Our Worry-Free Booking GuaranteeBook your 2022 travel with peace of mindLearn More
Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in 3 star hotels
  • 1 night multishare dorm in mountain hut
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$790USD

Walk and cycle Europe with confidence

Covid-19 safety measures
We've initiated extra cleaning and hygiene protocols on all trips

Plan with confidence
Our worry-free guarantee supports your 2021 travel plans so if it doesn’t work out, you don’t lose out

Outdoor walking and cycling trails
Social distancing comes naturally when exploring Europe’s countryside

Support and assurance
Our global team of travel experts are here to support you, with your well being our priority

Health declaration forms
Required on boat based and guided group holidays so you can travel with confidence


 
 

Overview

Trip Code: BOF

Trip highlights


  • Experiencing the untouched Rila Mountains, the highest in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula, including the highest peak Mt Musala (2925m)
  • Trekking in the Pirin Mountains, the second highest in Bulgaria and third on the Balkan Peninsula, including the highest peak Mt Vihren (2914m)
  • Visiting Rila Monastery (1147m), Bulgaria's most impressive monastery due to its size, natural surroundings, architecture, wall paintings and ancient history
  • Bansko (925m), situated at the northeastern foot of the Pirin Mountains beneath the highest and the most beautiful Karst part of the mountains, and a major ski resort

The Rila and Pirin mountain ranges of Bulgaria are home to vast alpine meadows, glacial lakes, rare vegetation and a rich variety of fauna. In the Rila Mountains, the highest peak, Musala (2925m) is a focal point of this engaging walk on which you only need to carry a day pack. Superb mountain vistas, hidden villages brimming with traditional culture and a visit to Rila Monastery, Bulgaria's most famous monastery, are some of the many highlights of the program. Based in 3 star hotels in Govedartsi and Bansko and a mountain hut in the Pirin Range, this trip will appeal to keen walkers seeking an alternative mountain experience in a country that simply teems with history and beautiful natural landscapes.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On arrival at Sofia Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel in Sofia (for arrivals 9am to 7pm only). The remainder of the day is free to explore the city.

Meals:  Nil

This morning we will transfer to Borovets (70km/43.5mi). We take the cable car to Yastrebetz (2300m/7546ft) and climb the highest peak in the Balkans, Mt Musala (2925m/9596ft). The view from the top is truly breathtaking – you can make out the remaining peaks of the Rila Mountains, the marble edges of the Pirin Mountains, Mount Vitosha and the Sredna Gora Mountains, the green summits of the Rodopi Mountains, and last but not least, the Balkan range. Afterwards, we transfer to Govedartsi (1150m/3773ft), where we stay overnight (40min drive from Borovets). Ascent: 650m/2132ft; Descent: 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,D

In the morning we have a short transfer to Maliovitsa resort, our starting point for another stunning trek. We walk up along the valley to the wide circuit of Prekorechki lakes, enclosed by the steep slopes and rocky walls of several peaks exceeding 2700m. From the lake we walk back to Maliovitsa resort, then transfer to Govedartsi where we stay overnight. Ascent: 850m/2788ft; Descent: 850m/2789ft Or if the weather is clear we can choose an optional hike to Maliovitsa peak, to experience 360 degree views of the Alpine part of the Rila Mountains. Option: Ascent: 1016m/3094ft; Descent: 1016m/3094ft

Meals:  B,D

This morning we have an early transfer to Pionerska hut, from where we take the chairlift to the Seven Rila Lakes (above 2200m/7220ft). From here we do a fabulous loop walk to Razdela and the stunning ridge 'Zeleni Rid', where we decend to the chairlift. We continue with a transfer (1hr) to Rila Monastery, Bulgaria's most famous landmark. Drive to Bansko for overnight. Ascent: 400m/1320ft; Descent: 400m/1320ft

Meals:  B,D

This morning we pack our overnight requirements in our day pack and begin our 2 day trek across the most beautiful part of the Central Pirin. We start from Bezbog hut and after 4-5 hours walking reach Tevno Ezero hut, where we stay overnight. You will need to carry your overnight items today as it is not possible to transfer your luggage to the hut you will stay in tonight. Ascent: 450m/1476ft; Descent: 150m/492ft

Meals:  B,D

Today's walk offers stunning views over the Pirin glacial lakes, Pevalski and Valyavishki. The trek takes 5-6 hours before we reach the road under Demyanitsa Hut. Here we meet our vehicle to drive us back to Bansko. Our main luggage will be available in Bansko. Ascent: 150m/4922ft; Descent: 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,D

A fairly difficult ascent to Mount Vihren (2914m/9560ft), the highest peak in the Pirin Mountains, awaits us. On our way to the peak, there are fabulous views of most of the Pirin's peaks and the Vlahini and Bunderishki glacial lakes. The path weaves through the Kazanite region, famous for edelweiss and other rare flowering plants. If the weather is good we'll have lunch on the peak, enjoying the amazing scenery. We descend on foot, then drive to Sofia for overnight. Note: This route involves negotiating a steep path all the way up and down, with many sections passing over rocks. It is only recommended for walkers in good physical condition. Ascent: 1000m/3280ft; Descent: 1000m/3280ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast, the trip concludes with a transfer to Sofia airport.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 5 dinners - Continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, yoghurt, cheese, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner is generally 3 courses consisting of a mixture of local and international dishes.
  • 6 nights in 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities, 1 night multishare dorm in mountain hut (mixed dormitory room with outside WC and no showers)
  • English speaking mountain guide
  • Lift tickets as per itinerary
  • Transfers throughout as described in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfer except days 5-6
  • Arrival & departure transfers between Sofia airport and the hotel on days 1 and 8
  • VAT and all local taxes

  • Travel to and from Sofia
  • Lunch (allow approx €3 for lunch box or €4-€10 for 3 course lunch), dinner in Sofia on day 1 and 7 and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Maps (may be requested in advance when the trip is booked)
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Luggage transfer on days 5/6 where you will be required to carry your overnight requirements

Grading

moderate to challenging  

The walking is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily guided walks of around 5-7 hours, with a maximum ascent and descent of 1050 metres/3445 feet. There are some challenging stages during the walk with steep uphills and descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. Day 7 is considered challenging whilst the other days are in the moderate range. On days 5 & 6 you will need to carry your overnight requirements in your daypack. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers only. Early in the season (June departure) you may encounter snow on the passes which may be quite deep and alter the grading of the trip to challenging. At any time, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds.


Departure dates


Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$790USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$140
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips