In the language of the ancient Thracians (the first inhabitants of the Balkans, an indigenous population) Rila means the mountain rich in water. The biggest Bulgarian rivers, Maritsa, Iskar and Mesta, start from here. 180 glacial lakes in the National Park; in winter remarkable snow cover thanks to the continental climate and its exposure, optimal conditions for the practice of snowshoes and ski touring
Day 1. Sofia - Maliovitsa complex
Arrival at Sofia Airport. Welcome and transfer to the south to the small ski resort Maliovitsa, located at the edge of Rila National Park (1h30 drive). Accommodation for 3 nights in a small mountain hotel at 1750 m altitude.
Day 2. Second terrace - Maliovitsa complex
A round trip with snowshoes to the Second Terrace (2250 m), at the foot of the most famous climbing faces. The region is emblematic for Bulgarian mountaineering. Very nice views in good weather. Same accommodation. 4 h; + 500 m; - 500 m;
Day 3. Lake Ionchevo - Maliovitsa complex
In the morning, we go up to Lake Ionchevo (2150 m) then we find the forest down to our hotel by another path. Same accommodation. 4-5 h; + 500 m; - 700 m;
Day 4. Samokov - Sapareva bania
Tourism day. Bus descent (30 min) into the Samokov valley, a small town and important center of the Bulgarian National Awakening period (XVIII-XIX century). Visit the city museum and the beautiful mosque. Transfer to the other valley (1 hour) and arrival in the small town of Sapareva Bania, located at the north foot of the Rila at 900 m altitude. Installation for 3 nights in a small family hotel (SPA center and swimming pools with thermal mineral water nearby). Not far from our house is the Geyser, the hottest spring in continental Europe, 103o C.
Day 5. Obessen kamak - Sapareva Bania
In the morning, after a brief transfer, we visit the House of Rila National Park and then we walk, in a beautiful coniferous forest. Through the meadows of Lakatichka Rila, we will have very beautiful views of the alpine part of Rila, known as the Bulgarian Chamonix. Via the Obessen Kamak website (the suspended stone). Descent on foot to the village Sapareva bania. Spa treatments in the public baths, which are not far from our house. Same accommodation. 4:30 walking; + 300 m of elevation gain
Day 6. The 7 lakes of Rila - Sapareva bania
Short morning transfer (30 min) and beautiful loop hike in the famous circus of the Seven Lakes of Rila. Going up slowly between the frozen lakes, you reach the Rein (the fifth lake) at 2300 m. Then, we follow a rounded ridge (seen magnificent in good weather) to descend into the small circus next to it, to admire the waterfall of Scacavitsa (70 m), completely frozen in this season. Return by coach to Sapareva Bania. Balneo treatments. Same accommodation. 6.30 a.m .; +750 m
Day 7. Boyana - Sofia
Transfer to Sofia (1h30). Arrival at Boyana district, just at the foot of Vitocha mountain. Visits to the Boyana Church, listed in the UNESCO heritage list (remarkable frescoes dating from 1270) and to the National History Museum, located on the outskirts of Sofia. In the afternoon, by coach, we reach the center of the city. Installation in hotel. City walk and visit to the Bulgarian capital, one of the oldest in Europe: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. Sophia Basilica, Russian Church, St George Rotunda.
Day 8. Sofia - departure
Free time. Transfer to the airport. Departure.
Accommodation and catering:
- 4 nights in *** hotel
- 3 nights in a gîte
- Breakfasts, picnic for lunch and hot meal in the evening included, except dinner D7 and lunch D8 in Sofia.
Support: Graduate French-speaking Bulgarian guide. Minibus available during the whole tour. * For small groups (2-8 people) this will be the guide who will drive you by car.
Decreasing price from 6 people. Contact me.
- Full board (except D7 dinner and D8 lunch in Sofia)
- All transfers and baggage handling
- The French-speaking Bulgarian guide
- The organization,
- Meals D7 and D8 in Sofia
- the drinks
- tickets to museums and spa centers
- ski lifts
- personal expenses and equipment
- the insurance
- equipment rental (snowshoes, poles, ARVA, shovel / avalanche probe): + € 60 pp throughout the stay.
- Single room supplement: + 130 €