VITOSHA, RILA & PIRIN – THE GREAT SNOWSHOEING ADVENTURE

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DURATION: 8 days
PRICE: € 690
DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: January-March
START/FINISH: Sofia
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.


GUARANTEED DEPARTURE DATES FOR 2021:
30/1, 06/3, 20/3

Limited time offer:
Price: 690 € per person in twin/dbl room
Single room supplement: 100 € (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; 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.
Accommodation: three-star/family hotels; double/twin rooms with en-suite facilities everywhere; breakfast and supper included.
Best period: January – March

> PRIVATE GROUPS can be accommodated on any other date during the season; 6 or more should book as a group to take advantage on the above price

SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR


Snow shoeing trip in February

5.0 rating
February 11, 2019

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who loves the outdoors. I was part of a group of 8,and our guide was Mitko, who was most professional at all times. We had a busy schedule, up early every morning to make the most of the day. Mitko is an excellent, safe driver and a first-class navigator. He paced our walks to suit everyone. His knowledge of Bulgarian history greatly added to the trip, and he could not have been more helpful in answering all our questions. I thoroughly enjoyed the week.ion.

Muireann de Freine, Ireland

Great 8 days snow-shoeing in Bulgaria

5.0 rating
February 11, 2019

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
I am just back from an 8 days snow-shoeing trip of Traventuria, with Mitko (Dimiter) as the group guide. GREAT adventure! Amazing views from snow covered high altitude forests and mountain peaks, interesting country and wellcoming people to discover, tasty and diverse local food. All aspects of the trip were excellently taken care by Traventuria, from the nice hotels, the restaurants for dinners, the rented equipment and the itinery. But above all, the personsl touch and responsibility of Mitko our guide is what gave it a 5 stars experience- very informative about Bulgaria in general and the areas we visited speciffically, highly responsible for the group and while driving, and with a very friendly and patient attitude at all times. Ofcourse we all had few Raqyias (local drink) together, and even dancing together dressed in traditional clothing in a beautiful restaurant in a village near Bansko.
Highly recommended.
Enjoy!

Oded, Israel

Fascinating!

5.0 rating
March 9, 2018

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!  

Eden Yogev, Israel

Wonderful week

5.0 rating
March 4, 2018

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.

Jackie Watson, Scotland

Great experience

5.0 rating
February 20, 2018

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.

Tomas Østergaard, Denmark

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