How to get to the popular area of Malyovitsa in Rila Mountains by public transport?
Malyovitsa is the name of a certain part of Northwestern Rila Mountains. It is actually a long valley at the bottom of which is rising the impressive Malyovitsa Peak – 2729 m in height. It loses in the elevation ranking comparing to the higher peaks of Musala area, located east of Malyovitsa, but undoubtedly it is the most beautiful peak in Rila Mountains. Its most famous image is the view of the silhouette of its rocky north face, seen from the bottom of Malyovitsa valley.
At the foot of the peak are situated the lakes of the same name – Malyovishki Lakes, and also the amazing Dear’s Lake. Other peaks in the area are Orleto (The Baby Eagle) and Malka Malyovitsa (Small Malyovitsa). East of the valley is the area of Kupena Peak, another rocky part of these mountains, accessible from Malyovitsa Valley. Most famous peaks in this part of the mountains are Kupena, Popova Kapa, Zliya Zab, Lovnitsa, Orlovets. West of Malyovitsa area is the deep valley of Urdini Lakes – a wild and less visited glacial valley with more beautiful lakes, home of the Brown Bears.
Why is Malyovitsa popular, except that it is one of the beautiful places to see in these mountains? First of all, it is easily accessible from the capital Sofia and from the second biggest city of Plovdiv. And second – it offers a lot of options for rock climbing and ski touring, for hiking and snowshoeing.
How to get there by public transport? There is a 16 km asphalt road from the village of Govedartsi up to the mountain. The road ends at 1730 m at the small Malyovitsa ski centre. Except the few ski runs that operate from January till March there is also a couple hotels and small restaurants and a couple of parking lots. The first building in the area was a mountaineering training base, built in the 50’s of 20th century. That’s why the area is still famous with the abbreviation of the name of the training base – Central Mountaineering School, or CPSH (Centralna Planinska Shkola) in Bulgarian. The end of the road is at the border of Rila National Park and the further access is only following the mountain trails on foot.
The easiest way to reach Malyovitsa from Sofia is by bus Sofia-Samokov and than another minibus up to the parking lot of Malyovitsa. Samokov is a town with about 30 000 inhabitants in the foot of Rila Mountains. Next to it is located the biggest ski resort in this mountains – Borovets. Samokov is 60 km away from Sofia. It takes about an hour to reach it by bus, following the winding road along the valley of Iskar River near Pancharevo and Iskar Lakes.
Buses from Sofia to Samokov run from Sofia South Bus Station, located below the bridge of Dragan Tsankov Blvd. The bus station is reachable by metro from Serdika Metro Station to Jolio Cury Metro Station and a further ten minutes on foot. The first minibus goes at 7 in the morning and you need to get this one in order to make connection with the shuttle to Malyovitsa. It arrives at Samokov Bus Station till 8.10, just in time to get the minibus up the mountain (it is usually waiting for the Sofia bus). After this one there is buses every half an hour from Sofia to Samokov (until 20.00h). Ticket price is 6 BGN one way.
If you miss the first bus and take a next one to Samokov, at the town you’ll be able to catch a local bus Samokov-Govedartsi village only. In order to go further you’ll need to walk 16km, hitchhike or wait till 16.15 at Samokov Bus Station or Govedartsi village to get the afternoon minibus. Another option is to bargain a taxi from Samokov.
In order to catch the afternoon shuttle from Samokov you’ll need to get a bus Sofia-Samokov not later than 15,00h.
Minibuses Samokov – Malyovitsa: 8,15 and 16,15 every day; 30 min, price 6 BGN one way.
Malyovitsa – Samokov: at 9,00 and 17,00 every day.
* The minibuses go every day during the high season, outside of it sometimes they have no passengers at all, so some courses might be cancelled at the last moment.
From Plovdiv to Samokov: there is a few buses a day that run from Plovdiv to the town of Blagoevgrad in southwestern Bulgaria and they make a stopover at Samokov. The trip takes between 2,15-2,45 hours. The buses go at 7,30 and 13,00 every day from the Plovdiv South Bus Station .
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.