Malyovitsa Peak, Rila, Bulgaria

Malyovitsa Trip – A Hike to the Hut

Since Sofia was overcast by a dense fog, some friends and I decided to escape its cold hug by going on a trip to the famous Rila mountain – the highest mountain range in Bulgaria and on the Balkans. In particular, we were headed to the Malyovitsa hut.

10 km already out of Sofia and a very generous December sun and a perfectly cloudless sky were paving our way up into the mountains.

On the way to Samokov, malyovitsa
Rila mountain

Our hike started from the Malyovitsa Ski Centre and went deep into the Rila National Park where the hut and the peak are located.

Ski Track, Malyovitsa, Rila
One of the two ski tracks near the Ski Centre Malyovitsa (ЦПШ “Мальовица”).
Malyovitsa peak, Rila
Malyovitsa peak as seen from the Ski Centre.

The brightly shining day was fantastic for walking and soon we were sweating as we had packed ourselves with many layers of clothes. I guess we were misled by the partly frozen river and the amounts of snow on the cliffs around.

Thick frost, Rila
The snow and ice have spread to the river.

The hike from the Ski Centre to the hut usually takes around 40 minutes in summer and around an hour in winter. Since we were stopping every once in a while to admire the magnificent beauty, surrounding us and to suck in every inch of fresh air into our thirsty lungs, it took us a little bit more than that. We managed to take some amazing shots of the area and the gorgeous Malyovitsa peak which stands at 2,729 m (8,953ft).

Partly Frozen Waterfalls, Malyovitsa, Rila
Nature at its best in winter.
Malyovitsa peak, Rila, Bulgaria with the sun
The gorgeous Malyovitsa peak with the sun gazing through the woods.

The trek was further slowed by the ice paths we had to either cross with great efforts or find a detour since we were not prepared with any snow and ice grip shoes like the people pictured below.

Frozen path, Malyovitsa, Rila
From time to time the path was frozen…
Frozen Road, Malyovitsa, Rila
…which was not a problem for people with shoes such as these.

The Malyovitsa hut is situated in an area with a high risk of avalanche, so if you intend to go there, plan your trip accordingly.

Avalanche risk, Malyovitsa, Rila
The sign reads “Valley with a high risk of avalanche.”
Snow-covered mountains, Malyovitsa, Rila
Snow-covered mountains near the Malyovitsa hut.

After a little more than an hour and many wonderful images, we arrived at the hut and treated ourselves with home-made (alright, hut-made which makes them even more delicious) lentils soup (leshta chorba) and beans soup (bob chorba). Since we were so hungry, I completely forgot to take photos of these delicacies that have fed myriads of tired tourists in the Bulgarian huts in the mountains.

Malyovitsa Hut, Rila, Bulgaria
Malyovitsa hut.
Malyovitsa Hut, Rila, Bulgaria, at 1960m
It is located at 1,960 m (6,430 ft). The peak stands at 2,729 m (8,953 ft).

Have you been to this part of the Rila Mountains? It is drop-dead gorgeous both in winter and in summer. Just enjoy it slowly!




12 comments on “Malyovitsa Trip – A Hike to the Hut

  1. Violeta

    This looks like a nice summer hike as well. I’m not so much into skiing, but I love hiking.

  2. aliceteacake

    Beautiful photos and a hike that seems pretty easy time wise! Well done for getting up there on those icy paths though! That looks a little difficult ><

    • Svet

      It does look easy, doesn’t it? It is not lengthy, but could prove to be quite difficult to non-experienced hikers 🙂

  3. The Roaming

    Wow this looks like a great adventure! We might add this to our itinerary when we visit Sofia this year.

    • Svet

      It is indeed great. If not too suspiciously looking, let me know when you are paying a visit to Sofia. I would love to guide you around. Plus, this place is around 70+ km away from the capital 🙂

  4. elizabeth

    We did a lot of summer hiking in Bansko, Bulgaria. There is some fantastic hiking there in the summer. Were they skiing on this mountain?

    • Svet

      Ah, very nice! Summer is great for hikes in all Bulgarian mountains. Yes, in Rila there are many places to go skiing – the most famous of which would be Borovets. 🙂

  5. Sabine

    This looks stunning and thumbs up for braving the cold and doing the hike 🙂 I love the mountains in eastern europe…somehow just a tad more “wild” and rough 🙂

    • Svet

      Hehe, thanks! Actually, it was quite warm during the hike (especially when you ascend). They are both “wild” and “calm” at the same time 🙂

  6. Alli Blair

    This looks fantastic! I love the frozen waterfalls and snowy landscapes – so scenic! I adore hiking and would just love to explore this trail 🙂

    • Svet

      Hehe, thanks! Yes, it was a fantastic hike with a gorgeous weather! This trail is amazingly beautiful but there is this risk of avalanche… Hehe

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