Amazing hiking route around the Balkans called "The throne of Gods', in Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria, covering the most attractive hiking areas.

 

Highlights

Hike to the highest peak of the Balkans – Mt. Musala (2925 meters) of Bulgaria

Hike the Throne of Gods – Mt. Olympus of Greece


Hike on the highest peak in two countries (Macedonia and Albania0 – Mt. Golem Korab (2764 meters), the border peak between Macedonia and Bulgaria


Visit three countries (Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece) but hike in five countries, as two of our peaks are border peaks (Ljuboten – Macedonia and Kosovo, Golem Korab – Macedonia and Albania)


Enjoy the natural hot springs of Sapareva Bania in Bulgaria


Meet the locals and enjoy traditional Balkan hospitality 


Experience the great cuisine of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece, at earth to table family owned venues


See the UNESCO protected cultural and natural world heritage sites of Rila Monastery in Bulgaria and Ohrid in Macedonia


Visit the plateau of the Muses and experience the view that ancient gods had on Mt. Olympos


Possibility to arrive at different airports (Sofia, Skopje, Thessaloniki)


Hike the highest peaks of four countries, enjoy the mountain culture, experience the diversity of the Balkans and have a challenging and fulfilling active vacation 

Itinerary

Tour itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Bulgaria

Arrival at Sofia Intl. airport, where You are met by Your tour leader and driver. Transfer to our first accommodation. Dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Bulgaria

Meals included: Welcome dinner

Day 2 Acclimatization day  

Day at your leisure. Lunch at traditional Bulgarian “mehana”. Overnight.

Accommodation: Bulgaria

Included meals: B (guest house), L (local restaurant), D (guest house)

Day 3 Hiking to Mt Musala (2925 m)

Today You will checkout early in the morning and do short transfer (30 mins) to the center of Borovets resort, where You will be met by the local Bulgarian leader (meeting point is the entrance of the gondola).

You take the gondola, which brings us to our starting point of the hike towards Musala - the highest peak of the Balkan Peninsula. Dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Bulgaria

Meals: B (guest house), L (pocket lunch), D (hotel/local restaurant)

Day 4 Hiking to the Seven Rila lakes

In the morning you checkout from hotel and get transferred to the starting point of the hike  and take the chairlift which brings you to the area of the Seven Rila lakes. All of them are situated at different altitude with the last one at 2535m, so it is up to you and the guide to decide whether you are going to the top or make a loop in the lower parts of the circuit.

Sapareva banya area is famous for its natural hot springs, so after the hike you can enjoy some of the pools in the town. Your guide can recommend the good ones. You will say goodbye to Your Bulgarian guide after the hike is finished. Dinner in the hotel.

Accommodation: Bulgaria

Meals: B (hotel), L (pocket lunch), D (hotel)

Day 5 Transfer to Macedonia / Monasteries of Rila and Joakim Osogovski

Checkout and departure to Macedonia. Enroute sightseeing of the UNESCO world heritage site of Rila Monastery (founded in the 10th century), and the Monastery of St.Joakim Osogovski in Macedonia). Lunch is arranged in the small town of Kriva Palanka, at local restaurant. Arrival at Shar Planina area in the late afternoon hours. Overnight at mountain lodge.

Accommodation: Macedonia

Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (mountain lodge)

Day 6 Hiking in Shar Planina - Mt. Ljuboten (2498 m)

Today's hike is taking us to Mt. Ljuboten, one of the most famous peaks of the Shar Massif. Duration of the hike is 5-6 hrs, length: 15km, Ascent: 1400m/2500m ; Descent: 2500m-900m. Return hike is done via Kozja Stena.

Late afternoon transfer to the nearby resort, where we will settle in and enjoy local hospitality and traditional dishes typical for this part of Macedonia. If time allows, en route visit of the Painted Mosque in Tetovo will be arranged.

Accommodation: Macedonia

Meals: B (hotel), L (mountain lodge), D (hotel)

Day 7 Hiking in Shar Planina - Mt. Titov Vrv (2748 m)

Leaving our mountain hotel on foot we have an early start for a long but rewarding trek along the Vakafska trail. Over the next 20km our well-paced walk follows high scenic pastures, moorlands and panoramic rest points as we enjoy the ascent towards to the peak of Mt Titov Vrv (2747 m). With it’s steep sided slopes and narrow ridge summit, we can expect to be rewarded with glorious views across the Shar Mountains into neighbouring north-eastern Albania and into Kosovo on this demanding day of trekking.

Our afternoon descent leads us back to the resort where we get onboard our vehicle and drive onto our hotel accommodation in Mavrovo national park. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in the beautiful village of Janche.

Accommodation: Macedonia

Meals: B (hotel), L (pocket lunch / local bakery), D (hotel)

Day 8 Hiking in Mavrovo national park - Mt. Golem Korab (2765 m)

Early breakfast and checkout. We start the day with a 4x4 transfer from our hotel to the starting point of the hike to Golem Korab. The path takes us in deep forest, we cross small mountain springs, pastures and meadows. The views are breathtaking, especially in the long traverse before the peak, where we are in front of beautiful rocky pointy peaks. As we approach the peak we can feel the fresh air from the Adriatic sea drifting from the Albanian coast, and we can see valleys and peaks in both countries. We enjoy enroute picnic lunch, afterwards we descend along the same trail.

Short transfer to one of the nearby villages where lunch is arranged, before we transfer to Ohrid. If time allows, enroute visit of the monastery of St. John Bigorski is arranged. Arrival in Ohrid in the early evening hours. Dinner is arranged at nearby restaurant on the lake shores.  

Accommodation: Macedonia

Meals: B (hotel), L ( local restaurant), D (local restaurant)

Day 9 Rest day in Ohrid

Breakfast and checkout. If You wish so, the guide will take You for short walking sightseeing tour of the UNESCO protected old part of Ohrid (amenities visited: Tsar Samuel’s Fortress, Plaosnik and the ancient Amphitheater). The afternoon is free to enjoy the pearl of Macedonia. Dinner will be arranged at family owned venue in the Ohrid countryside.  

Accommodation: Macedonia

Meals: B (hotel), L (local restaurant), D (guesthouse)

Day 10 Macedonia to Greece via Pelagonia

Checkout and morning transfer to Greece, with enroute stops for lunch at village in the Pelagonia area, as well as coffee & sightseeing stop in the town of Edessa. Arrival in Litochoro in the evening hours. Dinner and overnight.  

Accommodation: Greece

Meals: B (hotel), L (homestay), D (local restaurant)

Day 11 Hiking on Mt. Olympus (day 1)

Local transfer in the morning to the starting point of our hike, at an altitude of 1.100 metres. The route to the Refuge is the most frequented hiking path on Mount Olympus.  Most of the hike is through a thick forest of pine, beech and fir trees, and the path is in good condition. We make our way up to 2.100m alt. and reach the refuge. From the refuge, we follow a short zig zagging path which will bring us just under the mountains main summits; soon we will see an alpine plateau at an altitude of 2700m where a small but friendly refuge will accommodate us. (Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours).

Accommodation: Greece

Meals: B (guesthouse), L (pocket lunch), D (refuge)

Day 12 Hiking on Mt. Olympus (day 2) / Peak ascents – Gkortsia

After an early wake up and breakfast, we have two options according to participants fitness and weather conditions: We either climb  first Skala at 2.882 meters and then crossing a narrow ridge climb to the summit of  Skolio at 2.911meters. Or if weather permits and there is no snow, we ascent to the main summit - Mytikas (2.917meters), Greece’s highest peak, following a narrow gorge ( it involves about 150 m of scrambling ) ! ( 4-5 hrs walking on narrow paths – some scrambling involved – altitude gain of 800m ). After reaching the summit we descend by the same way to the main path and crossing the spectacular precipice under the summit of Stefani - the throne of Zeus, we emerge to the plateau of Mouses. In about 2 hours we will reach the refuge of the Hellenic rescue team (Petrostrougka @ 1.940m) where we can have our lunch and relax. (Estimated Walking Time: approx. 8-9 hours)

From this point the end of our tour is near, we continue to our final destination, Gkortsia (2 – 3 hrs walking) from where with your vehicle we transfer to Thessaloniki.

Accommodation: Greece

Meals: B (refuge), L (pocket lunch), D (local restaurant)

Day 13 Rest day in Thessaloniki and Halkidiki

Free day to enjoy beautiful Thessaloniki or the nearby Halkidiki peninsula, with its numerous beaches and beautiful coastal villages. We can also arrange sightseeing (the famous archeaological sites of Pella and Vergina, combined with wine tasting in Nausa).    

Accommodation: Greece

Meals: B (refuge), L (local restaurant), D (local restaurant)

Day 14 Departure

Checkout after breakfast, followed by transfer to the Thessaloniki airport for onwards flights. End of program.

Meals: B (hotel)

Gallery

Hiking in Macedonia:

Hiking in Bulgaria:

Hiking in Greece:

What's Included

Included:

- Transportation as per program (dedicated English speaking driver)

- Accommodation at traditional family owned venues (hotels/ledges/homestays with ensuite facilities)

- Traditional Macedonian, Greek and Bulgarian cuisine throughout the journey (all meals as per program; traditional homecooked food at family owned venues; beverages excl.)

- Tour leader during the journey (English or other major European languages) and local hiking guides in Bulgaria and Greece

- All tours and activities as per program / chairlift transfers

- Entrance at national parks and archeaological sites

- 24/7 support by Macedonia Experience and local partners in Bulgaria and Greece

Not included:

- Flights

- Single room supplement (not available at all areas)

- Optional excursions and visits

- Insurance

Dates & Prices

Scheduled dates:

* This is private guided all inclusive tour with flexible dates. 

Number of Participants:

2 - 12

Tour grade:

//

Prices: 

Prices are available upon request. Price depends on the number of participants. The program can also be additionally tailored in accordance with Your needs. 

Additional information: 

- Season: May-October

Packing list



Packing list:

- Large, comfortable rucksack (65-85 litres) with padded straps and waist belt, internal frame preferred; waterproof liner recommended keeping clothing, etc. dry inside.
- Sturdy, worn in trekking shoes
- Good waterproof top with hood
- Warm clothes, both for windy / cold daytime conditions and for the cool evenings (fleece tops or similar)
- Shorts and long trousers for walking, preferably quick-drying material (cotton or polycotton not denim)
- Sweatshirts or T-shirts for walking, at least one with long sleeves and collar (against sun-burn)
- Sheet sleeping bag or similar (e.g. duvet cover), for the overnight in a refuge, although blankets will be available.
- Sunglasses, towel, sun hat or cap, sun block
- Penknife
- Water bottle
- Wash bag and simple first aid kit (plasters or blister kit, aspirin or similar, antiseptic)
- Photographers: bring your cameras
- Torch (head torch if you have one)
- Walking sticks