The hike from Aleko hut to Zlatnite mostove area is (according to the Internet) a popular hike at Vitosha mountain. When me and my friend did the hike though, there were almost no people – the weather forecast was not so good, so maybe that was the reason. This allowed us to fully enjoy the views and discuss future hiking plans!
In general, the hike is quite easy, especially if you start from Aleko hut (which can be easily reached by car or Simeonovo lift), as the last part of the hike is going down to Zlatnite mostove area. This means that the hike will be slightly demanding for the first hour and a half, if you are coming from the opposite direction – from Zlatnite mostove (Golden bridges in English language). You can reach this area by bus #63 (its schedule is not very regular though, so make sure to check it in advance), car or taxi. We personally came from Zheleznitsa village (which, of course, makes the hike much longer).
The hike from Aleko hut to Zlatnite mostove took us around two hours and a half, it is well-marked in yellow and can be divided in three parts. Keep in mind that there are no places to refill your water bottle (except for Momina skala hut, maybe?), so be prepare in advance.
First part: Aleko hut to Ushite shelter (around 50 minutes). Just opposite the entrance/exit of the Simeonovo lift at Aleko hut, you will see signs for “Zlatnite mostove”. This is where the yellow path starts. Five minutes after the start, the path splits in two – left for Zlatnite mostove area and right (marked in red) to Dragalevtsi neighborhood. For most of the time of this part of the hike you will be walking straight, the hike is very easy and you simply follow the poles (which are used as guides in winter or when the weather is foggy). Keep in mind that if the weather has been rainy, your shoes will definitely get wet. At least this was the case when we did the hike. You will see the Ushite shelter from far away too, so you will know where you need to go. Keep in mind that it is forbidden to enter the shelter (at least this is what a sign on the shelter was saying).
Second part: Ushite shelter to Tintyava hut (around 50 minutes). Again, keep following the yellow mark and the poles. In about 10 minutes on your right side you will see Kamen del peak (with the Bulgarian flat on top of it), so you can go there if you want to. We kept following the yellow path which at this point is starting to go pretty much downhill only. The first half of this part is in the open (so you will have a nice view over Sofia and the TV tower), whereas the second half is in the forest, where you will enjoy a nice walk. Shorty before you reach Tintyava hut, the road splits in two – on the left you will see a sign for “Zlatnite mostove” (which is apparently a short cut). We decided to go right following the yellow mark, which will also take you to Zlatnite mostove, but it takes longer. After the path splits (and if you go right too), you reach Tintyava hut in less than five minutes.
Third part: Tintyava hut to Zlatnite mostove (around 50 minutes). Again – keep following the yellow-marked path. At this part it may be the case that you see many people who enjoy a short hike around the huts around the areas. It is a very popular place to visit over the weekend. There is a car road that connects all huts in the area, but the yellow-marked path follows short cuts in the forests, so you will cross the road two times (one time at Tintyava hut and the second time at Rodina hut). Tintyava hut and Rodina hut are only 10 minutes away from each other via the yellow path. After you pass Rodina hut you have around 15 minutes to reach a place where many paths cross (and the very famous path to Boyana waterfall). There is a small hut at this place too. A minute away is the very popular Momina skala hut with plenty of benches! You can have a break there and enjoy a delicious meal. Afterwards, you only have 20 minutes to reach Zlatnite mostove area (via the yellow and the green path) where the bus station of bus #63 is. It will take you to the city center of Sofia.
To clarify: If you are coming from Zlatnite mostove area, you can either follow the yellow path via Momina skala hut, Rodina hut and Tintyava hut and then Ushite shelter or take a short cut to Ushite shelter and skip the huts.
Watch my video about the hike from Bistritsa to Zheleznitsa then to Aleko hut and Zlanitnite mostove!
Check my travel map for more inspiration and follow me on Instagram to see more photos from Bulgaria!