Snowshoeing in Vitosha and Rila Mountains (Bulgaria)

Departure Date: from 20-12-2017 to 30-04-2018 Status: Open for booking Price: 590 Duration: 8 days

Snow powder, stunning lansdcapes and total tranquility

Snowshoeing is another way of exploring the mountains – and offers spectacular views. It gives you the freedom of exploring nature from a different angle – vast fields with virgin snow coverage, majestic frozen peaks, quiet century-old forests, hidden below the snow paths…There is no better way to discover the beauty and tranquility of the mountain, walking even outside the marked trails. This tour takes you off-the beaten tracks, combining spectacular views of two of the most beautiful Bulgarian mountains – Vitosha and Rila. We spend the evenings in cozy places, where you will have the chance to share a glass of red wine with the locals and meet in close with their way of living.

Tour Highlights

  ♦ Kamen Del peak offers the best panoramic view to Sofia city
  ♦ The nature landmark Zlatnite Mostove (The Golden Bridges)
  ♦ Skakavitsa – the highest waterfall in the Rila Mountains
  ♦ The Rila Monastery is the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria   
 

Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrival in Sofia

Meeting at Sofia airport and transfer to the city centre for overnight.

Day 2. Sofia - Zlatnite Mostove (The Golden Bridges)
After a short transfer to the nature landmark Zlatnite mostove area (The Golden Bridges), we head towards Kamen Del (1862m.a.s.l) – the peak that offers the best view to the city of Sofia. Then we continue  walking along the border of the nature reserve Torfeno Branishte (Peat reserve) to Aleko mountain base, from where we take the cabin lift to Simeonovo. The bus will wait there to transfer us to our hotel. In the afternoon we plan a sightseeing stroll in the center of Sofia.
Walking time 3:30 hrs. uhill/downhill: 580m / 130m 

Day 3. Sofia - Kumata hut - Govedartsi village
Transfer to Kumata hut, which is a starting point for the snowshoeing towards the highest peak of Vitosha Mountain – Cherni Vrah (2290m). After a cup of warm tea at the top we start descending to Aleko Mountain Base where the bus waits to transfer us to Govedartsi village in Rila Mountain. 
Walking time 6-7 hrs; uphill/downhill: 600/500m

Day 4. Govedartsi village - Maliovitsa mountain resort
A day dedicated to snowshoeing in the region of Maliovitsa Valley - Mecca of the Bulgarian Alpinism. Passing by Maliovitsa hut (1950m), we continue further on to Maliovitsa Peak (2729m). Then we descend back to Maliovitsa Mountain Base and transfer back to the hotel. (*Reaching the top is only possible in good weather and stable snow. Otherwise we will stick to the lower parts of the mountain).
Walking time: 7 hrs, uphill/downhill: 1000m 

Day 5. Govedartsi village - Borovets ski resort
Today we climb the highest peak in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula – Musala (2925 m a.s.l.). Short transfer brings us to Borovets ski resort, where we take the lift to Yastrebets Peak (2369 m a.s.l.). The view from the top is truly breath-taking – you can make out the remaining peaks of 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 long body of the Balkan range.
Walking time: 6 hrs; uphill/downhill walk: 750m  

Day 6. Govedartsi village - Pionerska hut - Rila Lakes hut
We start walking from Pionerska hut towards Skakavitsa waterfall, exploring on our way Skakavitsa nature reserve. After enjoying the frozen waters of the highest waterfall of the mountain, we continue in the direction of the renowned Seven Rila Lakes – probably the most famous area in the Rila Mountains. Once reaching the 5th lake (The Kidney), we start descending heading towards the Rila Lakes hut (2150m) where we stay overnight.
Walking time: 5.30hrs; uphill walk: 800m / downhill walk: 200m)

Day 7. Rila Lakes hut - Rila Monastery - Sofia
A nice walk through the venerable woods of Macedonian pines (Pinus peuce) awaits us on our way to Pionerska hut. The bus will be there, waiting to transfer us to Sapareva bania village, where we visit the hottest geyser in continental Europe – 103 °C. Then we continue with a transfer (approx. 2 hrs.) to the famous Rila Monastery, inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. We make a guided tour here and then head back to Sofia for overnight.
Walking time: 1.30 hrs; uphill walk: 80m / downhill walk: 650m  

Day 8. Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure.


Luggage transportation:
Luggage is taken care of throughout the whole trip (except on Day 6, where you should bring along enough clother for one night in the hut)

Included in the price:  ► airport transfers on arrival and departure days as set by the itinerary (Day 1 and Day 8)►snowshoes and ski poles ► accommodation in  family-run hotels 6 nights and a mountain hut (day 6) with rooms with private facilities). 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners (days 3,4 5 and 6) ►English-speaking guide and private transfers throughout the tour ►cabin lift (cable car) tickets► VAT and all local taxes.

Not included: ►flight tickets map (could be requested in advance when booking the tour) ►tips ►drinks and meals not mentioned ►personal expenses ►insurance ►airport transfers outside the tour itinerary

Other expences: ►single room supplement: 90 EURO ► airport transfers outside the tour itinerary: 15 EUR per transfer for vehicle 1-3 pax / 25 EUR for vehicle 4-7 pax

Good to know: ►walking with snowshoes is rather adventurous and although not technically difficult it could be a bit strenuous over mountain slopes. Reasonable physical condition is required►we have a unique proposal, which gives you the opportunity to stay at the Bulgarian ski resorts for one week more at the incredibly low price! We can offer a great variety of means of accommodation - 2,3 or 4-star hotels.

How to get there: For low-cost flights to Bulgaria please check: Wizz Air - http://wizzair.com/; Easy Jet - http://www.easyjet.com/; Germanwings - http://www.germanwings.com/; Penguin Travel -http://www.flybulgarien.dk/; Norwegian Air Shuttle - http://www.norwegian.no/
 
We recommend trip in the period: January - March

Necessary equipment: daypack (40 l); winter walking waterproof boots (hard-soled); gloves/mittens; sunscreen lotion; sunglasses with UV protection;For the full list with recommended items see the detailed trip dossier.