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)
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EXCELLENT TOURS, EXCELLENT GUIDES
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I took 2 tours with Traventuria while I was in Sofia and they were both perfect. The 7 Rila Lakes hike was absolutely great with my guide Orlin Koychev being really exceptional, very friendly and helpful, he made the tour very enjoyable! The second tour to the Rila monastery and Boyana church was also amazing with our guide Kristian being perfect, very informative and friendly!
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