Ski touring in the Rila and Pirin Massifs (Bulgaria)

Duration : 8 days

Bulgaria

Level : good skier (uphill / downhill), daily ascending elevation between 700 and 1200m

from 1300 € / p. from 3 to 7 persons

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Description

Ski touring in Bulgaria?

This country, located near Yugoslavia, Macedonia and Greece is a former communist bloc country, open for 12 years now. It's still a place on the planet where the word "nature" has a deep meaning. The regions we are going to cross, namely the Pirin and Rila mountains in the south of the country, still have wolves and bears! These species are accustomed to harsh winters. Snow falls in abundance on these low summits (the highest peak in Bulgaria does not exceed 2900 meters), and skiing is practiced as early as March on these open slopes and encourage to make its own track.

Bulgarians love the mountains. It is always with great pleasure that they go there as soon as they have the opportunity. This love for the mountains makes it not uncommon to meet other winter sports enthusiasts on the snowy slopes. Yet few have the opportunity to indulge in the pleasures of ski touring. This leaves the possibility of having access to beautiful playgrounds to make curves in the powder and feel almost alone.

This trip will make you cross from north to south to discover by browsing the national parks of the same name as the mountains, jewels of the environment and having wonders within them.

Program

D1:
- Meeting in Sofia. Time to collect the luggage, a minibus leads us from the first part of this ski raid, namely Panichishte.
- From there, we start the climb to the Rilski Ezera refuge. The circus of 7 lakes is the biggest circus in Rila. The seven lakes have names that correspond perfectly to their shapes and characters: Sulzata (tear), Okoto (eye), Bubreka (kidney), Bliznaka, Botanicheskoto (botany), Ribnoto (fish lake) and Dolnoto (the lower lake). The deepest is the eye (-37,5 m).
- Reaching the place where spend our first night in the mountains will be the opportunity for a warm up.
- Night at Rilski Ezera Refuge.
Elevation +: 300m.
Duration: 1h30 to 2h of skiing.

D2:
- Early departure for this first stage that makes us discover a mountain which, despite its altitudes lower than the Alps, reveals rocky landscapes.
- Climb towards the summit of Maliovitza (2729m), a temple erected towards the heavens, if the conditions allow it.
- A last effort to reach the summit bfore gliding to the hut of the same name for the second night.
- Overnight at the Maliovitza hut.
Elevation +: 1100m.
Duration: 5 to 7 hours of skiing.

D3:
- For this third day, the proposed stage is a little longer in distance. In the morning we leave for a climb to the summit of Goliam Kupen (2731m).
- Once the summit reached, we take full advantage of the view from this natural observatory, before going for an anthology downhill on the monastery of Rila, located some 1300 meters below. The downhill is made by the "white corridor", pure line between the mountain top and the valley, with an inclination of 40°. The dream of any skier to draw his arabesques in such a place!
- Thus, our skis bring us at the door of the orthodox monastery, where we will spend the night.
- Arriving early in this place, we have the leisure to wander in this UNESCO listed building, huge and perfectly preserved. Meeting with men living there.
- Night at Rila Monastery.
Elevation +: 950m.
Duration: 5 to 7 hours of skiing.

D4:
- Day of connection between Rilski and the city of Bansko, by private minibus. Journey of about 2 hours between the two mountains through the Bulgarian valleys and their landscape.
- Arrival in Dobrinishte, this small ski resort will be for us the opportunity to enjoy the ski lifts to reach Besbog (2237m).
- It is time to climb to the Polejan (2850m) and Gazei (2761m) peaks which make us discover a splendid panorama on the chain of peaks Strajite (The Sentinels).
- A long downhill takes us to the Demianitcha hut, located at the end of the forest.
- Night at the Demianitcha hut.
Elevation +: 1100m.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours of skiing.

D5:
- Ascent to Little and Big Todorka (2712 and 2746m) with a wonderful view of the summit Vihren (2914m) - the highest of Pirin and second largest in Bulgaria - and the summit Kutelo (2908m).
- A spectacular downhill takes us to the foot of Vihren where hides the Bunderitza hut and the oldest spruce of the world (1300 years).
- Our minibus is waiting for us to drive to Bansko, one of the typical Bulgarian cities, known for its extremely tasty cuisine and traditional songs.
Elevation +: between 1100 and 1200m.
Duration: 5 to 6 hours of skiing.

D6:
- Today begins the biggest downhillof the raid. Ascent to Bunderishka Porta (Bunderitza Pass) (2500m).
- Arrived at this passage, after about 3 hours of climb, we make a deserved stop, before starting a dream downhill to Iane Sandanski. These are almost 1300 meters downhill waiting for us now! All in a landscape from the "high mountain" peeled atmosphere to wooded valleys. Upon arrival, we will be very close to  Greece!
- This is the end of our journey through the Bulgarian mountains. Depending on the time available, we will visit Melnik, the city of pink sand towers and the best Bulgarian wine. Now remains to dive a little more in the culture and the art of living of this country and its inhabitants.
- The minibus offers us a comfortable return to Sofia, the capital, to discover its atmosphere, its charms and its mysteries. It is a return to the city, and we spend our night in a hotel, after having dinner in one of the innumerable restaurants of the city.
- Night at the hotel.
Elevation +: 1200m.
Duration: 5h of skiing.

D7:
- A day of visit and rest in Sofia, with our guide. In the program a little culture by strolling between the different interesting places of the city, and especially the pleasure of discovering a culture other than ours, another approach of conviviality ...
- The last evening is as unforgetable as the generosity and the reception of Bulgarians for foreigners coming to visit their country, namely intense and long (for amateurs) ...
- Night at the hotel.

D8:
- Breakfast and last morning tour in the city, before reaching the airport where we will separate our head filled with memories.

The price includes

  • Supervision by the mountain guide
  • Accompanied by a Francophone tour guide
  • Full board accommodation
  • Possible loan of the tranceiver / shovel / probe
  • On-site road transport by private minibus
  • Entrances to the museums and monasteries planned for the program
  • Transfers to the airport

The price does not include

  • Flights to Sofia
  • Ski touring equipment
  • Drinks
  • Personal expenses

Accommodation

  • Mountain huts and hotels
Next departures :

No scheduled departure, bu you can contact me to book your dates.

Infos & Booking