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Food

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners are included in this trip. Breakfast will usually include tea or coffee, bread, jam, honey and cheese, yoghurt and traditional local specialities such as thick pancakes known as 'katmi' and a rice-based dish called 'rodopski klin'.  Most days lunches will be packed. Consisting of bread, cheese, salami, hard boiled eggs, salads, fruit and biscuits. The evening meals will either be taken at the hotels or local restaurants and will consist of typical Bulgarian cuisine. On two evenings whilst in Bansko, dinners have not been included to offer you the opportunity to choose your own place to eat from the many traditional inns and restaurants that are available in the town. Vegetarians and Vegans: Bulgaria is famed for its fresh vegetables and fruit, so vegetarians are usually well catered for. However, it is extremely difficult for vegans, as dairy produce and eggs form the staple part of the diet in this region, and occur in the vast majority of meals. Therefore we recommend that you bring some supplementary items.

Activities

  • Walking & Trekking
  • Summits
  • 1

    Start Bansko

    For those not on the group flight, we recommend that time your arrival to join the group transfer from Sofia Airport, as the journey time is 2.5hrs and a private transfer will be costly.  In the evening our guide will hold a welcome briefing and discuss the week ahead and answer any questions.  *Molerite Hotel or similar*

  • 2

    Hike across the Todrina Porta pass (2500m) via Vasilashki and Bandersihki lakes.

    Having hiked up the Demyanitsa Valley, we start a long steady climb which takes us first past the Vasilashki lakes, then two more small but beautifully formed lakes known as the 'Eyes of Todorka'. Eventually, we cross over the high pass Todorina Porta (2,500m), an outstanding viewpoint, before descending steeply via the Bunderishki lakes to the Vihren hut where we will be picked up and driven on down to our base. This evening dinner is not included, leaving you free to choose your own place to eat from the many traditional inns and restaurants in the town. *Molerite Hotel or similar*

  • 3

    Ascent of Mt. Vihren (2914m), the highest peak in the Pirin Mountains.

    Today we will attempt an ascent of Mt. Vihren (2,914m), the highest peak in the Pirin National Park and the second highest in Bulgaria. Beginning from the Vihren hut, our walk takes us steadily up into the dramatic Golyam Kazan cirque which lies directly beneath Vihren's towering 400-metre high north wall. Here, as well as enjoying breath-taking mountain scenery, we can also find several beautiful endemic alpine flowers such as the delicate yellow 'Pirin Poppy'. From the cirque, a long exciting scramble takes us up white marble rocks to the summit, which on a clear day offers a wonderful panorama over the entire Pirin range. There follows a steep descent back down to our bus for the return to Bansko. Once again this evening's dinner is not included, leaving you free to choose your own place to eat. *Molerite Hotel or similar*

  • 4

    Visit the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and walk in the surrounding nature reserve.

    Leaving Bansko, we transfer to the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as visiting the monastery itself, we will also have a pleasant walk in the surrounding forests which have been designated a nature park. During our walk we will have the chance to visit a couple of isolated chapels and a cave which are closely associated with the intriguing life story of St. Ivan Rilski, a local hermit who was to become the patron saint of Bulgaria. Our accommodation for this night will be a hotel conveniently located in the beautiful Rilska Reka valley, just a short drive from the Monastery. *Hotel Gorski Kut or similar*

  • 5

    Panoramic hike through the heart of the Rila Mountains.

    Whilst our luggage is transferred round the mountains by road, we make a long demanding trek through the heart of the Rila National Park. Our route leads us up and over one of the highest and most imposing ridges in the Rila Mountains. Finally rejoining our bus on the other side of the range, we transfer to our hotel in the small village of Govedartsi, where we will be based for two nights. *Family Hotel Djambazki or similar*

  • 6

    Ascent of Mt Malyovitsa (2729m).

    Today we explore the region at the head of the Malyovitsa Valley and attempt an ascent of Mt. Malyovitsa (2,729m), one of the highest and most imposing peaks in this part of the Rila Mountains. The whole walk offers stunning views, as well as an opportunity to observe an interesting variety of typical alpine birds. We then return to our hotel in Govedartsi for a second night.  *Family Hotel Djambazki or similar*

  • 7

    Ascent of Mt Musala (2925m); transfer to Sofia.

    Having checked out of our hotel, our goal for today is Mt. Musala (2,925m), the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula. To accomplish the ascent as a day walk, we will use the cabin-lift from Borovets which will take us up to a starting altitude of about 2,300m. The route to the summit is well-graded, winding up past a succession of sparkling glacial lakes around the shores of which one can find blooming the endemic 'Rila Primrose'. We then end the day with a short 90 minute transfer to Sofia, where we will spend our final night. *Hill Hotel or similar*

  • 8

    End Sofia.

    Our tour ends after breakfast.

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