Interjet Tours – Travel Agency

Travel Agency Bulgaria, Interjet Tours

Transsiberian Railway

This trek takes place in the two mountain chains which contain the Balkan Peninsula’s highest peaks housing vast national parks, rare vegetation and rich animal life. The trip is structured to take the participants to remote regions with beautiful and unspoiled natural landscapes. If you do not have the time for extensive trekking in the world’s biggest mountain ranges, this tour is strongly recommended. Here you can enjoy the physical challenge of alpine landscapes above the tree border, as well as the cultural treasures of Bulgaria and the warm hospitality of the local people.

Special highlights:
Rila Mountains
are the highest mountains in Bulgaria and on the whole Balkan Peninsula with Mount Musala – 2925 m a.s.l.
Pirin Mountains are the second highest in Bulgaria after Rila Mountains and the third in the Balkan Peninsula (Mount Vihren 2914 m a.s.l.).
Bansko (925 m a.s.l.) is situated at the northeastern foot of Pirin Mountains beneath the highest and the most beautiful Karst part of the mountains. It is recently one of the biggest ski resorts in Bulgaria.
Melnik (380 m a.s.l.) is the smallest and one of the most fascinating towns-museums in Bulgaria famous for its sandy pyramids and local brand of red wine.
Rila Monastery (1147 m a.s.l.) is the most popular tourist site among all monasteries in Bulgaria equally for its
size, natural surroundings, architecture, wall paintings and ancient history.
Rozhen Monastery is one of the few medieval monasteries, which has preserved its original appearance, authentic architecture and monumental pictorial art.

Day 1. Arrival at Sofia or Plovdiv airport and transfer to the hotel in the Rila Mountains (1,600 m, or 5,429 ft), where we stay overnight (1,20 hrs from Sofia; 2,30 hrs from Plovdiv). This will be also the starting point for the trek.

Day 2. Our hotel is situated in the Zeleni Preslap region. This day will be dedicated to both high altitude adaptation and the demands of the forthcoming trek. In the morning we will take a leisurely through the spruce forest to the Skakavitsa hut (1,876 m, or 6,154 ft) and the Skakavitsa waterfalls. The path then travels uphill to the Seven Rila Lakes hut (2,100 m, some 6,889 ft) where we will stay overnight. Here we take a stroll around the “blue mountain pearls” of the glacial Rila Lakes.
Uphill walk: 900 m (2,952 ft); downhill walk: 200 m (656 ft); walking time: around 4-5 hours
/breakfast, lunchpack, dinner/

Day 3. After breakfast, breathtaking scenery awaits us as we head towards our next target – the revered Rila Monastery (situated at 1,147 m, or 3,763 ft). From the Seven Rila Lakes we head to the area called Razdela (2,600 m, or 8,530 ft). The views from this point are superb, so we will enjoy a short coffee break here and
take in the neighbouring peaks and river gorges. After a 3,5 hour walk along the foothills of the Maliovitsa peak we reach the Rila Monastery. Please note: there are steep and rather long descents to the monastery, which will be hard on the knees. We stay overnight in a hotel by the monastery walls.
Uphill walk: 500 m (1,640 ft); downhill walk: 1,500 (4,921 ft); walking time: 7-8 hours
/breakfast, lunchpack, dinner/

Day 4. A short hike to the hermitage of St. Ivan Rilski (2-3 hrs) and sightseeing of the Rila Monastery are planned till noon. After about 1hr uphill walk through old Beech woods we will reach the hermitage. Then we go back to the monastery for a transfer to Bansko (taking about 1,5 hrs), which will be the starting point for our treks in Pirin Mounatins. In Bansko (925 m, or 3,034 ft) we will have lunch followed by a short rest in the hotel. In the afternoon we will make a sightseeing trip in the old quarters of the town – a relaxed program before the most difficult day of the tour.
Uphill walk: 150 m; downhill walk: 150 m; walking time between 2-3 hours
/breakfast, lunch, dinner/

Day 5. This is maybe the hardest day in the program but also quite rewarding for sure. In the morning the bus will deposit us a distance above the town of Bansko, ensuring a better starting point for the day’s trek. We begin our walk from the Vihren hut (1,950 m, or 6,397 ft). Close to this structure you will see the marble peak of the giant of the Pirin Mountains – Mount Vihren (2,914 m, or 9,560 ft). Guaranteed departure dates for 2008: 05/7, 12/7, 26/7, 02/8, 30/8, 06/9
From the hut the path passes by the glacial Bunderishki Lakes and along the highest parts of the Julen Reserve until it reaches the Tevno Lake hut (2,512 m, or 8,241 ft) where we stay overnight. As there is no other alternative along the route we have been forced to use this refuge, where the conditions are rather primitive. Many people prefer to stay in their own sleeping bags although blankets and sheets are provided by the refuge – we also advise you to bring your own sleeping bag (compact summer type). Several peaks over 2,500 m (8,202 ft), lakes and tiny alpine meadows will feature on the trek.
Uphill walk: 900 m (2,952 ft); downhill walk: 300 m (984 ft); walking time: 7-8 hours
/breakfast, lunchpack, dinner/

Day 6. Today’s walk is a real delight. Our track descends towards the valley of the Zheleznishka River and follows its riverbed all the way on to the Pirin hut (1,640 m, or 5,380 ft), our next overnight stop. Picturesque alpine pastures surround the foothills of the Debeli Ridge, preceded by the Kamenitsa Peak (2,822 m, some 9,258 ft).
Uphill walk: 100 m (328 ft); downhill walk: 950 m (3,116 ft); walking time: 4-5 hours
/breakfast, lunchpack, dinner/

Day 7. In the morning we head towards the final stop on the Rila-Pirin trek, the Rozhen village, housing a monastery of the same place some 15min walk after it. The route follows the so-called “Vlashki pat” over the summit of the Sugarevska River, right in to the village of Rozhen. From the village we have a short transfer through the sandy pyramids of the area (10 min) to the smallest and one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria – Melnik, famous for its local brand of red wine. You will be able to buy some bottles if you wish so. After a short stroll along the main street of the town we will transfer from Melnik to Sofia (3hrs) or Plovdiv (5hrs)(depending on your departure flight) where we stay overnight.
Uphill walk: 100 m (328 ft); downhill walk: 1,100 m (4,429 ft); walking time: 5 hours
/breakfast, lunchpack, dinner/

Day 8. Transfer to Sofia or Plovdiv airport for departure.

We stay overnight in 3-star hotels (days 1, 3 & 4) with rooms with en-suite facilities.
Days 2 & 6 we spend in mountain huts with shared facilities (double rooms are available in The Seven Rila Lakes hut, while in Pirin hut we stay in a dorm). Day 5 we stay in mountain refuge (Tevno Lake) in a dorm with rather primitive conditions – there are no bathrooms available and the WC is outside the building (bringing your own compact sleeping bag is advisable). Day 7 we stay in a guesthouse with en-suite facilities. The mealplan is based on fullboard all days (breakfast, lunch pack and dinner included). Lunch is only available during day 4, while for the rest days we have lunchpacks arranged.
Luggage transportation:
Unnecessary luggage will be taken on day 1 (some 15min after arrival at the hotel in the afternoon by the driver), and will be waiting for you at your hotel on day 3. Again you could leave it on day 5 (in the hotel in Bansko before starting the trek to Pirin Mountains) and will receive it again on day 7 (upon pick up in Melnik; the driver will bring it there).
Tour type: GT
Difficulty grade: B (day 4) / C (days 2, 3, 6 & 7) / D (day 5)
Best period: June – September
Temperatures expected for this period are between +10 and +25oC. Temperatures above 2000 m a.s.l. may drop to -5oC after the end of August. Rainfalls or short but heavy showers are possible, being a bit prolonged during spring and late autumn.
Equipment and clothing:
Necessary items: rucksack (60 l); 3-season walking waterproof boots with suitable ankle support; waterproof outer shell garment (breathable if possible!); sunglasses with UV protection; sunscreen lotion.
For the full list with recommended items see “General”.
Group size: Min 4 persons
The price includes: accommodation, boarding and luggage transfers as mentioned above; transfer to/from Sofia or Plovdiv airport; English-speaking guide and private transfers throughout the tour; VAT and all local taxes.
The price does not include: maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour), entrance fees, tips, alcohol drinks, cigarettes and other personal expenses.


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