Sofia is the perfect center for mountaineers in Bulgaria. More than 25 mountains rise less than an hour and a half of the capital. Those facts on their own suggest that nearby tourist routes are tens, if not hundreds. Here, we’ll separate a few of them that suit all types of people.
After the name of each route, we have measured the distance and time to it from the center of Sofia (not its duration).
11. Eco-trail “A look at nine mountains” (56 km ~ 1 hour from Sofia)
A view from the top of the stairs. This tourist route originates from the village of Sirishtnik and leads to the highest peak of the Rudini mountain – the peak of the Siristynska Rudina. The name of the “A Look at Nine Mountains” eco-trail, as you can guess, comes from stunning views in all directions from the top-mounted tower.
A signpost will point you where and what you see, but I personally see more than 9 mountains. On the way up you will walk along a forest path, along with a small chapel, on a wooden staircase. You will also put your own stone in the interesting “Okoto” mosaic, then you will climb the Peak of Sirishtyn. A detailed description and GPS track of the route can be found here.
10. Lozen Mountains Eco Trail (21 km ~ 0:30 from Sofia)
The Lozen Manastir “St. Spas ” is a frequently visited destination. From it, the transition continues up to Mount Polovrak, near which you will be able to see built the memorial complex of Georgi Benkovski’s unknown “Cheta.” From Polovak you will see, in the words of many, the most beautiful view of the Sofia Field.
Besides that, the panoramas by Vitosha and Rila will stun you with their beauty. You will be convinced that this is a very prudent peak. On the way to the village of Dolni Pasarel, towards the end of the eco-trail, “Lozenska Planina” passes through the other memorial complex along the tourist route – that of Captain Dimitar Spisarevski. More information can be found here.
9. The village of Brusnik – peak Chekanska Buka (51 km ~ 1 hour from Sofia)
This is a relatively “young” tourist route because its red markings are placed in 2015-2016. It is one of the lightest ascents of a mountain leader in Bulgaria. It leads to the highest peak of Viskyar mountain – Chekanska Buka peak (Chekanska Chuka).
The climb is almost imperceptible and you would go through the open paths, as well as such in the forest. In fact, “paths” is a strong word, in that case, just follow the lawn mark. You will only have to look at the first corner here because there was no place for markings.
Finally, contrary to expectations, you will not find elevation for the highest peak, but only piles of stones, because at the time of the laying of the highest elevations of Viskyar, it was considered Mechi Kamak, and Chekanska Buka was not a part of this mountain.
8. Beli Iskar Eco Trail (72 km ~ 1h 15m from Sofia)
I passed the “Beli Iskar” eco trail in deep winter and, despite the monotonous white painting, I was amazed. I imagine what it would be like when nature here is in a green-brown envelope, when the river can be heard, when the birds are singing, when the efforts of drafting in deep snow are not present.
There are magnificent rock walls on both sides. The transfer from one shore to another is by using eight large and a few small wooden bridges, and in the end, you would find a shelter in the forest. The eco trail ends at a panoramic site offering views of the Beli Iskar River Valley.
7. “Transka” eco-trail (eco-trail The Gorge of the Erma River) (85 km ~ 1 hour and 15 minutes from Sofia)
The Tran Ecotrail is a compulsory stop for every one. Right from the beginning, you will be captivated by the two vertical rocks that look like a majestic gateway to the Erma River gorge. The ultimate goal would be to climb the top of the left rock.
If you have some fear of heights, I would suggest people to climb and descend from the sloping stretch of the route. The other one is a little harder, but in my opinion, safe if you do not worry about gaps. But the end result of both is a splendid 360-degree panorama over the Gorge of Manastirishte Peak.
6. Climbing Viden Peak, Konyavska mountain. (74 km ~ 1 hour 15 minutes from Sofia)
The Viden Peak is perhaps the easiest to conquer mountain champion in Bulgaria because the asphalt road reaches about 200 meters from it, and the highest elevation remains almost a horizontal walk.
Well, if you’ve come to the walk, you can start from the Straja area at the foot. There are several panoramic rocks along the way, and the entire Kyustendil valley can be seen at the top. There are spacious meadows where you can enjoy a picnic break. A detailed description and GPS track of the route can be found here.
5. Eco-trail “Pod Kamiko” (52 km ~ 1 hour 15 minutes from Sofia)
One of the frequently visited places near Sofia is Bov Train Station. The picturesque scenery here is an attractive center for many mountain and eco-trail lovers. Routes are bright and beautiful – ideal for relaxing and taking a breath of fresh air.
The Eco-trail “Pod Kamiko” is one of the three tourist routes in the area and represents a tour of the area along Bovska River. In its valley, we will meet many waterfalls, the most impressive of them being the waterfall “Kamika”, with its 80 m of height. Besides, along the trail are also the remains of the monastery “St. Archangel Michael “.
4. “Vazov’s Eco-trail” (52 km ~ 1 hour 15 minutes Sofia)ю
The “Vazov’s Eco-trail” also starts from Bov Train Station, goes to the Skaklia rock waterfall, passes under it and climbs up to the village of Zasele. From there the transition goes down to the panoramic rock “Zli Kamak”, which will really amaze you with a view over the station and the Iskar Gorge.
Some of the locals say that on this cliff stands Grandfather Yotzo from the famous story of Ivan Vazov “Grandpa Yotzo Watches,” but reading the story, I have a different opinion. A detailed description and GPS track of the route can be found here.
3. Boyana Quarter – Boyanski Falls (9 km ~ 15 minutes from Sofia)
Without a doubt one of the most visited tourist routes in Vitosha. It is not close to, but actually in Sofia. There are two options to reach the Boyana Falls – a long sloping trail and a short steep path. The long one is light enough and winds on the slopes of Vitosha as it climbs smoothly to the waterfall.
The short trail runs along the bed of Boyana River. More scenic, but steeper and more tiresome. The ultimate goal of both paths is one and it is worth seeing – the Boyana Falls.
2. Knyazhevo Quarter – Golden Bridges (13 km ~ 20 minutes from Sofia)
This is also a pleasant walk that starts from the Sofia quarter. Walking along the “Heritage Alley”, passing through the beautiful “Dendrariuma” area, we head towards the Owl Museum and the Bear Museum. Then we start to go one by one past some cabins until we reach the meadows of Golden Bridges.
If you are not tired, you can continue to the chalet named Momina Skala, which is just over the Boyana Falls.
1. Aleko cabin – Momina Skala cabin (28 km ~ 45 minutes from Sofia)
One of my favorite hikes in Vitosha Mountain. The tourist route from Aleko cabin to Momina Skala cabin is a wonderful and also an easily accessible holiday opportunity. I personally chose this route instead of a walk in South Park. Both are with the same difficulty, but here at least the air is a little bit more real.
I do not know where it comes from, but there is an additional charge of energy that fills me every time. From Aleko cabin, we start on the track markings, which soon take us to the plateau. The trail passes along the Torfeno Branishte Reserve, Ushite Shelter and the pebbly peak of the same name.
Afterward, it descends through the Vitosha Mountains to Momina Skala cabin, where the track changes with yellow tourist markings.