Rila is the highest mountain range in the Balkans and all of Southeastern Europe, with the Musala summit rising to 2925m/9596ft. The mountain ranks sixth in Europe after the Caucasus, the Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees, and Etna. Rila (an old Slav word meaning Water Mountain) looks like a stormy sea of crests and peaks, deep gorges, and over 150 crystal-clear lakes. Much of the National Park area is under UNESCO protection.
Difficulty: the hiking route is moderately to very arduous, with some short stages rather steep. Some parts of the trail pass through stones. Please bring along comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support if possible. Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.
The tour is offered as guided (small group) or self-guided. Check the PRICES tab below for further details.
Total transfers time: 3 hrs
Walking time: 5 hrs (hiking time only; few steep parts; good physical condition is needed)
Best period: mid-June – mid-September (Wednesday-Sunday)
Climb to Mt. Musala from Yastrebets Peak and then walk back. (5hrs hiking time only; 13km; +750m; -750m). N.B. Harder options also possible for advanced hikers.
After an early transfer to the Borovets Resort, we take the cable car to the Yastrebets summit, from where we follow a path through the Musala Hut and the Ledeno Ezero (“The Icy Lake”) mountain refuge to the Musala summit. Along the way, we enjoy magnificent views over surrounding outcrops and peaks, deep valleys, and pristine glacier lakes. But the best vistas are waiting for you on the top, where we celebrate with a cup of fragrant herbal tea. From here you can enjoy the summits of all major mountain ranges in Bulgaria – Balkan, Sredna Gora, Vitosha, Rhodopes, Pirin and of course – Rila.
Price (for guided tour): 1 pers: 250 Euro; 2 pers: 140 Euro pp; 3 pers: 100 Euro pp; 4 pers: 80 Euro pp; 5+ pers: 75 Euro
Price (for self-guided tour): 200 Euro/car (group of 1-4 persons); 250 Euro/bus (group of 5-8 persons)
The price includes: Transfer from Sofia to Borovets resort and back; English-speaking guide (for the guided hiking option); Detailed route notes in English and maps (for the self-guided hiking option; 1 set of route notes and 1 map per vehicle)
The price does not include: Return Gondola lift tickets
Food: basic food is required inside the two huts we will pass by; however, due to time restrictions, you’d better plan for a sandwich, prepared at home (time permitting you cans top for a tea in the huts).
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, the group size and the hiking experience of each client within the group.