Hiking the Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery

For two days only we are going to see three of most famous sights in the Rila Mountains – the Skakavitsa Waterfall, the Seven Rila Lakes and the Rila Monastery. We’ll walk on foot to all of them, crossing a high mountain ridge and sleeping in a hut on the way. This is a challenging trek for those who have some hiking experience, are in a very good shape and have the proper equipment.


Last but not least this is a tour for those who don’t like to be a part of the stream and want to avoid visiting the main sights following the crowds. Putting a bit more effort instead of using the notorious chair lift and spending time in coaches on the road will price you with a memorable trip. Read our article about the best way to visit the Seven Lakes. The trip is available between June and October.


  • Two days of hiking with amazing panoramas on the way and overnight in a high mountain hut;
  • Visit to the The Skakavitsa Waterfall, The Seven Rila Lakes and the Rila Monastery entirely walking on foot;
  • We’ll explore the beautiful nature of the Rila National Park and the Rila Monastery Nature Park.




Day 1: Sofia – Zeleni Preslop – Skakavitsa Hut – Skakvitsa Waterfall – The Seven Rila Lakes  – Ivan Vazov Hut – 8 hours, +1100 m/-400 m:

Early start from Sofia. We may also suggest places to stay in the beautiful village of Sapareva Banya (30 min away from the starting point), famous with its thermal springs, and pick you up from there in the morning. The starting point of the trek is located 1,5 hours drive from the capital and is also accessible by public transport. One hour hike to Skakavitsa Hut, where we’ll make a detour to see the Skakavitsa Waterfall, the one with the biggest water drop in Rila Mountains.


The Kidney Lake

The Kidney Lake


Further we hike along the Dry Ridge that offers great panoramas towards the lower of the Seven Lakes. Finally we get to the Kidney Lake, the Eye and the Teardrop Lakes. The last section of the ascent takes us up to a high ridge at 2600 m at Razdela Pass. Most visitors do not reach this point where all the lakes are below us. From here we descend in west direction for another hour to Ivan Vazov Hut, located at 2300 m. Accommodation in the hut – dormitories, common WC, no shower, free views to the night sky and beer (not for free). Sheets and food are provided in the hut.


The Seven Rila Lakes


Day 2: Ivan Vazov Hut – Rila Monastery – Sofia – 6 hours, +200/-1350 m:

The day starts with a gentle ascent along the valley, called Pazardere Valley. For about 1,5 hours we reach the Baucher Ridge and start a long panoramic descent towards the monastery. For about 4,5 hours we’ll drop down 1350 metres to the bottom of the valley. We’ll visit the monastery on foot as its been visited centuries ago, before the development of the infrastructure… From the monastery there are buses to the town of Blagoevgrad and Sofia.


The Rila Monastery

The Rila Monastery


Equipment needed: hiking boots, rucksack (35-45 l), trekking poles, water and windproof jacket, rain cover, sun hat, sun lotion, sunglasses, warm hat and gloves, water bottle (1,5 litres), travel liner, torch, personal first aid kit.

Please note that the trip could be done as self-guided by experienced hikers.

Contact us if you have any additional questions.