Peaks and lakes of the Rila and Pirin Mountains
Looking for an independent trekking tour to test your hiking fitness? Bored of the popular walking destinations in the Alps and the Pyrenees? You have come to the right place, looking at our most scenic self-guided hiking trek, which covers the very best of the highest Bulgarian mountains: Rila and Pirin. And for peace of mind – with all ground transfers included!
Climb the giant of Rila, Mount Musala (2925m/9596ft), highest in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula, trace dramatic ridges, visit the world-famous UNESCO site Rila Monastery and thrill on the challenging climb to the Pirin summit of Mount Vihren (2914m/9560ft). Panoramic mountain views will take your breath away along an almost infinite series of trails to alpine meadows, rocky Cirques, remote glacial lakes and onto spectacular ridges and summits.
This trip is not suitable for novices as you’ll be trekking high above the tree line, amongst some of the most unknown and interesting mountains to be found in Europe. No rock climbing experience is needed and no “via ferratas” are present. It is meant for very well-trained hikers with an ample experience of dealing with bad climate conditions up in the mountains (incl. fog, thunderstorms etc.) and for people used to walk over rocky slopes, overtaking steep ascends/descends now and then. The terrain in the Pirin and Rila is alpine and includes trails over steep slopes, where sure-footedness is necessary on a couple of occasions. Small patches of snow may still be present on some of the trails until the end of July.
Note that the below program is can be modified as per your requirements to include more hiking in Rila or Vitosha mountains, extra nights in Sofia and even easier hikes in the Rhodope Mountains. For more details please just use the contact form.
You walk every day with just a daypack. The rest/unnecessary luggage either remains inside the transfer vehicle or in your accommodation.
Duration8 Days I Difficulty: 4 (of 5)
What is includedTransfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers for the daily treks as per itinerary; Family-run pension including breakfast and dinner (Day 1 to Day 3) and 3* hotel on bed & breakfast basis (Day 4 to Day 8; there are numerous options to have dinner in the taverns and restaurants of Bansko); en-suite rooms everywhere;; Detailed route notes in English and maps; GPS tracks; Emergency hotline.
What is not includedExtra meals and drinks; lift tickets (appr. 25 Euro/pp); travel/medical insurance; entrance fees for museums.
Best periodmid-June, July, August, mid-September
Day 1: Airport transfer
Day 2: Climb of mount Musala (14,20km, 5-6hrs, +690m/-690m)
Day 3: The Seven Rila Lakes (18,7km, 5-6hrs, +1310m/-1310m)
Day 4: Transfer to the Pirin mountains with a stop at the Rila monastery
Day 5: Climb of the Polezhan summit (6,9-7,9km, 3,30-5hrs, +396-770m/-396-770m)
Day 6: Bandereshki Lakes Cirque (15,3km, 6-7hrs, +612m/-1215m)
Day 7: Climb of the Vihren summit (7,3km, 6hrs, +960m/-960m)
Day 8: Departure day