The 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery

Highlights

  • Walk along the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque and enjoy the idilic alpine beauty of Rila Mountains
  • Visit the largest and the most famous Bulgarian Monastery
  • Learn about Bulgarian Revival Period, while enjoying the frescoes of Rila Monastery 

Tour logistics

Transfers time: 4,30-5 hrs
Walking time: 4 hrs (moderate difficulty)
Best period: mid-June - mid-September
Pick-up: 7:00 from la Cathedrale Restaurant (back side of Al. Nevski Cathedral). Hotel Pickup: Optional

Tour description

An intensive hiking & sightseeing programme, which shows you the best of the nature and culture merits of the Rila Mountains: Rila Monastery (UNESCO) and the Cirque of The Seven Rila Lakes. The program doesn’t allow much free time on either site but it is quite enough to explore both places.
The tour begins with an early transfer to the Rila, followed by a brief cable car ride to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. The glacier lakes are at between 2100 and 2500m/6800 and 8200ft above sea level, with name fitting their shapes, like Babreka (the Kidney), Okoto (the Eye), and Salzata (the Teardrop). As we need to follow strict time schedule depending on your fitness we can either walk the whole trek around all lakes, or make the stroll shorter and skip some of them (normally the two highest ones). After the hiking around one of the Rila’s most remarkable and beautiful parts, we are transferred to the Rila Monastery: the largest and most significant Bulgarian Orthodox Church establishment. The 20m/70ft high walls shelter impressive cloisters, a church, and a chapel with unique murals and museum collections.

Prices:

1 pers: 159 Euro; 2 pers: 97 Euro pp; 3 pers: 74 Euro pp; 4-7 pers: 66 Euro pp;

What's included: 

  • Pick-up/drop off from Alexander Nevski Cathedral
  • All transportation costs
  • English-speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Return chair-lift tickets

 

What's not included:

  • Meals and bavareges
  • Tips

Please note:

Food: although there are two huts on our way where we can purchase some basic food (i.e. beans soup, meatballs, tea) we advise you to come prepared with a lunch pack from Sofia, because the programme today is rather tight and for sure we won’t have much time for a proper lunch.
Difficulty: the hiking route is moderately arduous, with individual brief paths featuring steep inclines. Please bring along comfortable walking boots. Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.