The mountains of Rila and Pirin are one of the highest on the Balkan Peninsula. With their Alpine type of landscape, impressive landscapes, circuit lakes and millenary forests, these mountains offer perfect conditions for tourism, mountain biking and alpinism.

The admirers of the wild nature could enjoy the large number of wild animals and plants (bears, wolves, owls, wild goats, trees from the exceptionally rare kind Pinоs Leukodermis) whose areal are the National parks of Rila and Pirin. Due to its geographical situation and climate characteristics Bulgaria enjoys long and warm summer that allows us to enjoy outdoor trips for a long time.

BASIC INFORMATION

The National park of Rila – one of the very few regions in Europe where still the human influence is reduced to highest extent and we could enjoy privacy among the wild nature. Here we will explore some of the highest spots on the Balkan Peninsula – Malyovitza peak (2 729m.)

The Rila monastery it’s the „Pearl” in the crown of the Christian Orthodox monasteries in Bulgaria. For ages it has kept the Christian spirit of the Bulgarians, while their lands were under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. This place, towards which the Bulgarians refer with the biggest love and respect, give us an extraordinary point of view towards the Medieval culture and traditions.

The National park of Pirinthis mountain, with strongly Alpine type of character, strip and inaccessible peaks, Circuit lakes, marble rock formations, millenary trees and exotic plants, the home of the supreme god Perun, offers us another unforgettable experience.

Banskoa small town with 6000 inhabitants, famous for their hospitality, traditional cuisine and folk music. Bansko is a starting point for every route in Pirin mountain.

The capital of Bulgaria Sofia – one of the oldest towns in Europe. After conquering the  high peaks, we indulge into the contemporary life of Bulgaria. We save some time to visit the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian  church, the modern city-center, time for shopping or just a calm wandering along the green streets of Sofia.

ITINERARY

Day 1
Flight to Sofia. Transfer and accommodation at hotel****. Dinner. Short presentation of the program and the guides.

 Day 2
Transfer to “Aleko” ski center at Vitosha mountain (1 800m). Ascent to “Cherni vrah” peak (2 290m). Descent to Zheleznitza village (1 050m).
Positive denivilation
: 490m; duration of the trek from 5 to 6 hours. Return to the hotel in Sofia. Free time for shopping and sightseeing in the city center.

Accommodation: hotel ****

Day 3
Transfer to Panichishte area (Rila mountain) 100km. Trek to Skakavitza hut (in the region of Seven Rila lakes), famous with its high waterfall. Skakavitza waterfall is one of the highest in the country with its 82m. Visit to the waterfall. Lunch – a picnic.

Skakavitza hut has been built in the region of Seven Rila lakes and is famous for its high concentration of energies, thus often visited by followers of mystic studies.
This day is suitable for beginning of the tour, the trek is not long and passes through beautiful forest at one of the National parks. The summer is also the time when the followers of the White brotherhood gather. the White brotherhood unifies followers of Peter Danov, whose follower is also the famous designer Paco Rabanne.
Positive
denivilation: approximately 250m; duration: 2 – 3 hours.

NB! The hut is situated at 1 900 metres above the sea level and it is not accessible for cars and buses. The tourists should bring clothes for the night with themselves.

Accommodation
: at the hut. Dinner.

Day 4
Breakfast. The trek starts with an impressive round-trip of one of the most beautiful glacial lakes in Bulgaria. One of them is “Babreka” lake, that looks like a kidney, it is the biggest one of the Seven Rila lakes and also the place where the “Panevritmiya” dance takes place each year (this is the ritual dance of the White brotherhood)

After the round-trip we continue towards “Ezerni” vrah, from where an amazing view towards all the lakes reveals. After that the path passes along the ridge of the mountain and leads us to Malyovitza peak (2 729m). Descent to Malyovitza Alpine center. Lunch – a picnic.
The region of Malyovitza is famous for its routes for rock climbing and alpinism. This is a center with special meaning for those addicted to mountaineering and adventures.
A day full of amazing views, which we enjoy, while passing through one of the most emblematic zones for Bulgarian mountaineering.
Positive
denivilation: approx. 1 300m (accumulated negative denivilation: approx. 1 400 m); duration: about 10 hours.

Accommodation: hotel **. Dinner.

Day 5
Breakfast. Transfer by bus to Borovetz ski center – 50 min. This day is dedicated to the scent of Musala peak (2 925m). In the beginning the path passes through a pine-trees forest, to take us to the high mountain views and Musala hut.
Our trek ends in the foothills of the peak itself – “Ledeno ezero” backstop. From here we have several options, depending on the tourists physical conditions: a direct asent to the peak (40 min.) and getting back to the backstop or a rest at the backstop. Lunch – a picnic.
A day with big ascent which will take us at the foothills of the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula. There is an opportunity for choosing when the climbing of the peak to happen: the same day or to have a rest and make it on the next day.
Positive denivilation: 1 400m; duration between 6 and 7 hours.

NB! “Ledeno ezero” backstop and ¨Musala” hut are situated at a zone, not accessible for vehicles. The tourists should bring clothes for the night with themselves, we also recommend to take linen with you.

Accommodation: Ledeno ezero” backstop (2 700m). The backstop has a big sleeping room for 30 people. Delicious and nourishing diner and breakfast are being offered there.

Day 6
Breakfast. Those who had preffered the rest the previous day, climb the peak. Our route goes South, along the highest ridge of Rila mountain, to take us downwards and South again to Treshtenik report village (1 600m). Transfer to the town of Bansko – 50km. Lunch – a picnic. Dinner at a “mehana” (tavern) with live folk music.
At the town of Bansko live around 6000 people and there are over 140 “mehani” (local restaurants/ taverns, typical for this region), which offer unforgettable cuisine and amazing musical experience. The walk along the paved streets of the old town could take us back 200 years ago in the old times.
A fantastic traverse, passing through a line of peaks and finally ending up at the cosy town of Bansko – a staring point for climbing Vihren peak.
Positive denivilation:
250m (negative denivilation: 1 400m); duration 6 – 7 hours

Accommodation
: hotel ***

Day 7
Breakfast. Day for a rest. Cultural programme – a visit to Dobarsko village and the Ancient church. The church at Dobarsko has been built  in 1614 and is famous with its unique painting of Jesus Christ in a spaceship.
The local folk music group will present in front of us different customs and songs. The lunch will be served in the garden of a local house, where we will try a home-made food.
Return to Bansko, free time for sightseeing, visits of the museum houses, etc. Dinner. With the help of our guides the tourists would be able to choose “mehana” (tavern) in accordance to their personal taste, with or without live music.
The hospitality of the local people, the demonstration of customs and songs, as well as the food, prepared with heart, will leave unforgettable memories among the tourists.

Day 8

Breakfast. Short transfer by bus to Vihren hut (20km). Ascent to Vihren peak (2 914m). Depending the atmospheric conditions and the physical preparation of the tourists there are different variants for its climbing. Return to Bansko. Lunch – a picnic. Dinner at Bansko.
A day dedicated to the ascent of the highest peak of Pirin mounatin and the second highest peak in Bulgaria – Vihren. Our trek will pass through a protected area in Northern Pirin, where we will find the „Baykusheva mura” – the famous millennium tree.
Positive denivilation
: 964m, duration: 6-7 hours

Accommodation:at the same hotel.

Day 9
Breakfast. Transfer to Vihren hut. Ascent to “Banderishka porta” 2 500m. Descent to Popina laka resort place 1 300m. Transfer to the town of Melnik (40km). The region, in which the town is situated, is famous for its production of red wine.
Melnik is the smallest Bulgarian town. It is announced as a town-museum and is a protected area. The good red wine, the houses in its typical architecture style and the natural sand pyramids contribute for the miraculous atmosphere of this real outdoor museum.
One more trek that takes us through the Southern part of Pirin mountain. After the last heavy trek in the mountain, the town of Sandanski, on our way to the town of Melnik, offers us pools with hot mineral water, where we could ease our muscles and re-charge ourselves with new strengths.
Positive denivilation: 550m; negative denivilation: 1 200m; duration: 6 – 7 hours.

Accommodation: hotel at the town of Melnik***

Day 10
Breakfast. A walk in the park with the sand pyramids in the region of Melnik, a trek lasting 2 hours. Visit to Rozhen monastery. Transfer to Rila monastery (120 km). Visit of the monastery. Lunch on our way to Sofia city. Arrival at Sofia. Dinner.
The last trek is very easy and is suitable for an end of our journey. The day is dedicated to the cultural programme and visits of monasteries.

Accommodation: hotel**** in Sofia

Day 11

The whole day is dedicated to a sightseeing tour of the capital city. We could visit the National historical museum, the famous Boyana church “St.Nikola”, built within the foothills of Vitosha mountain, the historical center of the city, the National Art Gallery, the Archeological museum, etc.
Of course, the tourists could choose to have a free program: shopping and other activities on demand.

Day 12
Free time for “last minute” visits or shopping. Transfer to the airport.