Starting coordinates: 42.6246831, 23.2397177
Distance: 6.1 km
Elevation Gain: 320 m
Time: 3 hours
Transport: by car, or by bus no. 63 to the Dendrarium
This is a wonderful, circular walk that starts and ends at the mountain hut and restaurant Planinets. To get there, you need a car. The alternative is to take bus no. 63 to the Dendrarium and to walk from there, but this will add at least an hour.
You take the road to Vitosha that goes through the village of Boyana, follow the road up the mountain. Immediately after you pass the Dendrarium on your right, there is a turning on the left to Kopitoto (where there is a hotel and a television tower). Take this turning. Before you get to Kopitoto, there is a turning on the right to Planinets. Take this smaller road, but be careful, it is full of potholes. The mountain hut/restaurant is at the end.
To start the walk, go past the mountain hut on your left and take the path that descends directly in front of you. After a short descent, this path begins to climb gradually through beautiful forest. It divides after about ten minutes. Take the left fork. A trunk has fallen across the path, so you have to bow your head. Continue for another ten minutes until you reach some large stone steps. At the top of these steps, turn right and after five minutes you will come to the cobbled road that goes from Momina Skala on your left to Zlatni Mostove on your right. Cross the road, climb the steps directly opposite and join the path that connects Momina Skala and Zlatni Mostove. Go right, the path descends steeply for a few minutes. At the bottom, take the path that climbs directly on your left (the road is on your right, and Zlatni Mostove is in front of you). You will now stay on this path for forty minutes or thereabouts.
The path climbs steeply for ten minutes (this is the hardest part of the walk, but nothing too strenuous). Ignore the crossroads, with a hotel (Elitsa) on your left. Keep going straight. After a few minutes, ignore the turning to Septemvri on your left. Keep straight. The path levels out, you cross little streams and pass large boulders called moraines. Eventually you will come to a clearing with plants. Here you join another path coming from Planinarska Pesen. Go left, and in a few metres you will reach a bridge over Boyana River. This attractive river tumbles down the mountainside and further down becomes Boyana Waterfall. This is an ideal spot to have a rest. It is also about halfway through the walk. From now on, the walk is downhill.
When you are rested and have enjoyed one of my favourite spots on the mountain, cross the bridge over the river. There is a mountain hut on your right, Bor. You want to go left (not straight). You can walk on the road, or better take the path that is on the left of the road. On the path, you will keep crossing the road as it winds down the mountain (the path is more direct). After a few minutes, cross the road, and then you will reach the mountain hut Tintyava. Immediately after the hut, turn left, with the building on your left. Cross the road again, and you will descend some steps to the mountain hut Rodina. Go straight past the building on your left. Cross the road again, and now you are on the path to Momina Skala. After fifteen minutes, a path joins the path you are on from the right. At the bottom, turn left and cross the bridge over the same river, Boyana River, you were sitting by earlier, except that now you are further downstream. Pass the mountain hut Momina Skala on your left and climb the short path to a large open area where there is a meadow and places to sit. This is Momina Skala, a popular destination in summer.
Cross the meadow (do not take the path that veers off on your right, this goes to Kopitoto). On the far side of the meadow is a restaurant. Pass the restaurant on your right and a hundred metres away, on the other side of a parking area, is a path marked “Planinets” heading west. This path goes straight down the hill and has wonderful views west of the mountain. Keep going straight down the hill. After ten minutes, you will cross a path connecting Zlatni Mostove and Kopitoto, but do not take it. Keep going downhill. Towards the end of the day, the light here is very attractive as the sun begins to set. Twenty minutes after leaving the restaurant in Momina Skala you will reach the road to Planinets. The mountain hut is just on your left.
This is one of my very favourite walks on Vitosha, but it can be shortened. When you get to the cobbled road, instead of going right, you can go left. The path will take you straight to the meadow in Momina Skala, and from there you can head downhill to the road leading to Planinets. This will shorten the walk by several kilometres, but I recommend the longer route.