*All the further information might be a subject to change, so please use the links and phone numbers to check it.
Bansko Gondola Lift – The line takes people from the south edge of the town of Bansko up to Pirin Mountains. The top station is called Bunderishka Polyana, located at about 1600 m. above sea. Journey takes about 25 min. From the top station it is possible to hike to Vihren Hut (1.30 hours), passing near the oldest tree in the mountains of Bulgaria – about 1300 years old Bosnian pine, called Baikusheva Mura. Trail is pretty clear and there is parallel road that leads to the hut. Vihren Hut is located at 1950 m. in Bunderitza Valley and is starting point for ascents to the highest point of Pirin Mountains – Mount Vihren, as for various other treks. In August is expected that some of the other chair lifts in the resort will take people, which will give more options for hiking routes. There is also regular shuttles in the high season from Bansko bus station to Vihren Hut.
Operating Hours in Summer 2012:
|Period||Days of the Week||Going Up||Going Down||Type|
|01.06. – 29.06.||Monday to Friday||08.00h.||16.30h.||One Direction|
|02.07.-12.07.||Monday to Friday||08.00h.;12.00h.||13.00h.;16.30h.||One Direction|
|13.07.-31.07.||Monday to Tuesday||08.00h.;12.00h.||13.00h.;16.30h.||One Direction|
|13.07.-29.07.||Friday, Saturday and Sunday||From 8.00 To 16.30||From 8.30 To 16.30||All Day|
|01.08. – 31.08.||All Lines||From 8.00 To 16.30||From 8.30 To 16.30||All Day|
|01.09. – 16.09.||Friday, Saturday and Sunday||From 8.00 To 16.30||From 8.30 To 16.30||All Day|
|03.09.-13.09.||Monday to Tuesday||08.00h.;12.00h.||13.00h.;16.30h.||Once a Week|
|17.09.-30.11.||Monday to Friday||08.00h.;12.00h.||13.00h.;16.30h.||Once a Week|
Bezbog Chair Lift – starts from Gotse Delchev Hut (1412 m.), which is accessible by an asphalt road, and ascents up to Bezbog Hut (2230 m.) in the southeast parts of Northern Pirin Mountains. Gives numerous options for day and multi day hikes in the area, including Mount Bezbog, Mount Polezan and Popovo Lake – the biggest one among more than 140 lakes in Northern Pirin. Working time is 08.30-16.30 officially, but consider it from 09.00-15.30 (first-last drop). There is no regular shuttles to Gotse Delchev Hut (the bottom station) and one should either hire transport in the town of Dobrinishte (some locals offer pick-ups), either hike or hitchhike to reach it. Return ticket costs 12 lv. 07447/2120 is the phone number of Dobrinishte Hotel which is also the operator of the chair lift.
Borovets Gondola Lift – it starts from Borovetz ski resort and goes up to Yastrebetz Ridge in Rila Mountains at about 2400 m. During the summer season, the line operates between 8.30 and 18.30 (Monday morning closed for technical inspection) and can be used to climb Mount Musala (2925 m.) for a day, which usually takes about 6-7 hours total. Working schedule for 2012 is not yet announced, but no changes are expected (more information about the lift operating hours and prices will appear here). Price of return ticket in 2011: 10 lv. Additionally, Sitnyakovo chair lift in the same resort is opened to service the Borovetz mountain bike park. It can be used as a start for hikes in direction of Chakur Vojvoda, Maritza and Zavratchitsa huts in Eastern Rila Mountains.
Rila Lakes Chair Lift – The bottom station is located at Pionerska Hut (1500 m.) in Rila Mountains and is accessible by an asphalt road from the village of Sapareva Banya. There is regular shuttles and taxis available in the high season – the square in front of the municipality hall in Sapareva Banya is their station. The line goes up to Rila Lakes Hut (2150 m.), located in the famous cirque of The Seven Lakes. Can be extremely busy in the high season, so sometimes its better to hike up. Price: 15 lv return ticket (2011), Operating hours after 17th of June: 08.30-19.30 excluding Mondays (after 12.30). Contact at +359 884 163 479.
Sopot Chair Lift – Located on the south slopes of Balkan Mountains, above the town of Sopot, it is a good starting point for hikes in Central Balkan National Park. Dobrila, Dermenka, Ambaritsa, Nezabravka and Vasil Levski huts are accessible from the top station. Popular among paragliders and mountain bikers also, because of the good conditions for practicing these sports. Bottom station is located at the edge of Sopot. Operating hours & prices 2012: Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 9.30-17.30 (minimum 10 people to operate), rest of the time only if there is a application of 20 people. Price 10 lv in one direction. More information here.
Vitosha lifts – These take people from the villages of Simeonovo and Draglaevci (actually parts of Sofia’s suburbs) to the area of Aleko Hut (1810 m.) in Vitosha Mountains. Not operating at the moment and their destiny is not clear yet, after the owner of the ski resort close it for the whole winter season of 2012, but both the Dragalevtsi Chair Lift and Simeonovo Gondola Lift used to work regularly in summer. We’ll publish any up to date information in a future. There is regular buses from Sofia (Hladilnika station) to Aleko Hut.
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.