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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very beautiful

5.0 rating
August 4, 2018

A couple of Bulgarian friends of mine took me there. We used the self-guided option, since it’s difficult to get there by public transport.
The transfer was on time and the mountain was very beautiful.

Vlado Stojanović, Serbia

lovely nature closer to Sofia

5.0 rating
June 30, 2018

we wanted to go hiking and decide to book this trip a lot in advance
the customer agent from the chat (forgot her name) advise us about the two options and helped us chose the best one for our experience and abilities – the hike to the lake. it was a great day, sunny and warm, not many people along the way (except the stage around the hut). I am thankful also to our guide Peter – he is smart guy, joking all the time and he took us wonderful pictures.

Maria Pia Natale, Italy

I loved it

5.0 rating
June 28, 2018

I climbed many peaks in my life but climbing Malyovitsa was an exceptional experience. Thanks to Peter, the guide!

Jarka Kovacova, Slovakia

5 stars

5.0 rating
June 20, 2018

We took a circular tour, hiking to Scary lake via Yonchevo lake. We haven’t got great expectations, but we were very surprise. The nature and the views to the surroundings peaks were great. The hike was a long one, but totally deserves the effort.

Alena Zhuk, Belarus

to the peak

5.0 rating
June 16, 2018

I was on exchanging program as a student in Sofia for a month. I’ve decided to explore the country by myself during the weekends. Once I took a guided tour to this lovely Malyovitsa peak. I definitely do not regret it. I was a memorable hike.

João Cardoso, Portugal

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