HIKING AND CULTURE TOUR OF BULGARIA

CONQUER THE TOP OF THE BALKANS, EXPLORE RILA AND PIRIN NATIONAL PARKS, WALK THROUGH REMOTE RHODOPEAN VILLAGES, UNWIND IN THE OLD PLOVDIV IN THIS COMPLETE TREKKING AND CULTURE TOUR OF BULGARIA.

   


ITINERARY AND VISITED SITES:

01 SOFIA - BOROVETS Morning sightseeing tour of Sofia. We’ll visit the gold domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 4th c. St. George Rotonda, St. Sofia Church etc. Lunch at the food of Mt. Vitosha and visit UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage listed Boyana church with its astonishing 13th c. AD frescoes. This is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of East European Medieval art. Optional 30 min walk to Dragalevski Monastery. In the afternoon we head to Borovets - the oldest Bulgarian winter resort situated on the northern slopes of Rila Mountain. Hotel dinner and rest.

02 MUSALA HIKE After breakfast we take a cable car to Yastrebets peak at 2,369. From here we start our ascent via the Musala hut where we stop for a cup of mountain tea. After another 2 - 3  hours we are at the top of Musala. Standing at 2,925 m Musala is the highest peak in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. A breathtaking 360º panorama of all major mountain ranges in Bulgaria can be seen from the top. All major mountain ranges of Bulgaria can be seen from here. After lunch and rest we slowly start going back, enjoying the scenery over the clouds. Late afternoon return to our hotel for dinner and rest

   
 

03 MALYOVITSA HIKE After breakfast transfer to Malyovitsa valley – one of most spectacular mountain valleys in Bulgaria. Our hike starts in Climbing Training Center Malyovitsa at altitude of 1720 m. From here we enter the valley. In 40 min we are at Malyovitsa hut. A nice cup of tea and continue following a steep mountain path, which would be the toughest part of today’s trek. In 3 hours time we reach Malyovitsa peak 2,729. We start our descent after lunch to ensure enough time to the base (4 hours). Transfer to Borovets for overnight. 

04 BANSKO Morning transfer to Rila monastery - the biggest and most spectacular in Bulgaria and one of Europe’s oldest monasteries. This is a place for massive pilgrimage for people coming from all over the world - an outstanding and vivid spiritual, cultural and religious center with impressive historic, architectural and artistic values of world significance. After delicious outdoor lunch we continue to Bansko. On arrival we take a short walk around the old town of Bansko and admire some fine examples of 19th-century traditional architecture. Dinner in a traditional restaurant and taste Chomlek – traditional dish form Bansko.

   
 

05 SANDANSKI Departure after breakfast. Drive to Dobrinishte village near Bansko. Here we take a cable car to Besbog hut ((2200) and start hiking to Popovo lake (2234 m). This is a relatively easy and really spectacular hike with no sudden attitude changes. We hike along Polezan ridge at the foot of one of Pirin mountain highest peaks Besbog - 2645 m. We return by cable car and drive to Sandanski (about 2 hours). Here we have dinner in hotel and enjoy excellent SPA cervices and healing mineral water.

06 DEVIN Today we visit Rhozen monastery – this is the biggest monastery in the Pirin Mountains in south-western Bulgaria and one of the few medieval Bulgarian monasteries well preserved until today. We start our 2-hour hike to Melnik - the smallest town in BulgariaMelnik is an appealing small village tucked beneath sandstone cliffs, and cluttered with white stone houses with overhanging wood balconies. After lunch in Melnik we set off on a long drive through Rhodope Mountains to end ther day in the town of Devin.

   
 

07 SHIROKA LAKA After breakfast in our hotel in Devin we drive through the spectacurar Trigrad gorge to arrive in Devil’s throat cave.  After a guided tour in the cave we start our 2-hours hike to Yagodina village enjoying some great views of Rhodope Mountains. On arrival in In Yagodina we try patatniklocal speciality made of potatoes. Early afternoon transfer to Shiroka Laka - proclaimed architectural and folklore reserve famous for its authentic Rhodopean houses set in tiers on both sides of the street. We visit Shiroka Laka Ethnographic museum and have dinner in a traditional restaurant near our hotel.

08 PLOVDIV In the morning we drive to Goliam Perelik peak (2191) where we start our trek to the village of Gela. This is considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Rhodope Mountain. We hike mainly on the ridge of the mountain surrounded by truly amazing scenery. In approximately 3 hours we are at the top at about 2150 m. After another 2 hours on a narrow path through pine trees, flowers and mushrooms we arrive to the village of Gela. After lovely homemade lunch here we drive to Bachkovo Monastery - the second largest monastery in Bulgaria. Late afternoon arrival in Plovdiv. Hotel dinner and rest.  

   
 

09 SOFIA Originally a thracian settlement Plovdiv became a major Roman city around I BC when it was called Trimontium(City of three hills). Nowadays people call Plovdiv The City of Art because of its generations of eminent artists who work within the city’s tranquil confines. An ancient fortress, underground stadium, old churches and the best preserved  Roman amphitheatre on the Balkans – all that amongst the finest examples of traditional 19-th century architecture. Plovdiv is also famous for its vivid art scene and a number of  international festivals that take place here every year. In Plovdiv we visit Ethnographic museum and have lunch in the old town. Transfer to Sofia for farewell dinner. 12 SOFIA Transfer to airport according flight schedule.   


TOUR DETAILS AND INCLUSIONS:

ACCOMODATION: 9 nights in comfortable 4 * city hotels with amenities such as restaurant, bar, relax center, garden or swiming pool 
TRANSPORT: Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer. 
MEALS: 11 hotel breakfasts, 11 local lunches, 11 local dinners in specially selected restaurants with varied menu and great service.
* Traditional dinner with folklore programe available on request in Sofia, Bucharest or Brasov
ENTRANCE FEES: Kruje Castle, Tirana History Museumurch, Samuel’s Fortress,  Kale Fortress Skopje, Rila Monastery museum    Boyana Church, The Palace of Parliament Bucharest, Peles Castle, Bran Castle
TRIP STAFF: Professional licenced English speaking guide + driver. 
 * THE TOUR CAN BE MODIFIED ON REQUEST
© 2021 Point Travel Bulgaria. All Rights Reserved.