Musala, located in Rila Mountain, Bulgaria, with its 2925m is the highest peak in Southeastern Europe.
The starting point for climbing the summit is the mountain resort Borovets, only hour and a half drive away from Sofia. In Borovets you can take the gondola lift up to Yastrebets Peak 2369m. The ride takes 25-30 min to cover 5 km distance and over 1000m difference in the altitude.
From the lift on Yastrebets there is a well marked path to Musala peak. The first part of it will take you to Musala hut – it takes about 50-60 min walking on an easy and pleasant path, showing you the beauty of Rila mountain.
The second part of the way to the peak is from Musala hut to the Icy Lake hut. Now the real challenge begins – the road twists between rocks and it gets really steep. The time it takes is 1:30 – 2:00 hours. Since you are climbing higher and higher – the air gets thinner so to say and the weather cooler – if it is cloudy, it can get pretty cold and foggy. On this part of the path you will have the chance to marvel some of the Musala lakes and the surrounding hills and peaks.
Once you reach the Icy Lake, you can have a rest there and try the hot chocolate or tea served in the hut and prepare yourself for the final climb to Musala. This last part is the hardest but it shouldn’t take you more than 40-50 minutes to reach the peak.
In general Musala is considered as a relatively easy peak to climb and I would agree to that, because it was the first peak that I climbed in my life so far and I managed to do it in less than 3 hours and I’m definitely not a hiker guru 😛
I climbed it end of September and it was already pretty cold there – 0-2C degrees with a bit of snow here and there. But that didn’t stop me to enjoy the silence and the calmness of the mountain and the fresh air from the top of the Balkans. I would love to do it again 😉