The Pirin is perhaps Bulgaria’s most picturesque and most alpine mountain. The rocky outcrop known for its marble and granite peaks and rich flora and fauna is listed by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site. The Pirin has over 60 peaks rising to over 2500m/8200ft, with the highest, Vihren (2914m/9560ft) the target of one of our treks. The routes transit ridge crests or weave among Cirques dotted with crystal-clear blue glacier lakes and offer an exceptional variety of incredible views.
Day 1: Sofia – Bansko
We meet you at Sofia Airport and transfer you to Bansko where we shall spend the next four nights.
Day 2: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Banderishki Lakes – Demyanitsa Hut – Bansko (6-7hrs; 16km; +615m/-1215m)
We transfer to the Vihren Hut where we set off on a hiking trek through the pretty Cirque of the Banderishki Lakes. From there, we go across into the neighbouring valley and the Todorini Ochi Lakes and thence through the thick spruce forests of the Yulen Nature Reserve on to the valley of the playful Demyanitsa River.
Day 3: Bansko – Mount Polezhan – Bansko (5hrs; 7km; +770m/-770m)
Today, we visit one of the Pirin’s greenest parts near the Bezbog Hut. This is the setting-off point for an extraordinarily panoramic walking trek to the Polezhan summit (2851m/9354ft). The summit offers perhaps the most wonderful view in the Pirin, with no fewer than 17 lakes visible, including the largest and deepest glacier lake in the mountain: the Popovo Lake.
Day 4: Bansko – Vihren Hut – Mount Vihren – Vihren Hut – Bansko (6-7hrs; 8km; +960m/-960m)
Time to attempt the Pirin’s premier summit, Vihren. We trek through the Golem Kazan (The Giant Cauldron) area beneath the breathtaking sheer 300m/1000ft northern wall of Vihren, whose dolomite precipices offer shelter to rare edelweiss flowers and fretful herds of Balkan Chamois. The views are genuinely overwhelming, yet they are just the prelude to the panoramas that open up from the summit over a sea of jagged peaks all around.
Day 5: Bansko – Sofia
Transfer from Bansko to Sofia Airport.
Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still this varies a lot on the terrain and hiking experience of each client.
Notes: all treks are tailored in terms of difficulty to individual groups; overall, the terrain means they are rather arduous. The itinerary offers opportunities for extensions involving additional overnight stays at Bansko or Sofia to allow day trips to the Rila Monastery, Plovdiv, Koprivshtitsa, the Rozhen Monastery, Melnik, etc.
Accommodation: three-star and family hotels; en-suite rooms; breakfast
> 690 € per person in twin/dbl room (in a group of 2-3 pers.)
> 440 € per person in twin/dbl room.(in a group of 4-8 pers.)
Single room supplement: 60 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Best period: June- September.
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; accommodation and catering as in the itinerary; English-speaking mountain guide; chair lift tickets and all local taxes.
Price does not include: extra food and drink; mountain maps; medical insurance; entry fees and personal expenses.
Joining the tour: The tour is organized on private basis only. There are no scheduled group departures, which you could potentially join individually.