bull X-Alps athlete Aaron Durogati was searching for a wild place to go on a hike and fly adventure. He found it in the Balkans.

© Aaron Durogati
 Aaron Durogati balkans gear

Italian pilot and adventurer Aaron Durogati and friend Primož Suša are currently in Bulgaria doing a 600km hike and fly trip to the Black Sea. 

The sixth place finisher of Red Bull X-Alps 2015 and Paragliding World Cup Champion was looking for somewhere off the beaten path to explore, when Slovenian pilot Primož Suša suggested they try the sparsely populated Balkan mountain range that runs from the border of Serbia, through Bulgaria to the Black Sea.

Click here to see the range and turnpoints he and Suša are hike and flying!

“In some places there are small villages, but it’s mostly a wild range,” Durogati says. “I was looking for somewhere you can have a nice adventure and where you see few villages and people. This place is perfect!”

Staying true to the spirit of adventure, he and Suša are camping out under the stars, using their wings for tents.

Prior to leaving, Durogati predicted it would take them six to 10 days to reach the Black Sea. But by day three of the journey the weather hadn't played ball. 

“It’s really nice nature here, but up until now it hasn’t been flyable.” Durogati wrote in an email. “We’ve just been walking all day with big rucksacks.”

The most challenging stage of the journey was the beginning and will be the end due to the flatter terrain, and the difficulty of covering longer distances. The highest mountain in the range, Botev Peak, is 2376 m. Most others are between 1000 and 2000 m.  

“I’m used to steep mountains and plenty of lift. There, it’s gentle mountains and plenty of flat.” However, he and Suša aren't in a rush. 

“During this project I will have the time to look around and have a 360 degree experience,” he says. “We won’t be in a rush to hike up to the take off. We’ll just enjoy it and have fun.”