A short hike in Rila: Govedartsi and Mechit

Duration: three days

Car accessibility: recommended

Leaving from Sofia: as you please 🙂

This trip is a bit unconventional, as Govedartsi is situated at a strategic point in Rila and could be the start of a hike to more popular spots such as Musala or Malyovitsa peak or Borovets for some skiing. However, I think you’ll find that Mechit is every bit as challenging and rewarding a trekking destination as any other Rila summit.

Day 1: arriving in Govedartsi

This is a trip which you can do in any three days, so leaving from Sofia after work on Friday is also an option.

Govedartsi is a small village located in Southwestern Bulgaria, it is a ski resort and is a mere 80 km away from Sofia. It is accessible by car both i summer and in winter, which makes it the perfect spot to start your hiking trip. I have hiked from it to both the famous 7 Rila lakes and to the peak Mechit and as far as I know there’s many other trekking paths which start from here.

In the summer of 2007 we stayed in a guest house called Green mountain chalet, which was then owned by a Dutch couple who had decided to move to Bulgaria. The house was really cool, as its interior was different from the typical Bulgarian Renaissance furniture that guest house owners usually choose.

I can definitely recommend staying there, but if not, Govedartsi has plenty of other guest houses and hotels you’ll find accommodating. There’s a couple of nice restaurants that will offer good food.

Day 2: hiking to Mechit chalet

On the next day I suggest to sleep in, as you only have the hike to the Mechit hut, which will probably not take longer than 2 hours. So, get a good night sleep, get some hearty breakfast and  head for the hut. You can either walk on the paved road to the beginning of the forest, where the path actually starts, or you can drive your car there. Be careful in winter conditions, might be a bit difficult.

The hike is not long or exhausting, you are walking mostly in a forest, which is very good, as we did the hike in February, and the trees offered some protection from the cold.

If all goes well, you will be in the hut in about two hours, just follow the path and should a black dog catch up with you somewhere on the road, do not be afraid, he just loves to hike with tourists. He followed us almost all the way to the summit on the next day 🙂

The Mechit hut is, hats off, one of the cleanest and most well-kept huts I have seen in the Bulgarian mountains. The food was expensive, but good and you’ll able to get a decent night’s sleep before the summit on the next day.

Day 3: to Small and Big Mechit. Drive back to Sofia

The hike to the peak itself is not too difficult. It does offer some breath-taking views. You will exit the forest pretty quickly and will be able to enjoy said views as quickly as half an hour after leaving the hut.

Тhere are actually two peaks you will climb onto – Small and Big Mechit. They are pretty close to each other, as the hike to Small Mechit takes about 2 and a half hours and 3 hours to Big Mechit.

The hike wasn’t long or exhausting, but it was a bit scary at one point as we were walking right underneath a small summit, which seemed like the perfect place to form an avalanche. The sun was strong and was kind of melting the snow aaand we saw a small monument commemorating the death of hikers under an avalance, so we hurried to get away from that part of the trek as quickly as possible 🙂

After reaching the peak at about noon, we had a quick sip of tea and some nuts and headed down to the hut. From there we walked straight to Govedartsi, got on the cars and drove off to Sofia, so this is also doable in one day, should you be so inclined.


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