Vitosha is the mountain that overlooks Sofia from the south. It is an extinct volcano and is covered in large boulders called moraines. Its elevation is 2290 metres.
To live in a capital city, Sofia, and have a mountain like this only a short distance away is an absolute treat. I have been walking here at weekends for the last twenty years. Under this menu, “Vitosha”, I will be giving descriptions of the most beautiful walks I have done, so that this mountain can be discovered by others. My intention is to produce a book in 2025 called Twenty Walks on Vitosha, in collaboration with my son, Gabriel.
It helps to have a car, but it is not necessary – you can take one of the buses that go to the mountain. Most of the walks are accessed through the districts that nestle on the side of the mountain next to Sofia: Boyana, Dragalevtsi, and Bistritsa. This is for obvious reasons. To get to the other side (the south side) of the mountain from Sofia involves driving all the way around the mountain, which takes much longer. The easiest point of access is Boyana.
Walking on Vitosha is not difficult. A typical elevation gain is 300 metres. Paths are good, there are often mountain huts where you can eat (and sleep), and mountain people are friendly. It is polite to greet people: “Zdraveite!” (“Hello!”) or “Dobur den!” (“Good day!”).
A typical walk is a couple of hours. I usually go immediately after lunch and am back by teatime. But some of the walks, especially to the summit, Cherni Vrah (“Black Peak”), take longer in the absence of chair lifts, which stopped working a few years ago (now only the Simeonovo-Aleko cabin lift seems to be working).
Please respect the mountain. It only ever gives respite, clean air, and great natural beauty, and deserves to be treated accordingly.
Please access my descriptions using the drop-down menu “Vitosha”.
BEST WALKS FOR RIVERS/WATERFALLS:
BEST WALKS FOR MORAINES (GLACIAL BOULDERS):