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To go to Aleko area you have several choices:
Bus 66 from Hladilnika t Moreni Hotel, and 10 min walk to Aleko.
Bus 122 to Simeonovo Cable-car station. Gondola to Aleko: 3.50 lv one way, 6lv return ticket (check operating hours so you don't miss the last one).
Bus to Dragalevtsi . Take 'Bai Krustyo' chair lift to Goli Vruh and walk 15 min to Aleko.
From Aleko, you could climb to Cherni Vruh (about 2 hours) or you could take the chairlift further on the path starting from the gondola station. The chair-lift is going to take you within 30 min walk from Cherni Vruh (3lv one way, 5lv return). Just keep in mind that it's quite windy so get well dressed and put extra cream before mounting the chair-lift! Keep you camera handy, the views are great.
Written Jul 31, 2006
I got to try four different means of transport the day of our Vitosha hike: Taxi to Hladilnica (Refrigerator!), bus no 122 to Simeonovo, Gondola to Aleko and chair lift to Mt. Malak Rezen! All together at a cost of appr. 10 Lev / 5 Euro per person each way (three people and a moose sharing a taxi).
There are several entry points to the national park, and many ways to get there. See other VTers' tips + linked page
Pic 1: Other gondolas photographed through gondola window
Pic 2: End stop Aleko
Pic 3: The hangar like building is the entry point for the gondola lift, close to bus stop at Simeonova.
Pic 4: Chair lift stop Aleko: take left when exiting gondola, past Chalet / Red Cross, a few meters in between the trees.
Pic 5: End stop at Mt. Malak Rezen: Take care when getting off, it is a high jump! Grab the arm of the nearest helper, who are there to assist you, and jump sideways.
More pictures of the lifts and the view from them in TLs!
Updated Jul 30, 2006
There is another lift from Aleko to Cherni Vryh if you are in a hurry or you are lazy to have the an hour and a half walk to the Cherni Vryh.
This lift looks more dangerously that the cabin one but as far I know there are no accidents so far. And the personal helps you getting up and down. Be careful while you getting down, the legs hurt a lot especially if you are overweight.
Cherni Vryh is normally a bit windy and this lift is an open one so put on a jacket or a jersey even in summer.
You can still enjoy the views and take pictures but be careful not to drop anything.
The price for one direction is 3lv.
When you get down Cherni Vryh is in about 5 minutes walking distance.
Written Jul 17, 2006
The easiest way to get to Aleko is with the cabin lift from Simeonovo. To get there you may take the bus 122 from Hladilnika.
The ticket for the cabin lift in one direction is 3.50 and in both directions costs 6lv. There are 'special' (high) prices for bicycles and dogs.
The one way journey is about a half hour long. And you have enough time to enjoy the views (especially the views of Sofia) and to take pictures.
Working times depend on the season.
Written Jul 17, 2006
there are 2 lifts taking you at the top of Vitosha - one is the gondola "Simeonovo" - it usually
operates from wednesday till sunday included . But you never really know , so before you go there , make a phone call - 9612189. The gondola takes you straight in front of Aleko chalet.
The other lift is a long two chair "Baj Krustjo" lift ,with a switch at the middle station - it takes you to Goli Vrah. From there you have about 10mins by foot to Aleko. - here too ,call in advance to make sure the lift is in operation - 9671125.
Otherwise , you can always visit the "Vodenitzata " center for bulgarian folklore restaurant or the Dragalevtzi monastery as an alternative.
Written Nov 12, 2005
Hladilnika is the most used starting point for Vitosha excursions . The other place is called Durvenitza.
From Hadilnika you can catch the following busses :
Number 66 takes you up to the mountain , all the way to Hotel Moreni . From there you have 10 minutes walk to Shtastlivetza and Aleko hotels located in the center of the ski area.
A bus takes you to the Dragalevtzi two man chair lift that operates in the weekends .
Another bus goes to Simeonovo Gondola .
The main problem is finding Hladilnika as it is on the side,on the way to the zoo garden.
Updated Jun 14, 2005