Sofia, Bulgaria

Vitosha Mountain

Wikimedia Commons

Sofia holds the distinction of having the most significant nearby mountain of any major city. Vitosha Mountain, only 10 km from Sofia, boasts a 2200m summit, and is a major area recreational spot. There are hundreds of km of walking and biking trails, and, in winter, nordic and alpine ski trails. There are buses and trams to Vitosha Mountain, and once there, chairlifts and a cable car.

For runners, there are trail running options for every ability. There are some gentler walking paths, including a flat ‘panorama path’ (panoramna puteka) which winds its way around the mountain above the village. For that, take the Dragalevtsi lift, which ends at a mid-way point. Another popular walk/run is the path between Bistritsa and Zheleznitsa. For more of a challenge, it’s possible to run/hike up or around the the mountain on steeper, more rugged trails or more modestly graded forest trails.

Notes: We have not been able to find a good online trail map. Some trails are very steep and rocky — only for advanced trail runners! In winter, the area is mainly for snow sports.

Essentials
  • Depends on trail chosen
  • Some steep hill climbs are possible. Summit is 2290m
  • 10 km from Sofia. Bus 122 and 93, or Tram 5 just behind the Palace of Justice and ride until the last stop which is at the Knyazhevo district.