We go on a wonderful walk within the Rila Mountains and more specifically within the boundaries of the Rila National Park.
Rila Mountains with their highest peak Musala (2925 m. a. s. l.) are the highest in Bulgaria and on the whole Balkan Peninsula. They represent the sixth highest mountain range in Europe as well. The name of the mountains has a Thracian origin and means “plenty of water”. The fact that Rila had twice been frozen has most influenced its landscape formation. The numerous cirques, well – formed glacial valleys, alpine mounts and more than 180 glacial lakes are certain proof of that. The tall coniferous trees of 50 – 60 metres and the rich animal world of bears, wolfs, imperial eagles, wild goats and many more are pure treasure.
Rila National Park is the largest of the three national parks in Bulgaria. Founded in 1993 the park contains rare and endangered wildlife species and communities, self-regulating ecosystems of biological diversity, as well as historic sites of global cultural and scientific significance. Some of the largest rivers in the Balkan Peninsula originate here.
In the morning we head towards Borovets (1350 m. a. s. l.) which is Bulgaria’s oldest ski resort, established at the end of the 19-th century. The famous ski centre is surrounded by ancient pine forests, enjoys a scenic location and one of the healthiest climate conditions in the country. In Borovets we board the gondola lift to get to Yastrebets
peak (2369 m. a. s. l.) where the trekking begins. The track goes almost even until the Musala hut (2389 m. a. s. l.). We continue uphill along the gorgeous Musala Lakes until we reach the coldest and highest lake in Rila Mountans – the Icy Lake (2710 m. a. s. l.). Short but steep ascent follows all the way to the mighty Musala Peak (2925 m. a. s. l.) – the highest peak in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula. Standing on the top of the Balkans mountaineers are strongly impressed by the breathtaking views all around. One can easily see the rest of the magnificent Rila Mountains and other large Bulgarian mountains like the alpine Pirin Mountains, Vitosha Mountain, Sredna Gora Mountains with the majestic Balkan Range behind and the green and more oval Rhodope Mountains. After lunch at the peak we walk down following the same trail to the gondola lift and back to Borovets. Then we drive back to Plovdiv.
Period: June-September (October-May also possible if weather conditions are favourable)
Trip duration: 10.5-11 hours total
Price: From 33 EUR per person depending on the group size
Included: English speaking tour guide, transfers from/to your hotel in Plovdiv
Not included: Cabin lift return ticket (6 EUR), food and tips
Note: The hike takes place between 2369 and 2925 m. a. s. l. Elevation difference: 556 m. Elevation gain: 735 m. Walking distance: 7.8 km. Hiking time: 6 h (including breaks). You can combine this day trip with a transfer to Sofia if you need to be delivered there after the end of the tour. If possible in July and August try to avoid the weekends to go to Musala as it is very crowded