Sinanitsa hut

Sinanitsa hut is a two-storeyed building with places for 34 people. There is a dining room and food is being served - beans and lentils soups, meatballs, several different kinds of salads etc. For a breakfast you can order mekitsi, which is a traditional dish made of fried kneaded dough. They are best if combined with home-made jam which is also available. If you choose to try mekitsi don't forget to order them on the day before so that the wife of the hut keeper can prepare the dough and cook them for you early in the morning. Beer is also available for 3 BGN.

The toilets are located outside some 80 meters away from the main building. In the evenings a petrol generator is used to produce electricity. You can charge the batteries of your phone or camera. The generator is working until around 23h. Depending on which mobile operator you are using you may or may not have a good network coverage in the area of the hut. In case you need to make a call or to connect to the internet - better go where the pole with Bulgarian flag is (head towards the toilets and where the big fireplace is turn to the left).

If you have some free time and you want to look around there is option for a short and interesting walk. A narrow and steep path can get you to the top of the nearby summit of Sinanitsa (2516 m a.s.l.). The trail starts from the left bank of the lake and is marked with stone pyramids. Going up takes between 40 minutes and an hour and a half depending on how fast you are. If the weather is clear once you get to the top you would be able to see most of the Pirin mountain. From up there you have two options for going back to hut. One is to retrace your steps back to the lake and the other is to continue to the east. There is a narrow trail that follows the ridge around the cirque and leads to Sinanishka porta (Sinanitsa gate). Be careful not to confuse it with the path that is going down along the southwest ridge of Sinanitsa and will take you away from the hut. From Sinanishka porta a trail marked with white-blue-white signs goes back to the hut. This whole walk is suitable for people who have at least moderate trekking skills. There are several places along the trail where one could fall (especially when the rocks are wet and slippery).

The phone numbers to get in contact with the hut keeper Boiko Stoimenov are - +359 896 798 040, +359 894 360 427, +359 894 360 487. The price is 13 BGN per night.

Sinanitsa Hut is located on the shore of Sinanishko ezero (Sinanitsa Lake), north of Sinanitsa Peak (2516m of altitude). Here I’m describing two of the most convenient ways to get to the hut which I have taken personally and can explain in greater detail.

The first trail starts from Vihren Hut which, in the summer, can be reached by car (during the active tourist season and especially the weekends, there is no space in the small parking site in front of the hut so the parked cars extend a kilometre further down the asphalt road to Banderishka polyana). During the winter you can get to Shiligarnika by car – recently I watched a video on Facebook where I saw a parking fee of 10 leva was introduced. Please, confirm this information if you can. The trail starts from the fountain in front of Vihren Hut (on the blue marking). In the beginning the path follows the Banderitsa River but after a kilometre or so it forks to the right and begins to ascend towards Muratovo ezero (Muratovo Lake), located at 2230 metres of altitude – a beautiful resting and picnic spot 40-50min away from the hut. After the lake the path begins to climb more and more steeply towards the Banderishka porta (Banderitsa Gate; 2500m of altitude). Once it’s been climbed, the more difficult part of the hike is over. At the gate, the path to Sinanitsa goes on to the right while the yellow marking leading to Spano Pole Shelter goes to the left in a gradual descent. After an hour of walking along an almost even path (the winter trail follows the ridge) you get to the Sinanishka porta (Sinanitsa Gate) where a steep but short descent follows. Soon the path becomes more slanting again and after 10-15min it leads you out on the meadow in front of the hut.

Scheme of the route between hut Vihren and hut Sinanitsa

The second trail leading to the hut, which is also more appropriate during the winter due to the significantly lower avalanche danger, starts from the locality of Peshterata (The Cave). In the beginning of 2016 it could still be reached along a dirt road by a sturdier car. In the town of Kresna turn at the fork to Vlahi (there’s a sign). After 5km or so the road parts in two – the left fork goes to the village of Vlahi while the right – to the locality of Varbite (The Willows). At the junction a sign saying ‘Hotel Sharaliya’ marks the right way. Then you need to drive for a long time along a road that has quite a lot of forks and several bad sections. It would take me pages to describe in details what the right way is, what with all those forks, so if all the time you just follow the road which looks like a main one, you should come out at the locality of Varbite from where you need to take another dirt road on the yellow marking. Whether you’ll choose to break your car along the rest of the road to the locality of Peshterata or you’ll rather leave it at Varbite and take a longer walk but see more of the mountain is entirely up to you.:) From Pesherata to Sinanitsa Hut you’ll have to go on foot anyway. It is an almost incessant ascent but there are not many really steep sections so, in normal pace, the distance will take about 2 and a half hours.

Scheme of the route between the town of Kresna and hut Sinanitsa

You can also reach the locality of Peshterata starting from the little and curious village of Vlahi. I passed the road after the village in my Vitara one summer and there were a couple of tricky moments. As a whole, the route is not car-friendly so it’s much better if you stay in Vlahi, let’s say on Friday evening, and then devote a whole day (7-8 hours) to get to Sinanitsa Hut on foot.