The Rila Lakes & Skakavitsa Waterfall in Winter
Rila Mountains are the highest range in Bulgaria (and on the Balkans as well) and a great place to go hiking, climbing, ski touring or snowshoeing. It is quite close to Sofia and a trip from the capital to the main starting points of Malyovitsa or Panichishte would take about 1,5 hours by car. There are also public transport options.
We offer a two-day snowshoeing trip in Rila National Park, that includes two of the main sights of Northwestern Rila – the Seven Rila Lakes and the Skakavitsa Waterfall.
Day 1: Sofia – Pionerska Hut – Skakavitsa
Transfer from Sofia to Panichishte ski center – around 2 hours. Forest walk in Skakavitsa reserve to Skakavitsa Hut, where we stay for the night. Afternoon walk to Skakavitsa Waterfall, the biggest in Rila Mountains, all covered in ice this time of the year.
Hiking time 4 – 4:30 hours; +450/-150 m
Day 2: Skakavitsa Hut – Kidney lake – Sofia
Walk up to the Dry Ridge and further to the Kidney Lake – the biggest among the Seven lakes. Descent to Rila Lakes Hut and further down to Pionerska Hut (option to descent by the chair lift). A great end of this trip is a visit to the thermal pools in Sapareva Banya village on the way back.
Hiking time 5-5:30 hours; +500/-900 m
- hiking boots – waterproof and warm, to cover the ankle, with stiff sole;
- water and windproof jacket with hood;
- water and windproof pants;
- warm hat, thin pair of gloves and a pair of warm mittens;
- thermal underwear, light down jacket or a warm fleece;
- sun protection – sun cream, sun glasses, sun hat;
- water bottle or preferably flask – 1l;