The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
An intensive hiking & sightseeing program, which shows you the best of 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 a 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.
1 pers: 159 Euro;
2 pers: 97 Euro per person;
3 pers: 74 Euro per person
4-7 pers: 66 Euro per person
The tour is offered on per person basis every Friday and Sunday from mid-June till the end of September for 57 euros.
All prices include English speaking mountain guide, modern A/C equipped vehicle, all transportation costs along the way and the transfers from/to the starting point in Sofia.
Prices do not include chairlift tickets (10 euro per person), personal expenses, food, beverages and gratuities.
- Walk along the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque and enjoy the idyllic 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
07:00: The trip starts from the parking behind Alexander Nevski Cathedral (you will receive a detailed map after you complete the booking process).
09:00: Arrival at the bottom station of the Panichishte Resort cable car.
09:30: Arrival at the top station of the cable car and start of the hike.
14:00: End of the hike and arrival back at the top station of the cable car.
14:30: Arrival at the bottom station and transfer to Rila Monastery.
16:00: Arrival in Rila Monastery, followed with a tour of the complex and free time.
17:30: Departure from Rila Monastery, going back to the starting point
19:30: Arrival at the starting point of the tour.
- Please note that all of the timetables are approximate and are subject to change, depending on the size of the group and the traffic along the way.
- Hotel pick-up costs additional 5/10 Euro per reservation (not per person, depends on the hotel location).
Good to know before you go
- 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.