SKI TOURING (BACKCOUNTRY SKIING) IN THE RILA & PIRIN MOUNTAINS

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DURATION: 8 days
PRICE: € 1090
DIFFICULTY: 3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: February-March
START/FINISH: Sofia
TOUR TYPE: Guided

If you are in love with the mountains no matter if they are blooming in green or covered with cold white snow, our guided programs will truly satisfy you! For the thrill-seekers, we created a special program for ski touring that allows you to encounter the highest summits in Pirin and Rila mountains and to descend down to famous resorts through powder snow. After every thrilling slide down we will reward our energy either with spa procedures, tasty local dishes or cultural activities. Planned in the itinerary of the tour is also a visit of a UNESCO site – the iconic Rila Monastery.
Strenuous backcountry skiing tour in the highest Bulgarian mountains, with some challenging stages, meant for experienced skiers. Depending on the weather forecast and the actual snow conditions, your guide can change the program on spot, offering other options if the ones as per itinerary happen to be not too safe.


Day 1:
Sofia – Govedartsi
Arrival at Sofia Airport and transfer to the village of Govedartsi (1 hr and 30 mins).
Day 2: Govedartsi – Mount Malyovitsa – Govedartsi (6-7hrs; + 1000m/-1000m)
After a strong breakfast, we head off towards our first destination – the Malovitsa Valley. We will park the car at the Central Mountain School and continue towards the peak with the same name. We will make our first descent all the way down back to the Valley and return to our accommodation for a well-deserved rest. Transfer to and from the Malyovitsa resort is 20 mins in each direction.
Day 3: Govedartsi – Mount Musala – Panichishte/Sapareva Banya (5hrs; +600m/-1600m)
Today we will conquer the premier summit not only in the majestic Rila mountain but also at the whole Balkan Peninsula. A 30-minute transfer towards the famous ski resort Borovets will give the start of the day. We will board on the cabin lift of Yastrebets. We start our trip towards the peak but for the final stage, we have to remove our skis and use crampons. To reach the summit we will use a fixed still rope, however, the previous climbing experience is not required. A short break on the top to admire the divine beauty of the white sea of peaks will leave us breathless. We can recharge our batteries with a herbal tea from the weather station, then put our skis on and hit the slopes all the way down to Borovets. If the snow cover is not sufficient at the lowest located slopes, we may use the lift facilities to end the trip. After the activity, we continue towards Panichishte resort, another place popular with the lovers of the winter sports. (in case of lack of availability with the hotels, we may spend the overnight in the closest Sapareva Banya spa resort, both locations are in Rila mountain).
Day 4: Panichishte/Sapareva Banya – The Seven Rila Lakes – Panichishte/Sapareva Banya (6hrs; +400m/-1000m)
The world-known group of glacier lakes will be now covered with thick snow and we can encounter the raw beauty of the white desert now tranquil as it never was during the crowded summer months. You won’t be able to admire their unique shapes but undoubtedly the glittering snow under the rays of the sun will enchant you. We will use the chairlift that ends up by a hut, where our trail starts. We continue toward the so-called Lake’s Peak. On the top, we can stop to observe the snowy peaks around and move along our thrilling descend. At the end of the day, we can pamper ourselves in the hot mineral waters of the pools in Sapareva Banya (if time permits).
Day 5: Panichishte/Sapareva Banya – Rila Monastery (UNESCO) – Bansko
One day of our adventurous program will be devoted to the cultural exploration in the face of the largest monastery complex in Bulgaria – Rila Monastery. This will be also a chance to catch your breath before the upcoming challenges in Pirin mountain. The magnificent complex has a lot to show to its visitors who came here no matter what time of the year it is. Yet in the winter is less popular so we could enjoy the tranquil garden with the marvellous tаmple in the centre of it, depicted both from inside and outside. When we are ready to leave the Holy Closter, we will continue our ride towards Bansko but before that, we can make a stop in the nearby village of Banya or Dobrinishte resort (both located a few kilometres from Bansko and famous with their hot mineral springs). The evening we will spend in a local tavern, trying delicious meals. It seems that today will be a lazy day!
Day 6: Bansko – Mount Polezhan/Mount Bezbog – Bansko (5-6hrs; ascent/descent may vary based on weather conditions)
A short car transfer (30 mins) will take us to the bottom station of the chair lift that goes up to Bezbog hut (2240m). We will use the facilities to reach our starting point towards the peaks Polezhan or Bezbog. Depending on the snow and weather conditions we can choose of them or even both. Potentially we will descend back to reality through Demyanishka Жalley straight to Bansko or the ski zone. In case of not sufficient snow cover, we may have to make several ascends and descends but this will be rewarded with splendid vistas.
Day 7: Bansko – Mount Todorka/Mount Hvoinati/Mount Vihren – Bansko (5-6hrs; ascent/descent may vary based on weather conditions)
Depending on weather and snow conditions we will decide on spot which trails to take for our last adventure among the winter deserts. Lifts may be used in some occasions, for example, if we have to reach the foot of Todorka Peak. The Descend from the peak may involve sloping across some forested areas. The trails towards the other two options start from the upper station of Banderishka Polyana 1650m. If the “ski road” is operating, we can descend towards Bansko using it.
Day 8: Bansko – Sofia
Transfer from Bansko to Sofia (2 hrs 30-45 mins). If time permits, we can stroll around the city centre before your flight or drop you off directly at the airport.


THE TOUR IS DONE ON PRIVATE BASIS ONLY (MIN. 4 PAX), DURING FEBRUARY AND MARCH

Price: 1090 € per person in twin/dbl room
Single room supplement: 120 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers included in the itinerary; accommodation and catering according to the itinerary; qualified English-speaking mountain guide; and all local taxes.
Price does not include: equipment hire (touring skis; ski touring bindings; skins; crampons for skis; poles; alpine touring boots boots – with rubber sole and ski/walk mode); avalanche safety gear (shovels, probes, and transceiver – obligatory!); crampons for ski boots (obligatory!); entry fees (incl. such for thermal pools), lift tickets; tips; obligatory (!) travel insurance with the proper winter sports coverage.
Group size: Min. 4 persons (1 tour leader can safely take care of up to 5-6 passengers; larger groups will require a second guide; please contact us if this is the case, so we can send you a proper price offer)
Accommodation: three-star hotels and family guesthouses; en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper included.


Customers’ reviews for this particular tour you can check >>> HERE <<<
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