THE SEVEN RILA LAKES & MALYOVITSA PEAK RIDGE TREK

0
DURATION: 2 days
PRICE: € 180
DIFFICULTY: 2/3 (of 4)
BEST PERIOD: June-October
START/FINISH: Sofia
TOUR TYPE: Guided

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. Food is freshly cooked and served, although there is no big variety – so you can bring food if it is something special – usually they have beans or lentils soup, omelettes, delicious cheese from a local diary, etc. 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 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).


Day 1: Sofia – Malyovitsa – Vada Hut – The Seven Rila Lakes – Ivan Vazov Hut (6,30-7hrs; 16km; +1320/-220m)

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.


Price:
2-3 persons: 180 €/person; 4+ persons: 135 €/person;
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. 10-15 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. Linens and blankets are provided, but you can bring your summer sleeping bag if you prefer. Food is freshly cooked and served, although there is no big variety – so you can bring food if it is something special – usually they have beans or lentils soup, omelettes, delicious cheese from a local diary, etc. 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
Group size: Min. 2 persons

SUBMIT A REVIEW ABOUT THIS TOUR


Perfect trek

5.0 rating
October 14, 2019

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
Great 2 days in the mountains. 38 kilometers with decent amount of up and down hill. Superb and divers views. Responsive staff helped us with planning and inquiries. Our guide Petar Chakalov was friendly, accurate, knowledgable and very pleasant to be with. He took us up to the Seven Rila Lakes and down to Ivan Vazov Hut where we spent the night. It is simple but cozy enough and has great vibes. The second day we went up to Malyovitsa Peak and safely down the stony descent . We highly recommend both the route and the company, and if Petar is available, you’re lucky.

Yaron G, Israel

Must do it!

5.0 rating
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

An excellent way to get a genuine mountain experience

5.0 rating
July 2, 2019

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
Our guide was experienced, knowledgeable & friendly. He took us on fantastic hike high above tree line, the views were amazing & the walking just arduous enough to make us feel we had achieved something. We stayed overnight in a mountain hut, basic but clean with incredible views. The food was simple but wholesome. An experience I would thoroughly recommend.

Catherine, United Kingdom

Hidden gem of Bulgaria

4.0 rating
September 18, 2018

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
We combined the Rila 7 lakes hike with Malyovitska climb over a two-day private guide tour.Our guide Todor, couldn’t have been more patient and accommodating. He is a really good storyteller and photographer as well! We got really lucky with the weather and encountered some of the most stunning views in Europe.We’ll be sure to come back for more.

Monika Kujur, Untined Kingdom

Highlight of the trip

5.0 rating
September 15, 2018

Read the original review on TripAdvisor
A friend and I booked a 2 day guided hike, The Seven Rila Lakes & Malyovitsa Peak ridge walk, through Traventuria. It was a bit pricey per person for just two people, but it was absolutely worth the money. It was an outstanding experience. Our guide, Todor Nedkov, picked us up at the apartment we were staying at in Sofia at 7:00 AM on the dot. Todor was incredibly generous, kind, and knowledgeable. We unfortunately didn’t have the best weather (very, very foggy in the mountains, with rain in the afternoon and a risk of thunderstorms on the first day), so we had to rush a bit on the first day and shortened the hike on both days. Still, the landscape was absolutely stunning, and Todor worked with us to make the best plan considering the conditions. Once we reached the hut in the early afternoon on day 1, we were stuck inside the rest of the day with not much to do due to the rainy weather, so Todor gave us a Bulgarian history lesson, taught us some Bulgarian words, and helped us learn to read Cyrillic. On day 2, we skipped the Malyovitsa Peak because the thick fog would have obscured all of the views and instead hiked down a different route, stopping to see some of the herds of horses and pick wild blueberries, then descending through a beautiful forest. Since our shortened hike ended earlier than expected, Todor gave us some options to fill the rest of our afternoon, and ended up teaching us how to make the traditional pastry, banitsa. When he dropped us off at the train station, Todor went absolutely out of his way to help us change our train tickets to Varna, as I had inadvertently neglected to reserve a sleeping compartment for our overnight train trip. Despite the non-ideal weather, the hike was still absolutely the highlight of our 9 days in Bulgaria (although I loved everything we did!). Traventuria made it very easy to take on this challenging hike, giving me peace of mind that we would be safe and secure and simplifying my trip planning as they took care of all of the details. I would highly recommend using the company, as well as using Todor Nedkov as a guide.

Sara Davis, USA

SCROLL DOWN FOR ALL DATES

Share.