THE SEVEN RILA LAKES, RILA MOUNTAINS

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As everyone who is searching for “what to see in Bulgaria” you probably noticed that in many articles it is recommended to visit The Seven Rila Lakes. Jewels in the crown of Rila Mountains, this group of glacier lakes attracts many tourists throughout summer as they became easily accessible after the chairlift was built. You can convince yourself in the pristine beauty of the area by taking a day-tour to the Lakes. Each lake is named after its most characteristic feature. The highest one (at 2500m) is called Salzata (“The Tear”), from where we have a bird’s eye view over all seven lakes, as well as the surrounding outcrops and deep valleys; the next one in height carries the name Okoto (“The Eye”) after its oval form; Babreka (“The Kidney”) is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group; Bliznaka (“The Twin”) is the largest of all; Trilistnika (“The Trefoil”) has an irregular shape; the shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero (“The Fish Lake”) and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero (“The Lower Lake”; 2100m), where the water that flows out of the other lakes is gathered to form the source of Dzherman River.
Weekends are very busy in summer. If you wish to avoid crowds plan for visiting during a week day.

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

We will start the day early in the morning with a transfer towards Panichishte resort (1,45hrs) from where we board on the chair lift for a 20min ride. We will encounter the divine nature by exploring the lakes one by one. Located on a terraced terrain, we will gently start an ascent, as the lakes revel to us one after the other. Each lake is named after its most characteristic feature. The highest one (at 2500m) is called Salzata (“The Tear”), from where we have a bird’s eye view over all seven lakes, as well as the surrounding outcrops and deep valleys; the next one in height carries the name Okoto (“The Eye”) after its oval form; Babreka (“The Kidney”) is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group; Bliznaka (“The Twin”) is the largest of all; Trilistnika (“The Trefoil”) has an irregular shape; the shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero (“The Fish Lake”) and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero (“The Lower Lake”; 2100m), where the water that flows out of the other lakes is gathered to form the source of Dzherman River. Sitting by the shores of Babreka (“The Kidney” Lake) we will learn more about the white brotherhood, established from the Bulgarian philosopher and spiritual teacher Petar Danov. It gathers many of his followers in August exactly here, to celebrate the inner peace and harmony with nature. From the highest located lake Salzata (The Tear Lake 2500m) we will have a breathtaking view towards all of them. On the way back we will descent down to the chairlift using most of the time a different path, thus completing the full circuit around all seven lakes.

Total transfers time: 3-3,30hrs (+40min lift ride)
Hiking specifics: 4-4,30hrs (without breaks); 9km; +500m/-500m;
Tour difficulty: the trek is considered as moderately arduous with some steep stages now and then. The terrain is rough so flip-flops and sandals are not acceptable. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Wind-/waterproofs are necessary just in case (general rule for all treks above the tree line irrespective of the season) and also a warmer middle layer (especially for the chairlift ride in the chilly mornings).


Price (guided tour):
From 40 Euros/person (days with Special Offer); Other days: 1 pers: 138 Euro; 2 pers: 79 Euro pp; 3 pers: 58 Euro pp; 4-7 pers: 49 Euro pp;
Price (self-guided tour): 120 Euro/car (group of 1-4 persons); 160 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 4-8).
*** 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 Sofia to Panichishte 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: Return chairlift tickets, meals, tips.
Food: there are two huts on the way, selling basic meals. However we may not be able to stop there (for example if weather conditions are worsening) so a lunch pack prepared at home might be the best option for you or raw nuts/fruits/energy bars. In case of good weather we may enjoy the food we have taken at a viewpoint above the highest lake.
Best period: mid-June – mid-September (possible until mid-November and also in May – contact us for details on weather conditions and lift working time)

SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR


The Seven Lakes day trek

4.0 rating
August 11, 2015

Read the original review on TripAdvisor HERE


We were able to book last minute. Good communication from the company via email…though we missed the last one which crucially contained the pick up time…all is well that ends well though. We had a fantastic day with a leisurely hike up to the Lakes with our guide Martin who was a fount of knowledge. Would thoroughly recommend.

alc3254, United Kingdom

Amazing experience!

5.0 rating
July 27, 2015

Read the original review on TripAdvisor HERE


We had a great hiking day off with Martin. Be aware that guy is pretty strong and won’t let you giving up at the middle of your trip, so be prepared to see the top no matter what. We appreciate that tours are flexible and the guide didn’t mind being late back home. Bulgarian mountains reminds me to the mountains in Georgia.

Lukas, United Kingdom

Lovely guides and good booking experience

5.0 rating
July 23, 2015

Read the original review on TripAdvisor HERE


They offer a variety of tours, and easily booked on their website. They were recommended by my hotel and others on tripadvisor so I felt this was a good decision. For sure, it was! I went on the Seven Lakes hike, with Martin, and it was spectacular. Well worth the time and a great way to escape the summer heat of the city. Martin was knowledgeable and really very friendly. He was also very patient with my slow hiking. During the hike he proposed a stop on the return to Sofia, which saved me a lot of time during my busy and short trip. I also went on the tour to Veliko Tarnovo/Arbanassi, with George, and this was also really nice. Both my tours were booked last minute and everything was perfect. I highly recommend.

Dianna M, Qatar

Hiking the Rila Seven Lakes

5.0 rating
July 13, 2015

Read the original review on TripAdvisor HERE


Rila Seven Lakes is stunning – a beautiful hiking experience which we were lucky was on a glorious sunny day. Our guide was Martin, who is young and enthusiastic and a keen hiker himself so he knows all about the mountains. He got us to the mountain very fast in a comfy car (not a nasty bus) which even had wifi! – we were lucky, just 2 groups of 2 that day. The chairlift was not open until 12 noon due to maintenance so Martin sorted out a 4-wheel drive car to take us for a very bumpy ride up the mountain…. at the top we took our map and guide and started the hike. My husband and I are very keen and regular hikers, so we rather ignored the guide and headed straight for the top of the mountain – from which we had a superb view of the lakes. We ate our lunch and headed back down and then enjoyed the lower lakes on the way back. Traventuria organised it well, the booking was smooth with fast email confirmation and everything went like clockwork. No problem recommending them at all. And certainly recommend the Rila Seven lakes if you like nature.

Fairhsa , United Kingdom

Absolutely fantastic experience

5.0 rating
June 30, 2013

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
My dad and I took three tours with Traventuria and had an excellent time on each one. Each day was easy, relaxing, enjoyable, fun, and very informative. The tours are very personalized, the guides are great, and the company is flexible. For example, my dad and I wanted to go to Belogradchik Fortress, which is not on one of the normal tours with the company, but it was very easy to arrange a trip there anyway. Similarly, our last tour was meant to be a hike through the Rila Lakes; unfortunately, the evening before our tour a cold front blew through and the day dawned with freezing rain. We decided rather late the day before that we didn’t want to do it, but unfortunately had no way of contacting Traventuria so late. That morning, when our guide came to pick us up, we asked to change the tour, and it was completely fine, no problem at all. Great, flexible people in charge of the company.
Our guides themselves were also awesome (we had tours with both Orlin and Rusi). Examples of the amazing things they did:
Guiding us on an impromptu hike when we expressed it might be fun to hike for a little while
Clearing away the branches on the trail in front of us while on the hike!
Offering to take pictures of us all the time without us having to ask them to
Knowing which gas stations had clean bathrooms and stopping there
Knowing the back routes to the important sites which avoided traffic/had more beautiful scenery
Offering to call ahead at the restaurant and place my order when I indicated I wanted a dish that he knew took a while to prepare
Taking the time to mark on our city map restaurant recommendations for Sofia when we indicated we were having trouble finding a place to eat
In addition to doing all this, both guides were very knowledgeable, not just about history, but about little quirks about the places we were visiting–they knew which restaurants were good, which place offered the best wine tasting, what was good at what restaurant, etcetera.
I would definitely recommend this tour company. Not only are the guides exemplary and the company flexible, but unless you read Cyrillic, you’ll want a guide escorting you around Bulgaria, and you can’t find any better than the ones at this company.

Scottishowlgirl, Hungary

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