|DURATION: 8 days
PRICE: € 1090
|DIFFICULTY: 3/4 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: January-March
TOUR TYPE: Guided
Revel in the beauty of nature amid winter. Sense the calm of winter magic in three of Bulgaria’s best-loved mountains: the Vitosha Nature Park, Rila and Pirin national parks. Our snowshoeing trek passes old mountain forests, high plateaus, steep slopes and valleys, tiring us pleasantly before an evening spent in a peasant family hotel with a glass of red wine with appetizing local specialities. The itinerary includes a call at one of Bulgaria’s most renowned sights: the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery.
Snowshoe walking appears easy fun, yet calls for some stamina because any walking through snow can be tiring. Even if you have not tried this type of locomotion, you will rapidly get used to using the poles and snowshoes on thick, fluffy virgin mountain snow. The programme is moderate to difficult and suitable for people in good physical shape. Depending on the weather and snow cover, your guide may change the proposed routes.
Day 1: Sofia
We meet you at Sofia Airport and transfer you to the hotel where the group will overnight.
Day 2: Sofia – Vitosha Mountains – Govedartsi (4-5hrs; +150m/-600m)
Today, we traverse Vitosha: the most popular destination for Sofianites. Starting from the Aleko Hut (at 1810m a.s.l.), we shall trek along the crest of the mountain through the Torfeno Branishte Nature Reserve to the famous Zlatni Mostove (Golden Bridges) stone rivers. We then transfer for overnight in a cozy family-run pension in the village of Govedartsi, Rila Mountains.
Day 3: Govedartsi – Malyovitsa – Govedartsi (5hrs +550m/-550m)
After breakfast we transfer to the nearby resort Malyovitsa. From there we start climbing up towards Yonchevo Lake (at 2013m a.s.l.). As we walk out of the woods we will enjoy the panorama to the neighbouring peaks and deep valleys of Rila. Eventually we walk down through an old coniferous forest to get back to Maliovitsa along a different route. (5hrs of walking, climbing 550m/1800ft and descending 550m/1800ft)
Day 4: Govedartsi – Borovets – Icy Lake Refuge – Borovets – Govedartsi (5,30 hrs; +650m/-650m)
Today’s aim is to get to the foot of Bulgaria’s, and the Balkans’, highest summit: Musala Peak (2925m). We climb to the starting point of the route by cable car from the Borovets Resort and then continue snowshoeing to the highest mountain refuge in Bulgaria – The Icy Lake (2710m a.s.l.). At this point the rugged summit of Musala will be facing us from a very close distance, but as long as the last stage will require the use of ropes and crampons in winter we will have to skip this part. Then we turn back along the same route to overnight at Govedartsi again.
Day 5: Govedartsi – Panichishte – The Seven Rila Lakes – Bansko (5-6hrs; +400-500m/-400-500m)
A brief transfer takes us to the Panichishte Resort where we board a cable car to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque (between 2100 and 2500m a.s.l.) for a tour among the lower five of them. Though frozen and covered in thick snow in winter, the area remains rather pretty. Our day ends in a typical family hotel at the famous ski resort of Bansko in Pirin Mountains, where we stay for the next two nights.
Day 6: Bansko – Mount Bezbog – Bansko (4-5hrs; +500m/-500m)
Another short transfer takes us above Dobrinishte resort to board the chair cable car to the Bezbog Hut. This is the setting-off point for the hiking trek to the Bezbog (No God) Peak (2645m high). Stunning panoramas of the neighbouring summits and ridges will be accompanying us as we make our way to the top. Transfer back to Bansko.
Day 7: Bansko – Rila Monastery – Sofia (2hrs; +100m/-100m)
We leave Pirin and transfer to one of Bulgaria’s top tourist attractions: the Rila Monastery listed by UNESCO. The latter is the largest and most significant Bulgarian Orthodox Church establishment. The 20m high walls shelter impressive cloisters, a church, and a chapel with unique murals and museum collections. A short walk can be performed in the area to the cave of St. John of Rila (the monastery founder) or to the picturesque sandy pyramids of Stob. Then we continue on to Sofia, where we have gala dinner and last overnight.
Day 8: Sofia
Transfer to Sofia Airport.
Limited time offer:
Price: 1090 € per person in twin/dbl room (based on min 4 full-paying clients)
Single room supplement: 160 € (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 in 3*/family hotels; double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities; breakfast and supper; English-speaking mountain guide; hire of snow shoes and poles; cable car tickets and all local taxes.
Price does not include: museum entry charges; extra food and drink; mountain maps; medical insurance; personal expenses.
Best period: January – March
Joining the tour: this tour is organized on private basis only if the requirement for min group size is met (4 persons).
SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR
I loved the trip and the people in the group! We shortly became friends mainly because of the hospitality of our hosts and the friendly guide we had! I felt in safe hands let myself enjoy every minute of the winter adventure. It was my second time snowshoeing and I am happy I choose Bulgaria this year! The booking process was very smooth and when I had some questions I received reply very fast. I will definitely come back in summer as I want to walk on these trails and admire the green and blossoming charm of nature.
It was my very first time in Bulgaria and I did not regret choosing to travel in winter. I was uncertain about walking with snowshoes because I’ve never tried this before but it turned out to be easy but a bit tiring until you get used to it. Our guide Vladi was very patient, friendly and also told us a lot of stories about the mountains, the cities and the culture of the Bulgarians. One of the days the weather was very very bad (wind, heavy snow and fog) and the chairlift we were supposed to take stop working. Since we could not hike as it was too risky Vladi took us to a nearby spa village and we spent the day in the mineral pools! I will never forget the winter adventure in Bulgaria!
The program is very well organised. With the great care of every little detail. I am an experienced traveller and I was looking for a good value for money. Thank you Traventuria team for the lovely time in Bulgaria. See you all again next year.
We just returned from the most amazing trip in Bulgaria. We are winter sports lovers and we’ve travelled a lot around the world. Bulgaria was in our “must do” list. The wether was just perfect all the week, the snow was exellent. Customer service, guide and accomodation was superb. I can highly reccommended the trip.
Thanks for the nice trip!
We were really impressed by the proficiency of the Trraventuria company. They were very helpful, always responding to our questions and the arrangements were very clear and everything went smoothly.
We would be happy if the weather was more clear but anyway, we had great time outside!
Thanks once again!