Explore-Share logo and link to home

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

Trekking in Bulgaria, 8-day Guided trek around Rila and Pirin 9
Trekking in Bulgaria, 8-day Guided trek around Rila and Pirin 7
Trekking in Bulgaria, 8-day Guided trek around Rila and Pirin 6
Trekking in Bulgaria, 8-day Guided trek around Rila and Pirin 5

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.


Balkan Mountains

8 Days

Jun - Aug




* 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


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.

Price includes

- Accommodation included

- Guiding fee

- Breakfast

- Dinner

- Transport during the trip

- Lifts tickets

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.


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 image




Mountain Leader

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.


French | English



Request more information

What people are saying about Snezhana



I loved my experience. Snezhana was brilliant and made me feel really confident and comfortable about the hike. Start to finish, the hike was so much fun. It was challenging at times with the high temperatures but felt like a massive achievement once I had completed it. The hike and my whole solo trip to Bulgaria has been life changing for me. I would highly recommend this hike, Snezhana as a guide, explore-share as a company and Bulgaria as an amazing country to visit.



Had 3 Amazing days hiking in the Rila mountains, where I could relax whilst my superb guide Snezhana, did all the navigating for me. Day 1 summit Malyovitza, 2729m great views. Day 2 the 7 Rila Lakes, stunning. Day 3 summit Musala 2925m, the highest mountain in the Balkans. Also beautiful views. Both 7 Rila Lake's and musala you take ski Lifts, which take you most way up. Did this trip between 11th to 13th September 2023. Would highly recommend. Thankyou Explore-share for making this trip for me.



We loved our day hike to Mt Musala (the highest peak in Bulgaria) with Snezhana. Her communicaton was great throughout the booking process and regarding the timing and logistics. The weather wasn't great on the day but that didn't deter us having a great hike and added to the mysteries feel in the mountains. Enjoyed Snezhana's guiding and her sharing about her other experiences in the mountain. And a nice person all around!

You may also like

Join our newsletter!

Stay up-to-date on the best adventures.