Hike for a day in Vitosha: Boyana Church – Boyana Waterfall
The Boyana Waterfall is the largest waterfall in Vitosha, splashing down from 15 m and it’s most rampant in spring. Besides that, the hiking route is not too far from the city center – you can reach the starting point by public transport for just about 30-50 minutes. The route is difficult enough to challenge you and easy enough to have a fun day-trip with friends and family. When you reach the higher parts of the path, you will have the chance to enjoy some panoramic views of Sofia. There are a couple of marked routes to the waterfall, but the most popular one starts from the Boyana suburb of Sofia. The route is about 6 km long with 600 m elevation – the Boyana waterfall is about 1300 m above sea level. It will take you about 2 hours uphill and about an hour down (following the same route). It’s said to be of intermediate hiking difficulty. Overall, it’s broad and slant most of the time, so there’s nothing to worry about. It is suitable for beginners and bigger children as well – just be careful with the steeper slopes. And of course, make sure to check the weather forecast, to leave at the right time of the day, and to wear the appropriate equipment – in the higher parts it’s a bit cooler and slippery.
1. Boyana church
The beginning point is located in Boyana suburb. To reach it with public transport, you have to Take the metro to Vitosha station and from there bus No. 64 to station ‘Boyansko hanche’ – it is located about 250 m from the Boyana church. Make sure to check out the Boyana Church too! It’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most remarkable monuments in Bulgaria for its frescoes, which are thought of as forerunners of European Renaissance.
2. Beginning of the hiking route
From the Boyana chuch you have to walk uphill (and southwest) for about 5 minutes on Pop Evstati Vitoshki Street and you reach the forest where you will find yellow signs for the waterfall and painted marks on the trees – white, green, white – guiding you all through your journey. There’s another route that goes right by the flowing Boyana river – but it can come a bit difficult if you don’t have previous experience with hiking – therefore, take the left turn for the easier route. On the route we chose you’ll also find a very nice panoramic view of the city.
3. Suhi vrah
The first beautiful view of Sofia you will see on your right after about an hour of climbing. It is a small point of view so watch carefully – other tourists will probably be sitting on a couple of big stones under the sunlight taking pictures, eating or just having a break and enjoying the view. Watch out for the steep slopes around them.
4. Boyana waterfall
As you get closer to the waterfall, the route will get slippery – it would be best to wear your hiking shoes or boots with good traction. Don’t forget your raincoat and something warm to wear on top too! The higher parts of the forest could get a bit cool, and they even have some snow left in the spring. You reached the Boyana waterfall? Congratulations! Enjoy the beautiful view and take a break – the hardest part is over. And just a tip – if you get on top of the waterfall, you will find an even more gorgeous panorama of the city and the mountain.
5. Boyana lake
If you still have some time and enthusiasm left, take a walk to the Boyana lake as well. Your route will only get about half an hour longer and around the lake you can find some benches for picnic. You can find different types of frogs and other animals, living in and around the lake. You will find your way very easily, following the signs.