Hiking Malyovitsa Peak in Rila Mountain, Bulgaria (In Winter)

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Hiking Malyovitsa peak in Rila mountain, Bulgaria is a great adventure and a lot of fun.

Malyovitsa is one of the most known and recognizable peaks in Rila Mountain and is a must hike for every mountain and hiking lover.

Often, Malyovitsa is also being called one of the most dangerous peaks to hike in Bulgaria (in winter) due to the avalanches danger. The area around Malyovitsa is one of the most avalanche dangerous ones in whole Bulgaria.

Anyway, if you’re well prepared, and choose the right time it’s absolutely alright.

In the summer, there is no danger of avalanches, obviously – so in the hot months, Malyovitsa is one of the peaks that many people go to conquer.

My personal hiking story with Malyovitsa so far

So far, I have conquered the peak just once, in winter conditions.

The first time when I was in this region, I spend the time hiking in the surrounding area and spending a nice time overnight at the ”Scary Lake” – one of my absolutely favorite places. On the next day, I was at the foot of Malyovitsa peak, at the Malyovitsa hut, but on the way getting back to the village and then home, so we didn’t even try.

The next time when I actually went hiking to the peak it was in the summer and everything¬†seemed promising¬†from the beginning. However, on the halfway to the top, heavy rain, which turned to snow thwart our plans. Our group of 4 people split¬†in two – 2 of us wanting to continue and the other 2, who thought it would be better if we just get back. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve done, although I’m sure we were going to make it.

The third time was the time when I finally got to the top and it was amazing!

After trekking to the Musala peak in winter and remembering what an awesome time and an adventure it was, I had no patience to go to the all covered in white mountain.

People say that the view from the top in summer is wonderful – I’m sure it is. The view from the top in the winter is incredible (just look at the pictures – they speak for themselves).

hiking malyovitsa peak rila mountain bulgaria

So, the most important thing that I believe that everyone needs to have in mind, every time when going hiking is that you should listen to the mountain. Basically, if you listen, the mountain would let you know if it is a good idea to continue your hike or to get back. You should know that you should never underestimate the mountain.

About Malyovitsa

Malyovitsa is a 2 729 meters high peak in the northwestern parts of Rila mountain. The region is famous for rock climbing and mountaineering and as well as a ski resort.

Malyovitsa is also one of the most avalanche danger areas and unfortunately, many people have lost their lives there.

hiking malyovitsa peak rila mountain bulgaria

About the hike

I’m very happy that I’ve had the chance of hiking Malyovitsa peak in Rila Mountain with wonderful people. People with whom I have had many other adventures before and people with whom, I always have a great time with.

Did I mention that we’ve also had two dogs as a company?

Meet Johnny and Rangel – two dogs that live down in the area of the hut, dogs who probably have hiked the peak many times before and they did it again with us.

hiking malyovitsa peak rila mountain bulgaria

Our group expected that we are going to need more time to hike to the top and to get back that we’ve actually needed. In fact, we’ve done the whole hike pretty fast. (*cough* Because we are awesome *cough*)

To be honest, the hike was not difficult at all. Also, we were lucky enough and we’ve had a wonderful weather. The snow was perfect for hiking as well.

Hiking Malyovitsa peak in Rila Mountain is a great adventure as already said – the mountain is so beautiful when it’s all covered in snow and all the surrounding views are just amazing.

When you’re getting higher and higher, you’re starting to see the surrounding peaks and even many that are in the background, all covered in snow as well – it’s really magical.

It took us less than 3 hours to get from the hut, which is the starting point, to the top – with one stop for a tea (*cough* with rum *cough*).

For some people of our group, the hike was more challenging than for the others. With this in mind, it will really depend on your fitness level, but generally, the hike is not that difficult at all.

There are some places, though, where you need to be extra careful – of course when you’re in the mountain, you should always be careful, but here, you’ll really need to pay more attention in certain parts of the route.

hiking malyovitsa peak rila mountain bulgaria

Description of the trail

The classic route of hiking Malyovitsa peak in Rila Mountain takes about 4 hours in one direction.

The trail starts at Malyovitsa CPS, crossing a meadow named ”Mecha Polyana” on a blue mark. The walk from there to the hut goes parallel to Malyovitsa river and takes from 40 minutes to 1 hour.

From Malyovitsa hut the hiking to the Malyovitsa peak continues on a red mark – it continues along the first and second terraces and Elenino Lake. from there, depending on your fitness level, you should reach the top within 3 or 4 hours.

Practical tips for hiking Malyovitsa peak in Rila Mountain

What you’ll need:

  • Comfortable, hiking shoes are an absolute must (for any season)
  • Water (for any season)
  • Food for energy (for any season)
  • Windproof jacket, hat, and gloves (in the summer just in case, in winter, are a must)

Duration: 4 to 6 hours, depending on your fitness level. You’ll need around one hour to get from CPS Malyovitsa to Malyovitsa hut and then additional 3-4 hours to get to the top and about 2 hours to return.

Difficulty: Easy to medium, depending on your fitness level.

hiking malyovitsa peak rila mountain bulgaria

How to get there

There are 3 ways to get to the starting point of the hike from Sofia. Rila mountain is situated in the southwestern part of Bulgaria, 70km away from Sofia.

The most convenient way to get there is by car – it takes about hour and a half to two, depending on traffic, etc

The second way is by bus – to get there by bus, you will need to get a bus from Sofia to Samokov first and then I’m not actually sure if there are other buses or anything going to the CPS, but you can always take a taxi. There are ones that I know that are going to Govedartsi, which is the village before that. From there, you can just ask for a ride or try to hitchhike.

From Sofia to Samokov buses are leaving every day, every half hour from South bus station. The ticket costs between 5-7 leva which is around $3-4. The route takes about an hour.

And yes, the third way is to hitchhike to there – I have done that and it was lots of fun.

Where to stay

The closest place where you can stay at is the Malyovitsa hut.

Additionally, in this are, you can also stay in Govedartsi or Samokov. That’s in case you allow two days for the hike.

Camping – camping is one of the amazing things to do in Bulgaria for free.


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