Biking in The Bulgarian Alpine Ranges

Difficulty level: the grade of this trip is Very Difficult. For a total of 6 days on the bikes we’ll do more than 240 km and about 4500 vertical meters. We’ll descend nearly 6000 vertical meters on all sorts of mountain terrain. Our requirements are very good physical condition and some experience in biking on different types of terrain. We follow dirt and macadam roads to grassy, rocky or sandy single tracks with varied inclination.

Our main luggage will be transferred by a supporting vehicle on all days except one. You may bring your own bike for the trip or we may provide a bike hire.

The best period for this trip is July to September.



Day 1


Arrival in Sofia.


Transfer to the town of Bansko, located on the Northern slopes of Pirin Mountains, in Razlog Hollow between Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountain ranges. You’ll meet with your guide and discuss the route for the next days. Time to get used to the new place, walk around the old town of Bansko, dinner.

Pirin National park

With an additional 20 min uphill along the road we reach the chair lift station and get a lift up to 2240m, in the heart of Pirin National park. We’ll see the Bezbog glacial lake and Bezbog peak.

Obidim village

Descent back along nice forest roads and further towards Obidim village. It’s a small settlement with great views to the surrounding mountains. Accommodation at a guest house.

Day 2

39 km, + 500 m


20 min along the paved road from Bansko up the mountain will take us to the start of our route for today. We follow a large dirt road through the pine forests with some nice views towards the valley and opposite Rila Mountains until we reach the paved road to the other ski area in Northern Pirin-the Dobrinishte-Bezbog road.

Day 3

55 km, +1300 m

Pirin Mountains

A demanding day: we start with a nice descent to the bottom of the valley of Mesta River which marks the border between Pirin and the Rhodopes. Further 25 km, mostly uphill, will take us to the main ridge of Velijski Rhodopi. It is the southwestern range of the endless Rhodopes, inhabited mainly by local Muslims, called Pomacs. Many of the villages have no paved road access and the lifestyle of the local farmers hasn’t significantly changed from the times of their forefathers.


We pass near Medeni Polyani Village and bike additional 15 km along the ridge via Zlataritsa Village until we arrive in Ortsevo Village at 1500 m above sea level. This is the most scenic part of the route for today – breath-taking views towards the mountains of Bulgaria and Greece, as well as the surrounding valleys. Accommodation at a local house in the village.

Day 4

28 km, + 700 m

Rhodope Mountains: Ortsevo Village

A short ascent will take us on the main ridge above Ortsevo Village. From the ridge we’ll take an easy descent down to the valley, to the small town of Yakoruda, where we get the famous narrow gauge train to take us up the mountain once again.


The journey takes an hour, we alight at Avramovo station at nearly 1300 m above sea level. This is the highest rail station on the Balkans. Avramovo is located right on the border of Rila and Rhodope Mountains.


We’ll continue biking in Rila Mountains, following a dirt road that climbs up in the direction of Belmeken area of Southeastern Rila. At the end of the day we reach Hristo Smirnenski Hut, located at 1860 m above sea level, at the so-called Wolf’s Meadow locality. Overnight stay at the hut.

Day 5

43 km, +700 m


Today we bike high up in Rila Mountains. First we’ll follow the paved road up to Belmeken Dam at 2000 m.


Then we get a nice panoramic macadam road that cuts the south slopes of the mountains and goes towards Treshtenik area with gentle ascents and descents.

Granchar Lake

Final ascent will take us up to Granchar Hut at 2200 m in Rila National Park. The hut is located on the shores of Granchar Lake – a beautiful glacial formation. Accommodation at the hut – main luggage is not transferred today.

Day 6

43 km, + 450 m


An epic day is in front of us! We’ll cross the whole mountain, biking on the famous Kaiser’s Road, a historical high mountain road built in the beginning of 20th century around WWI, to connect the northern and southern slopes of Rila. It was initiative of the Bulgarian King Ferdinand, who wanted to show the beauty of the mountains to his relative, the German Kaiser. Not so much left from the infrastructure nowadays, but still there are enough remnants that will hint at the impressive scale of this project.


After an 8 km ascent along the winding road, we reach the main summit of the mountains at Zavratchitsa Pass at 2450 m and then descent towards Zavratchitsa Hut. The highest massif of Rila and on the Balkans – Musala Ridge, is on our left side. Further we take a nice single track that goes up and down and reaches Chakur Vojvoda Hut. The last section is a long descent down to Borovets ski resort at 1300 m. The last section for today is a 17 km long quiet paved road that goes from Borovets via Beli Iskur Village down to Govedartsi Village at 1100 m. Accommodation at the village.

Day 7

32 km, + 800 m.

Sapareva Banya

Our last day is devoted to the area of Lakatishka Rila, a hilly sub-range that gives magnificent views toward Rila Mountains to the south and Vitosha and the Balkan to the north. We’ll ascent its highest peak – Zekiritsa at 1735 m and finally descend to Sapareva Banya Village (800 m), famous for its mineral pools. Afternoon drive to Sofia – 1,5 hours, or accommodation at the village. It’s a good base for visiting the famous Seven Rila Lakes region of Rila or Rila Monastery.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have any additional questions. If you would like to purchase this tour package for 1 or 8+ people, please speak to us or fill out our form and we wll prepare a custom quote for you.

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