|DURATION: 5 days
PRICE: € 370
|DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-September
TOUR TYPE: Self-guided
Among hikers and the nature-lovers Pirin is considered as the most beautiful and spectacular mountain. The variety of landscapes and the rich flora and fauna are the main reasons why the mountain is also listed in UNESCO as a world natural heritage. Marble and granite peaks are towering above lush green valleys dotted with numerous blue glacier lakes. Many thrill-seekers are attracted by the opportunity to encounter more than 60 peaks rising over 2500m, among which is the second-highest peak in Bulgaria – Vihren (2914m) – planned in the itinerary of this self-guided tour. Only for a few days, you will explore the many faces of Pirin – the karst region around the Vihren summit and the more greenish and well-watered part of the range around Polezhan and Bezbog summits. Allow yourself a short break from the dynamic lifestyle and an unforgettable trekking experience over the rugged mountain crest which reward you with divine panoramic views.
N.B. – Mind that most of the treks are rather arduous and suitable for people with previous experience on rocky and steep terrain. Some stages could still have snow patches. Possessing adequate reaction in adverse weather conditions such as fog or summer storms is a must.
Day 1: Sofia – Bansko
Arrival in Sofia, transfer from the Airport, or from your accommodation in the city towards Bansko, located in the foothills of Pirin mountain (transfer time is appr. 2,30-2,45hrs). The village will be your base for the upcoming 4 nights. Depending on the time you arrive there, you may stroll around the streets in the Old Town and give a try to the local cuisine. Each day you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred back at the end of the hike. During the trekking, you will need only a small backpack.
Day 2: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Banderishki Lakes Cirque – Demyanitsa River – Bansko (6-7hrs; 16km; +615m/-1215m)
After breakfast, you will be collected and transferred to Vihren hut, a place where a lot of hiking trails start (45 mins driving time). Behind every turn on the path, the scenery will change incredibly. The trail will dip into an old source forest, part of Yulen Nature Reserve, and will take you to a group of 16 glacier lakes. Your companions throughout the day will be the gigantic jagged peaks. A pristine beauty that deserves to be immortalized on a picture. At the end of the self-guided hiking, the trail enters a shady forest and runs parallel to the playful Demyanitsa river.
Day 3: Bansko – Mount Polezhan – Bansko (5hrs; 7km; +770m/-770m)
A transfer to the nearby Gotse Delchev hut (30 mins driving time) will take you to the chairlift which you have to use to accomplish today’s target – Polezhan Summit (2851m/9354ft). The chairlift will take you to Bezbog hut with the magnificent lake behind it. From there actually starts your ascend towards the peak. Step by step stunning views will reveal themselves and the calming green colour will be everywhere around you. The trekking is not difficult, however, the last stage just before the peak could be considered as challenging. Your efforts will be rewarded with jaw-dropping panorama towards granite peaks and numerous lakes including the largest and deepest glacier lake in the mountain: the Popovo Lake. For those who wish to save their energy for tomorrow’s trek, there would be an opportunity to hike to Popovo Lake instead of Polezhan Summit (starting and ending points are the same and the trail characteristics as follows 4 hrs of walking; 6,90km; climbing and descending 770m).
Day 4: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Mount Vihren – Vihren Hut – Bansko (6-7hrs; 8km; +960m/-960m)
The highlight of your self-guided trekking is left for the last day. Every independent journey deserves a remarkable end! So it would be to attempt Pirin mountain highest summit – Vihren (2914m/9560ft). The Karst topography explains the lack of lakes and waters at all. However, this area is home to the endangered Edelweiss flower so watch your steps while hiking uphill the rocky terrain. There are several ways to reach the summit and you will trek over Golem Kazan (The Giant Cauldron). At the distant hills, you may be granted with an amazing scene – rushing wild goats. From the top, you can admire a picture that will rest in your memory for a lifetime – sea of jagged peaks and alpine valleys.
Day 5: Bansko – Sofia
Transfer from Bansko to Sofia Airport in connection with your flight (appr. 2,30hrs).
Hiking time: The time mentioned above each day is tentative. Any stops for rest, picnic, pictures are not included. The calculations are based on the average hiker’s speed to accomplish the hike on flat terrain with an additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of their body weight. However, still, the main criterion is the experience of the client and their fitness.
A DETAILED ROUTE BOOK AND MAP WILL BE PROVIDED UPON ARRIVAL
Limited time offer:
Price: 370 € per person in twin/dbl room
Single room supplement: 50 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Rent of hiking poles: 15 €/person
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers for the daily treks as per itinerary; accommodation and catering as mentioned; GPS tracks; detailed route notes in English and map.
Price does not include: extra meals and drinks; chairlift tickets (appr. 7 Euro/pp); medical insurance (make sure it has adventure sports coverage); entry fees and personal expenses.
Accommodation: three-star hotel (note this is a centre-based tour in Bansko) on bed & breakfast basis; en-suite rooms;
Group size: Min. 2 persons
Best period: mid-June – mid-September
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