At the end of August, my son went on a guided hike of the Rila and Pirin mountains in Bulgaria with Traventuria Ltd. Here is an account of the tour from his perspective:
Tour guide: Alexander Serafimov (Alex). Alex was an absolutely fantastic tour guide. He was knowledgeable about the mountains both in terms of flora and fauna. His English was immaculate (first language Bulgarian) but he also proved his multi-lingual abilities plenty of times on the tour! Overall, the best tour guide I have ever had.
The tour at a glance: the tour went through both the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges, of which I completed 3 of the main peaks (Polizhan, Musala and Vihren) as well as the beautiful 7 Rila Lakes. We were a small group (6 individuals, all English speaking). It was without doubt the most enthralling journey each day, with the scenery changing ever so often. Lush forests, rocky mountains and sharp faces met us each day. Also note, that this particular hike is challenging and requires a great deal of fitness. In total, the tour lasted 7 days.
Extras: There were many extras that were thrown in that we did not even know we would be getting! 1. Guided tour through Bansko and Sofia with Alex, again very knowledgeable especially about the history of these places. 2. Almost every night we had dinner at a different restaurant and one night we had a traditional Bulgarian experience where we sang and danced through the streets of a small village! The restaurant decision is left in the hands of the tour guide by Traventuria and Alex did a great job of picking the best and most diverse places. 3. Cable cars, chair lifts, transfers all included without extra charge. 4. A goodie bag at the start of the tour. Importantly, none of these things came at any extra cost.
Overall: Traventuria was extremely well organised from the start. Alex was a star of a guide. The trek through the mountains was breathtaking. A must for any trekking enthusiast.