Mountain Planet
Summits and ridges of Rila Mountain
Rila Mountain - is the most majestic Bulgarian Mountain, its' highest peak Moussala (2 925 m) is the highest peak of the Balkan Peninsula. Rila's national park is situated in the Southwest of Bulgaria and is renowned for the Seven Rila lakes, a hiker's paradise. The scenery is breathtaking and here the visitor can find peace with the sound of the water flowing over the rocks in the many streams and rivers.

Brief info

Technical difficulty:
Length: 82 kms
Best Time
Activity level:
Jan
Feb
May
Jun
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Sep
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Apr
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Duration: 8 days
Altitude gain: 2925 m
ascent of the country's highest peak, Mount Musala
Best time for Bulgarian mountains is from the end of June till the end of September.
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1. Easy
Light physical activity, usually walking or hiking, that is good for most fitness levels. Also suitable for children and elderly people. Perfect for whose who have never been to the mountains and who want to try it out.

2. Moderate
Activity involves daily walking for 3-5 hours a day, usually multi-day treks or long 1-day hikes that require a high level of physical activity. Suitable for people with an average level of physical fitness.

3. Challenging
Activity involves daily walking for 3-5 hours a day at various types of terrain (rough trails, partially exposed areas with danger of falling, gravel plains, pathless steep terrain) or high-altitude treks above 2000 meters. Requires an average to above average fitness level.

4. Strenuous
Activity involves walking up to 6-7 hours a day in fairly difficult terrain (steep rocky slopes, snow covered glaciers or firn fields with danger of slipping) or high-altitude treks above 3000 meters. Requires an above average fitness level and high level of stamina.

5. Extreme
Activity involves walking up to 6-10 hours a day with difficult terrain and conditions (tricky rocky slopes or snow covered glaciers with increased danger of slipping), strenuous high-altitude treks at 4000-5600 meters. Requires very high level of physical fitness and stamina, as well as good practical experience of multi-day trekking on high altitudes.
HIKING/ TREKKING ACTIVITY LEVELS
What intensity you should expect from this activity and what fitness level is required for this activity
0. No requirements/ minimal requirements
Easy hiking/ trekking with non-technical elements. No certain knowledge or experience is required for this activity.

1. Beginner
Basic navigation skills are required if hiking/ trekking without a guide. Previous hiking/ trekking experience is not required, but desirable. No danger of falling with appropriate behaviour.

2. Intermediate
Average navigation skills are required if hiking/ trekking without a guide. Basic alpine experience is needed.

3. Advanced
Path not necessarily available. Sometimes need to use hands to keep going. Terrain assessment, good navigation skills and good alpine experience is required.

4. Professional
Mostly without a path and unmarked, might involve some climbing sections. Excellent navigation skills are required even if trekking with a guide. Proven alpine experience, mountaineering skills and familiarity with alpine equipment are required.
HIKING/ TREKKING: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY LEVELS
Some activities might envolve technical elements for which certain practical experience or training is needed.

Itinerary

Important details

Accommodation
In our programs our guests stay mainly in small family run hotels, owned by local people, accommodation is in double rooms and they all have two characteristics clean and hospitable places. Single supplement option is available for additional €80 per person, yet not available in dormitory in the refuge Ivan Vazov (day 5).
Meals
All meals during trekking are included (7 breakfasts, 7 dinners and 6 picnic lunches). Vegetarian option is available.

Your guide (if choosing a guided option)
Our local provider has been offering trekking options in Bulgarian Mountains since 2003, providing their clients with the most picturesque tours. All guides are certified by Mountain Planet experts for their experience and quality services.

If you prefer a self-guided option you will be provided with a travel pack, containing maps and route information.
Luggage
Your luggage will be transferred by hoteliers and drivers, and we assume that you will travel with 1 x 15kg (approx.) case per person (plus, of course, a small backpack/day pack)

Please advise us if you will have more and/or heavier suitcases in case we need to make alternative arrangements for their transport, and note that this may incur a surcharge.
How hard it is
This trek is for intermediate hikers. Expect from 6 to 8 hours of walking during the day, from 300 to 1050m of ascent a day.
Transfers
A single timed transfer from Sofia Airport to your hotel and all internal ground transfers as listed in the itinerary are provided.
Medicine & Insurance
As a condition of booking your holiday arrangements with us, you are required to obtain your own comprehensive travel insurance by the time the balance is paid. This policy must cover as a minimum private medical cover for the entire duration of your trip including 24 hour emergency cover with a repatriation service. Some insurance companies specifically exclude hiking from their cover or regard hiking over certain heights, or certain destinations, as more risky and therefore not covered or requiring an additional premium; you should therefore check that your policy covers you for the specific holiday you are buying. If you intend to undertake activities or excursions during your holiday and these are not covered by your standard policy, please ensure that you purchase additional cover for these.
What to pack?
FOR YOUR SUITCASE

- Outdoor Clothing (we recommend taking lots of thin layers rather than a few thick - you can then adjust your clothing to weather conditions as they change)
- Breathable waterproofs, their weight depending on weather forecast, season and region - As you are travelling in a mountainous area warm clothing is essential
- In hot weather, you will need a hat with a decent-sized brim. Light walking trousers are better than shorts where paths are less good through high undergrowth (which can be a problem on many routes)
- Comfortable, worn-in footwear and double layered socks.

FOR YOUR DAYPACK

- Medium sized day-rucksack (25-30 l. capacity)
- Water. If you don't have an in-rucksack hydration pack, remember to take containers - empty mineral water bottles would be fine
- GPS. Please note that in some countries the maps are inaccurate and correlation of GPS readings with the marked route may therefore be difficult
- Mobile Phone, Europe enabled, with charger, (maybe an extra 'power pack') and country-specific plug adaptor
- First Aid. Always carry a basic first aid kit, including something for blisters, insect repellent, antihistamine cream and some high-energy food
- A high factor sun cream is essential
- Poles. Walking poles are a standard part of the professional walker's kit and are useful uphill (set them to be shorter) and downhill (longer), in poor weather and to steady yourself when crossing streams
- Your Medical Insurance Certificate and emergency telephone number. Cover offered by your household policy, bank account or credit card should be checked carefully to ensure it will cover any likely eventuality. Remember to carry your passport at all times
- If you are a resident of the EU make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

You can find the full list in the FAQ section

Summits and ridges of Rila Mountain options to go

Don't let Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact your mountain trip!

We at Mountain Planet prioritize safety and not only in the mountains. Thing are changing every day and there is so much that is still unknown. We want you to keep on planning your next mountain trip and not worry about cancellations.
We guarantee 100% refund if your plans have changed due to Coronavirus precaution measures (borders closed, flights cancelled, visa problems, etc).

COVID-19 Cancellation Policy
Self-guided option
Summits and ridges of Rila Mountain trek can be operated for minimum of 2 people. For general safety reasons, we prefer not to operate self-guided trips for one person (because even a small problem with your stomach can become a serious obstacle if you are alone). Accommodation in double rooms. Single supplement option is available for additional €80, yet not available in the refuge.
You are just sending a request, no payment is needed at this point. Our Expert will get in touch with you to answer all your questions and help you book the best option for you.
495 per person
Guided option
If you are afraid to get lost and don't feel like going to a self-guided trip, if you want to hear all the legends and know everything about Rila Mountain - then a guided option is for you. Summits and ridges of Rila Mountain guided option can be operated for minimum of 4 people. Make it a cozy family trip or take your friends and have an unforgettable vacation - it is absolutely up to you! You will be accommodated in double rooms, a single supplement option is available for additional €80 per person. Single supplement option won't be available in the refuge.
You are just sending a request, no payment is needed at this point. Our Expert will get in touch with you to answer all your questions and help you book the best option for you.
730 per person
Dates:
It is up to our clients to decide when they can come, the dates are flexible.

Best time for Bulgarian mountain is from the end of June till the end of September.
October can be also really nice, but it depends on the weather, so varies from year to year, as weather is more unpredictable.
What's included
Accommodation
All internal ground transfers
Including airport transfers from Sofia airport
Luggage transfer
Meals
7 breakfasts, 7 dinners and 6 picnic lunches
Tickets for the chair lift
English Speaking Guide
(only in the guided option)
City tour of Sofia
What's not included
Airplane tickets
Airplane transfer to Sofia
Visa
Visa fees to Sofia
Personal gear equipment
Personal gear rentals
Insurance
Mountaineering insurance
Personal expenses
All other costs not mentioned as included
Good to know
What clothes and gear do I need?
FOR YOUR SUITCASE
- Outdoor Clothing (we recommend taking lots of thin layers rather than a few thick - you can then adjust your clothing to weather conditions as they change)
- We recommend that you pack breathable waterproofs, their weight depending on weather forecast, season and region. As you are travelling in a mountainous area warm clothing is essential.
- In hot weather, you will need a hat with a decent-sized brim. Light walking trousers are better than shorts where paths are less good through high undergrowth (which can be a problem on many routes).
- Comfortable, worn-in footwear and double layered socks. Do not take brand new walking boots on your trip.

FOR YOUR DAYPACK
- Medium sized day-rucksack (25-30 l. capacity)
- Water. If you don't have an in-rucksack hydration pack, remember to take containers - empty mineral water bottles would be fine. Tap water in the hotels is drinkable on this route but always take more than you think you need even though water can be heavy.
- GPS. Please note that in some countries the maps are inaccurate and correlation of GPS readings with the marked route may therefore be difficult.
- Mobile Phone, Europe enabled, with charger, (maybe an extra 'power pack') and country-specific plug adaptor.
- First Aid. Always carry a basic first aid kit, including something for blisters, insect repellent, antihistamine cream and some high-energy food
- A high factor sun cream is essential.
- Poles. Walking poles are a standard part of the professional walker's kit and are useful uphill (set them to be shorter) and downhill (longer), in poor weather and to steady yourself when crossing streams.
- Your Medical Insurance Certificate and emergency telephone number. Cover offered by your household policy, bank account or credit card should be checked carefully to ensure it will cover any likely eventuality. Remember to carry your passport at all times.
- If you are a resident of the EU make sure you get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Other things to bring
· Basic safety aids: Whistle (the international distress signal is 6 quick flashes/whistles every minute and the reply is three every minute), torch with flash and batteries and survival blanket.
· Sewing kit and pocket knife
· Plastic rubbish bag as impromptu dry seat and dirty laundry bag
· Earplugs, and eye-covers for light sleepers in un-curtained rooms
· Washing powder/liquid to cut down on the amount of clothing to take
· Travel hairdryer (at least one in the party – we can't guarantee one at each hotel, though most will have one at reception)
· Soap (not all hotels provide it), other toiletries and travel basin plug
· Travel electrical adaptor suitable for country of travel
Do I need to apply for a visa?
No, if you are a holder of a valid schengen visa. Since 25 January 2012 the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a decision according to which by the date of Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen area, Bulgaria unilaterally applies a visa-free system for holders of valid Schengen visas. They will have the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Bulgaria for a period of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of the first entry, without needing to have a Bulgarian short-stay visa. The decision entered into force on 31.01.2012.

Also a visa-free regime applies for holders of valid visas and residence permits issued by Romania, Cyprus and Croatia for a stay of up to 90 days

In other cases you will need to apply for a visa.

A foreign citizen wishing to apply for a Bulgarian visa shall hold a regular travel document that meets the following requirements:
  • its validity expires at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria or in case of multiple visits - after the last scheduled date of departure from the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria;
  • contains at least 2 blank pages for visa purposes;
  • has been issued within the last 10 years.

Visas are issued by the diplomatic and consular representations of the Republic of Bulgaria. Visa applications forms are submitted not earlier than 3 months before the date of the intended travel, personally or through an authorized agent, with the exception of humanitarian cases.
I am a vegetarian, can I get the menu adjusted?
Sure, vegetarian option is available at no extra cost.
Can I book extra day trips?
Absolutely yes! If you would like to book extra day trips - just let us know!
Any additional information to be aware of?
· Beware of pickpockets and bag snatchers at railway stations and on public transport. Report any theft to the nearest police station.

· When walking as a group, please ignore the temptation to try and keep up with everyone else - people walk at different speeds. If you walk faster than your normal pace, it will spoil the enjoyment of the walk and can affect your health at high altitudes. Don't walk faster than your ability – it's not a race!

· Better start early rather than later in the day - thunderstorms can build up quickly in July and August and you should not be out on the mountain in such weather conditions.

· Stretch after any repetitive action to avoid build-up of lactic acid, hence stiffness, in the muscles – at least 30 seconds for any given muscle is the minimum for it to have any useful effect.

· Please keep to the paths. This helps reduce our impact on the environment. Grassy slopes can be treacherous, particularly in wet weather. Children often love sliding or rolling down them but there can be hidden cliffs below which may be lethal …

· Take gloves and a hat (high altitudes can be surprisingly cold, even in summer).

· Please do not leave any trash in the mountains.
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