Day 5

After breakfast we shall explore the highland area and the alpine zone of Pirin National Park. We will also visit locations where Balkan Chamois may be seen. White-backed and Black Woodpeckers, Woodlark, Tree Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Crested, Willow, Marsh, Blue and Coal Tits, Treecreeper, Gold and Firecrest, Bullfinch, Common Crossbill and Nutcracker are some of the forest birds that we will look for. Our path will take us to the alpine meadows and glacial lakes, where highlights such as Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor, Whinchat and Shore Lark are well represented. The majestic Golden Eagle is among notable raptors to be seen here. One of the target species of rare butterflies, the Mountain Fritillary, flies in alpine meadows above the tree line. Further exploration of the Pirin Mountain range offers some outstanding botanical specialities, including Narcissus-Flowered Anemone, Globe-flower and several Balkan endemics such as Saxifraga ferdinandii-coburgii, Aquilegia aurea and Silene chlorantha.
Overnight at our Guesthouse.

Day 6

A journey to an impressive canyon in the Western Rhodopes will present us with major tour highlights, including a Brown Bear watch at twilight. Overnight stay in a cosy guesthouse in a charming mountain village.

Day 7

After breakfast, we will take an hour drive to the very picturesque gorge, the kingdom of the exquisite Wallcreeper and Orpheus flower (Haberlea rodopensis), which is a unique Bulgarian endemic and the only one of its kind worldwide to fall in anabiosis. We will also keep an eye out for mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including Balkan Chamois, European Souslik and European legless Lizard. We are likely to find Crag Martins, Ravens and Peregrine flying above the Devilís Throat Cave, which we can also explore, if you would like to see some interesting species of bats. Walking down to the river, we will look for the Dipper diving into the mountain stream, as well as some interesting butterflies such as Clouded Apollo, Balkan Clouded Yellow and Nichollís Ringlet. Overnight stay in our guesthouse.

Day 8

We will head back toward Sofia and stop in an exceptional village-museum for a cultural diversion. We will visit the Ethnographic and Architectural Museum. Later, we will stop at an impressive, historic Monastery. In the surrounding area we will be on the lookout for interesting butterflies, including Admirals. We will spend the afternoon exploring Rila Mountain National Park, where we may see several species of woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse, Alpine Chough and Golden Eagle. Later in the evening, we will reach Sofia and spend the night in a hotel high on Vitosha Mountain.

Day 9

Early in the morning, we will explore the alpine zone of Vitosha Nature Park, looking for Nutcracker, Common Crossbill, Coal Tit, Tree Pipit and Horn Lark. Afterwards, we take the short trip to the Sofia Airport for the late afternoon return flight.

*This is entirely optional leaving you completely free to make personally your flight reservations and to pursue your travel arrangements with an airline company or your own travel agent. Please contact us if you would like further clarification: info@branta-tours.com