Vitosha Mountain, standing imposingly over Sofia, Bulgaria represents much of what I knew about this eastern European nation before I arrived to learn about space tourism at the Travel Trends Summit. That is, very little, considering I had no idea there was a 2,350 meter (~7,770 feet) tall mass of granite overlooking the capital of Bulgaria.

vitosha mountain sofia bulgaria

A popular hiking and skiing destination, along the bumpy car ride up there are plenty of excellent views for the eyes, though not many my camera skills could capture. About midway to the summit is the Vitosha TV Tower, called “Kopitoto”; behind which you’ll find the decrepit remains of a funicular that hasn’t seen action in at least a decade.

Based on the beer bottles, rubbish, and warnings not to visit at night; the area behind Kopitoto apparently morphs into a drug fueled hangout after dark. Those slightly creepy hours aren’t really the best time to visit anyway as the sound of every twig moving seems heightened by several levels of magnitude.

sofia skyline

The trek up to Vitosha Mountain is one of those touristy things to do that can be easily neglected because it’s in that weird travel-hinterland slightly beyond the city limits. Just far enough to consider but close enough that many might regretfully ignore; Vitosha mountain is free to enter and happens to be the home of oldest national park in the Balkans.

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You can see more of Sofia from above and below in my photo gallery here.