What comes to mind when someone asks for a mountain near Sofia? The majority of people think of Vitosha mountain, but the truth is that there are other interesting mountains near the capital of Bulgaria – such as Plana mountain.
Plana is a relatively low mountain located between Vitosha, Samokovsko field and the valley of river Iskar. The highest point of Plana is mount Manastirishte (1337.4 meters), located in the northern half, about 2 km north of the village Plana.
The charisma of this mountain is that it is not among the most popular mountains in Bulgaria. It is a very quiet and unoccupied place. You won’t see crowds of tourists here, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. The mountain is accessible and easy for trekking, even for tourists with no experience. There are many unmarked trails, but also some marked trails such the path leading to the “Peyova buka” hut. The trail starts from the village of Dolni Pasarel (about 20km from Sofia), to which you can reach by car or bus number 3 from public transport of Sofia.
There are other points of interest in Plana mountain. Here you’ll find the Kokalyane monastery and the Alinski monastery (4km north of the village of Alino). There is an astronomical observatory for space research in the very center of the mountain, just 2 km from the village of Plana.