The 3 highest peaks in the 3 most visited mountains in Bulgaria!
A trekking holiday which will lead you to three very different mountains in the western part of Bulgaria. Pirin and Rila Mountains are the highest mountains in Bulgaria, also the most popular ones for real trekking tourism. Vitosha is the mountain which is just in the outskirts of the Bulgarian capital but the mountain summit is one of the highest in Bulgaria. This journey will take you to awesome alpine peaks, ice-cold mountain lakes and rivers, deep silent forests, and green sunny meadows.
Highlight of the tour is the climb to the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula – Mount Musala (2925 m.a.s.l.), but you will also conquer the giants of Pirin Mountain - Mt. Vihren and Vitosha Mountain - Mt. Cherni vrah. All treks are on the territory of national parks giving you the chance to enjoy untouched wild nature - Balkan Chamois, wild horses, sheep, rare plants (Edelweiss among them)… and the hospitality of local people warmly welcoming newcomers with traditional specialties and fine red wine. Climb the highest peaks of Rila, Pirin and Vitosha Mountains, explore their beauty!
♦ Mt. Musala, Rila Mountain - the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula: 2925 m.a.s.l. Rila Mountains offer a diverse landscape. With the rocky summit Musala, but also nice meadows many rivers and lakes, deciduous and coniferous forests.
♦ Mt. Vihren, Pirin Mountain - the second highest peak in Bulgaria after Mt. Musala (Mount Vihren 2914 m a.s.l.), and the third in the Balkan Peninsula after Musala in Rila and Mitikas in Olympus, Greece. Pirin is rocky and rough mountain but may be the most beautiful in Bulgaria with it's glacial lakes and majestic peaks.
♦ Mt. Cherni Vrah, Vitosha Mountain - may be one of the most popular destination for local tourism in Bulgaria. Vitosha Mountain is just in the outskirts of the capital and in a half a hour drive from the city centre. Because of the rich wild life Vitosha mountain is preserved area and a habitat for many rare plants and animals, including bears and the Balkan chamois.
♦ Diverse landscapes: marble alpine peaks, vast green hills and meadows, century-old forests
Day 1. Arrival in Sofia
Arrival in Sofia. Transfer to a hotel at the foot of Vitosha Mountain. Overnight.
Day 2. Sofia – Vitosha - Bansko
We recommend early start of the day. You take the cabin lift to Aleko hut from where you climb the highest peak of Vitosha Mountain – Cherni Vrah (Black Peak), 2290 m.a.s.l. From this height you could not only see Sofia but also Rila Mountain, the Balkan (Stara Planina). From the peak you go back to Simeonovo by the lift. Transfer to bus station from where you take the bus to Bansko, a small town from the Bulgarian national Revival period and one of our most popular ski resorts nowadays. Overnight in a family run hotel in Bansko.
Walking time: hrs 4-5 hrs; Uphill walk:500 ; Downhill walk: 500;
Day 3. Bansko – Gotse Deltchev Hut – Bezbog hut – Popovo Lake - Tevno Ezero
After a short transfer to Dobrinishte, and Gotse Deltchev Hut you take the chair lift to Bezbog Hut. Today’s route passes next to beautiful glacial lakes, and leads you to the biggest glacial lake in Pirin Mountain – Popovoto Lake, nice meadows next to it are the ideal spot for lunch break. You continue your way climbing next to Samodivski Lakes and shortly get to the hidden Tevno Ezero (Tevno Lake), 2512 m.a.s.l., which is one of the highest glacial lakes in Bulgaria. It is also one of the biggest and deepest lakes. Overnight in the shelter next to the lake.
Walking time: 4-5 hrs; Uphill walk: 500; Downhill walk: 350;
Day 4. Tevno Ezero – Valyavishki Lakes - Demyanitsa - Bansko
After a night spent at the height of 2512 m.a.s.l.in the rocky heart of Pirin Mountain you continue going down to Demyanitsa hut, passing through the beautiful valley of Demyanitsa River, surrounded by rocky peaks and green meadows. You can stop to have lunch and refresh at Demyanitsa hut (1985 m.a.s.l.). From there you get further down to the meeting point for a transfer to Bansko for overnight.
Walking time:4-5 hrs; Uphill walk:130 ; Downhill walk:1100 ;
Day 5. Bansko – Vihren Hut – Vihren Peak - Bansko
After breakfast you take the shuttle bus to Vihren Hut (about 30 min. drive). Today’s goal is to get to the highest peak in Pirin Mountain. A fairly difficult ascent to Mount Vihren (2914m a.s.l.), awaits you. On your way to the peak you have various opportunities to enjoy most of the Pirin's peaks, Vlahini and Bunderishki glacial lakes. If you observe carefully you will be able to find Edelweiss other rare plants flowering in the Karst parts of the mountains. Back to the hut and to Bansko with the shuttle bus. Overnight in a 3-star family run hotel.
Walking time: 6-7 hrs; Uphill walk: 1,000 m; Downhill walk: 1,000 m;
Day 6. Bansko – Semkovo – Suhoto Ezero – the ridge - Grunchar Hut
Transfer to one of the small and more alternative ski resorts in Rila Mountain - Semkovo. From Semkovo Hut you start trekking along Stankova river to Gorni kuki area. You pass Kovach Mount and continue on the ridge to Granchar Hut (2187 m.a.s.l.) for overnight.
Walking time: 5-6 hrs Uphill walk: 1150 m; Downhill walk: 600 m;
Day 7. Granchar Hut – Musala Peak – Musala Hut
The goal of this trek is to reach the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula Musala (2925 m.a.s.l.). Starting from Granchar Hut, you take North direction hiking on the ridge, passing through several mounts along the way with great panoramic views. Reaching the peak you have a stunning scenery. From Musala you can easily see most of the highest peaks in Rila and Pirin Mountain, Vitosha Mountain, Sredna Gora and the Balkan mountain on the North, Pirin Mountain and the Rodopi Mountain on the South, South-East direction. There is even a legend that from the top you could even see the waters of the Aegean Sea, well we don’t have any pictures from the summit which can proof this. Descend to the Musala Hut, overnight.
Walking time: 5-6 hrs; Uphill walk: 850 ; Downhill walk: 550 ;
Day 8. Musala Hut – Borovets - Sofia
Today’s walk is just a descent, about 10 km. On your way you cross several time a river, you are surrounded by green meadows and walk on a dirt road through the forest in the last part of route. From the Hut you walk down to Borovets, a mountain ski resort where you could stop for some warm food for lunch. From Borovets we transfer you to the hotel in Sofia (about 1.30 hrs drive).
Walking time: 3-4 hrs; Uphill walk: 0 ; Downhill walk: 1050 ;
Day 9. Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure.
Luggage transportation: For the luggage is taken care of in accordance to the itinerary: on days 1, 2 (only to the bus station), 8 (taking your luggage from Bansko). During the intensive trekking days you could only take what you need during the day in the mountains and leave the rest of your luggage in your hotel in Bansko. While staying in huts and shelters you should bring along enough clothes for spending the nights there (day 3, day 6 and day 7).
Included in the price: ►accommodation in 3*** family hotels with en-suite facilities (days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8), and mountain huts with dorm rooms with shared facilities (days 3, 6, 7) ► airport transfers on arrival and departure days as set by the itinerary (Day 1 and Day 9) ►on halfboard (breakfast and dinner included), except Sofia stay (day 1 - no meals, day 8 and day 9 - only breakfast included); ►all ground transfers, mentioned in the itinerary; ►Roadbook and maps; ►group transfers from/to Sofia airport (09.00 - 19.00); ►lift tickets according to the itinerary (day 2 and day 3);
Not included: ►flight tickets; ►lunches, dinners on days 1, 8, 9; ►entrance fees; ►lift tickets not mentioned in the itinerary; ►tips; ►alcohol drinks and other personal expenses; ► airport transfers outside the tour itinerary
Other expenses: ►single room supplement: 80 EUR (this doesn't include staying in huts, days 3, 6, 7; it covers your stay in the 3* family hotels, days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8); ►a private transfer to Aleko Hut on day 2, if you start your tour in a different than Friday or Saturday day of the week, as the lift doesn't work during the week days ► airport transfers outside the tour itinerary: 15 EUR per transfer for vehicle 1-3 pax / 25 EUR for vehicle 4-7 pax
Good to know: ►In higher mountains weather could often change unexpectedly, be prepared with warm clothes like polar gloves and a hat even during the hot summer days; ►As lunch is not included there is an option to order lunchpacks at the hotels and the huts where you stay overnight, on some of the treks there are huts which you pass, where you could have some warm meal; ►You should have in mind that huts in Bulgaria are with basic conditions only and often there are shared facilities, and sometimes no bathroom, but a lavatory only;
Nessesary equipment: rucksack or another big bag or a suitcase for most of your luggage (a bigger one, ranging 70-80 l, will be carried only to the hotel in Sofia and then to the one in Bansko and back to Sofia), a daypack – (35 l - 40 l); ► waterproof clothes; ►hiking boots; ►sunglasses and sun hat; ►a bottle for water; ►warm clothes, like a fleece and/or thermo underwear; ►fleece gloves and hat ; ►poles; ►raincoat; Checklist
We recommend trip in the period: June - September
Links to additional information: http://www.walkingbulgaria.com