Vitosha Mountain is the home mountain of Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria. It is conveniently located southwest of the city and the good road network makes it easily accessible.
Although not very big, Vitosha is still the 4th highest mountain in Bulgaria after Rila, Pirin and the Balkan Mountains. It is almost rounded, dome-shaped mountain with a diameter of 25 kilometers. Its highest peak is Mt. Cherni Vrah (Black Peak) – 2290 meters (7513 ft.) above the sea level. It is not a hard peak to climb if you get a chairlift or drive up to 1850 meters high to Aleko chalet but it always catches out the unprepared tourists with its strong winds and low temperatures. If you want climb to the top of the mountain from its foothills get ready for a full day hiking adventure. Every step of it is worth it, especially if you are lucky enough to try the warming soup served in the mountain shelter at Mt. Cherni Vrah.
Being so close to Sofia, Vitosha Mountain is very well developed for tourism all year around. During the winter months there are a number of ski slopes one can enjoy and the high parts are suitable for snowshoeing. Once the snow has disappeared in the late spring a multitude of trails coming from every direction are populated with hikers. Some of the trails, especially on the northern slopes facing Sofia are very popular while the other ones you can barely meet a person for a whole day.
Mountain Biking in Vitosha Mountain is also very popular with a number
of trails for every skill level. The wide, soft trails in the foothills of the mountain can be the perfect place for your first ride in the mountain while climbing all the way up to Mt. Cherni Vrah and then coming all the way down requires skills and experience. There are special trails for downhill riders who can use a chairlift to climb up and
the cross-country enthusiast can enjoy riding the 90 kilometers trail that circles the whole mountain.
Vitosha Mountain is also the oldest Nature Park on the Balkans, established in 1934. It has extremely rich flora and fauna containing more than the half of the species that can be seen in Bulgaria. There are two Nature Reserves in the high parts of the mountain where there are also species of plants and invertebrates that are unique. These territories provide peaceful atmosphere where some rare larger animals can be also seen – Red Deer, Roe Deer, Wild Boar and Brown Bear. The Red Fox and the Rabbit are more common and the beautiful songs of more than 200 species of birds can be heard in the abundant forests.
The best period to visit Vitosha Mountain is the summer and the autumn when the weather is stable and the days are long. Always carry water and warm clothes with you as well as a rain cover. A hat and sunscreen are a must and you will need comfortable hiking shoes. Here are some of our guided day tours of Vitosha Mountain that you can enjoy when you come to Sofia: