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Malyovitsa – the Alpine beauty of Rila mountain

Malyovitsa peak in Rila mountain
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Malyovitsa peak in Rila mountainMalyovitsa is the perfect destination if you are searching for weekend or 1 day trip close to Sofia.

Its proximity to Sofia attracts many mountain lovers all year round. Malyovitsa is the name of a certain area situated in the north western part of Rila at 1700 m above sea level. There is also a ski resort with the same name located there. In addition to the skiing the area provides many other activities such as trekking and climbing and is also starting point for many hiking routes in Rila.

Rila is the highest mountain in the Balkans with its peak Musala – 2925 m. The name of Rila means ‘aqueous’. There are many alpine lakes stretched along the hills – the most famous are The Seven Rila lakes and Urdini lakes. And yes, when you are going to a trip to Rila you shouldn’t worry about the water – there are many fountains there (except in the winter when the water turns to ice).

Malyovitsa – the symbol of Bulgarian mountaineering

Malyovitsa is a symbol of Bulgarian rock climbing and alpinism. It is particularly famous with the one and only training base for mountain sports. The school provided training for ski instructors, mountain climbers, climbing instructors during the 50th years of the previous century. The base is still using its old name “Central Mountaineering School”, but it is rather transformed into a kids training camp during winter and summer holidays.

It is also open for all people enjoying the mountain offering accommodation, food and great view to the mountain hills. It is common to see free ride skiers climbing the hills, but it is not so recommended as the valley is known as high risk avalanche area.

Getting to Malyovitsa from Sofia

The easiest way to reach Maliovitsa is to catch a bus from Samokov. Samokov is a town located in 60 km from Sofia. To go to Samokov you should catch a bus from Sofia South Bus Station. The buses from Samokov (running twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening) will carry you to the parking next to the training base and the hotel Malyovitsa. Altogether it will take around 2 hours to reach the Malyovitsa school. From there you can choose from several activities and routes.

There are also several small restaurants and kiosks for coffee and fast food at that point. There is a parking where you can leave your car (if you came by car) and from this point the mountain is only accessible by walking.

Maliovitsa peak as seen from the beginning of our route

The ski runway

Ready for winter adventures 🙂

Info board

Hiking to Malyovitsa Hut

The laziest route from the resort is to hike to Malyovitsa hut. It starts once you are entering the National Rila Park and is following well-trampled path. The way to the hut is around 40-60 minutes and is full of nice views. First you will pass the forest and then you will cross the valley of Malyovitsa river.

The hut is located at 1960 m above the sea level and it is part of the European route “E-4”. This means that for some people the hut is not the end of the journey, but just a starting point for something more extreme.

It was built in 1934 as a high mountain shelter for 25 people. Now it provides an accommodation for up to 125 people. There are lovely tables and chairs outside the hut where the visitor can have a lunch surrounded by the hills of Rila.

Еntering inside you will feel the love and desire invested into each detail.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest attraction is the caw barometer which you will see attached at the front door and surprisingly works flawlessly 🙂

Maliovitsa hut

A masterpiece of the winter

Coffee with panoramic view to Rila – what a wonderful start of the day 🙂

Just another perspective

The caw barometer at the front door and the view from inside

There are many tourist and Alpine sites nearby Malyovitsa hut. Some of them are suitable for professional and experienced climbers but you can also meet amateur climbers searching for adrenaline.

The cold weather is not an obstacle for adrenaline seekers

Looking back

Hiking to Malyovitsa Peak

A popular destination, which route starts from the resort (and is passing through the hut), is the Malyovitsa peak (2729 m). The route is not easy and requires at least half day for climbing (3 hours one way).

It is the second highest peak in the northwest part of Rila, only 2 meters lower than Golyam Kupen.  You can see a really incredible views from there, but be ready to sweat 🙂

The vertical displacement is around 1000 m so you should prepare you mind (and feet) for this. But although its altitude, it is easily reachable comparing to other Bulgarian peaks, due to the diversity of terrain the route is passes through – gradually climbing, plains and valleys, as well as a harder climbing at the end of the route. At the foot of the peak are situated the lakes with the same name – Malyovishki Lakes, and also the amazing Dear’s Lake.

A landmark built in the honor of long-standing householder of Malyovitsa hut – Bore Malyovishki

A cosmic panorama in front of us

A view to the peak

Just keep walking 🙂

If you manage to climb the top and the weather is clean you will see and incredible 360 degrees panoramic view to Rila.

You can see Vitosha and Osogovo to the north and northwest and Bulgarian and Balkans number one Musala peak, to the East. Southern from us is Pirin mountain and far away to the northwest you will see the Rila Lakes hut. For those searching to extend the adventure, the journey can continue to the Rila monastery. 

Choose your route 🙂

Skiing in Malyovitsa

If you are not into hiking then you can go to ski. Malyovitsa provides very good conditions for skiing and is not so crowded as is Borovets and others Bulgarian ski resorts.

The prices are also lower, but this is on account of the only one ski runway. There are two ski lifts for beginners as well as two for advanced skiers. The length of the ski runway is 1200 m and one day pass is 24 lv (2018) – very reasonable price.

A view from the runway

Panoramic view to the opposite hills and Vitosha mountain

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