A stunning alpine trekking adventure. If you love exploring the beautiful and hidden parts of Europe then this is a trip you won’t want to miss! Our 8 day Bulgarian alpine trekking adventure explores the awe-inspiring Pirin National Park as we walk through this stunningly beautiful mountainous lakeland region. We ascend Mount Vihren (the 2nd highest peak in Bulgaria) and trek through breathtaking alpine tree forests. In the foothills of the Rila Mountains we will visit one of the most impressive 17th century churches in Bulgaria with a two day trek staying in a mountain hut overnight. We finish the 2 day trek and arrive at the famous Rila Monastery and Museum and stay there sleeping in the monk’s quarters. This is a really interesting alpine trek which is perfect for anyone with average fitness levels.
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Arrive Sofia and transfer to Bansko by mini-bus to the 3 star Hotel Kralev Dvor (www.hotel-kralevdvor.com). We will take a walk to the old town of Bansko and experience its charm and have an early evening drink at one of the many traditional mehanas. This evening we can relax and enjoy the hotel facilities and indulge in a full 3 course Bulgarian meal in a local restaurant.
Depart Bansko for the nearby village of Dobrinishte by mini-bus and travel through a very scenic valley. We will then take an old-fashioned two-seated chairlift to reach the Bezbog mountain hut situated in the heights of the Pirin Mountains. We will start our walk from here through the stunningly beautiful mountainous region and it’s lakes. We cross over the saddle Dzhangalska Porta (about 1 hour steep walk), with superb views to both sides. The Popovo Lake as well as the Valyavishki lakes can be seen. After a break we start descending through a wide valley to reach Demyanitsa hut (5-6 hours total walking time, medium level) where we will stay overnight.
After breakfast we leave the Demyanitsa hut and continue walking in the mountains of the Pirin National Park with its richness of local flora and fauna. After breakfast we start climbing up (2-5 to 3 hours) via the Vasilashky Lakes and beautiful Todorini Eye lakes to the saddle Premkata before we start our descent to the Banderishky Lakes. A moderate 5-6 hour walk will bring you to the Vihren hut where we will spend the night.
We start the day with the ascent to Mount Vihren. At 2914m, it is the second highest peak in Bulgaria and the highest in the Pirin Mountains. A short steep descent and a walk through a breathtaking alpine tree forest will bring you back to the valley (6-7 hour walking time, moderate to difficult level). On the way down we will view the oldest measured tree in Bulgaria before being picked up and taken back to the hotel Kralev Dvor in Bansko.
Day of leisure to do as we please. There are number of optional activities you can choose, from mountain biking, rafting, horse riding, motor hang gliding, driving a mountain buggy or have an excursion around the local area at extra cost. Alternatively one might consider relaxing by the Lido pool at Dobrinishte or enjoy a spa day at the hot springs in Banya.
We leave the hotel to go to the village of Dobarsko, located in the foothills of the Rila Mountains, where we visit one of the most impressive 17th century churches in Bulgaria. From here we will start a two day trek staying in the Makedonia mountain hut overnight. We walk through the forests, pass by hut Dobarsko and continue uphill to the main rim with good views to Pirin and Rodope Mountains and nearby Greece. It is a very beautiful and moderate 5-6 hour walk.
After breakfast we soon start our descent back into the forest and along the river back to the main road. We will be taken to a local restaurant to sample local Bulgarian cuisine where fresh fish is available from the local Trout farm. We finish the 2 day trek and arrive at the famous Rila Monastery and Museum and stay there sleeping in the monk’s quarters; no need to share a room as there are only 7 monks remaining at the monastery!
The Rila monastery was founded in the 9th century by the holy Ivan Rilski, it has been the most important place for the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria ever since. This Christian monument was declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1983.
Leave the Rila Monastery and travel to Sofia for flight home.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Pioneer Expeditions