Welcome to Sofia. Transfer from Sofia airport or Sofia hotel to Rila monastery, the biggest monastery in Bulgaria – 2 hours. Guided tour – 1 hour, and free time to enjoy that peaceful place. Transfer to the cave of Ivan from Rila, the holy man, founder of the monastery. The hiking in both directions is 30 minutes. The cave is famous for its altar of wishes and If you pass through the cave your soul will be pure.
Light lunch in one of the restaurants near the monastery. Transfer to the village of Banya, rich with its thermal springs. Rila monastery-Banya – 2 hours. Check-in in a guest house with spa facilities.
Dinner at 7.00 in the near village and enjoy the Bulgarian cuisine and traditional songs.
Night in Banya.
Banya- hut Vihren-Bunderishki lakes- hut Damyanitsa-Bansko-Banya
The real hiking will start today. Breakfast in the hotel – 7:30 am. 8:00 am -transfer to the hut Vihren – 1 hour. Hut Vihren -1950 m.
Today we will see the group of glacier lakes, called Bunderishki, and the eyes of Todorka peak and the Vasilashki lakes in the preserved area “Yulen”.
From the hut, we’ are going to see the closest lake – the Eye – 10 minutes. The Eye – 2026 m. From there we’ll hike to Muratovo lake – 1 hour. Muratovo lake – 2230 m.
From there we’ll take a pass between the bushes and the squats to reach the Fish (Big) lake, famous with the fishes and a little peninsula – 1 hour. The Fish lake – 2190 m.
Less than 30 minutes we’ll see the Frog lake, which is the highest from the group of Bunderishki lakes. The Frog lake -2322 m.
After the Frog lake, we have to go up in east direction to reach the ridge of Todorka peak – 2600 m. Short break to enjoy the panorama. After that only descent. We’ll see the lakes called Eyes of Todorka and some of the group of Vasilashki lakes. 2 hours walking to hut Damyanitsa. Damyanitsa – 1895 m. Short break. 2 hours walking on a dirt road to reach the car with our driver.
Elevation: 700 m.
7:30 pm. – Dinner in one of the traditional restaurants in Bansko. Night in Banya.
Banya-hut Vihren- peak Vihren-hut Vihren-Bansko-Banya
6:30 am -transfer to the hut Vihren – 1 hour. Hut Vihren -1950 m.
Following the red marker, we’ll make a girth Vihren. After 30 minutes there will be a river with a crossroad. We’re going in the valley called “Kazanite” -“Cauldrons”. The area is full of granites and marbles. After the Big cauldron, we have to reach Premkata ridge. Premkata – 2660 m.
We’ll be on the north face of the summit. It’s very slippy and because of the marbles – slippery. It is good if you are experienced in bouldering. This will be the hardest part on the trail. The guide will show you the right way and you can help yourself with the chains. The climbing is 40-50 minutes.
Break in Vihren – the highest peak of Pirin mountain – 2914 m.
From Vihren we’re going in Southwest direction to the area called Kabata. This is the King’s road – it is easier than that going up. The distance from Kabata to hut Vihren 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Short break in the hut and transfer to Banya to relax with thermal springs.
Elevation: 999 m.
7:30 pm. – Dinner in a traditional restaurant in Bansko. Night in Banya.
7:30 am. – Breakfast in the guesthouse. Check out. Transfer to Melnik – 2 hours. Melnik is the smallest city in Bulgaria, with 186 inhabitants. It’s famous with the production of red sorts of wine, including one unique, with the name “Wide Melnik leaf”. Melnik is in the South of Pirin and you can see the differences between the Nort and South. You can feel the Mediterranean spirit.
The denudation and the erosion made the area with sandy pyramids. Over Melnik, there is a platou with medieval ruins. This was the stronghold of one of the local feodals, who was a separatist from the Bulgarian kingdom in 13th. century. The hiking to this fortress is 30 minutes. You will be awarded the magnificent panorama.
Tasting wine in Melnik in one of the wineries and lunch.
Transfer to Sofia or Sofia airport – 3 hours.
Elevation: 200 m.