PIRIN MOUNTAINS (CENTRE-BASED TOUR)

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DURATION: 5 days
PRICE: € 420
DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-September
START/FINISH: Sofia
TOUR TYPE: Guided

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, with the highest, Vihren (2914m) 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:
Sofia – Bansko
We meet you at Sofia Airport and transfer you to Bansko where we shall spend the next four nights.
Day 2: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Banderishki Lakes – Demyanitsa Hut – Bansko (6-7hrs; 16km; +615m/-1215m)
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.
Day 3: Bansko – Mount Polezhan – Bansko (5hrs; 7km; +770m/-770m)
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). 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. The tour can be easily extended by climbing also the nearby Mount Bezbog, or with a hike to Popovo Lake (the deepest in Pirin, 30m deep). Before returning to Bansko we may try the local thermal pools of Dobrinishte.
Day 4: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Mount Vihren – Vihren Hut – Bansko (6-7hrs; 8km; +960m/-960m)
Time to attempt the Pirin’s premier summit, Vihren (2914m). We trek through the Golem Kazan (The Giant Cauldron) area beneath the breathtaking sheer 400m 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. We make a circular trek around, and including, the Vihren summit, descend down to Vihren hut and transfer back to Bansko.
Day 5: Bansko – Sofia
Transfer from Bansko to Sofia Airport.

Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.!); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still, this varies a lot on the terrain, the group size and the hiking experience of each client within the group.


Price:
420 € per person in twin/dbl room
Single room supplement: 60 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
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.
Best period: mid-June- September
Group size: Min. 4 persons
Accommodation: three-star and family hotels; en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper.

SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR


Cool!

5.0 rating
September 13, 2019

Wow, it was very spectacular! I am pretty amazed that Bulgaria has so much diversity of landscapes! I have been twice to the sea coast and to be honest I thought that was all that the country could offer as a tourism. Such a shame! Bulgaria is very colorful and full of surprises!
The hike was a bit difficult but I am well-trained and with my friends we did a great job, guided by Chris – the funniest person I have ever met!
Be prepared with enough clothes for warm and even chilly weather. At Vihren summit it was a bit colder than I expected and I am glad I got my jacket and a sweater as well.
After the first hike one of my friends decided he will need trekking poles (which he could have rented in prior as well) but luckily, they managed to ensure a pair immediately.
One of the evenings we have a special folklore night with some local grannies who sang traditional songs and cooked us a dinner and it was soooooo delicious that we ate like pigs!
It was perfect short break! I loved it!

Chris Hansen, Sweden

The tour to overcome yourself!

5.0 rating
September 4, 2017

First of all, we want to cheer up our guide Vlady, who make the stay memorable and the hikes pleasing! We meet him at the airport where he was waiting for us with a sign of my name. We were a family of 5 persons – me 46-year-old, my wife 38-year-old, our 15-year-old teen boy, his 13-year-old cousin, and our beloved granny Marisa – 77-year-old. I am sharing with you our ages because I want to prove you right that this trekking program is really challenging but with a strong will to accomplishing it – everyone could make it, despite age! The treks made me realize one of the most important things in life – never to give up! So I am proud of my mom and also the teens which you know at these ages are mostly interested in video games, social media, and dating 🙂 Everything was possible when you have a leader like Vlady. I said leader, not just guide because he encouraged us to succeed! He put all of his efforts to make us forget about the pain in the knees and not to think about the sweat but to continue towards each target of the day! Really, taking a trip like this will make you re-think your priorities, surprise you how capable you and your body are!
Sorry if I sound like a spiritual guru or how it is modern nowadays – an influencer! haha, but I really recommend you to challenge yourself and spend more time outdoors!
 After this soft lyrical introduction, I will say a few words about the tour itself! 
The accommodation was good, not exactly perfect, but it has comfy rooms, beds and hot water!
The breakfast was repetitive but at least it had enough so we did not start any day being hungry! 
The van we used was comfortable, new (the probably the year 2013-2015). 
The food in Bulgaria, in general, is very tasty, the cuisine is similar to the other Balkan nationalities because of the mixture during the centuries, but if there is something unique for the country – this is the yogurt. Their own yogurt, and served as a dessert with jam of blueberries is aaaawwww – yummy! 
Locals are used to with strangers and they will always say Hello and cheer you up, even if you look like someone coming from the end of the World.
 The treks are well-selected and arranged – starting with warming up the hike, next you high up the level and “the peak of the program” is the highest peak of the Pirin. 
So as an conclusion – take it, you won’t regret it! 

Thomas Groot, Netherlands

Difficult but satisfying

5.0 rating
August 11, 2016

I am very happy that I booked this tour. Each day trek is demanding but at the end I was always thankful that I had such an opportunity to explore the world from above!
The accommodation in Bansko was nice and comfy. Rooms were a bit small but still cozy.
The van was new and A/C was such a relief after the boiling hot weather in July!

Daniel Fish, UAE

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