Pirin Mountains – named after Perun, the god of Thunder, are Bulgaria's wildest mountains, comprising numerous protected areas and more than 60 peaks over 2,500 m, or 8,202 ft, high.
Generally speaking, the terrain is alpine, meaning that most of the trekking is done above the tree zone. This tour features stupendous views of crystal-clear mountain lakes, green dales, extraordinary rock formations and rich animal life. A highlight of the trip is the climb to the giant of Pirin – Mount Vihren (2914m a.s.l.)
Bansko is a three-hour drive from Sofia and is located on the outskirts of Pirin National Park – the largest protected area in Bulgaria. It will be your base camp on this walking holiday. With its special architecture of Ottoman and Greek origin, Bansko offers visitors a wealth of experience. The stone houses, many of which look like miniature monasteries, exist side by side with the modern structures of this little town, which is also the biggest Bulgarian ski resort during winter.
♦ Pirin Mountains are the second highest in Bulgaria after Rila Mountains and the third in the Balkan Peninsula (Mount Vihren 2914 m a.s.l.)
♦ Bansko is one of the biggest winter resorts in the country.
♦ Dobrinishte is famous for its minaral pools with average temperature of the water + 34o C
Day 1. Sofia - Bansko
Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to Bansko in Pirin Mountains for overnight (2,30hrs drive).
Day 2. Bansko - Vihren hut - Banderiski Lakes
In the morning we have a transfer to Vihren hut. The path gently ascents in Bunderishka valley, reaching Todorina Porta. We start descending from there, passing by the beautiful Todorini Ochi Lakes (Todora’s Eyes Lakes) and then entering the circus of Vasilashki Lakes. Further down we enter the old Mura forest and reach Demianitsa hut. We continue following Demyanitsa River and end the trek at Todorova Ornitsa, where the bus waits to take us back to the hotel.
Walking time: 6-7hrs; uphill walk: 800 m; downhill walk: 900 m
Day 3. Bansko - Bezbog hut - Polezhan peak
Transfer to Gotse Delchev hut. Here we take the chair lift to Bezbog hut (2236 m a.s.l.), where the walk towards Mount Polezhan (2851 m a.s.l.) starts. This trip offers probably the most beautiful panoramic views in the mountains where one can count 17 glacial lakes from a single point, including the biggest lake in Pirin Mountains – Popovo Lake (almost 30m deep).
Walking time: 5hrs; Uphill walk: 650 m (2,132 ft); downhill walk: 650 m (2,132 ft)
Day 4. Bansko - Vihren hut - Vihren peak
A fairly difficult ascent to Mount Vihren awaits us. In the morning we go by bus to the Vihren hut. En route there will be various opportunities to enjoy most of the Pirin's peaks. The path weaves through “Kazanite” region famous for the incredible variety of plants (Edelweiss among them). If the weather is good we have lunch on the peak itself, enjoying the amazing scenery.
Walking time: 7-8 hours; uphill walk: 1,000 m (3,280 ft); downhill walk: 1,000 m (3,280 ft);
Day 5. Bansko - Sofia
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure.
Incuded in the price: ►4 overnights in a 3*** hotel in double rooms with en-suite facilities on halfboard (breakfast & dinner included, lunchpacks could be ordered on spot at the amount of 5-6 EUR)►all ground transfers►lift tickets ►group transfers from/to Sofia or Plovdiv airport (09.00 - 19.00) ►English-speaking guide► VAT and all local taxes.
Not incuded: ►map (could be requested in advance when booking the tour) ►guidance and transfer for additional days outside the program ►lunches/lunchpacks ►tips ►entrance fees ► Private transfers: Sofia APT - Sofia center: 15 EUR (per vehicle); Plovdiv APT - Plovdiv center: 15 EUR (per vehicle); Sofia-Plovdiv or vv. 60 EUR (per vehicle) ►alcohol drinks and other personal expenses.
Other expences: ►single room supplement: 60 EURO
Good to know: All walks in the original program could be adjusted by the guide on spot depending on the physical condition of the hikers (there is a diversity of hiking trails in the mountains, varying in difficulty grade). The tour provides the opportunity more days to be added to the program if purchased in advance. These could be spent on self-guided walking in the area, more guided walks, guided sightseeing tours to famous places nearby (Sofia, Rila Monastery, Melnik and Rozhen Monastery, Kovachevitsa etc.) etc. Please ask for quotation for any of these possibilities.
EXTENSION AT THE BLACK SEA COAST: we have a unique proposal, which gives you the opportunity to stay on a sea holiday for extra week after your active tour at an incredibly low price in Sozopol, Nessebar, Sunny Beach, Lozenets, St. Vlas, Golden Sands etc. and all this with arranged transportation right after your tour and before your departure flight. In summer time there are loads of opportunities to book a cheap flight to Bourgas or Varna Airport instead of landing at Sofia Airport. We can arrange for you a bus or train ticket to the starting point of the active tour with transfer to the central bus/railway station in these towns, picking you up at the airport upon arrival or vice versa at the end of your tour (this would only cost you appr. 20-30 Euro per car + the bus/train ticket price itself). For detailed information and prices, please look at the trip dossier.
How to get there: For low-cost flights to Bulgaria please check: Wizz Air - http://wizzair.com/; Easy Jet - http://www.easyjet.com/; Germanwings - http://www.germanwings.com/; Penguin Travel -http://www.flybulgarien.dk/; Norwegian Air Shuttle - http://www.norwegian.no/
We recommend trip in the period: June - September
Links to additional information: http://www.walkingbulgaria.com
Necessary equipment: For the full list with recommended items see the detailed trip dossier.