A centre-based Mount Pirin programme
The Pirin is perhaps Bulgaria’s most picturesque and most alpine mountain. The rocky outcrop known for its marble and granite peaks and rich flora and fauna is listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site. The Pirin has over 60 peaks rising to over 2500m/8200ft, with the highest, Vihren (2914m/9560ft) the target of one of our treks. The routes transit ridge crests or weave among Cirques dotted with crystal-clear blue glacier lakes and offer an exceptional variety of incredible views.
Day 1: We meet you at Sofia Airport and transfer you to Bansko where we shall spend the next four nights.
Day 2: We transfer to the Vihren Hut where we set off on a hiking trek through the pretty Cirque of the Banderishki Lakes. From there, we go across into the neighbouring valley and the Todorini Ochi Lakes and thence through the thick spruce forests of the Yulen Nature Reserve on to the valley of the playful Demyanitsa River. (6-7hrs of walking, climbing 800m/2600ft and descending 900m/3000ft.)
Day 3: Today, we visit one of the Pirin’s greenest parts near the Bezbog Hut. This is the setting-off point for an extraordinarily panoramic walking trek to the Polezhan summit (2851m/9354ft). The summit offers perhaps the most wonderful view in the Pirin, with no fewer than 17 lakes visible, including the largest and deepest glacier lake in the mountain: the Popovo Lake. (5hrs of walking, climbing and descending 650m/2100ft.)
Day 4: Time to attempt the Pirin’s premier summit, Vihren. We trek through the Golem Kazan (The Giant Cauldron) area beneath the breathtaking sheer 300m/1000ft northern wall of Vihren, whose dolomite precipices offer shelter to rare edelweiss flowers and fretful herds of Balkan Chamois. The views are genuinely overwhelming, yet they are just the prelude to the panoramas that open up from the summit over a sea of jagged peaks all around. (7-8hrs of walking, climbing and descending 1000m/3300ft)
Day 5: Transfer from Bansko to Sofia Airport.
Notes: all treks are tailored in terms of difficulty to individual groups; overall, the terrain means they are rather arduous. The itinerary offers opportunities for extensions involving additional overnight stays at Bansko or Sofia to allow day trips to the Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Koprivshtitsa, the Rozhen Monastery, Melnik, or elsewhere, or to combine this with a centre-based hiking program in Rila Mountains or Rhodope Mountains.
Accommodation: three-star and family hotels; en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper.
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Best period: June- September.
Group size: Min. 2 persons
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; accommodation and catering as in the itinerary; English-speaking mountain guide; chair lift tickets and all local taxes.
Price does not include: extra food and drink; mountain maps; medical insurance; entry fees and personal expenses.
Price: 420 €
Single room supplement: 60 € (obligatory for all individual clients)