IOL 2023

Friendship Days

Have you ever felt that 6 days are not enough? Not enough to be with the new people you have met, not enough time to spend with the old friends you haven’t seen for an year. Not enough for sightseeing and for understanding and feeling the local culture and traditions.

We, at the Local Organising committee feel this every time we attend IOL. And it’s not just us. A lot of teams come earlier to the place of the Olympiad to have more time to walk around, visit some places, get used to the new time zone and have some final training before the contests.

This year we decided to do this together, rather than every country arrange it by themselves.



We are happy to offer you two extra days in Bulgaria just before the IOL opening ceremony.

You will stay at the same hotels, you will have the same transfers from/to the airport, you will meet more friends and learn more about languages and linguistics, also about Bulgaria, our traditions and culture.

First friendship day, 22nd July, Saturday

You arrived the day before, 21st July, and have rested in your hotel rooms.

After breakfast, there will be buses to the lift, which will take us to the Bezbog lake, 2240 m above the sea level. The views from there are magnificent.

There we will have several options – just to sit and relax around the lake, go around for a walk or play some ice-breakers there.

 The ones who want may hike a little bit up, 30-40 minutes, but quite steep.The view from above is worth the efforts.

When we are back in the afternoon we will organise some social events in the town of Bansko.

Second Friendship Day 23rd July, Sunday

During our second Friendship day, we will invite all of the attendees to take actively part in the events and even to lead and host them! 

No matter if you are an experienced team leader, a first-time contestant, jury member or a volunteer, we encourage you to share your thoughts.

We will provide some slots and places where everyone who wants may share whatever they feel appropriate. We may talk about linguistics, about your languages, how and why you became keen to take part in IOL, about your country and traditions, we may solve some fun problems and share your thoughts how different contests and events are organized and exchange experience.

And, of course, in the afternoon we will greet the rest of the IOL teams!


Covered by the fee

We will provide the following services to all the invited participants: 

  1. Transfers from Sofia Airport (SOF) to the accommodation;
  2. Accommodation from the night of Friday 21st in the same hotels and rooms that you will stay until Saturday 29th July, 2023;
  3. All meals from evening meal on Friday 21st for the Friendship Days;
  4. Hike in the mountain with lift to Bezbog lake
  5. All social activities, lectures talks.

Not covered by the fee

  1. Visa application fee;
  2. Travel insurance;
  3. Meals, accommodation, travel expense before or after the dates listed above;
  4. Hike from Bezbog lake to Popovo lake (can be arranged upon request but with a mountain guide only).

About the hike

Although it’s summer and hot weather is expected, in the mountain everyone should have closed and comfortable shoes and a light jacket agains rain and wind.

Bezbog lake is just at the end of the lift, so no training is required (please contact us in advance if there are disabled people in your team).

We may change the destination (or even switch the two days) based on the weather conditions and forecast.