GRAND TOUR OF BULGARIAN MOUNTAINS
Rila, Pirin and Rhodopes are the highest and the most beautiful mountains in Bulgaria. Marvelous lakes, narrow rocky peaks, deep forest valleys, fresh air and picturesque mountain villages is what one finds here. Moreover, one always leaves with peace and satisfaction in the soul. Many legends are related to the three mountains, not only because of their alpine beauty, but also because of the many monasteries and old villages hidden in their valleys.
The highest peak in the entire Balkan Peninsula, mt. Musala – 2925 m., is situated in Rila Mountain. More than 200 lakes and the massif of alpine relief are a result of the glaciers that were there ages ago. In the deep forests one can find the jewel of the orthodox Christianity – the Rila monastery. Pirin Mountain is even more alpine and narrow and also embraces many lakes. Magnificent unique plants that grow only here, pure water, fresh forest air, and beautiful peaks surrounding all this majesty. The Rhodopes are the most holy and legendary ground for Bulgarians – the imposing massif spreads for 350 kilometers from west to east and resembles a giant labyrinth of ridges, valleys, lakes and platoes. Here is the home of the most beautiful folklore music and the most romantic traditions.
With this tour, “Adventure Trails” offers you the opportunity to merge into the world of Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes and enjoy two unforgettable weeks.
Day 1. Arriving in Sofia and meeting with your tour guide. Transfer to the town of Samokov, situated at the foot of Rila Mountain,. A settlement of traditions in woodcarving and icon painting, in Samokov can be seen some old churches and beautiful houses from the revival period. Accommodation in a family hotel. Short briefing about the tour. Traditional dinner and overnight.
Day 2. Breakfast. Short morning transfer (20 min.) to the Borovets ski resort. Next is a 40 minute transfer with gondola to the higher parts of the mountain. Ascent to the highest peak of Bulgaria – mount Musala (2926 m.). The alpine view of glacial lake and ridges from the summit are amazing. Lunch will be a picnic. Return back to Borovets with the gondola. The walk takes 6 h. in total. Short transfer (30 min.) to the ski resort Malyovitsa, to a nice hotel in the forest. Accommodation and dinner. Overnight.
Day 3. Breakfast. It is time for the ascent to the summit of Malyovitsa (2729 m.) – one of the symbols of Rila mountain, most technical part of the walking tour. About 7 hours for the ascent and descent to the highest point of Northwest Rila. Lunch will be a picnic. The scenery is just amazing - some incredible views of pointed alpine peaks, rock walls and glacial cirques. Return back to same accommodation. Dinner at the hotel and overnight.
Day 4. Breakfast. After a short morning transfer (15 min.), our trail will lead us through pine forests to the cirque of the famous Seven Rila Lakes. The path passes nearby each of the lakes, until it reaches the high pass Razdela – one of the best viewpoints in the mountain. Lunch will be picnic. Next stage of the walk is the descent to the world reknown Rila monastery. Today’s hike takes 7-8 hours. Accommodation in a lovely little family hotel, where our host will prepare traditional meals for dinner. Overnight.
Day 5. Breakfast. It is an easier hike for today (6 h.). Short morning transfer (20 min.) and walk through the beautiful southern part of the mountain and “Macedonia” hut. Lunch will be a picnic. Descent to the little village of Dobarsko. Transfer to Bansko, a town of old traditional buildings and typical Bulgarian folk music, at the foot of the impressive Pirin Mountain. Accommodation in a hotel and dinner. Overnight.
Day 6. Breakfast. It is time for the most technical part of the trek – the ascent to mount Vihren (2914m.), the highest peak of Pirin. We start with a short morning transfer to a hut, situated at 2000 meters and from there we need about 6.30 h. for the ascent and descent of the summit. Lunch will be a picnic. During the day we will be able to witness some incredible views of alpine peaks and marble rock walls. Return to the town of Bansko and same accommodation. Dinner in a traditional Bansko tavern. Overnight.
Day 7. Breakfast. It is another day of more technical hiking. Short morning transfer (15 min.) and ascent to the famous Marble Ridge of Pirin. The trail follows the ridge, which at one section is just two feet wide, but perfectly secured and offering the most beautiful route in Bulgaria. Lunch will be picnic. Descent down to the Yavorov hut, situated in a splendid valley. Today’s hike takes 7 hours. Accommodation in the hut, dinner and overnight.
Day 8. Breakfast. It is a more relaxing day. After a 2,30 hour descent, we will be transferred to Bansko. Lunch in a traditional tavern. In the afternoon we will be able to visit a mineral pool complex in the nearby resort Dobrinishte. Return to Bansko and our hotel in the evening. Same accommodation, dinner and overnight.
Day 9. Breakfast. Today is a day for cultural – historical tourism. On our way to the Rhodope mountains, we will visit the picturesque villages of Kovachevitsa and Leshten. Both represent the untouched architecture and lifestyle of Bulgarian village from the revival period, and are declared open-air museums. Lunch in a traditional tavern. In the afternoon we will proceed the transfer to the town of Shiroka Laka – also an open-air architectural and ethnographic museum, situated deep in the heart of the Rhodopes. Accommodation in a nice traditional hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 10. After breakfast – a short (30 min.) transfer to the village of Gela – one of the very high situated settlements in the Rodopi mountain. From here we will hike through some beautiful pine forests to the village of Trigrad, situated between vertical rocks faces and kept its old days traditions alive. Lunch will be a picnic. Accommodation in a nice family hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11. Breakfast. Visitation to the nearby Trigrad gorge and the “Devil's troath” cave. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. In the afternoon we will will take a short but very beautiful hike through pine forests and meadows to a village nearby (2.30 h.). Visit to the "Yagodina" cave. Later a short (45 min.) transfer will take us to the town of Devin. Visit to the rock phenomena “The Elephant". Accommodation in a nice hotel + traditional meal dinner.
Day 12. Breakfast. One of the best hikes of the Rhodope mountains is the one between Devin and the village of Borino. The area, crossed by this route offers some of the best panoramic views and diverse landscapes. Lunch will be a picnic. The walk takes some 5-6 hours. Short transfer (40 min.) back to our hotel in Devin. Same accommodation, dinner and overnight.
Day 13. Breakfast. It is time for a more relaxing day. Morning transfer (2,30 h.) to the natural landmark “The Wonderful Bridges” – an amazing complex of giant rock arches, situated deep in the Rhodope forests. The bridges formed for millennia by the water and wind. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. In the afternoon, visit to Bachkovo monastery – the second largest and oldest in Bulgaria, a monument of the architecture an history. Transfer to the city of Plovdiv (1,30 h.) – the second largest city in the country. Accommodation in a nice hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 14. Breakfast. Once again, a day for cultural – historical tourism. Tour of the ancient city of Philipopolis – the nowadays Plovdiv. Visit to the Old Town, the Roman Stadium, the Ancient Theatre, etc. Lunch in a traditional restaurant. Transfer to the capital city Sofia (1,30 h.). Tour of Sofia – visit to the cathedral St. Alexander Nevski, the Parliament, the churches St. Sophia and St. George, the Sinagogue, the National Theatre. Accommodation in a nice hotel. Overnight.
Day 15. Breakfast. Transfer to Sofia airport. Goodbye.
- All the accommodations, mentioned in the program
- All the dinners, mentioned in the program
- All the breakfasts, mentioned in the program
- All the lunches, mentioned in the program
- All the transportations
- All the tickets and taxes for the outdoor activities
- The instant assistance of a licensed, english speaking mountain guide
- All the tickets for cultural – historical and natural landmarks
Price does not Include:
- Entrance tickets for mineral pool complex in Dobrinishte resort (day 8)
- Dinner in Sofia (day 14)
- All the drinks, during dinners
- Tickets for museums and hitorical monuments
- Tips and personal expences
Minimum/maximum participants: 2 to 18
Tour difficulty: Moderate
Suitable for: People with some mountain experience in good shape; children elder than 14 y. o.