Kralev Dvor Peak
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The most beautiful and alpine part of the Pirin range is its northern section, where hundreds of imposing peaks, lush valleys, more than 170 crystal clear, blue glacial lakes, and centuries-old forests pepper the land. And this 15.0 km trek lives up to its expectation. The Kralev Dvor Peak trail unveils spectacular views of sky-high peaks towering above, while an array of lakes add a layer of vibrant blue to the verdant, stony scenery.
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Route Description for Kralev Dvor Peak
Get ready for one of the most beautiful hikes in the Pirin range. Do note that you'll have to hire a private taxi or car for the 14.0 km journey from Dobrinishte village to the first hut: Gotse Delchev. From here, you'll take a chairlift to the Bezbog hut, where the adventure, one that traverses vast terrain and unveils magnificent views, begins!
The first part of the trail leads to the right (southwest) shore of the lake, below the slopes of Mount Bezbog, and continues to the saddle on its left (east) ridge. After passing the lake, the hill starts getting steeper and steeper until you reach the saddle. The terrain is straightforward and grassy, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get from the hut to here.
From the saddle (2,370 m above sea level), one can enjoy the first views of some of the most impressive peaks spanning the northeast Pirin.
The second stage begins with a very easy horizontal path that slices across the left (eastern) side of the Bezbog ridge. In several places, the trail has small undulations, but overall it maintains the same altitude. Ahead (south), and to the left (east), there is a very deep valley and fantastic vistas of some of the largest lakes and staggering peaks. The view is mainly dominated by the imposing Djangal, which stands at 2,731 m above sea level, and Mount Kamenitsa, towering at 2,822 m, peeks out from behind. Eventually, the trail reaches the bottom of the valley next to several lakes. Up until this point, you'll follow the white-yellow-white markings on the rocks.
Here, the path splits in two (it's easy to see where this split occurs): the yellow goes right (west), and the green goes left (east). This route follows the white-green-white marking for another 10 minutes until you reach the shore of Popovo Lake—the largest lake of Pirin range. This impressive sight is the beginning of the third stage, which can take around 1.8 hours to reach from the starting point.
Continue by going around the lake on the right (southwest side). Do note that you're still following the white-green-white markings. Soon, immediately after the end of the lake, the path splits in two, as the green mark continues going south, but another one turns right (west). This route follows the path to the west—it is not marked with any color, but it has a stone pyramid marking and is quite visible. Next is a graduate ascent through the small but beautiful Djengalski cirque: there are several small and precious lakes here. The terrain is very rocky but not too hard to navigate as the ascent isn't that steep.
Going further and further up the cirque, the trail faces the final obstacle–the ascent to the Kralodvorska saddle at 8498 ft above the sea–the highest point of the route. The final few minutes of this climb are quite steep and stony–the angle of the ascent goes up to 50 degrees during the last few steps, so it’s best to carefully approach this part.
Once you're on the saddle, you will see that the other side offers different views. Admire the broad cirque, with no rocks and grassy slopes, and accompanied by several big lakes. On the closest (eastern) shore of this so-called Tevno Lake (Dark lake), stands a hut with the same name.
Tevno Lake hut, the highest located one in Bulgaria at 2,520 m above the sea, offers hot and cold beverages and snacks. You must pre-order any hot meals. The fourth stage of the route begins here.
The trail, marked with white-green-white descents, winds southwest through the cirque's grassy slopes to the bottom. The area here is particularly impressive, as it lies at the feet of the breathtaking massive north face of Mount Kamenitsa. Soon, the trail starts ascending and goes around the right (western) end of Mount Kamenitsa's face. At first, it goes through massive boulders, then the terrain becomes more manageable, and there is no significant steepness. After several minutes of climbing, the terrain again becomes flat and grassy–this is the Goat's saddle at 2,510 m above the sea. Here the white-green-white marking ends, and until the end of the route, you must follow white-blue-white signs.
From the saddle, begin on a mild and very long descent towards the west and then along the valley of Begovitsa river. The trail follows the right (northern) slope of the valley. Just a few minutes after reaching the river at the bottom of the valley, there is a bridge in rather bad condition, to the left, going across the river. This bridge will lead you the wrong way. Fifteen minutes after spotting this bridge, you'll come across another one that is in much better shape. Take this bridge. Once you're on the southern bank of the river, the path quickly enters the pine forest and follows a wide, stony trail. Shortly after commencing on this path, you'll reach the Begovitsa hut, which sits at 1,810 m above the sea. This is one of the best-serviced huts in Bulgaria. You can also fuel your body with beverages, snacks, and hot meals here. It may take around 5.85 hours from the start to reach this point.
The fifth stage begins at the hut. Embark on a dirt road until you reach a junction—after around 183 m of walking. The path goes to the right—you'll notice the white-blue-white mark here as well. Begin descending on a steep hill through an old pine forest, following a cut-down corridor made for the electric posts that provide the Begovitsa hut with power.
At the bottom, the path takes you to a concrete bridge, which traverses the Begovitsa river. After the bridge, the route follows the stony yet easy path on the side of the river, which with several turns, descends to the private houses at Popina Luka vacation village. Popina Luka is easily reached by car from the town of Sandanski, which is a renowned SPA resort. You’ll need to organize your transport back to where you began or hop on a minibus!
Insider Hints for Kralev Dvor Peak
- You can reach Dobrinishte by bus from Sofia, which runs 6-7 times per day. However, from the village, you’ll have to hire a taxi for the 14.0 km journey to Gotse Delchev hut. From here, you’ll take a chairlift up to the Bezbog hut.
- Bring and wear snowshoes, an avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel & probe, crampons if you plan on doing this hike in winter.
- You can buy drinks or food at the Bezbog hut and at the Tevno Lake hut, the highest in Bulgaria, which offers hot and cold beverages and snacks. But you must pre-order any hot meals. You can fuel your body with a meal, snacks, and drinks at the Begovitsa hut.
- At the start of the trail, during winter, try to hike to the left of the path, avoiding the vicinity of the slopes of Mount Bezbog.
Getting to the Kralev Dvor Peak Trailhead
The hike begins at the Bezbog hut, which sits high above Dobrinishte village, 161.0 km from Sofia, and 5.0 km from Bansko. You'll have to take a chairlift from Gotse Delchev hut to get to the hike's start.
Kralev Dvor Peak Elevation Graph
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Kralev Dvor Peak Reviews
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