THE BEST OF THE RILA & PIRIN MOUNTAINS

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DURATION: 4 days
PRICE: € 445
DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-October
START/FINISH: Sofia
TOUR TYPE: Guided

A relatively demanding tour, which is a shorter version our week-long bestseller “Hiking trek in the Pirin and Rila mountains” (details HERE). There are trails in the below itinerary, passing over stone rivers, so previous hiking experience in similar conditions would be good (but not obligatory; what matters most is your adequate physical condition).
This short hiking vacation is meant for people who already stay in Sofia (thus being able to start early in the morning on Day 1) and continue their stay in Bulgaria right after the tour (as they will be dropped of again in Sofia in the evening of Day 4).
You walk every day with just a daypack. The rest/unnecessary luggage either remains inside the transfer vehicle, or in your accommodation.


Day 1: Sofia – Malyovitsa – Scary Lake – Yonchevo Lake – Govedartsi (5hrs; 12km; +900m/-900m)

Early morning transfer from Sofia takes you to the beautiful Malyovitsa Valley and thence high over the alpine Cirques and small lakes, sheltering also the secretive Strashno Ezero (The Scary) Lake. From there we descend to the Yonchevo Lake and finish the loop again at Malyovitsa resort. We stay overnight in a family-run pension in the nearby village of Govedartsi.
Day 2: Govedartsi – Panichishte – The Seven Rila Lakes – (Rila Monastery) – Bansko (3,30-4,30hrs; 6-9km; +400-500m/-400-500m)
Transfer to Panichishte resort and a refreshing chairlift ride will bring us to the trailhead, exploring the Cirque of the Seven Rila Lakes. Located at between 2100 and 2500 metres above sea level, these famous glacier lakes will charm you with their magnificent scenery which you can survey from the edge of the highest one. After a circular walk among the lakes we continue on to Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains National Park, where we will spend the next two nights. Time permitting on the way to Bansko we can make a short detour to the most famous UNESCO site in Bulgaria: Rila Monastery.
Day 3: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Mount Vihren – Vihren Hut – Bansko (5,30-6hrs; 9km; +960m/-960m)
Pre-arranged transfer brings us up to the Vihren Hut (appr. 30min) where we set off on a stunning trek towards the giant of Pirin – Mount Vihren (2914m). We trek through the Golem Kazan (The Giant Cauldron) area beneath the breathtaking sheer 300m northern wall of Vihren, whose dolomite precipices offer shelter to rare edelweiss flowers and fretful herds of Balkan Chamois (wild goats). 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 circuit around (and including) the summit of Vihren and return back to Bansko.
Day 4: Bansko – Mount Polezhan – Sofia (5hrs; 7km; +770m/-770m)
Car transfer brings us above Dobrinishte resort, at Gotse Delchev Hut (appr. 30min). Chair cable car then takes us up to the Bezbog Hut. This is the setting-off point for the hiking trek to the Polezhan Summit (2851m) which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Pirin, over 17 stunning glacier lakes, including the largest Popovo Lake (30m deep). Polezhan is the 5th highest summit in the Pirin. It is surrounded by three Cirques with three groups of lakes – Disilishki in the north, Polezhanski in the south and Strazhishki in the west. We use the classic route trough the northeast ridge, which is not difficult or too steep, except of the last 20-minute stage of the summit. Arriving back to our car, we hit the road for a transfer to your accommodation in Sofia (appr. 3hrs drive).

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 and hiking experience of each client.


Guaranteed group departure dates for 2020:
20/6, 04/7, 18/7, 01/8, 29/8, 12/9
Guaranteed group departure dates for 2021: 19/6, 03/7, 17/7, 31/7, 28/8, 11/9

Limited time offer:
Price:
445 €/person in twin/dbl room
Single room supplement: 40 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Rent of hiking poles: 15 €/person
Price includes: transfers to and from your accommodation in Sofia (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; accommodation and catering according to the itinerary; English-speaking mountain guide; cable car tickets, and all local taxes.
Price does not include: museum entrance fees in case you decide to visit Rila Monastery; extra food and drink; mountain maps; medical insurance; personal expenses.
Best period: mid June – October
Group size: Min. 2 persons (if this requirement is not met for any of the dates, you will be given the choice to get a full refund 30 days before the tour starts, or to re-book for the same date for our classic 8-day tour with 15% discount: click HERE to check itinerary)
Private groups: we can accommodate a private group on any date within the best hiking period; contact us for a price offer;
Accommodation: three-star and family hotels; rooms with en-suite facilities; breakfast and supper.

SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR


we loved it

5.0 rating
August 10, 2019

we book the trip me, my wife, her brother and his wife
we could say that we are very experienced hikers but the day to vihren was a challenge
we loved the accommodations and the vehicle the guide Mitko was nice guy, we felt in safe hands

Jun Qi, Singapore

Many thanks for the nice trip!

5.0 rating
August 28, 2018

We were a group of 4 friends traveling together. We wanted to visit as much as possible from Bulgaria and experience the seaside and the mountains. Arranging summer holiday by the Black Sea is easy to do on your own but for mountains, help was needed so we are glad we chose Traventuria to arrange our wonderful hiking trip! Big thanks to the staff who were very patient with all of our requests and they really did their best to accommodate the interests of 4 different persons! We got a wonderful and very experienced guide. Nadia was nice to us and told us so many unbelievable stories about Bulgaria that we could not imagine were real! She even taught us how to say Hi in Bulgarian “Zdravai”! The program is short but intense and we did not have much time for leisure. However, every trail hid unexpected beauty and you will wonder which corner to capture first on your camera! Unanimously, our favorite trek was the one to Vihren peak. It is very demanding but we were given the unique chance to observe wild goats on our way! It was amazing!!! My wife is a botanist and she really enjoyed seeing Edelweiss and all of the endemic flora she saw in Pirin! This mountain is a true paradise for all nature-lovers!

J?rgen Lang, Germany

Wonderful trip!

5.0 rating
July 21, 2018

Big big thanks to our guide Alex! We enjoyed every minute of the trip! Both Rila and Pirin were marvelous mountains and we really liked the landscape!

Janice Hyde, USA

short, difficult and beautiful

5.0 rating
September 9, 2017

We were on a long trip arround Bulgaria and Romania. In Bulgaria we took a rent-a-car for one week and we exploring the Rodopi mountains. “A must see”! After that we have decided to book a short guided hiking tour in Rila and Pirin mountains.
It was so beautiful as well. The hikes are ment to be for experienced hikers, keep this in mind. The views and the nature were astonishing. The mountain guide was a profesionalist. We were very lucky with the weather, sunny all the time.
If you want to make a short hiking trip in the area,I can strongly reccomment this one. Enjoy it!

Lase Gustavsson, Sweden

Amazing nature!

4.0 rating
September 7, 2017

I did not know that in Bulgaria there are so many mountain ranges that in fact almost half of the territory is hilly! We decided to visit the country after we found really cheap flight tickets! We got only 5 days there so this trip perfectly matched our schedule! Everything was very well arranged, the perfect choice of accommodations and we truly enjoyed spending time with our guide! She was very patient with us, as we are not the fittest hikers in the world! Mind that this tour is for very well prepared people so for us it was a bit too demanding but anyway, we loved every minute of it! The only thing that I did not like was that the Seven Rila Lakes were too crowded. Actually, this day of our program matched Sunday which I guess is normal to be too populated because the lakes are closer to the capital. Anyway, we are planning to come back someday because there is a lot much to see and we will definitely use the services of Traventuria again! Thanks! 

Ana Isabel Pereira, Spain

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