A possibility to see many rare European and endemic Bulgarian plants. Bulgaria is the country with the biggest biodiversity in Europe. Many endemic and rare plants can be found on Bulgarian territory. Together with all the other interesting and rare plants and animals Bulgarian wildlife is one of the most interesting in Europe .
Day 1: Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to our hotel. Accommodation for 2 nights. Only a few capitals in the world are located less than an hour ride by car or chair-lift from the top of a mountain where one can find oneself amidst wild nature where Bears, Wolves, Wild Cats, Red Deer and many other rare and interesting species of birds and plants can be encountered. The hotel offers an exceptionally beautiful view of the neighboring mountains and Sofia city. It is located at 1800 m above sea level and is surrounded by splendid pine forests. Includes: (D).
Day 2: After breakfast a walk to a Nature Reserve, follows. This reserve comprises a very old spruce forest as well as areas above the tree line, in the sub alpine zone of the mountain at an altitude of about 2000 m a. s. l. It is a very easy and pleasant walk. There are many rare and endemic plants. After about 30 minutes walk we reach the reserve where such interesting plants like Lilium jankae, Narcissus-flowered Anemone (Anemone narcissiflora), Lesser Twayblade (Listera cordata), Globe Flower (Trollius europaeus), Gentianella bulgarica, Senecio pancicii, Lesser Bladderwort (Utricularia minor), Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Common Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) could be observed. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Transfer to the next hotel, situated at the foots of a nice mountain. During the transfer will visitthe famous Rila Monastery. In the afternoon accommodation at the hotel for two nights. The hotel is at 1000 m above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful primeval coniferous forests. The hotel is with a breathtaking view of the pine clad mountains and the mountain snowy summit. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: An early morning ride to high mountain meadows and forests, at 2200m a. s. l. The white marble rocks dominate the landscape. The soil is poor, thin and patchy and one can see the marble bedrock underneath. We climb above the tree line, in the mountain sub alpine zone between 2200 and 2500 m a. s. l. and in about 4 hours of slowly treading we reach the local mountain chalet. It is a hike for experienced hikers, but this is the only way to see such rarities as the Macedonian Pine (Pinus peuce) (we will see the oldest tree in Bulgaria, the 1350 years old Balkan endemic species White-bark Pine (Pinus heldreichii), Saxifraga ferdinandii-coburgii, Saxisfraga androsacea, Potentila apennina, Pedicularis orthantha, Papaver degenii, Daphne oleoides, Asineuma kelerianum, Long-flowered Primrose (Primula longiflora), Alpine Aster (Aster alpinus), Brassica jordanofii, Centaurea triumphetti, ssp. Achtarovii, Galium stoyanovii, Veronica kellereri, Jovibarba heuffelii. The beautiful view of the neighboring peaks and ridges is everywhere with us. Night at the our hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Transfer to our next hotel with a stop to climb mount ,at an altitude of 2099 m. The hike is about 2 hours and we climb nearly 400 m - from 1700 m to 2099 m a. s. l. The interesting species here are: Minuartia stoyanovii, Androsace hirsuta, Viola grisebachiana, Centaurea parilica, Asineuma kellereri, Astragalus angustifolius, Petcovia orphanidea. Our new hotel is at 1500 m above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful primeval coniferous forests. There is a breathtaking view of the pine clad mountains from the hotel. This is certainly a sight you'll remember for life. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: After an early breakfast we will visit the magnificent gorge. What impresses deeply the visitor are the huge cliffs towering above and the deep rocky valley, where the meandering river can hardly be seen. Strange trees of a local subspecies of Black Pine (Pinus nigra) grow right out of the rocks where there is hardly any soil for their roots. All the time while we are there we cannot help but stand in awe before the nature’s grandeur. Unfortunately, this is only a poor and sketchy description of this extraordinary place with its caverns and the rumble of its waterfalls. One can hardly imagine the gorge beauty if one does not see it with one's own eyes. This exceptionally beautiful area is 1200 m above sea level. Species to see: Haberlea rhodopensis, Petkovia orphanidea, Sideritis scardica, Minuartia rhodopaea, Malcolmia serbica, Morina persica, Trachelium rumelianum. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: We cross the whole mountains and the lowland and reach a small mountain town , one of the places of the Bulgarian national revival. On the way there while still in the mountains we visit a Nature Reserve. Beautiful primeval pine forests, mountain meadows and forest glades, offer us a good opportunities to see Viola rhodopaea, Astragalus centralpinus, Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentila fruticosa), Scabiosa rhodopaea. Night at the local hotel. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Transfer to Sofia and departure. Includes: (B).
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