MALYOVITSA PEAK (2729m) OR THE SCARY LAKE, RILA MOUNTAINS

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If you wish to avoid the popular crowded mountain trails, enjoying equally stunning views in less popular parts of Rila Mountains, we have a proposal for you. We offer two options around the Malyovitsa Valley, which could be taken either as a guided or self-guided version.
1) Circular trek to the Scary Lake and Yonchevo Lake
2) Climb to Mt. Malyovitsa (2729m) and back on the same trail

GUIDED & SELF-GUIDED hiking options are available for both tours to choose from (check the “Prices, Dates & Remarks” tab for details)


1) Circular trek to the Scary Lake and Yonchevo Lake (5,30hrs (without breaks); 12km; +880m/-880m)

Starting from the Central Mountain School of Malyovitsa, the trail goes through a dense forest. Right next to it is running the playful Malyovishka River, which the trail suddenly crosses and starts gaining elevation in open space, surrounded by majestic sheer cliffs. Soon after we reach the Malyovitsa Hut, we continue above the tree line over rocky terrain, leading to the famous Scary Lake. The turquoise waters and the mighty jagged peaks around the lake create an ambiance so tranquil and delightful that you will be asking yourself why is this name given to the lake? Legend says that a tourist experienced a terrifying thunderstorm near the lake and when he was asked where he came from, he simply answered “The Scary Lake”. No need to worry now, a small tourist shelter had been build on the shores of the lake, which can accommodate every hiker in case of stormy weather. The trail then descends down to another, lower located, lake – Yonchevo, from where the route dives back into the forest, and soon we will be back from where we started at Malyovitsa resort.

2) Climb to Mt. Malyovitsa (2729m.) and walk back along the same route (5,30-6hrs  (without breaks); 14km; +1040m; -1040m)
The trail for one of the most famous peaks in Rila to conquer matches for a while the one towards the Scary Lake. They split at Malyovitsa Hut and if you choose this route, we will continue upon rough rocky rivers, passing two plateaus (also called first and second terrace). Malyovitsa Peak is the cradle of Bulgarian rock-climbing and mountaineering and we will pass by a memorable tablet devoted to Bulgarian climbers who died during expeditions locally and around the world. In clear weather from the top, we will admire the breathtaking scenery of jagged peaks, deep lush valleys, and also the pearl of the Orthodox Christianity – Rila Monastery (UNESCO).

Total transfers time: 3-3,15hrs
Hiking specifics: see above
Best period: mid-June – mid-September (could be done also in October and weather permitting – in November too)
Tour difficulty: both treks are rather arduous, meant for fit, or experienced hikers. Most of the trail is running above the tree line, on rocky terrain. Some steep stages occur every now and then. Hiking boots are a must, flip-flops and sandals are not acceptable. Wind-/waterproofs are necessary as the weather conditions in the high mountains are unstable. Also a warmer middle layer just in case.


Price (guided tour):
1 pers: 125 Euro; 2 pers: 70 Euro pp; 3 pers: 50 Euro pp; 4-7 pers: 41 Euro pp;
Price (self-guided tour): 125 Euro/car (group of 1-4 persons); 170 Euro/bus (group of 5-8 persons)
* The rates above are per person based on the number of people in one reservation (guided tour) or per group (self-guided tour).
** The tour is not private and the group may comprise customers booked under several reservations, each with a different number of people (incl. guided and self-guided option). We aim to keep the total group size for the guided tour not exceeding 12 passengers (normally 2-6).
*** Promo rates may occur for some of the dates; scroll the Book Online tab to check if such are present around your travel dates.
Price includes:
Transfer from your hotel in Sofia to Malyovitsa Resort and back; English-speaking guide (guided option); Detailed route notes in English and maps (self-guided option; 1 set of route notes and 1 map per reservation)
Price does not include: meals, tips
Food: basic meals are available inside the Malyovitsa Hut and also at Malyovitsa Resort (soups, grilled meat, salads, tea); however, due to time restrictions, you’d better plan for a sandwich, prepared at home (time permitting you can stop for a tea in the hut).
Best period: mid-June – November

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Beautiful Bulgaria

5.0 rating
September 16, 2019

We took in the summer one-week self-guided tour in Rodopi mountains (again with Traventuria). They were gorgeous, but now about Malyovitsa. After the hike in Rodopi we had a couple of free days to explore Sofia and the area arround. One of the days we booked a guided tour to Malyovitsa peak. It was a great end to our journey in Bulgaria. Tougher hike than those in Rodopi, but the very picturesque one. The guide was very experienced and we have learnt a lot from him.
Some day we should come back again!

Benoa Comtois, France

2-day views

5.0 rating
September 13, 2019

Me and my husband modified this tour for two days. We made the two options, both of them were marvelous.

Julia Meyer, Germany

No words to describe this!

5.0 rating
September 11, 2019

We choose to go to Scary Lake and did not regret it for a minute! The trip is tiring because you have to get up very early but besides that, it is an amazing experience being in the mountains! When we reached the hut we decided to make a 30-minute break not because we were tired but because of the outstanding surroundings. We got a tea outside at the benches admiring the deep valley and the peak in front of us. The lush greeny, the landscape, the warmth of the sunlight, everything seemed so coherent. You could hear the chorus of the pleasant-sounding birds. There were not any other people as it was Wednesday morning! A tip from us – if you want to enjoy the serenity of nature in a foreign country, always choose to hike on weekdays and avoid Saturday/Sunday.  When we reached the Scary Lake I totally forgot about all my worries, I lost track of time for a while. There no words to describe what I felt sitting by the shores of the turquoise-blue waters and looking ahead the jaggy peaks. I wish everyone could experience the inner peace and undoubtedly this place could help you reach it. Big thanks to Todor, our guide! Thanks, Traventuria! 

Laura Hoffmann, Germany

Excellent day tour

5.0 rating
September 3, 2019

We booked this trip as self-guided and we went to the Scary Lake. The route notes and the map they gave us were very clear and easy to follow.
In fact, along the itinerary for the Scary Lake there is another lake, bigger and very calm. We stayed there for very long time and saw wild goats on the opposite side of it (unfortunately, not reachable). 10/10 experience! Next time we consider doing the peak! We are in love in Rila mountain!

Lena Hanson, UK

The perfect start of the week

5.0 rating
August 13, 2018

We were in Bulgaria for a week and the start of our trip was well-marked by this thrilling hike towards Malyovitsa peak. We were hesitating between the two options given but thanks to the help of Albena we decided to climb the peak. Traventuria managed to find us the best guide we could ever have – Todor! We were lucky to have such an informative and trained man to take us to the peak! Near the hut Malyovitsa, we made a short stop, my wife wanted to capture the scenery while we are having a cup of herbal tea. After the hut starts the demanding part of the trek but despite the tiredness in the feet we were truly amazed by what was expecting us on the top! One of the best pictures we took was the one with the Rila Monastery in the distance. I could definitely recommend this hike and I am pretty sure that the other option is also worthwhile! 

Anker Skov, Denmark

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