Experience the very best of the Bulgarian mountains and alpine hiking during this guided walking holiday in the Pirin and Rila Mountains.
During this week long holiday you will climb the Balkans’ tallest summits: Musala (2925m/9596ft) in Rila and Vihren (2914m/9560ft) in Pirin.
You will walk in huge national parks with scenic alpine meadows and serrated summits, glacier lakes, stone rivers and rare plant and animal life. A visit to Rila Monastery, one of Bulgaria’s most famous sights, is also included.
Accommodation in Rila and PiriN
During this two-centre walking holiday you will stay in you will stay in three star and family-run hotels. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Breakfast and dinner are included in this walking holiday.
Walking in Pirin and Rila
The walks are challenging and suited to very fit people experienced in alpine walking. The programme is based in two centres (one each in the Pirin and the Rila), allowing the routes to be additionally adapted to the group’s wishes and requirements. During the walks you will only need to bring a small day backpack with supplies of water, food, and clothing for the day. There are sufficient alternative routes in case of unfavourable weather conditions.
Pirin and Rila walking holiday itinerary
It is possible to extend the programme by booking additional nights in Sofia before or after the tour, or book day excursions with your hosts to culture centres like Plovdiv, the Bachkovo Monastery, Koprivshtitsa, Starosel, or Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 1 – You will be met at Sofia Airport and transferred to the first centre in Bansko at the foot of Mount Pirin.
Day 2 – Chair cable car to the Bezbog Hut. This is the setting-off point for the trek to the Polezhan Summit (2851m/9354ft) which offers one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Pirin, over 17 stunning glacier lakes, including the largest Popovo Lake (30m/100ft deep). (5hrs of walking; 8km/5miles; climbing and descending 650m/2100ft)
Day 3 – Today, you’ll visit one of the most picturesque parts of the Pirin: the Banderishki Lakes Cirque. The trek through the Todorina Porta takes you directly to the Yulen Nature Reserve, from where, by way of the Todorini Ochi Lakes, you’ll descend into virgin fir groves to the Demyanitsa Hut. From here, you’ll follow a shady path along the Demyanitsa River. (6-7hrs of walking; 16km/10miles; climbing 700m/2300ft and descending 1100m/3650ft)
Day 4 – The programme for today is to climb Vihren: Bulgaria’s second-highest and the Pirin’s highest summit. Breathtaking views offer themselves as you climb through the Golem Kazan area bounded by the 400m/1300ft tall northern face of Vihren. (6-7hrs of walking; 9km/5,5miles; climbing and descending 1000m/3300ft.)
Day 5 – You will leave the Pirin mountains and set off for Rila. The first stop is the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards, you’ll travel on to the Panichishte Resort, where you may visit the Skakavitsa Waterfall (70m/230ft) before supper. (3hrs of walking, climbing and descending 250m/800ft.)
Day 6 – You’ll go by cable car to the foot of the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. Trekking past the Lakes, you’ll continue along the crest where you can enjoy further stunning views towards the Urdini and Elenski Lakes and the Rila Monastery in its deep valley beneath. Passing the Malyovitsa Summit, you’ll descend into the valley of the same name and settle into a family hotel at the village of Govedartsi. (7hrs of walking; 18km/11miles; climbing 800m/2600ft and descending 1200m/3960ft)
Day 7 – Today, you’ll climb the Balkans’ highest summit: Musala (2925m/2596ft). A cable car takes you from the Borovets Resort to the setting-off point for the trek. The serrated wall of Musala never leaves sight as you’ll ascend through stone rivers and past glacier lakes and alpine huts. The genuinely impressive view from the peak to the surrounding mountains offers a deserving end to the whole adventure. (6hrs of walking; 13km/8miles; climbing and descending 750m/2460ft)
Day 8 – Transfer from Govedartsi to Sofia Airport.
Dates and Availability
Single supplement for this walking holiday is €80.-. This holiday has a few guaranteed dates each year, but private group departures outside the scheduled dates are possible upon request. Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.