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The "terra incognita" of Europe

Bulgaria's Rila and Pirin mountains

Bulgaria's Rila and Pirin mountains

Situated in the south- east corner of Europe, Bulgaria is an unknown paradise for ski mountaineering and snowshoeing.

bulgaria mountains

Between January and end of March the mountain ranges of Rila and Pirin provide excellent conditions for winter sports.

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Rila is the most majestic range of mountains in Bulgaria and is the location of the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, Mt. Musala which climbs to 2925m. The range is situated in the southwest corner of the country. The name Rila descends from the Slavic word Rula means "Full of Water Mountains". This name reflects the character of the Rila range; there are more than 200 lakes, which are source of many rivers. The mountain range has a wide zone of coniferous and broad-leafed natural woods and it is classified as a National Park.

bulgaria mountains winter

Another interesting part of Rila range is the region surrounding Peak Maliovitza (2927m). It has a splendid alpine relief with picturesque traverses and the special charm of wild valleys. It is the natural setting for Bulgaria's most famous monastery - Rila Monastery. Situated high in the beautiful Rilska river valley the monastery was founded by John of Rila in the 10th century, as a colony of hermits. It later became one of the centres of early mediaeval culture.

Ski mountaineering and snowshoeing in Rila is a big challenge for everyone keen to explore the untouched powder snow and experience the cultural monuments of Bulgaria.

bulgaria winter ski

The Pirin range is home to the country's second highest peak and is thoughtby many to be one of the most beautiful mountain areas not just in Bulgaria. Due to the geology of the rocks - marble, marbleized limestone and granite, the peaks and ridges are very sharp and the landscape spectacular. Sixty of the peaks are over 2000m and two of them - Vihren (2914m - third on the Balkan Peninsula) and Kutelo (2908m), are over 2900m. It has 176 mountain lakes and around 100 varieties of rare plants, including the edelweiss and the famous Baikousheva fir, some of which are almost 1300 years old.

bulgaria winter mountains

It is believed that the mountain range originally went by the name Obrelos, which is a Thracian word and means "Snow Mountain". Later the Slavs gave to the range the name Perun - the God-Thunderer. The Perun mountains offer skiers and snowshoers a variety of challenging terrain. The itinerary passes trough beautiful bowls, over sharp ridges and peaks. It is the firm favorite of everyone who vistis.

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A typical day of ski mountaineering includes up to 1100m climb - usually in good conditions. Summit peaks are between 2700 and 2900m followed by 1000 to 1300 m of downhill skiing in powder snow, reserved only for you. The snowshoeing routes follow the river valleys and climbing passes between 2500 and 2600m.

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A visit to Bulgaria for ski mountaineering and snowshoeing enables you to combine the excellent conditions in the Bulgarian mountains with visits to some famous cultural monuments. You will feel the Bulgarian hospitality and enjoy the traditional cuisine, garnished with tasty wines.

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Further Information

For more information and reservation visit the website: http://www.intecotravel.com

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