DURATION: 2 days
PRICE: € 180
DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-October

This two-day hike will take you in the most pristine and panoramic part of Rila Mountains – the sixth highest mountain in Europe. We will start with a hike to the remote Ivan Vazov hut passing by the crystal clear waters of each of the Seven Rila Lakes – the pearls of Rila Mountains, and continue with a superb traverse on the main ridge of the mountain, climb the symbol of Bulgarian mountaineering – Malyovitsa summit (2729m) and descend to the big glacier valley of Malyovitsa River.
Conditions in the hut are basic, rooms are dormitories with bunk beds, there are toilets available on the ground floor. Linens and blankets are provided, but you can bring your summer sleeping bag if you prefer (there is no shower in the hut). Food is freshly cooked and served (vegetarian meals mostly), although there is no big variety. It is suggested that you buy lunch pack from the hut for the second day or be prepared with nuts, energy bars, dried fruits, etc.
The trek comprises moderate/demanding walks with steeper ascends/descends now and then, suitable for hikers with really good hiking experience, as some stamina is required to complete certain stages. Please come prepared with suitable hiking boots and clothes for mountain trekking (incl. wind-/waterproofs; towards the end of the summer temperatures in the morning may drop below zero degree centigrade).

Day 1: Sofia – Malyovitsa – Vada Hut – The Seven Rila Lakes – Ivan Vazov Hut (6,30-7hrs; 16km; +1320/-520m)

We start early from your hotel in Sofia with a 2-hour transfer to Malyovitsa mountain base (1700m) where we leave the car and set off for the hike. First we cross Maloyvitsa and Urdina river and descend to a small hut, where you can have a snack or tea and continue with and uphill walk through beautiful century-old coniferous forests. In about 3 hours we are out of the forest walking amidst the kingdom of the dwarf pine (Pinus mugo) and soon reach the first (The Lower) and second (The Fish) of the Seven Rila Lakes. Here we stop for a longer break and lunch and learn about the White brotherhood movement and its founder Peter Danov. Later we continue gradually ascending up to the top of the ridge passing by the crystal clear waters of the rest of the lakes – The Trefoil, The Twins, The Kidney, The Eye and the highest – The Teardrop. The panorama is great and we can climb a little bit more on a thin ridge from where we can see all of the Seven Rila Lakes. About an hour descend will bring us down to Ivan Vazov hut built in the beautiful grassy valley of Bistritsa River. We will have hot soup for dinner and spend the night in the hut enjoying the company of the friendly staff and maybe listen to their music performances.
Day 2: Ivan Vazov Hut – Mount Malyovitsa – Malyovitsa Hut – Malyovitsa (5hrs; 15km; +735m/-1320m)
After a hearty breakfast we set off for another exciting hike that will take us on the main ridge of the mountain. We hike up and down the ridge with stunning views to the pristine Urdini Lakes north, the charming Rila Monastery down in the river valley and the rugged and alpine Malyovitsa range summits. We have a great chance to spot Balkan Chamois on the slopes below or up on the rocks. Our highest point for the day is the symbol of Bulgarian mountaineering – Malyovitsa summit (2729m). Here we can have our picnic lunch and enjoy the stunning views of rocky peaks, steep bulleys and beautiful lakes. We end up the trek with a 2hrs descend through the deep Malyovitsa River valley, passing by Elenini Lakes and Malyovitsa hut.

This is a tentative program which can be extended with one or two more days of hiking in the area, to include a climb to Mt. Musala (2925m) – the highest peak on the Balkans etc.

Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still this varies a lot on the terrain and hiking experience of each client.

> 2 persons: 260 €/person;
> 3 persons: 235 €/person;
> 4 persons: 180 €/person;
Joining the tour: The tour is organized on private basis only. There are no scheduled group departures which you could potentially join as individual.
Price includes: guidance in English, private transfers to/from your hotel in Sofia, accommodation in dormitory in mountain hut with shared facilities;
Price does not include:
meals and drinks (food and tea in the huts for the two days will cost appr. 30-35 Euros/pers.), medical insurance, tourist maps, tips, personal expenses;
Accommodation: Conditions in the hut are basic, rooms are dormitories with bunk beds, there are toilets available on the ground floor (no shower). Linens and blankets are provided, but you can bring your summer sleeping bag if you prefer. Food is freshly cooked and served (vegetarian meals mostly), although there is no big variety. It is suggested that you buy lunch pack from the hut for the second day or be prepared with nuts, energy bars, dried fruits, etc.
Best period:
mid-June – October


Must do it!

Rated 5 out of 5
July 22, 2019

I first visited Bulgaria in 2005 when I was very young and all I remember was that we went to some mountains with really nice views and lakes around. I was very excited that I am going back, now in my early 20’s and I could remember all the things I do and see along the way! With mu cousin Anna we decided to take this short guided trip to Rila Mountains and we do not regret any minute of it! We were collected very early in the morning from our hostel and the guide was very talkative and break the ice within the first 5 minutes. I can say that we even became friends in just two days and this helped very much for the wonderful experience. We arrived almost at dusk at the hut because me and Anna wanted to stop at every corner to take pictures and to admire the divine beauty of Rila. The most spectacular part of the trip was the panorama view from the top of the peak Maliovitsa. We stood rooted for a long staring at the jagged peaks around and a marvelous monastery in the distance. The guide told us that this is the Rila Monastery and is one of the must-see sites while in Bulgaria. We knew about it but we didn’t consider visiting it as we wanted to be more outdoors and always have some time for fun (bars, coffees, you know). But it looked so charming that we decided to take a day trip there. Luckily, the company runs a shuttle bus every day and we even got a discount for booking again with them! We are very very glad about the perfect experience we got in Bulgaria!!!

Sylvie Caron, France

Place to find the harmony and inner peace

Rated 5 out of 5
October 15, 2017

Me and my sister, we book this tour in the first days of October and we were truly amazed of nature! Our guide, Toto, came on time to collect us from our airbnb and we depart towards the Rila. Despite being very early in the morning we felt fresh and excited about the upcoming adventure! We were lucky to choose Tuesday and Wednesday for our trip as I can say that I felt like we were the ONLY persons at that time in the mountain! Can you imagine, a whole mountain just for me, my sister and our guide, of course. The feeling being so far from the people’s noises, greed and rubbish is so reawakening! The Rila Lakes were definitely something that one must see! I am a little bit sad of what I heard from Toto that during the summer season they are overcrowded and this affects and endangers the environment. I believe nature recovers itself each winter when people are not around! The hut we slept in was very basic but somehow – cozy! I love sleeping in huts, camping and so on but all of the places I have been (mostly in Western Europe and US) are well maintained and usually, you do not feel that you have escaped from the civilization, while here in Bulgaria the sense of complete breakaway and it is inspiring! The second day, when we hike up to Malovica peak was a bit cloudy but luckily from the top the clouds moved away and make space to the stunning panorama of rough grey peaks and distant lush woods! We even saw the Rila Monastery!!! The descend towards the car was almost 4 hrs (with one big stop near a hut for a soup and a beer!) Mind that it was steep in the beginning so I am glad I had my trekking poles! My sister did not have one so she rented from the company. We were on cloud nine these two days, I felt like I finally succeed to find the inner peace and the harmony completely took over my spirit! If someone asks me where is the best place to connect with Earth, undoubtedly I would advise – RILA MOUNTAINS!

Janika Seppala, Estonia

Absolutely fantastic!

Rated 5 out of 5
October 1, 2017

Thanks for taking me there! It was really nice being far from the reality even for 2 days! Rila mountain is enchanting!

Stacey Cameron, USA

Wonderful time!

Rated 5 out of 5
September 8, 2017

Some of the best hikes I have ever been on! I booked this with my girlfriend and we were not quite sure what to expect from Bulgaria at all (it was our first time and we got only 4 days there!) I want to say big thanks to Traventuria who answered all of our questions before we even booked the trip! The booking process went smoothly. The guide Peter came exactly at 7:00 am to collect us from our address and we depart towards the Rila mountain. It is unbelievably beautiful there! The tour has some difficulty stages and we felt a bit tired at the end of the first day. However, the hut was nice, despite being very basic. We met some really nice persons over there and drank very pleasant local alcoholic drink rakija! After this pleasant experience, we consider coming back to Bulgarian mountains someday for more days!

Tal Raviv, Israel

What a nice surprise!

Rated 5 out of 5
July 30, 2017

I have to be honest, I did not read the description of the tour very well and I was very surprised realizing that this trip will be only for us and no one else. When the guide came to collect us from the hotel he confirmed this will be a private tour while I was thinking I am booking a group trip. What a wonderful surprise! We had as much as the time we needed to walk with our pace, we did not rush and the guide passionately told us stories and legends about the area and Bulgaria at all. I really loved the food in the huts, we could choose only between potatoes and beans soup so we took both and they were excellent prepared and very very tasty (especially the beans!).

Cassidy Norwood, USA