Overview

Summits and Ridges of Bulgaria

Some of the highest mountains in Europe are situated in Bulgaria and this trip will give you the chance to visit those magnificent forests, lakes and summits which are less crowded and more wilder than the Alps. The 'Summits and Ridges' tour will also allow you to merge in the traditional romantic atmosphere of some of the old towns of Bulgaria.

Climb some of the highest peaks, including Malyovitsa and Vihren, hike through the Seven Rila lakes, enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and overnight in a hut at 2,515m as you witness the alpine world of the Rila and Pirin mountains.

Summits and Ridges of Bugaria (9)
Above: Map showing route through Rila mountains

Summits and Ridges of Bugaria (8)
Above: Map showing route through Pirin mountains

Itinerary

The best months for summer trekking in Bulgaria are traditionally June through to August when the days are long, the weather is dry and the temperatures are hot though the temperatures in spring (April and May) are also very pleasant. We show scheduled open dates here, but we are able to cater for bespoke dates for groups and we can also extend and alter the general itineraries to include extra days. Please do get in contact with us to discuss options.

The trip is moderately difficult, suitable for people with some mountain experience.

BROAD ITINERARY

Day Summary
1 Arrive in Sofia and transfer to hotel
2 Ascent of Mount Malyovitsa (2,729m) in the Rila mountains
3 Trek to Razdela Pass (2,600m) and Rila Monastery
4 Trek through southern section of Rila mountains to Bansko, at foot of the Pirin mountains
5 Ascent of Mount Vihren (2,914m) and back to Bansko
6 Trek the central ridge of the Pirin mountains to Tevno Ezero Hut (2,515m)
7 Trek past glacial lakes and through pine forests to the town of Melnik
8 Transfer to Sofia for departures

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day Travel Time Information
1 1 hour 30 mins Arrive at Sofia airport where you will be met by your guide and transfer to a picturesque family hotel deep in the forests of Rila mountains. Short briefing about the trip, dinner and overnight.
2 7 hours After breakfast we ascend Mount Malyovitsa (2,729m) – one of the symbols of the region. The summit offers incredible 360 degree views of the countless peaks and glacial lakes in the Rila mountains. After a picnic lunch our route follows a ridge leading us to the famous Seven Rila Lakes where we descend to our hotel in the dense pine forests. The whole trek takes about 7 hours.
3 6 - 7 hours After breakfast it is a short transfer with a gondola lift to the higher parts of the Rila mountains. Todays route passes nearby each of the Seven Rila Lakes with a picnic lunch at one of the many picturesque points along the way. After reaching the Razdela pass (2,600m), one of the best viewpoints in the Rila mountains, our trail leads us down towards the world famous Rila Monastery – a UNESCO listed site. Tour of the Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, hidden deep in the very heart of the mountain (largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria). Accommodation in a nice family hotel nearby where we'll also have dinner.
4 6 hours Today is an easier trek than that of the previous two days. After breakfast and a short transfer (20 minutes) we walk through the beautiful southern part of the Rila mountains to reach 'Macedonia' hut (2,166m), located on 'Bears Pass' for a picnic lunch. Descend to the little village of Dobarsko before transferring to Bansko, a town of old traditional buildings and typical Bulgarian folk music, located at the foot of the Pirin Mountains. Overnight in a local hotel.
5 6 hours After breakfast we make a short transfer (30 minutes) to a mountain hut at 2000m where we'll start our ascent of Mount Vihren (2,914m) – the highest peak of Pirin mountains and the most technical part of the trip. Today is all about the incredible views of alpine peaks, marble rock walls and glacial lakes before returning back to Bansko for dinner at a Bulgarian tavern where we'll experience traditional food, wine and music.
6 7 hours After breakfast it is a 30 minute transfer to Vihren hut (1,950m) where we'll trek through the very central ridge of the Pirin mountains. Another day packed with stunning views of many lakes and peaks before reaching the tiny Tevno Ezero (Dark Lake) hut (2,515m), in the very heart of Pirin National Park. The trek is about 7 hours in total and we'll overnight in this unique hut located at the foot of the impressive Mount Kamenitza (2,816m).
7 4 hours After breakfast at Tevno Ezero hut we'll trek past a group of glacial lakes, and through pine forest to a beautiful village zone nеаrby where it is a short transfer to the town of Melnik – the smallest in Bulgaria, with a population of just under 400. Melnik is located in Blagoevgrad Province, in the south-western Pirin Mountains and is an architectural reserve (96 of its buildings are cultural monuments). Accommodation will be provided at a local hotel and we can celebrate our final night together in a traditional tavern.
8 2 hours 30 mins After breakfast we transfer back to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria for departures.

 

Cost

Summits and Ridges of Bulgaria cost £745.00

The cost is based on teams of 4 people or more, for groups of 2- 3 people there is a surcharge of £300 per person.

Includes

  • All accommodation in local hotels and Tevno Ezero mountain hut
  • All meals provided
  • Licensed mountain guide (English speaking)
  • Gondola lifts used during the itinerary
  • Airport transfers and any other transfers as per the itinerary

Excludes

  • Flights to Sofia airport
  • Drinks during dinners
  • Entrance fees for museums and historical monuments
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

Payments

A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.

Kit List

Summits and Ridges of Bulgaria - Kit List

The basic idea of the kit is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun, able to move efficiently on the trail and be comfortable in the evenings

  • BAGS - Daysack of around 40 litres plus a hold-all for clean clothes which can be left in hotels and/or transferred from starting points to finish points in your hold-all (include padlock for hold-all). Make sure your daysack has a waterproof cover in case of showers.
  • SHELL - Top and bottoms to keep off wind/rain. A gore-tex jacket and trousers, or equivalent brand of waterproof material, will be fine.
  • INSULATION - Layered system to keep you warm- body, hands & head. Fleece or light down for evenings and cold mornings. Trekking clothes should include shorts and T-shirts plus long trousers and hiking shirt or top. Have a good sunhat as well as a warm hat and a pair of gloves.
  • BASE LAYER - Thin layers to wick away sweat and to strip down to and keep the sun off when it gets hot. Thermal leggings are perhaps not necessary on this trip unless you get particularly cold easily, but lightweight trekking tops - long and short sleeved - are very useful.
  • FEET - good quality trekking boots with a high ankle are necessary on this trip and perhaps a pair of sandals (or trainers) to allow feet to relax in the evenings. Make sure the boots are worn in if they are all leather. Take several pairs of good quality trekking socks.
  • DRINKING & EATING - Two water bottles or a platypus for keeping hydrated on the trail plus some energy snacks (water purification tablets are necessary). Breakfasts and dinners are provided in the hotels and it is generally picnic lunches during the treks.
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - wash kit, travel towel and small personal first aid kit for standard issues like headaches, dehydration, blisters and scrapes. Don't forget your E111 card if European, and also your travel insurance papers since medical care and medications in pharmacies are expensive. Don't forget good quality sun-cream and lip salve, water purification tablets, cold water travel wash (biodegradable) and insect repellent.
  • ADDITIONAL – lightweight sleeping bag (with liner), trekking poles (useful but not essential), books or kindle, head-torch, map, sunglasses which are high UV rating and suitable for mountain conditions and travel adaptor.

Photos

£745pp

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Tours from only 745pp book
Key Information
  • Duration 8 days
  • Accommodation Hotels & Mountain Hut
  • Difficulty Moderate
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