Join Nikolay, a UIMLA-certified guide on this hike through the Balkan Peninsula! You will see everything from crystal-clear rivers to ancient monasteries.
Calling all lakeside hikers for an unforgettable 2 days in the Balkan Peninsula! Here, we will be able to see all of the magic that nature has to offer.
The Rila Mountains are arguably the most boasted-about mountain range in the Balkan Peninsula. And the word,”Rila” meaning “Water Mountain” in old Slavic, might give you a good reason as to why. The Rila Mountains’ highest summit is located at 2,925 meters above sea level and the mountain range still manages to house deep gorges, a UNESCO world heritage site (the Rila Monastery) and over 150 lakes, 7 of which we will get to go out and explore. These lakes include: the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake.
We will begin our trip in the capital city of Sofia before being transported to Panichishte resort area where a chairlift will carry us to the base of our hike. From there, we will hike about 5-6 hours to see all of the 7 lakes up close, and even enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Eventually, after passing the Razdela, we will descend to the Ivan Vazov hut (2300m) and for dinner and our accommodation. After enjoying breakfast the following morning we will begin our descent of 6-7 hours to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Rila Monastery. The day will be filled with many panoramic views of the forest and mountains, and once the hike concludes, we will transport everyone back to Sofia.
This 2-day trip is intermediate in terms of its difficulty, as we will be hiking about 6 hours on average per day. This trip covers meals, accommodation and transportation, as well, and there is also a discount for people in groups of 2 or more.
So, if you have ever wanted to ogle at the crystal-clear lakes nestled within the Balkan Peninsula, this is the trip for you! And if you are interested in exploring more of the Bulgarian mountainside, be sure to check out my trip trekking to Musala Peak!
After meeting in the capital city of Sofia, transportation will be provided to the Panichishte resort area, where we take a chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut. Once we arrive there, we will start our hike to explore all the lakes (the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake) on the way to Ivan Vazov hut, where we will stay the night.
After breakfast we will start our descent to Rila monastery. This day is full with beautiful mountain panoramas and forest trails. After visiting the monastery, transportation will be provided back to Sofia.
I started snowboarding when only a few people were doing it. At the time, it was just an emerging sport. We used to experiment modifying our equipment by hand. We didn't know about first lines or powder days, we were simply having fun and enjoying amazing snow.
As things got more serious, I gained experience and learned more about the mountains. I found so many new possibilities!
From the mountains, I learned how to enjoy with just the essentials, to travel lightly and to cherish the company of a friend on the snow. But I also learned responsibility and learned from my mistakes.
This passion led me in 1994 to the Himalayas, where the beauty of the scenery and the amazing peaks were almost overwhelming. In summer, I started exploring the mountain and in this way I discovered climbing.
All of this inspired me to become a professional. Now I have a Ski Instructor Qualification Class C, a Professional Mountain Leader UIMLA Qualification and in 2009 I became the first Bulgarian snowboard guide. Since 2017, I'm a snowboard Instructor qualification Level “3” and international ISIA.
Nikolay is an experienced and very helpful guide. He provided us with 3 very good days of varied skiing and touring in sometimes difficult weather conditions. Nikolay assessed our aspirations and our abilities and provided the perfect combination of skiing and touring experience for us in conditions which were sometimes challenging. In addition to his very good service on the snow, he sorted out the perfect accommodation for our needs and very efficiently sorted out our airport transfers. He is very good company and his love of the mountains is infectious. I strongly recommend him.
Best guy, very experienced and friendly. Knows the Bansko Mountains perfect! Was a pleasure gettin to know Niki!
Unfortnately we had very little snow in Bansko at the time of our trip, despite the bad snow conditions we had a great time in the mountains and a great ski touring experience. Him and his team is really friendly and it feels like they try hard to make the tour as good as possible without jeopardizing safety. He also helped us arrange equipment at a local store in Bansko since one of us didn\'t have touring skis. I could definitely imagine coming back to Bansko and would gladly book another tour with Nikolay, hopefully with some more snow.
Did a trip in Feb 2019 with Nikolay. This is the second year we have been with him. Brilliant day out with hiking and riding off the beaten track. I would highly reccomend this if you\'re looking for an experience off the slopes!!!
We had 2 very professional guides whom we enjoyed very much. But this is a medium moderated course and it\'s not for people with no experience. It was a full day trip.
we approached Explore - Share to find a guide for the Via Ferrata Malyovitsa in Bulgaria. Nikolay Pavlov responded and from this moment remain in ongoing communication to make sure we receive a great service. he was very responsive and was kind enough to assist us in planning additional hiking days. on the July 31st we met one of his guides - Stoimaen (AKA - Bambita) and another guide - Elena which led my partner and myself through the Via Ferrata with a lot of good spirit and patience (and passion).they made the introduction to Bulgarian outdoors much enjoyable. The additional tips we received from this great team enhanced the quality of our Bulgarian adventure. much recommended. Regards Natasha & Tomer
I only have good things to say about this day trip! Nikolay is a really good and experienced guide. We had such a great time in this via ferrata! Do not hesitate to book this :)
This is our second time with Nikolay and it did not disappoint. I would highly recommend!!
Nikolay Pavlov is an experienced guide with intimate knowledge of the terrain and conditions in Bansko. A great half day trip with two summits on a very short notice. Additionally good company to ride with.
Nikolay is an awesome guide who is clearly very experienced. We planned to climb+ride Todorka in late January but due to snow storms and high winds we had to postpone the trip. However as soon as the conditions had improved and the avalanche risk was manageable Nikolay called me to say its game on for tomorrow if that works for me. We had an awesome day riding and I learnt so much from Nikolay about Avalanches, exposure and climbing. Would definitely recommend! Cheers!
One of the best powder days skiing of my life! An amazing combination of couloirs, tree runs and open powder fields all accessible by lifts. Nikolay is a great guide who judged the abilities of the group and chose routes to suit everyone! Highly recommended trip, excellent value for money!
We picked the perfect day. The off-piste was was incredible and Nikolay was informative, extremely knowledgable and professional. We felt safe at all times as Nikolay was in constant comms with others on the mountain and the tour was managed to minimise risk of avalanches. Will happily book via Explore Share again. Thanks.
I\'m glad to write a short review for you. Nikolay is very friendly and communicative person. He gave me a lot of information about Bansko and coming tour. Nikolay\'s Russian is very good, so it was very convenient to talk my native language instead of English. We met a day before splitboarding, he helped me to tune rented splitboard, avalanche equipment and gave general instructions about splitboard. The next 2 days of splitboarding were great, Nikolay and his friends were very responsible and tried to do anything to make our tour nice and safe. 5/5!
Both Nikolay and the other guide with us (apologies for forgetting his name) were highly qualified and experienced. They found us the best conditions available and made sure we had a good time while staying safe.
Good guide! Friendly, safe and made the best day out of the current conditions. This day was for sure the high light of our week in Bansko. Thanks!
Niki is a great guide we would definitely recommend him to anyone that wants to go off piste.
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I learned à lot about Bulgarie. . Not only about nature, but also culture and politics. Great thanks to Nikolay!.
Nikolay was amazing. he was both professional and friendly at the same time. he did everything to make sure that i had a great experience including picking me up early to ensure i was the first up the mountain which i loved. I would definitely recommend him again.
Niki was a great guide for ski-touring. He was very clear and supportive in the preparation of the trip (itineraries, ski renting, hotel, taxis). When we finally met in Bansko, after 5 minutes I understood we were in good hands. He was indeed very much secure and adapting to our needs. He knows everybody in the place, always aware of the good spots and very keen to let you discover his region. He also turned to be an excellent guide for after-ski activities. He puts all his energy to ensure your experience will be unforgettable, which he greatly succeeded.
Very nice experience with Niki and Yavo. We did not have the best snow conditions but Niki was able to find very good skying and mountaineering spots in this area that he knows better than anyone. He also took care of most aspects (airport transit, ski rental, etc), which made this 3 days trip very efficient ! For the after-ski, Bansko and the surrounding area offer lots of opportunities. I\'ll definitely come back shortly.
Great free-ride ski experience with Niki and Javo, our two very friendly and knowledgeable guides. Probably the best guides you can get in Bansko! In addition, Niki helped to arrange for everything: transport to/from the airport, indication of best places to eat & chill-out. Definitely strongly recommended!
Very satisfied of those 3 days ski touring with Niki. He is really a one stop shop guide: he arranged for everything from A to Z: transfer from Sofia to Bansko, cheap and nice hotel, ski rental, shovel/arva/probe, and, last but not least 3 days of exciting ski touring in Bansko backcountry. Despite the fact that the conditions were far from ideal (avalanche risk) he managed to find an interesting programme for each day, taking into account the level of the participants and the safety of everybody. Bansko is definitely a place with a lot of potential for ski touring: we will be back!
I have spent 3 tremendous days of ski touring and freeride ski with Nikolay and his colleague Javo in Bansko. We were a group of 8 skiers with both beginners and more experienced people. Beyond their professionalism and wide mountain expertise, Nikolay and Javo where caring and very friendly guys. We had an incredible skiing experience in the wonderful landscapes of the Pirin mountain ranges. In addition, Nikolay recommended probably the best places to sleep, eat and relax in Bansko while avoiding the expensive touristic addresses. I strongly recommend him.
The trip out with Nikolay was the best days experience I have ever had snowboarding. Nikolay came across as very experienced and the safety of the group was very important to him. We rode lines and terrain exactly like we wanted and were also able to hike to the very top of the mountain which was great in itself. If I go back I would look to go out with him again and would recommend to others no problem.
The Trip was an experience, I especially enjoyed the first day which was just \"the perfect day\", sunny, good snow and several good rides!
I decided to take guidance from Nikolay despite knowing that snow conditions were not very good for off-piste riding. We planed to have short mix of riding near the piste and tutoring. Generally speaking - it was useful for me, and i got some very good tips and insights from Nikolay. He seems to be ok guy and knows a lot about mountain and snowboarding. I would contact him next time i want to try off piste riding or trekking in Bansko. Hopefully i will have some friends with me then.
Group of 1
|EUR 454 each|
Group of 2
|EUR 227 each|
Group of 3
|EUR 176 each|
Group of 4
|EUR 145 each|
Group of 5
|EUR 145 each|
Group of 6
|EUR 145 each|
Want a different number of travellers?
- Guiding fee
- Lifts tickets
- Transport during the trip
- Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The food included in the price is a small energy pack. The price excludes: food and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, insurance, museum entry fees