Balkan Self Guided Walk, Bulgaria

Self Guided Walking
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The area around Teteven in the Balkan mountains offers unique and diverse landscape, dotted with tiny villages lost in greenness and flowers, offering visitors not only tranquillity and calmness. In this region, traditions are a big part of modern life. Old water mills are still at work; fulling mills continue to wash colourful carpets; the famous "rakia" (brandy) is prepared right before you; Bulgarian housewives prepare unforgettably sweet jams made with wild berries; and the old farmers still make the famous Balkan brine cheese with sheep and goat's milk. And all this surrounded by the wild nature of the Central Balkan National Park and one of its nine green pearls – the biosphere reserve of Boatin, housing one of the largest belts of Beech forest in Europe.

♦ Central Balkan National Park
was established for the conservation of the unique nature of the Central Balkan Mountains.
♦ Glozhene Monastery was built in the 13-th century by the Ukrainian prince Glozh, housing an icon at the age of about 1000 years.
♦ Saeva dupka cave - although it is only 400 m long the cave is considered to be one of the most beautiful ones in Bulgaria housing a great number of beautiful cave formations 


Day 1. Arrival
Arrive at Sofia Airport, transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 2. Saeva Dupka cave - Glozhene monastery - Goliam Izvor
Drive to the cave „Saeva dupka” (1.5 hours). After visit the cave- transfer to the village of Glozhene where a nice trek expects you through old beech forest to Glozhene Monastery, where you can see the 1000 years old icon of St. George. From the monastery we follow the path climbing to Mt. Lisets offering stunning views over the Teteven Valley and the Central Balkan range. We continue along some narrow paths and a dirt road to Goliam Izvor village for overnight.
Walking time: 4-5 hrs; Uphill: 400 m; Downhill: 350 m

Day 3. Golyam Izvor - Brusen - Lopian
The walk starts directly from the guest house in the village center crossing plum tree orchards and pine forests. After a gentle ascent to Mt Orlyak we follow a dirt road to the small village of Brusen, where the car will be waiting to drive you another 15 min to the village of Lopian where we stay for the night.
Walking time: 4 hrs; Uphill: 600 m; Downhill: 350 m
Optional walk is the road Brusen - Lopian (2 hours walking time)

Day 4. Lopian - Cherni Vit
The trail again passes through mixed forests, but this time - uphill. Then we will walk along unwooded ridge, after that we will descend to the village of Cherni Vit. Overnight in a guest house in Cherni Vit.
Walking time: 4-5 hrs; Uphill: 450 m; Downhill: 300 m

Day 5. Kordela Hut - Boatin Reserve - Ribaritsa
Short transfer to Kordela hut where our walk starts crossing Boatin Reserve. The path goes through the century-old beech forests of Boatin and descends over the other side of the hill to the region of "Kostina", where one of the Bulgarian national heroes has been killed by the Turks. From this point a short walk along gardens, meadows, villas and houses of local people brings you in the village of Ribaritsa, where you stay overnight.
Walking time: 3-4; Uphill: 250 m; Downhill: 530 m

Day 6. Ribaritsa - Debeli Dial - Ribaritsa
Today you will walk along "Debeli Dial" - the ridge surrounding Ribaritsa from North. The path continues to Vasiliov Hut but before that you will turn right descending at the upper parts of Ribaritsa, which is actually the longest village in the country (12 km long). You will have the opportunity to see the way of life for the local people and to enjoy the idyll of a typical Balkan Mountains village. Overnight in Ribaritsa.
Walking time: 5 hrs; Uphill: 400 m; Downhill: 400 m

Day 7. Teteven - Cherven peak - Teteven
Transfer to Teteven where the walking starts. The path goes upwards through broad leaved forests and vast meadows to the rocks of Cherven Peak, offering a superb panoramic view over the town of Teteven and the valley of Beli Vit River. From there you take the eco-path leading to Babintsi village and further down to Teteven.
Walking distance: 13 km; Uphill: 700 m; Downhill: 700 m

Day 8. Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure (1,5 hrs drive).

Recommended travel period of the year: April- October

Price Includes:
Accommodation at family-run hotels en-suite facilities (days 1;5;6;7) and in a guesthouse with shared facilities (days 2;3;4)
airport transfers on arrival and departure days as set by the itinerary (Day 1 and Day 8)
breakfast and 5 dinners (day 2-6)
road book in English and map of the area
luggage transfers and transfers where specified during the walk
local back-up and emergency phone

Not Included:
Flight tickets
drinks and meals not mentioned
entrance fees
personal expenses
airport transfers outside the tour itinerary

Extra Services:
airport transfers outside the tour itinerary: 15 EUR per transfer for vehicle 1-3 pax / 25 EUR for vehicle 4-7 pax
optional trip by car to Etropole Monastery and the waterfall on day 3: 20 EUR for the vehicle