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8-Day Hiking through the Bulgarian Mountains

Explore Bulgaria’s most spectacular scenery – from glacial lakes to alpine meadows - and stay in comfortable family-run hotels

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Trip Ref #8547

8-Day Hiking through the Bulgarian Mountains

Explore Bulgaria’s most spectacular scenery – from glacial lakes to alpine meadows - and stay in comfortable family-run hotels

DURATION
7 nights
LOCATION
Bulgaria
ANNUAL LEAVE
6 days off work
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
Sofia Airport
ACCOMMODATION

Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 19 reviews
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

Completing this will be a challenge, so it's only recommended for fit and experienced hikers.

Get off the beaten path and experience Bulgaria’s remote and rugged landscape

Explore the beautiful Pirin and Rila mountain ranges - considered the Alps of the Balkans

8 days of guided travel, 6 days of alpine hiking and 7 nights in friendly family-run hotels

Day 1

Bansko

Travel to the town of Bansko at the foot of Mount Pirin (2.5hrs). Check into your hotel and head out for dinner and a chance to discuss the adventure ahead with your guide and the rest of your team.

Day 2

Polezhan summit

Hiking

8km · 650m up · 650m down

Ride the cable car to the Bezbog Hut and start your hike to the summit of Mount Polezhan (2851m,) home to some incredible view over 17 blue alpine lakes. Return along an equally scenic route and then head back into town for dinner. 1 hour vehicle transfer today.

Day 3

Banderishki Lakes Cirque

Hiking

6-7hrs · 16km · 700m up · 700m down

Remember those beautiful alpine lakes? Time to visit some of them. The trail will take you over Todorina Porta (2702 m) into the Yulen Nature Reserve and past Todorini Ochi (Todora’s Eyes.) Descend through groves of fir trees and finish the day with a walk along a shady riverside path before another traditional Bulgarian meal. 40mins vehicle transfer today.

Day 4

Mount Vihren

Hiking

6-7hrs · 9km · 1000m up · 800m down

Ascend through the dramatic Golem Kazan (Giant Cauldron) beneath the sheer face of Mount Vihren (2915 m). Your guide will point out endangered edelweiss, rare wallcreeper and hopefully some shy Balkan Chamois. Enjoy the view from the top and then return to your hotel for a last night in the Pirin range. 40mins vehicle transfer today.

Day 5

The Rila Range

Hiking

3-4hrs · 7km · 300m up · 300m down

Head for your second mountain range, the beautiful Rila, stopping off at the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some exceptional frescos. Check into your guesthouse in Panichiste and take an optional hike to the Skakavitsa Waterfall (70 m,) explore the nearby woods, or just relax. 3 hours vehicle transfer today.

Day 6

Seven Rila Lakes Cirque

Hiking

7hrs · 18km · 800m up · 800m down

Take a cable car to the start of the Seven Rila Lake Cirque and hike all day through a landscape of crystal lakes, jagged ridges and alpine meadows. Ascend Malyovitsa Mountain (2729m) and drop into Malyovitsa Valley, where you’ll spend the night at a locally owned guesthouse in the village of Govedartsi.

Day 7

Mt Musala (2925 m)

Hiking

6hrs · 13km · 750m up

Time to climb the highest peak in the Balkans - Mount Musala (2925 m). Ride the cable car ride from the Borovets Resort to the trailhead and ascend past rivers, lakes and mountain huts to the summit. Enjoy the views and take a moment to appreciate what you’ve just accomplished before descending back to Govedartsi. 1 hour vehicle transfer today.

Day 8

Back to Sofia

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading back to Sofia in time for your flight home (1.5hours transfer).

Included

Guides

Experienced, English speaking guides

Accommodation

7 nights in three-star, family-run hotels and guest houses

Meals

All your breakfasts and dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 7

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Bulgarian food has a strong Mediterranean influence. Popular dishes include shopska (like a Greek salad), moussaka, pastries, stuffed vine leaves, sausages, cured meats and hearty stews. Common ingredients are yogurt, cheese, legumes and vegetables. You will be dining at a variety of restaurants, hotels, pubs and wineries. All dinners and breakfasts are included in the tour price.

What is the accommodation like?

The Mountains

You'll stay in small, three-star, family-run hotels and guest houses. These typically feature ensuite rooms with private balconies, an onsite restaurant that serves traditional Bulgarian food, Wi-Fi and stellar mountain views.

Upgrades

Solo travellers automatically stay in their own single room, however, If you're travelling as a couple or with other people and would like to share a twin/double room please let us know when booking - especially if you do not book together.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Sofia Airport

15:30 on Day 1

Ends

Sofia Airport

09:30 on Day 8

Transfers

You'll be picked up on arrival and dropped off in time for departure. Feel free to book any flight that lands up to 30 minutes before the scheduled time. If you wish to arrive earlier, you can get a taxi (15 mins) into Sofia and your host can pick you up from your accommodation. You are free to book any departing flight that leaves after 11:00.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Sofia from airports across the Uk and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Daypack for hiking
  • Waterproof liner for backpack

Clothes

  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts / skirts
  • T-shirts, underwear & socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in

Other

  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Earplugs
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle x1 ltr (2 of these if you have room)
  • Energy bars and snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Hiking Poles

Payable Before Departure

Hiking Poles

single room in 3* Sofia hotel incl. breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Payable Before Departure

single room in 3* Sofia hotel incl. breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Per Person

twin/dbl room in 3* Sofia hotel, incl. breakfast and transfer to the airport,

Payable Before Departure

twin/dbl room in 3* Sofia hotel, incl. breakfast and transfer to the airport,

Per Person

Rachel

Stefka was a fantastic guide who kept us fully informed about each of the hikes and was very knowledgeable.

Anne

Nadia Karastoyanova was an excellent guide, she was very knowledgeable about the mountains and the history of Bulgaria. She looked after us very well. The accommodation and food were good. Getting to the top of the mountains and completing the walks was very satisfying and climbing up the highest mountains of the Balkans was a bonus! The scenery was spectacular and we enjoyed seeing several new species of birds and butterflies.

Justin

Our guide knew all the secret little trails around the mountains so we saw more than other groups on similar tours. Amazing local food and a good group who felt like family after seven days.

Anne

The scenery, the wildlife and getting to the high tops of the mountains were great.

Fiona

The walking was fantastic, lovely scenery, guide excellent at managing the group.

Tayfun

Our guide Nadia (Nadezhda) was great, organization and quality of hikes also.

Liz

Great hiking and scenery, great group and our guide Nadia was friendly and looked out for us all!

Graham
The guide and the scenery were great. ...

The guide and the scenery were great.

Chantel

No frills booking and well-organised logistics from arrival at the airport, to every day scheduled activities and departure. Greater with our guide Kamen, he is very knowledgeable and brings the group together. Especially commendable for his love of his country and nature, he is a great guide and a true nature lover. Totally respect him.

Magda

The guide was really good, no request was a bother and he was really good at telling us all about Bulgaria. He even arranged a wine tasting! Hotels were lovely, and except 1 (1 night only), hosts were really good and food delicious. I could not have asked for a better holiday.

Completing this will be a challenge, so it's only recommended for fit and experienced hikers.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

The high peaks in the Rila and Pirin Mountains see high temperatures of just 6 – 10 °C in the summer. The valleys are much warmer with temperatures around 18 - 22 °C. Nights are significantly cooler and monthly rainfall ranges from 47 – 121 mm, though on average just 6 – 9 days each month are rainy. June is the wettest month of the summer.

You'll need to bring all your luggage with you, however on each day of hiking your main luggage can be left in the accommodation, or left with the transfer vehicle and driver depending on the day of the trip. You will only need to have a daypack for each day of hiking.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

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