Bulgaria Snowshoe Week

Bulgaria Snowshoe Week

  • Hike in the Rhodope and Pirin mountains

  • Snowshoe Bunderista's glacial lakes

  • Explore one of Europe’s oldest states

  • Tour the 2019 Capital of Culture, Plovdiv

  • Snowshoe Vitosha’s ridgeline above Sofia

  • Full luggage support

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • We are guided snowshoe tour experts

  • Outstanding, fully-qualified guide

  • First-rate hotels (twin-share basis)

  • Airport and resort transfers included

  • Snowshoes and avalanche transceivers inc.

  • Traditional local food and wine

Bulgaria Snowshoe Week: Dates and Prices

Bulgaria Snowshoe Week

Welcome to ideal terrain for your first or next snowshoe adventure: Bulgaria. The country’s Rhodope and Pirin mountains get up to three metres of snow every winter and it’s here that our exploration of this well-recognised snowshoe destination is based. This group trip blends wild-feeling wintry mountain days with city tours of Sofia and Plovdiv, topped off with a very comfortable hotel stay every night.

What to expect

You don’t need to be a snowshoe expert to have a fantastic time on this trip to beautiful Bulgaria. If you enjoy winter mountain hikes, take regular exercise and have a good level of general fitness (that involves some hill climbing) and are keen to try or to do more snowshoeing, this is for you. Travel light with just a daysack as your luggage will await at high-quality hotels each night. Prepare to enjoy traditional local food, wine and hospitality.

 

Terrain varies from pine forests and plateaux to summits and more steeply undulating trails. We’ll often be on tracks – after fresh snow we may need to carve out our own. Altitudes reach 2,500m but there are some cable cars. Expect between 4-6 hours of snowshoeing per day. Ascents are between around 300m and 500m per day with one tougher one, and descents range from 200m to a pleasing 1100m on the final mountain day.

 

Snowshoe techniques are relatively simple and easy to learn. This trip is led by our local Bulgarian guide on the ground, an English-speaking UIMLA-qualified professional. Not only will you be in capable hands, you’ll really get to know the anecdotes and ancient culture of a region rich in flora, fauna, bears, wolves, jackals and chamois. Just get in touch if you have questions; we’ll soon work out if this is the right trip for you.

Bulgaria Snowshoe Week: Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrival in Sofia and transfer to Plovdiv

Arrive in Sofia Airport by 14:00hrs. Meet your guide and join the 90-minute transfer to ancient Plovdiv, 2019 European Capital of Culture. Stay in a wonderful family-run hotel in the historical centre which is like a vast living museum as you’ll see on the afternoon’s guided city tour. Your guide will provide a briefing for the week ahead and answer all your questions.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Day 2 - Snowshoe from Chepelare to Pamporova

The Rhodope National Park is today’s goal. It’s rich in flora and fauna including ancient trees, jackals, wolves and brown bears. After a drive to Chepelare the snowshoeing begins. Explore the deep green forests of the Siykovska Valley to a summit high point of 1720m (5641ft) for tip-top views over the central Rhodope massif and a picnic lunch. Look out for griffin vultures. Then follow the ridgeline south through the Mechi Chal ski station to Pamporovo for a quick transfer to Smolyan, capital of the high Rhodope.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access 

Showshoeing: approx 6.5hrs

Drive: Plovdiv to Chepelare – 1hr 20mins

Drive: Pamporovo to Smolyan – 20mins

Altitude gain / loss: +700m / -200m

 

Day 3 - Snowshoe from Smolyan Lakes to Prevala  

The Smolyan Lakes are today's key feature; small but beautiful tectonic ponds along a fault in the Earth’s crust. Snowshoe to the upper Pamporova resort ski runs for a restaurant lunch. Sated, continue to Perelik Ridge for inspiring views. Today’s snowshoeing ends at the Prevala saddle where our transfer awaits. Visit Shiroka Laka en route home, with its typical Rhodopean houses, built in tiers on the local river banks. Look forward to local dishes in traditional Trigrad. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Showshoeing: approx 6hrs

rive: Smolyan to Smolyan Lakes – 15mins

Drive: Prevala to Trigrad – 50mins

Altitude gain / loss: +500m / -250m

 

Day 4 - Snowshoe from Trigrad Gorge to Yagodina Cave

Today we visit the marble spectacle of Trigrad Gorge. Dare you enter the Devil's Throat Cave, known as the infamous entrance to Hades? Afterwards, we’ll don snowshoes for a walk through incredible scenery and one of our rockiest days to find Bulgaria’s fabled Yagodina cave. Its vast galleries are the longest in the Rhodopes. Finish the day with a transfer to pretty Leshten. It offers panoramic views over the UNESCO-listed Pirin National Park.

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Showshoeing: approx 4hrs

Drive: Yagodina Cave to Leshten – 1hr 45mins

Altitude gain / loss: +450m / -400m

Day 5 - Showshoe from Pirin Mountains to Bezbog

Today, we enter the Pirin region with its 176 lakes, 400 square km of pines and over one hundred 2,000m+ peaks. Though wolves, jackals and bears live here, we snowshoers are more likely to spot birdlife, from woodpeckers to peregrine falcons. We’ll snowshoe from the Gotse Delchev hut then chairlift up to the Bezbog hut for a picnic lunch. Enjoy stunning views from Bezbog’s 2645m summit. There’s an option to climb nearby Polejan at 2851m, one of the Balkans’ highest peaks. Your guide will gauge group speed and mood to make that call. Your transfer to the famous ski resort of Bansko awaits back down at the first hut.

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Showshoeing: approx 4.5hrs

Drive: Leshten to Gotse Delchev – 1hr 10mins

Drive: Gotse Delchev to Bankso – 25mins

Altitude gain / loss: +450m / -450m (or +650m / -650m if inc. Polejan)

Day 6 - Snowshoe the Bunderista Cirque and lakes

You have two nights in Bansko so enjoy a more relaxed start today. The Bunderitsa cirque is on the cards today, one of the country’s best-known snowshoe trips. Our trail begins in the lush pines of the Bunderitsa valley. We’ll ascend to views of Mount Vihren, a.k.a. Pirin's marble giant. At 2914m (9557ft) it’s the Balkan's third highest peak. It resembles a marble pyramid and its north face is an impressive 400m (5248ft) vertical wall. After enjoying the Bunderitsa lakes we return to the Vihren mountain hut for the return to Bansko for a folklore dinner in a legendary Bansko tavern. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Showshoeing: approx 6hrs

Drive: Bankso to Bunderista – 20mins

Altitude gain / loss: +665m / -665m

 

Day 7 - Snowshoe Vitosha Ridge, explore Sofia

Today we’ll drive to the capital and snowshoe the ridgeline of Vitosha, the symbol of Sofia and a favoured spot with outdoor lovers all year round. We’ll gain some altitude in the vehicle and will enjoy a picnic lunch in a ski centre hut. A panoramic snowshoe trek along VItosha’s main ridge fills the afternoon – easy going atop a flat ridge with wonderful views over Sofia and across the Rila and Pirin ranges. A long, and gradual descent leaves energy for a group night out in the city with a traditional meal to help you experience this ancient capital and celebrate the end of the trip. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Luggage access

Showshoeing: approx 4.5hrs

Drive: Bankso to Vitosha – 2hrs

Altitude gain / loss: +500m / -1100m

Day 8 - Departure day

Our trip finishes after breakfast. Pack early to enjoy the included two-hour (09:00–11:00hrs) guided tour of Sofia before the included group transfer departs at 11:00hrs. Suggested flight times will be confirmed upon booking but from 13:30hrs at the earliest likely if keen to join the morning’s included tour, and to benefit from the one included group transfer to the airport at 11:00hrs.

AT A GLANCE

 

7 nights

6 days' snowshoeing

Luggage delivery

Group size 4-8

Price: £930

 

Join: Sofia Airport

End: Sofia Airport

ACCOMMODATION

7 nights in 3* and 4* hotels

 

 

DIFFICULTY GRADING

5

Moderate

Included

  • All snowshoe and group safety equipment

  • 7 nights' accommodation on twin-share basis

  • All meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners)

  • All transport in the itinerary

  • Fully qualified & experienced International Mountain Leader (UIMLA accredited)

  • Luggage access on all 7 nights

  • Tickets for chair lift to Bezbog hut

  • Entrance to Devil's Throat and Yagodina Caves

  • Guided city tours of Plovdiv and Sofia

  • One group airport transfer from and to Sofia Airport (timings apply)

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Walking poles – compulsory

  • Drinks and snacks

  • Tips and personal expenditure

Bulgaria Showshoe Week: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

© 2018 Cloud 9 Adventure

info@cloud9adventure.com

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