Trek to the summit of the highest peak in the Balkans and enjoy outstanding mountain walking in the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges.
Bulgaria lies at the cusp between Asia Minor and Europe, and is a fascinating country where eastern and western influences have become entwined and hospitality is engrained. Bulgaria also contains some of the most dramatic and breathtaking mountain scenery to be found anywhere in Europe and this is especially true in the Rila and Pirin ranges, the highest in the country and the entire Balkan region.
We include an ascent of the Rila giant, Musala (2,925 metres), not only the highest mountain in Bulgaria, but the highest in the entire Balkan region. In the company of a friendly, professional, English speaking Bulgarian mountain guide, you’ll be following an almost infinite series of waymarked trails, with the odd short scramble to alpine meadows, remote glacial lakes and onto spectacular ridges and summits.
Before transferring from the Rila Mountains to the marbled peaks of the Pirin range, you’ll pay a visit to Bulgaria’s most famous landmark, the beautiful Rila Monastery. Then there’s the exciting and challenging ascent of imposing Vihren (2,914 metres), the second highest mountain in Bulgaria, where clear days present jaw dropping views across to the Rila Mountains, the entire Pirin range, south to the Rodopi Mountains on the Greek border and west over to Macedonia.
This trip makes intelligent use of short vehicle transfers and Bulgarian hospitality in welcoming family run hotels.
Arrive into Sofia Airport where you will be met and transferred to Bansko (single group timed transfer).
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1962, Pirin National Park its known for its unparalleled natural beauty. Today you will climb to Polejan Peak (2,851 metres above sea level), taking around five hours. The Bezbog Lake trail weaves up and down amidst mountain pine shrubs.
A short transfer takes you to Vihren hut, visiting the second oldest tree in Bulgaria on the way. Baikusheva Mura is a huge white fir tree, approximately 1,300 years old and 28 metres high.
Then you aim to conquer Vihren peak at 2,914 metres above sea level - this is the highest peak in the Pirin range and second highest in Bulgaria.
Today you will visit the famous Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was originally built in the 10th Century by St. Ivan Rilska, and is the most famous landmark of Bulgaria, as well as the largest monastery in the country. After your visit, take an easy walk along the Rilska River, the trail leading slightly uphill to the cave hermitage and burial place of St. Ivan Rilski.
Rila National Park is the largest of the three national parks in Bulgaria. Founded in 1993, the park contains a variety of rare and endangered wildlife species. Your loop walk starts in the Seven Rila Lakes area. Located one above the other, you will pass The Tear, The Eye, The Kidney, The Twins, The Trefoil, The Fish Lake and The Lower Lake.
Today's loop hike will be within the beautiful Prekorechki Circus and along the Maliovitsa River, reaching the Scary Lake with views of steep walls and peaks such as Goliam Kupen and Goliama Popova Kapa.
After transferring to Borovets, board a gondola lift to Yastrebets Peak for the start of today's trek. A fairly even start brings you to Musala hut where you will start your uphill climb to Musala Peak. On the way you will pass by the Musala Lakes, including the coldest and highest lake in the Rila Mountains – The Icy Lake.
This morning it is possible to have a guided tour of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital and largest city. You will visit the Roman Serdika Fortifications, St. George’s Rotunda, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Ivan Vazov National Theatre, The National Assembly and the Church of St. Sophia. Later there is a single timed transfer to Sofia airport.
Price and Other Information
- Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 days from £1,029 per person
- Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 8 days from £1,399 per person
- Single room supplement: From £130
- Walking grade: Demanding to Strenuous
- Guiding: Guided Group Private-Guided
- Max alt: 2,925m
- Group size: 4-12
When to go: View Dates & Prices
- Hotels x 7
- 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
- Experienced English speaking guide
|Year||Starts||Ends||Price From (Exc. Flights)||Holiday Status||Options|
|All prices are per person. All our guided group trips have the option to be taken as a private guided itinerary. * Available: this holiday is available to book. ** Guaranteed: this holiday is available to book and is guaranteed to run.|
|2019||15 Jun||22 Jun||£1,029||Guaranteed**||Book or Enquire|
|2019||14 Sep||21 Sep||£1,029||Available*||Book or Enquire|
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