An intensive hiking & sightseeing program, which shows you the best of the nature and culture merits of the Rila Mountains: Rila Monastery (UNESCO) and the Cirque of The Seven Rila Lakes. The program doesn’t allow much free time on either site but it is quite enough to explore both places.
Difficulty: The hiking route is moderately arduous, with individual brief paths featuring steep inclines. Please bring along comfortable walking boots. Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.
Total transfers time: 4,30-5 hrs
Walking time: 3,30 hrs (hiking time only; moderate difficulty)
Best period: mid-June – mid-September (possible also in late May and Late September through to November (incl.) (depending on the lifts working time)
Circular trek, starting from the Rila Lakes hut, going along the lower lakes up to the Kidney Lake, before descending back to the Rila Lakes hut (the highest two lakes will be skipped due to lack of time). (3,30hrs hiking time only; 4,5km; +200m; -200m)The tour begins with an early transfer to the Rila, followed by a brief cable car ride to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. The glacier lakes are at between 2100 and 2500m/6800 and 8200ft above sea level, with name fitting their shapes, like Babreka (the Kidney), Okoto (the Eye), and Salzata (the Teardrop). As we need to follow strict time schedule depending on your fitness we can either walk the whole trek around all lakes, or make the stroll shorter and skip some of them (normally the two highest ones). After the hiking around one of the Rila’s most remarkable and beautiful parts, we are transferred to the Rila Monastery: the largest and most significant Bulgarian Orthodox Church establishment. The 20m/70ft high walls shelter impressive cloisters, a church, and a chapel with unique murals and museum collections.
Prices: Rates vary; Please check options (incl. dates with discounted tours!) on the BOOK ONLINE tab
The price includes: Transfers throughout the tour; English-speaking guide;
The price does not include: Chair lift tickets for Rila Mountains; Entrance to the museum in Rila Monastery;
Food: There will be no time for a proper lunch. Please come prepared with a lunch pack.
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.