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Trekking in Bulgaria, 8-day Guided trek around Rila and Pirin

Join UIMLA certified guide Snezhana Damyanova on this 8-day guided trek around Rila and Pirin. This trek includes a visit to the Rila Monastery, the Seven Rila Lakes and a guided tour of Sofia city center.

Mountain RangeBalkan Mountains
Duration8 days
Offer periodJun, Jul, Aug
Skill LevelIntermediate
Fitness LevelFit
Type of tripPrivate

Highlights

  • Discover Bulgaria's highest and most beautiful mountains- Rila and Pirin

  • Visit the monastery of Rila (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

  • Hike along The Seven Rila Lakes

  • Guided tour of Sofia

Description

Experience the best of Bulgaria during this 8-day guided trek around Rila and Pirin.

Bulgaria may be small in size, but it is rich in its strikingly diverse nature. This is the perfect opportunity to discover Bulgaria’s highest and most beautiful mountains on foot. During this trek around Rila and Pirin, we will also visit the ancient Rila Monastery, a one-of-a-kind UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We will spend eight marvelous days immersed in nature. Together, we will summit Musala and Vihren, the two highest peaks in Bulgaria. From the top of these peaks, we will have some incredible views!

During our time together, we will also hike along the famed Seven Rila Lakes. These glacial lakes sit between 2,100 and 2,500 meters above sea level and are interconnected by small streams. The many cascades and waterfalls in this area are truly a sight to behold!

In addition to mountains and lakes, our visit to the Rila Monastery will surely be a highlight of this program. The Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in all of Bulgaria. The monastery’s astounding architecture that will make you wonder how it was possibly built in the year 927! Inside the monastery, we will be able to see some amazing artwork, including frescos and intricate details on the ceilings and walls.

Before our time together comes to an end, I will lead you on a guided tour of Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city. I will show you Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, St. George Rotonda and many other famous sites of this fascinating city and its history.

This program offers you the opportunity to explore both the natural and cultural sides of Bulgaria. We will re-connect with nature in the mountains and lakes and also immerse ourselves in ancient history at some of Bulgaria’s most important historical and cultural sites.

Looking for a shorter option? Check out my guided day hike on Mount Musala in Bulgaria.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Sofia/ Bansko

Arrival in Sofia. Transfer to Bansko (150 km). Here we will stay for three nights in a family-run guesthouse.

Day 2: Vihren hut/Todorina porta pass/ Demyanitsa hut

Transfer to Vihren hut, where the hiking will begin. We will trek by several beautiful lakes, climb the Todorina porta Pass (2,560 m) and visit the glacial lakes near Demyanitsa hut. Transfer back to Bansko.

5-6 hours on trail. Ascent 600 m/ Descent 1060 m.

Day 3: Vihren hut/ Vihren peak (2914 m)

Transfer to Vihren hut, where the hiking to the second highest peak in Bulgaria will begin. We will reach between the peaks Vihren and Kutelo from where we will continue on the marble ridge to the peak. Here, we will see one of the most stunning panoramic views of Pirin. Transfer back to Bansko.

7 hours on trail. Ascent 1050 m/ Descent 1050 m.

Day 4: Bansko/Rila monastery/ Sapareva banya

We will travel to the Rila monastery. Rila Monastery was founded in 10th century. It is the largest monastery in Bulgaria and is regarded as the most important cultural, architectural and historical monument in Bulgaria. It is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next we will visit the “pyramides” of Stob village. These pyramides are a magnificent natural form sculptured by time and erosion.

We will travel to Sapareva banya.

Day 5: 7 Rila lakes/ Samokov

Transfer to Panichishte and ride on a chair lift to 2,100 meters. The Seven lakes are situated at different altitude and each one is given a name – The Twin lake, The Kidney, The Eye, etc. We go on a circular hike visiting at least five of the lakes with possibility to climb to the highest ones. Transfer to Samokov.
5 hours on trail. Ascent 500 m/ Descent 500 m

Day 6: Malyovitsa peak or Malyovitsa hut

This hike is in one of the most impressive valleys of Rila which became a symbol for Bulgarian mountaineering. The trail follows the river for about an hour to Malyovitsa hut from where the climb to the peak begins.
7-8 hours on trail. Ascent 1 000 m/ Descent 1 000 m for the peak or +/- 300 m for the hut

Day 7: Borovets/ Musala peak (2925 m)

Transfer to Borovets. From there, we take the gondola to 2,300 m. Musala is the highest peak in the Balkans. We start with an easy walk to the hut, then continue passed several lakes to reach the summit. The peak hosts a Meteorological station since 1932.
6 hours on trail. Ascent 600 m/ Descent 600 m

Day 8: Samokov/ Sofia/ Departure

After breakfast, we will head to Sofia to do our tour of the city center. We will see Aleksander Nevski cathedral, St. George Rotonda and more!

Later we will travel to the airport.


About the guide

guide profile img

I was born and grew up in the town of Samokov and mountains have always been part of my life in one way or another - from surroundings they turned into passion that absorbed my free time and later determined my way of life.

I have an experience of guiding English and French groups (for Vision du monde) in the Bulgarian mountains, organizer of tailor-made travels.

I am a passionate traveller interested in photography, skiing or simply discovering new places.


For booking assistance

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Prices per person

Group of 1

EUR 1928 each

Group of 2

EUR 964 each

Group of 3

EUR 779 each

Group of 4

EUR 696 each

Group of 5

EUR 696 each

Group of 6

EUR 635 each

Want a different number of travellers?

Price includes

• Guiding fee

• Accommodation

• Lifts tickets

• Transport during the trip

• Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Price details

• The price includes: transfers according to program, 3 nights in a family-run guesthouse in Bansko, 1 night in a family-run guesthouse in Sapareva banya, 3 nights in 3* hotel in Samokov, 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners, lift tickets (Panichishte, Musala), English speaking mountain guide. The price excludes: flight ticket, insurance, meals and beverages not mentioned, other personal expenses.


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