our first vitosha tour photo
If you have a desire to hike and do a tour to the highest peak of Vitosha mountain, you should free one day. We’ll tell you the easiest way to reach the top of 2290 meters.
From Sofia you have to take the metro to Vitosha Station, walk out the mall, Paradise Centre. You have to find the bus stop in front of Cherni Vrah Street. It has a identifying number 2756. The bus is 122 and it runs only in the weekends. It takes 15mins bus ride to Simeonovo lift bus stop (the last stop). Once you reach the lift (the lifts only work in the weekend too) buy a return ticket that cost 14BGN and take the lift to the last stop, Alesko Hut. From there it’s about 2hr 30mins of good hike to the top! To reach the Black peak (Cherni vrah) follow the red markings.
The view is stunning on a clear day and you can have a full panoramic view of the entire Sofia City and surrounding mountains.
If you are looking to get out of the city for some good hiking and fresh air, this is definitely worth a trip!
Golden bridges, the stone river
A stone run, called also stone river is a rock landform, resulting from the erosion of particular rock varieties caused by freezing-thawing cycles taking place in per-glacial conditions during the last Ice Age. The actual formation of stone runs involved five processes: weathering, solifluction, frost heaving, frost sorting, and washing. The stone runs are essentially different from moraines, rock glaciers, and rock flows or other rock phenomena involving the actual flow of rock blocks under stress that is sufficient to break down the cement or to cause crushing of the angularities and points of the boulders. By contrast, the stone river boulders are fixed quite stably, providing for safer climbing and crossing of the run.
Stone river is a natural wonder and it can be found in Vitosha mountain. Also called Golden bridges are the most visited area of Vitosha mountain. Even before the Second World War, when there is no way from Sofia to this place, mountain lovers with backpacks had been coming in the weekends on the small paths of Knyazhevo, Boyana and Vladaya to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Today the Golden Bridges are reachable by road, which connects the capital with this natural wonder.
The natural wonder The Golden Bridges 1390 m above sea level is located in the middle of the Vladayska River, at the border between North (Kamendel) and North-Western (Selimishki) sections of Vitosha. Impressive are the huge oval stone blocks of syenite (moraines) along the wide riverbed. They completely cover the water stream, for the presence of which we can realize only by the muted rumble. Most of the moraines are covered with yellowish moss, which, in the sun, acquire a golden color. This is one of the explanations for the name – Golden bridges. Others associate the name with the presence of golden sand in the river, which is also a fact. The area also impresses with the huge spruce trees, the ancient beech and the beautiful birches.
The Golden Bridges is one of the most frequently used exit points to Black peak (Cherni Vrah).
There are two theories about the origin of the Golden bridges, The Stone river. The first: the sliding of the glaciers at the end of the quarter (the ice age). According to this theory, glacier origin have all stone rivers in other parts of the mountain. Depending on the other theory, they are a result of the blocked cracking of Vitosha monzonite (kind of a stone) with a subsequent spherical shaping because of erosion effect of the river and wind.
Vitosha Mountain is established as a natural park in 1932. With 27,078 ha area it is the oldest nature park in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula too. It is inseparable part of Sofia and citizens life.
Two reservations are situated on its territory - biosphere reservation “Bistrishko Branishte” and reservation “Torfeno Branishte”.
On the park’s territory 61 types of habitats were identified; among them of greatest interest as far as nature conservation goes are the natural spruce forests, the peat areas, the moraines and the caves.
Vitosha’s flora includes all vegetation zones characteristic of the Bulgarian mountains, except the alpine one. The park is habitation of a plenty of Balkan endemics, and the globular yellow blossoms of the Vitosha tulip can be seen on the open high-mountain parts. The mountain is home of a diversity of bigger and smaller mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. In the hot seasons 200 bird species can be observed in Mount Vitosha, of them 120 species nesting within the park’s territory.
You can hike to the longest cave in Bulgaria, Duhlata. It is also situated in Mount Vitosha: it is a natural attraction with galleries of around 18-kilometre length placed at 6 cave levels.
Sofia is the single European capital in the vicinity of which brown bear lives. Since 2002 the park’s administration successfully carries out a project of reviving of the Balkan wild goat, a species that perished in the mountain more than 100 years ago.
The “Bistrishko Branishte” reservation is situated on the north-eastern slope of Vitosha, below the Golyam Rezen peak (2,277 m) and Skoparnik peak (2,226 m). It was established in order to preserve a section of a broad-leaved forest and the alpine grass vegetation located above it.
The “Torfeno Branishte” reservation was establish in order to preserve 144.1 ha turf lands and abundant marshland vegetation in the alpine section of Vitosha.
A meteorological station was built at the top in 1935, and is still operating.
The access to Mount Vitosha is provided through regular bus routes and lifts.