For the high quality of the tours we organize in Bulgaria (sightseeing, hiking, horseriding etc.), Traventuria Ltd. has been awarded 5-star Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor for the years of 2012, 2013 and 2014. More details and positive reviews you can find on Trip Advisor.
Joining the tour
In recent days there are loads of opportunities to book a cheap flight to Bourgas or Varna airports instead of landing at Sofia Airport. We can arrange for you a bus or train ticket to Sofia or Plovdiv, where most of the tours start. Here are some approximate prices for transfers:
By bus: Bourgas or Varna to Sofia – appr. 15 Euro/person one way (appr. 6-7 hrs drive)
By train: Bourgas or Varna to Sofia – appr. 10 Euro/person one way (sleeping compartments +10 Euro). For train schedules please check: http://bdz.creato.biz/en (appr. 7-8 hrs drive)
Hiking Trek In Vitosha, Pirin & Rodopi Mountains
An easier tour compared to the hiking in Rila & Pirin mountains, well balanced with more sightseeing and culture elements in addition to the pure walking stages. The hiking takes place in Vitosha – the most popular Bulgarian Mountains due to their immediate proximity to the capital Sofia, in the most challenging and inaccessible Bulgarian mountain, named after the highest god of the Slavic pantheon – Perun, as well as in the oldest Bulgarian mountains – Rodopi, famous for its serenity and famed for being the birth place of the mythical musician Orpheus. As a part of the trek we will explore some of Bulgaria's most remote and forgotten regions and border villages that have been closed for foreigners not so long ago. In recent days these are considered as some of the most authentic Bulgarian settlements, where everyone is welcome to experience traditional Bulgarian culture and country life. Sinister caves, deep gorges, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, monasteries and museum-villages will be visited as a part of the tour.
This trek is optimized for people who do not feel comfortable trekking and climbing for hours in the alpine parts of the mountains but still would like to taste the best of these landscapes. An average hiker with some experience in mountain trekking should be able to cope with the daily walks.
- Vitosha Mountains are the oldest Nature Park on the Balkan Peninsula and the most favourite place for hiking for thousands of inhabitants of the capital, exploring either the two nature reserves or ascending the highest peak Cherni Vryh (The Black Peak) – 2290 m a.s.l.
- Pirin Mountains are the second highest in Bulgaria after Rila Mountains and the third on the Balkan Peninsula (Mount Vihren - 2914 m a.s.l.).
- Rodopi Mountains (highest peak – Golyam Perelik, 2191m a.s.l.) are the oldest mountains on the Balkan Peninsula.
- Yagodina Cave is among the longest caves in Bulgaria (with more than 10 km mapped so far), considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe with its outstanding stalactites, stalagmites, columns, ponds and cave pearls in them.
- Shiroka Lyka is an architectural, ethnographic and folklore reserve, preserving numerous houses with the typical Rodopean architecture.
- Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery.
- Plovdiv ranks as the second Bulgarian city in population and size being also one of oldest in Europe, contemporary to Troy and Mikena. The settlement has been existing here for 8000 years now.
Day 1. Welcome meeting at Sofia airport and transfer to the foot of Vitosha Mountains for overnight (30 min).
Day 2. Short transfer up will bring us to the region of Aleko chalet – the most popular starting point for hiking in the mountains. From this place we head along a gently ascending dirty road to Cherni Vryh, passing through Torpheno Branishte Nature Reserve. We get there in a couple of hours and after a cup of refreshing herbal tea on the top we get back on a different path and board the van towards our next target – Rila Monastery (the biggest monastery in Bulgaria and probably also the most famous tourist attraction). After a 2,30 hrs transfer we reach this UNESCO monument and spend some time among the monastery walls, enjoying the variety of murals and getting acquainted with the turbulent history of the monastery dating back to the 10th century. Later in the afternoon we anchor in Bansko – the biggest and most prosperous Bulgarian ski resort in recent days. It is also considered to be the best base for hiking tours in Pirin Mountains. (5 hrs; uphill walk: 500 m; downhill walk: 500 m).
Day 3. In the morning we transfer to Vihren hut (1950 m a.s.l.). From there we start exploring the circus of Bynderishki Lakes, visiting some of its most spectacular mountain pearls namely Muratovo, Ribnoto (The Fish), Dulgoto (The Long), Zhabeshkoto (The Frog) and Okoto (The Eye) lakes. Then we drive back and continue past Bansko to Belitsa – the sanctuary of former dancing bears that have been reclaimed from gypsies in Bulgaria and Serbia and left there to start a new life without suffering in the 120,000 sq.m enclosure. Once back in Bansko you will have some free time to ramble in the centre of Bansko among its stone houses, cobbled streets and tiny taverns. (5 hrs; uphill walk: 300 m; downhill walk: 300 m).
Day 4. The third day of hiking starts with a short transfer to Gotse Delchev hut above the town of Dobrinishte, where we take the chair lift to Bezbog hut (2236 m a.s.l.). From there we head towards Mount Polezhan (2851 m a.s.l.). On the way to the top and from the summit itself we will enjoy amazing views over the neighbouring peaks. These are probably the most beautiful panoramic walks that can be done in the mountains. One can count 17 glacial lakes from a single point, including the biggest and the deepest lake in Pirin – Popovo Lake. In the afternoon we continue on to Trigrad village situated by the famous Trigrad Gorge where we stay for the next 2 nights. (5 hrs; uphill/downhill walk: 650 m)
Day 5. A day to explore Rodopi Mountains and their tiny villages. Today we make a loop hike through coniferous woods to the remote village of Vodni Pad. The hiking on the way back is a real delight following the stream of Trigradska River all the way to Trigrad and Trigrad Gorge, where we go for a visit to The Devil’s Throat Cave. The cave has an enormous hall (result of massive tectonic activities) with a river passing through, forming a 42m high waterfall – one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe. (6 hrs; uphill walk: 400 m; downhill walk: 450 m).
Day 6. After breakfast we start walking along a nice dirty road, following the upper edge of Trigrad Gorge, leading to the village of Yagodina (850 m a.s.l.). The next highlight in the program is Yagodina Cave (with more than 10 km mapped so far and considered to be one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria). This trek is also possible to be done as a self-guided walk with a map and route notes given to the group – adventurous options highly appreciated by everyone (the guide meets the group at the cave entrance). The cave tour takes some 45 min, during which we will be exposed to an inside temperature of 6C. After a lunch by the cave we continue on to the town of Devin (famous SPA centre) where we will spend the night and possibly have some swim in the mineral pools. In the afternoon we take another delightful walk following the new eco-path along Devinska River, taking some 2 hrs. (hrs; uphill walk: 350 m; downhill walk: 700 m).
Day 7. The last day is dedicated to relax and sightseeing with visits to a number of places of interest. Starting with Shiroka Lyka (declared an architectural reserve), which is just 30min drive from Devin, we continue further to Bachkovo Monastery (the second largest in Bulgaria), where we have lunch. Early in the afternoon we end up in Plovdiv, where we trace our steps in the picturesque old quarters of the city with houses from the Revival Period and paved streets, visiting also the Roman theatre and the main shopping street in town. The rest of the afternoon you will be on your own to explore the city centre or spend some time at leisure in the cafés around the city park.
Day 8. Transfer to Sofia Airport for departure.
We stay in 3-star hotels (days 1, 2, 3, 6 & 7), and guesthouse (days 4 & 5) with en-suite facilities on HB (breakfast & dinner included). Ordering lunchpacks is possible for each of the days at the price of 4-5 Euro/person. Unnecessary luggage stays either in the hotels or in th ecan so you will only have to bring a small daypack for the hikes. It is possible to skip some of the walks and to take the bus with the luggage instead.
Group size: Min. 4 persons.
Price: 545 € (limited time price)
Single room supplement: 85 €
The price includes: accommodation and boarding as mentioned above; transfer to/from Sofia airport; lift tickets as per itinerary; English-speaking guide and private transfers throughout the tour; entrance fees for the caves; VAT and all local taxes.
The price does not include: maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour), tips, alcohol drinks, entrance fees for swimming pools, cigarettes and other personal expenses.