|DURATION: 5 days
PRICE: € 490
|DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-September
TOUR TYPE: Guided
One of the most attractive reasons to visit a country is definitely the natural wealth and diversity of landscapes! Rila mountain is “the heaven on Earth” for our small and beautiful country.
It is the highest mountain ridge and its alpine-like landscape engages the attention of experienced hikers or just nature lovers.
A short centre-based hiking program will let you explore the divine beauty of its mighty peaks, lush green valleys, and the crystal waters of the numerous glacier lakes. A vibrant rhapsody of nature noises – birds, gurgling streams, and for the lucky ones – even the call of the wildlife, will accompany you throughout the trekking days. In the evenings you can enjoy well-deserved rest with a local tasty dish! Give it a try to this unique adventure in the green embrace of Rila mountain!
Day 1: Sofia – Govedartsi
We meet you at the airport and depart together towards the beautiful village of Govedartsi, located in the foothills of Rila mountain.
Day 2: Govedartsi – The Seven Rila Lakes – Govedartsi (6-7hrs; 16-18km; +1100-1300m/-1100-1300m)
We start our trekking trip with a hike to the pearls of the mountain – The Seven Rila Lakes. To avoid the big crowds, we will hike off the beaten track until we reach the first one from the group – The Lower Lake (2100m). Each of the Lakes is honoured with a name that perfectly describes its shape or a legend around it, so our trail starts winding between rocky terraces until we reach them one by one – the Fish Lake and later The Trefoil and etc. As we gain elevation, more and more of this incredible beauty will reveal itself. In clear weather, from the highest Lake (The Teardrop – 2500m) we could admire an outstanding panoramic view of the Lakes below us.
Day 3: Govedartsi – Malyovitsa – Scary Lake/Yonchevo Lake or Mount Malyovitsa – Govedartsi (5,30-6hrs; 12-14km; +880-1040m/-880-1040m)
A short (20 mins) transfer will take us to the Central Mountain School located at the bottom of Malyovitsa Valley. From here we have several options on how to spend the day, depending on the fitness level and interests of the group.
If you had not enough of the Lakes yesterday, we can make a circular trek and visit another two marvellous lakes – Yonchevo and The Scary Lake. The name of the second one boosts the interest and for sure it will be a worthwhile experience to sit by the turquoise waters of the Lake, surrounded by mighty jagged peaks.
For the thrill-seekers, we can suggest the climb of Malyovitsa Peak – the cradle of the Bulgarian mountaineering! Towering at 2729m the peak lays above rocky rivers, glacier lakes and offers amazing panorama towards the Rila Monastery (UNESCO).
Both routes pass by the Malyovitsa hut where we can enjoy a cup of herbal tea and admire the rocky crest of the mountain that circles the hut from every side.
Day 4: Govedartsi – Borovets – Mount Musala – Borovets – Govedartsi (6hrs; 14,50km; +690m/-690m)
Our target today is the highest summit not only in Rila mountain but also at the whole Balkan Peninsula – Musala (2925 m. We will get transferred to the famous ski resort Borovets (25 mins driving time) from where we have to board on the cabin lift to start and finish the hike within the limits of the day. Our trail will zigzag around several lakes among which the highest lake at the Balkans – Icy Lake (2709 m) from where we start and the demanding stage of our climb towards the peak. Once reaching the top, you won’t regret your efforts! It is not surprising that Musala is also called the Rooftop of the Balkans – from there you can turn around and see the marble peaks of Pirin, the long green chain of Balkan mountains (Stara Planina) and many more from the folded relief of Bulgaria.
Day 5: Govedartsi – Sofia
Govedartsi – Sofia airport (1 hr and 30 mins) – time to say goodbye to your hiking tour!
Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still, this varies a lot on the terrain and hiking experience of each client.
> 750 € per person in twin/dbl room (in a group of 2-3 persons)
> 490 € per person in twin/dbl room (in a group of 4-5 persons)
Single room supplement: 75 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; accommodation in 3-star/family hotels (en-suite rooms); breakfast and supper; English-speaking mountain guide; chair lift tickets and all local taxes.
Price does not include: drinks and other meals; mountain maps; medical insurance; entry fees and personal expenses.
Best period: mid-June – mid-September
Joining the tour: The tour is organized on private basis only. There are no scheduled group departures, which you could potentially join individually.