THE BEST OF THE RILA & PIRIN MOUNTAINS

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DURATION: 4 days
PRICE: € 420
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.


SCHEDULED DEPARTURE DATES FOR 2022: 19/6, 03/7, 17/7, 31/7, 28/8, 11/9

Limited time offer:
Price:
420 €/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. 4 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


second time in Bulgaria

5.0 rating
August 12, 2017

This was my second time in Bulgaria doing absolutely different type of activity.
I came here 10 years ago as a last-year student – in Sunny Beach and it was just partying all the time. Now I came as a traveler with my family (wife, daughter and nephew) and on behalf of everyone we want to thank the company for organizing this adventure for us. We saw Bulgaria from different point and it was an amazing experience!
You mountain are beyond my expectations!
Everyone is smiling, super helpful and joyful!
From Hugo, Wilma, Ida and Emil

Hugo Larsson, Sweden

nice tour

5.0 rating
July 2, 2017

We were super unlucky with the weather, every day it was either foggy or rainy. But despite this, we had the greatest time in Bulgaria. A land of mysteries, legends and thrilling folklore!
I am happy to have such a chance to visit this country and next time hopefully on a sunny weather!

Ingrid Keller, Germany

Zdraveite!

5.0 rating
September 20, 2016

Blagodarja !
That’s all! Haha!
Well, if you can learn some bulgarian for just 4 days and even know how to write it, I think we can say the trip (and the guide) were excellent!
For me it was a pleasure meeting so much warm people along the way!
Thanks everyone for the wonderful experience!

Sylvie Corbin, France

4 days in the mountains

5.0 rating
September 3, 2016

I adore it! It was very beautiful and I really would love if I had more time in Bulgaria
But for short stay this program is perfect!

Mauro Ricci, Italy

Love of my life!

5.0 rating
August 17, 2016

Believe me or not I have been in Rila at least 5 times in my life!
This was the 6th !!!
And it is superb! I happy I also visit Pirin mountain, amazing place full of wildlife and rich in history places and unique people!

Gaia Cohen, Israel

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