Rila Rally

Across the highest mountain


Date: on request
Best travel time: June-August
Location: Rila Mountain
Distance: 215 km, ↑ 8150 m, ↓ 13200 m
Physical fitness: ★★★★☆
Riding skills: ★★★★☆
Duration: 9 Days
Services: 7 guided biking days, 8 nights in family hotels (4 B&B, 4 half board), 1 day in hot springs, shuttle and luggage
Price: on request


Rila Rally is a tour that crosses the highest mountain on the Balkans. It is a pure mountain bike adventure with the smell of pines, the freedom of alpine heights and the glamour of glacier lakes. The trails take us through centuries-old forests and high, close to the highest peaks. During the rides we enjoy breathtaking panoramas and the pristine nature. We also have the chance to dip in thermal hot springs, visit the biggest Bulgarian monastery or simply relax in the cosy guesthouses and mountain huts. Anyway, it is a tour to remember.


Day 1

Arrival in Sofia, airport pick-up and transfer to Rila Mountain. We spend the first two nights in Separeva Banya – the city with the hottest mineral spring in Bulgaria. Check-in, go for a swim in the pool, bike-check, get-together, dinner with traditional dishes.

Day 2

23 km, ↑ 800 m, ↓ 2150 m

We ride our first kilometers and vertical meters to get used to Rila Mountain. Shuttle and chairlift bring us to the hut „Seven Rila lakes“ on 2100 m height. In the morning we ride some trails in the area. Powered by the lunch we climb very short hike a bike section and come into long and technical trails all the way down to our guest house.

Day 3

34 km, ↑ 1600 m, ↓ 1750 m

In the morning we ride in the area right under the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, Musala (2925 m). We take the cable car to the hut of “Musala”. After a short non rideable section we ride one of our favorite trails in Rila. It ends in the Borovets bike park, where we have lunch. In the afternoon we start an uphill ride on the “Kaiser’s road”. We spend the night in “Zavratchitza” mountain hut on 2190 m.

Day 4

45 km, ↑ 1600 m, ↓ 2750 m

A real rally day.  We continue on the “Kaiser’s road” surrounded by a few of Rila’s giant peaks. We reach the next hut of “Granchar”. In the afternoon we follow the main ridge of Rila Mountain – an exceptional panoramic ride in the heart of the mountain! We need to pass some unrideable sections, but the final 1000-meters descent on a nice trail brings us into the small resort of Semkovo. Our final destination of the day is on the Southern slopes of the mountain – the picturesque village of Dobarsko. We enjoy the well-deserved rest and the hospitality in the family guest house.

Day 5

A day for a break with some possible activities:

  • SPA In the village of Banya;
  • visit the town of Bansko – the biggest winter resort in Bulgaria, located in the foothills of Pirin Mountain;
  • Visit of a special Dancing bears park founded for rehabilitation of bears;
  • visit of the small church in Dobarsko „St. St. Theodor Tiron und Theodor Stratilat“, built in 1614. Known for its remarkable mural paintings and ikons, it belongs also to the 100 national tourist attractions.
Day 6

50 km, ↑ 1500 m, ↓ 2450 m

We go back to the high mountain. After a short transfer to Semkovo we start a 15 km climb to “Makedonia” hut (2150 m). After we have taken some snacks we continue on the main ridge of Rila. Surrounded by splendid views we descend to the town of Blagoevgrad. Our shuttle bus brings us to the next accommodation close to Rila monastery – the biggest and most significant in Bulgaria.

Day 7

20 km, ↑ 1750 m, ↓ 350 m

We do an early bird visit at the monastery before the tourist crowds arrive. After the visit we leave again to the highest hut “Ivan Vazov” (2300 hm), where we spend the night. The rise to this magical place is a 17 km long, pulse-accelerating ramp. The way from the highest point to the hut is partly difficult, so we have to push the bike occasionally. The atmosphere in the cottage and the feeling of freedom in this landscape is unique.

Day 8

20 km, ↑ 550 m, ↓ 2100 m

Breakfast, say goodbye to the hosts and go ride the trails. Today it is mainly downhill. After a smooth climb we reach the highest point of our rally – 2650 m. We enjoy a fabulous view over the cirque of seven Rila lakes. From that place we start our breathtaking descend of about 2000 m on one of the most diversified trails in this mountain. At the end of the day we travel to Sofia.

Day 9

23 km, ↑ 500 m, ↓ 1550 m

This half-day tour is a popular route, with which we always complete our tour program. It’s up to you if we crank the entire distance or shuttle the largest part of the climb. From the highest mountain Cherni vrah (2290 m), which rises above Sofia, we experience the last day trail enjoyment – a 17 km long single-track to the capital.

Then we take the bags and say goodbye. Departure.

Tour Tips

In this packing list you will find what you should definitely have.
We recommend for this tour a 120-160 mm full suspension Bike and tires with good puncture protection.
We expect from each participant a solid preparation and a good workout as well as mastering the basics of mountain biking (central position, braking, turning, small obstacles, etc.).