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.
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.
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.
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.
hi, i am planning to visit bulgaria and include this 2 day trekking. our visit will be 1-5th november 2019 , so i wish to trek 2 days out of those days in bulgaria. what do you suggest please? is it nice and safe to do so with a guide?
i have some experience in trekking a base camp in Nepal and had snow there, but not much else.
thx a lot.
November is late Autumn and could be great weather conditions, but could also be rainy and cold, difficult to say from now. A lot of snow is not very possible. We can organize a guided trip for you.
I plan to do the trip to Seven Lakes and Monestary next week(7/10/18), do u know if the huts in this area are open for travelers?
I plan to do a two-day trip (Sep 28-29) to Seven Lakes and Monestary, I will be staying in Sofia.
Can you suggest me some options. Also, is it crowded at that time?
I have just sent some questions regarding to the tour “The High Summits of Pirin” but I found this tour is also attractive to me! I will be traveling alone so I would like to know if it is a shared tour. Will there be any tour in early August? What is the price?
Hey! I´m interesed in doing this tour on 3th-4th August. The problem is that I´m travelling alone and I´m not sure if I can find any company for this. Do you have any kind of group tour or some people who also are travelling solo and want to do the tour together? And how much would it cost?
thank you very much in advance 🙂
We are interested in doing this tour from June 21-June 23. There will be 7 of us. Can you please let us know what the cost would be and if thosendatea work? Also, if we stay in sarapeva bania, how can we get back there at the end of the tour? Your reply us greatly appreciated, thank you!
I understand that this hike is possible at the end of May (snow present, but not winter conditions). Do you organise trips at that moment?
Can you please let us know if there are options to get from the Rila Monastery back to Sapareva Banya?
My friend and I are planning to visit the seven lakes on mid of march, we would like to start from Rila Monastery, is it too risky for hiking on march?
Hi Nathan, hiking in March requires winter equipment, snowshoes and some basic experience in walking in winter conditions. There is still a lot of snow at the lakes. Of course, you can only take the lift and make a short loop near the hut, but still get warm clothes, good boots, sun protection, etc.
Hi, I am interested in this two day trip in coming June. What is the price of it?
My friend and I are interested in this 2-day hike in from the 23 or 24th of June. can you please send me some more information about the guided tour and the self-guided tour?
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Hello Lyuben ,
I wanted to ask your offer for a guided 2 days trek for 5 persons (age: 13-46) in July 2018.
the “Contact Us” feature in this web site wasn’t working so I couldn’t send you my detailed msg. Please contact me to my mailbox.
We’re a scouting group from belgium and we’re visiting Bulgaria this summer. We would like to take this 2day trip but we are with (27-30 persons). Is this possible for a group that big and if it is how much would u cost i?
Hi, I would like to know if we can do the 2 day trip to seven lakes and Rila on 21/08/2017 and 22/08/2017 ? Please let me know cost for 2 people.
Is it possible to do this on the last week of October?
We would be interested in doing this trip this monday and tuesday. It s two of us, would like to know if it s possible and the prices for it if so. Thanks!
I’m interested in this hike for this saturday/sunday! I know last minute… is there availability? What would the cost be for two people? Do we bring a sleeping bag? Please send me a note.
Hi Jess, will check with my colleagues and get back to you by tomorrow if there is availability!
We have 4 people and plan on July 7 for 2 days and 1 night trip to Rila Lakes and Monastery.
What is price for us?
Thanks for the request. sent you an email with all the details.
I will be visiting Bulgaria in the last week of May, any chance that the hiking tours will be open then?
This route (Rila Lakes & Monastery) is still partly covered by snow by the end of May, so requires good waterproof boots, preferably with stiff sole. Even without snow, some parts will be quite wet and muddy. Also there is a crossing between Sluzata Lake and Razdela Pass that could be risky in snow conditions.