WINTER FAIRY TALE IN BULGARIA
The Balkan peninsula is named after the mountain chain, that crosses all of Bulgaria from west to east, splitting the country in halfs. The Balkan range, or the Old Mountain, as locals call it, is a magnificent nature landmark. With it's 700 km length and altitude up to almost 2400 meters above sea, this natural wall offers incredible diversity of terrains – rocky and gentle slopes, high summits and platoes, caves, river gorges and vertical rock walls, pine and oak forests, jungle-like woods and much more.
But Balkan mountains are much more than that! They are the keepers of Bulgarian spirit, culture and traditions, they have central role in the history of the nation – our most sacred land. This tour will allow you enjoy the beautiful, untouched nature, the local traditions, crafts and cuisine of the Old Mountain. And during the most magical season – the winter – you will experience your best vacation.
Day 1. Arriving at Sofia airport and meeting with the tour guide. Transfer to the Central Balkan mountains and the little town of Apriltsi. Accommodation in a splendid, comfortable family hotel in the woods. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2. Breakfast. Short morning transfer (15 min.) to the starting point of our first snowshoe trek. The trail crosses a beautiful century old oak forest and for two hours leads to the famous Pleven hut, situated on a meadow, below the main ridge. From here there is an absolutely fantastic view towards the rockiest part of the Balkan mountains – the North Djendem Nature Reserve – a vast labyrinth of vertical cliffs, gullies, frozen waterfalls and rock towers. Lunch will be a picnic. Descent back to the vehicle and return to the hotel. Same accommodation. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3. Breakfast. Today is a day to witness the culture and traditions of the region. After short transfer (15 min.) we will visit the Oreshaka village, where numerous craftsmen have their workshops. Here they display their works and the process of the making, in which guests can participate. Lunch at a traditional restaurant. Next is another 15 minute transfer to the Troyan monastery – the biggest and most popular in north Bulgaria. The monastery was built in the first years of 17th century and is keeper of the icon “The Threehanded Virgin Mary”, which is believed to be miracle working. Visit to the nearby museum of the wildlife of Balkan mountains. Return to our hotel and same accommodation. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4. Breakfast. It is time for hiking again. The short morning transfer will take us to the beginning of the Vidima eco path – an amazing trail of wooden stairs and bridges, that culminates at the third highest waterfall in Bulgaria – Vidimsko Praskalo (81 m.), frozen at this season. Lunch will be a picnic. Once again this trek offers stunning views of the Central Balkan mountains. Return to the vehicle and our family hotel. Same accommodation. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5. Breakfast. Morning transfer (45 min.) will take us high in to the mountain, where the trek starts towards the main ridge of the Balkan range. Through some beautiful forests, with the help of the snowshoes, we reach the Haidushka Pesen hut, overlooking the north slopes of the mountain – a must see view. Lunch will be a picnic. Through the natural reserve Kozya Stena (Goat wall), the trail descents to the village of Chiflik, where the vehicle will await. Return to our hotel and same accommodation. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6. Breakfast. Transfer to the town of Troyan, where visitation of the Regional Ethnographic Museum will take place. Here we will get to know the lifestyle and arts from the past centuries of this part of Bulgaria. Next is time for real relaxation! We will visit an open-air hot mineral water pool in the nearby village of Shipkovo. Lunch in a traditional local tavern. In the afternoon – transfer to Sofia, the capital Bulgaria. Accommodation in a hotel, situated in the historical center of the city. Overnight.
Day 7. Breakfast. Half day tour of the capital city – visit to all the historical sites: the ruins of ancient Serdica, the National Theater, the st. Alexander Nevski cathedral, the st. Sophia church, the Rotunda st. George and much more. Transfer to Sofia airport. Departure.
- 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 specialized equipment, needed for this tour (snowshoes and trekking poles)
- All the transportations
- The instant assistance of a licensed, english speaking mountain guide
Price does not Include:
- All the drinks, during dinners
- Tickets for museums and historical monuments
- Tips and personal expenses
Minimum/maximum participants: 4 to 18
Tour difficulty: Easy
Suitable for: This tour is suitable for people with no or little mountaineering experience and families with children older than 8 years.