Bulgaria

Snow-shoeing in Rila Mountain

Level

Easy/Moderate

Duration

10 days

Route

Sofia, Govedartsi, Mountain Hut – Mechit, Glacial Lake – Yonchevo, Alpine Mount – Malyovitsa, The Seven Rila Lakes, The Rila Monastery, Sofia

Time to travel

Best time is considered from Jan to end of March ( depending on the weather conditions)

The south-western part of Bulgaria is covered in mountains and most of the towns and villages lie between the valleys or on the lower slopes, while the ancient forests and high alpine meadows are filled with rare and endangered wildlife.

We will be based in the ski resort village of Govedartsi on the foot of the Rila Mountains. Our family-run guesthouse is the perfect location for exploration of the hills and valleys in our snowshoes. Walking with snow-shoes is easy and it gives us the freedom to explore our own way through snow covered valleys.

We will explore areas that are risk free- no avalanches. Our local guide knows the region well and will lead you to the most spectacular scenic spots.

Facts:

  • Rila Mountain is a glaciated range, mostly granite, with spectacular peaks. The lower part of the mountain is covered with forests while the upper slopes contain vast meadows and rocky peaks. Panorama views are superb. The most visited places on the mountain are the magnificent cirque of the Seven Rila Lakes and the famous Rila Monastery.
  • Govedartsi is a village and ski resort in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria
  • Lake Iskar is Bulgaria’s largest inland lake and can be likened to an inland sea, stretching for 15kms along the main Sofia-Borovets road, it is an impressive sight.
  • The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of lakes of glacial origin situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria.
  • Rila Monastery. The biggest and the most famous amongst all the monasteries in Bulgaria, it was founded in the 10-th century by St. John of Rila, and in the following centuries was the center of Bulgarian cultural and spiritual life. The Rila Monastery is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival (L, D)

A local Rahhalah guide will meet you at Sofia airport and drop you to Rila Mountains (1.5 hrs, 80 km).

Arrival in Govedartsi, a  ski resort village at the foot of Rila Mountains.

Overnight: Govedartsi, Family – run hotel

Day 02: Mountain Hut – Mechit (B, L, D)

We begin our adventure on the outskirts of Govedartsi by making our way uphill towards the hut Metchit (1750 m) and continuing on to the peak itself (2567m). The route we use, following the ridge, gives us  beautiful open views of the central parts of the mountain as we make our way to Lopushki peak (2698m). Our descent route passes by the beautiful glacial lakes and we’ll get to ski through the beautiful valley of Maliovitsa River.

Walking time: 5-6; Ascent: 1300m; Descent: 1300m.
Night stop: Govedartsi village
Accommodation: Family-run guesthouse Djambazki
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 03: Glacial Lake - Yonchevo (B, L, D)

Today’s activities include a round trip of Yonchevo lake starting with Rila National Park right after the Mountaineering School and Malyovitsa hut. The hut is an actual crossroad, so we will head east and make our way to Yonchevo glacial lake.

Descend to Ovnarsko area and tranfer to Govedartsi.

Walking time: 5 hours; Ascent: 400m; Descent: 400m.
Night stop: Govedartsi village
Accommodation: Family-run guesthouse Djambazki
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 04: Alpine Mount – Malyovitsa (B, L, D)

We’ll make our way to the hut again but this time, we will make it to the top of Malyovitsa peak (2729m.), this is an iconic journey and a symbol for Bulgarian Mountaineering. We descend back to the vehicle via the same route.

Transfer to Govedartsi.(0,30h)

Walking time: 5-6 hours; Ascent: 550m; Descent: 550m.
Night stop: Govedartsi village
Accommodation: Family-run guesthouse Djambazki
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 05: The Seven Rila Lakes (B, L, D)

After a morning drive to the Panichishte area, we will follow the Skakavitsa river. Going south leads us to the area of the Seven Rila lakes – a circus of 7 lakes, each one located at different altitudes. We will make a round trip and finally rest at the mountain hut.

Descend back to the car and transfer to Govedartsi. (1,30h)

Walking time: 7 hours; Ascent: 800m; Descent: 800m.
Night stop: Govedartsi village
Accommodation :Family-run guesthouse Djambazki
Included Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 06: The Rila Monastery (B, L, D)

We go back to Sofia today, and on our way we’ll make a stop at UNESCO heritage site Rila Monastery. After exploring this 10th century old site, we will venture out into the forest area of the nature reserve in our snow shoes.

Our final destination of the day is the sanctuary place of the founder of the monastery: St. Ioan Rilski. It is located 5km away from the monastery.

We return via the same way to the car and transfer to Sofia (2,00)

Walking time: 3 hours; Ascent: 150m; Descent: 150m.
Night stop: Sofia
Accommodation: 4* star hotel “Radisson”
Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 07: Sofia Sightseeing (B, L, D)

Today you will have a sightseeing tour of Sofia which includes:

  • Sunday square
  • Statue of Sofia
  • Catholic church and Muslim Mosk
  • The old bath
  • The Largo square
  • Rotunda St. George – 3th century
  • Royal palace and the city garden
  • National theater
  • Rotunda St. Sofia
  • Alexander Nevski cathedral
  • National library, Sofia University and the National Parliament

Night stop: Sofia
Accommodation: 4* star hotel “Radisson”or similar
Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 08: Departure (B)

Transfer for departure flight.

1,719 USD

per person in a group of 4, Double Occupancy.

Trip Dates

Open Dates

NOTES

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • This cost is valid till 15th December, 2016.
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior to departure date.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

THIS INCLUDES

  • 5 nights in Govedartsi village, family – run hotel
  • 2 nights in Sofia, 4* hotel
  • Airport transfer
  • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches (picnic), 7 dinners
  • Snowshoes and trekking poles
  • Car for 2-3 pax, Minivan for 4 pax, Autobus for 6, 8, 10 pax; driver
  • Licensed English speaking guide

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • High season supplements
  • Single Supplement
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Beverages
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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