Welcome to Bulgaria

Embark on an adventure through the beautiful Rila mountains. Bulgaria pairs impeccable natural scenery and a quaint village lifestyle to create a walkers’ sanctuary. We will stay in Samokov, a medieval town in the foothills of the Rila mountains, surrounded by excellent walking routes. Culture, hiking trails and nature are offered by the bucketload in one of the Balkans’ best kept secrets.

This trip is back by popular demand and is a Traveleyes favorite, as we stay with a wonderfully welcoming host family in their charming countryside property. This trip can also easily be paired with our Romania Walking Holiday for a two week discovery journey through two stunning and contrasting countries.

* Please read the Walking Information at the bottom of the itinerary before booking this holiday.

Tour Highlights

  • Refreshing walks in the Rila mountain range
  • Tour the historic city of Plovdiv
  • Explore the region of Seven Lakes
  • Discover the truth behind the Musala Hut
  • Dates & Prices

    The prices shown below include return flights from a specified UK airport. If you are travelling from outside of the UK, please .

    September 12 - September 19, 2018 (8 days)

    Standard Blind Price: £1399 Book Now

    Discounted Sighted Price: £799 Contact us for availability

    The prices shown below are for non-UK travellers and do not include return flights and transfers. If you are travelling from within the UK, please .

    Standard Blind Price: 1299 GBP Book Now

    Discounted Sighted Price: 699 GBP Contact us for availability

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    Mountainous grass covered hills are reflected in the perfectly clear water of a lake
  • Ornate domes on top of a white building. The skyline of a town pops out from behind green trees

    What's Included

    • Flights and transfers (UK prices only)
    • Seven nights accommodation in a mountainside guesthouse at Samokov
    • All breakfasts
    • Four lunches & six dinners
    • Specified excursions
    • Services of local guides
    • Services of a Traveleyes tour manager
  • Excursions

    • Peaks of Borovets Walk
    • Markudjik to Musala Hut Walk
    • Seven Lakes Walk
    • Chakar Voyvoda Hut Walk
    • Plovdiv Tour (£30)
    • Eight Bridges Walk (£30)
    • Malyovitsa Walk (£30)
    • Belchin Banya & Spa Tour (£30)
    A tree covered peninsula juts out into a crystal blue lake

Below is the itinerary for the holiday. Please click each day for more information.

Wednesday 12th September

Upon arrival in Sofia we will transfer to the Rila Mountains and settle into our accommodation.

Overnight in Samokov.

Thursday 13th September

Today’s walk offers a first view of some of the nearby peaks we’ll be exploring in greater depth over the forthcoming week. On this occasion, we’ll be walking through forest and meadow with some element of uphill incline. Our walk concludes in the pretty town of Borovets which was established in 1896 as a hunting lodge for Bulgarian Kings, Borovets remains the oldest and one of the most celebrated of Bulgaria’s winter sport resorts.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Friday 14th September

Today we’ll drive to Borovets and then take the gondola lift to a spectacular top station. We’ll then walk across the beautiful Markudjik hills to a Musala hut, following a route that’s blessed with particularly wonderful natural features. We’ll pause for a lakeside lunch at the Musala hut, from where there’s a view to the top of Musala which, at 2,925 metres, is the highest mountain on the Balkan peninsular.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Saturday 15th September

The Seven Lakes walk is one of our particular favourites and begins with a drive through the village of Saparavo Banya, long famed for its thermal mineral springs. From here we take a winding mountain road, passing through the resort of Panishiste to the starting point of the Seven Lakes Walk, located at the Pionerska chalet. A chair-lift will take us up to the first lake, situated at an altitude of 2,100 metres and then on to the top lake, at 2,500 metres. This stunning walk showcases magnificent views but is also a fairly challenging walk and therefore may not be entirely suitable for everyone in the group.

As we’ll have two vehicles available, we’re able to arrange an alternative and somewhat easier-going walk to the Beli Iskar Eco Trail, which offers a very enjoyable experience. This 9.5 kilometre route along the Beli Iskar river valley meanders through perfect pine forest, features some interesting rock formations and then offers a chance to criss-cross the river a number of times over a series of seven narrow wooden bridges, interlinking many wonderful locations and numerous opportunities for stopping to enjoy a memorable picnic.

The Seven Rila Lakes, located in the Dangskiya region of the North Western Rila Mountains, are glacial in nature and lie in an attractively scattered pattern along the foot of a massive cirque which includes the peaks of Suhi Chal (Dry Peak), Otovishki, and Haramiya.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Sunday 16th September

Today there is a choice between enjoying the Eight Bridges walk or joining an excursion to Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second most important city. Beginning as a Thracian settlement, Plovdiv subsequently submitted to Greek and later Roman, Byzantine and Bulgarian Empire cultures, before coming under Ottoman imperial rule in the 14th century. Evolving over seven adjacent hills along the Maritsa River, Plovdiv became known in Bulgaria as “The City of the Seven Hills”. Among many fascinating local features are the attractive old town, an impressive Roman amphitheatre and a mosque which dates from the height of the Ottoman Empire.

The 8 Bridges walk is a very picturesque and enjoyable walk, not too demanding and always popular with our guests.

We have a  20 minute drive to the start of the walk from where we walk up the high sided valley following the course of the Beli Iskar river. There are 8 narrow footbridges over the river and we criss-cross from one side of the river to the other as we proceed up the valley through the forest. It is 7.5 kilometers with 300 meters of elevation and will take about 4 hours of walking. There are several information boards on the walk which explain about the formation of the valley during the last ice age and the flora and fauna to be found in the area.

We normally take a packed lunch as there are places to stop and picnic.

Breakfast and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Monday 17th September

Today offers a five-hour walk from Borovets to the Chakar Voyvoda hut where we find ourselves high above the tree-line in a lovely environment with some fantastic views up to the peak of Musala. We begin with a ride on the exhilarating Sitnyakovo chair lift to a starting hut situated at 1,970 metres, which results in a reasonably easy level of walk.

Those who feel more inclined toward a change of pace may go for the option of a horse riding excursion in Borovets.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Tuesday 18th September

Today, dedicated walkers may choose our optional excursion to visit the Malyovitsa resort where we’re able to walk up through the picturesque valley to the Malyovitsa hut. There may be an opportunity to pursue a route further up the valley, depending upon remaining time and energy resources!

For those in the group who may prefer a somewhat easier pace for a day, we can arrange a visit to Belchin Banya to investigate a restored Roman fort in the morning, followed by an afternoon visit to Belchin Gardens Hotel which has a wonderful spa and swimming pool complex, supplied by a constant flow of hot mineral spring water.

Breakfast and dinner included. Overnight in Samokov.

Wednesday 19th September

Today we must say farewell to our sanctuary in the Rila Mountains and transfer to the airport for our return journey home.

Breakfast included.

Please note a general level of fitness is required for this trip as it is geared towards people who are capable of enjoying walking for 4 to 6 hours every day. Some walks will involve shorter but steeper technical sections; others will include more gentle, but longer ascents and descents of up to 900 metres (approx 3,000ft). There are the occasional steep sections, at times series of steps, as well as sections with loose rocks under foot, but there will be no scrambling or climbing.

There may be opportunities to opt out during the walks, however these are limited, so it is crucial that you are well prepared for the walking involved. In the interests of your safety and the rest of the group’s enjoyment if, at any time, the tour manager or walking guide feels that you are not suited to a walk or are not able to complete a walk for any reason, they may, at their discretion, request you to stay behind or return to the hotel.