* Hiking time: the given walking time does not include stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.!; it is conditional and generally based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5 km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30 min for each 300 m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still this varies a lot on the fitness level, weather conditions, the group size and the hiking experience of each client within the group.
If you are looking for a day hike in Bulgaria then the Seven Rila Lakes should be on the top of your wishlist. This mountain destination is the most popular and picturesque in the Rila Mountains and doubtfully in whole of Bulgaria.
Step-wise, one above the other, the 7 pristine glacial lakes are interconnected with fast-flowing streams to form a magnificent 400 m high cirque cascade. A chair lift connects Panichishte Resort to the first lake named Dolnoto or the Lower. As you start to climb the panorama widens with every successful lake and feasts the eyes with spectacular views of Rila’s rugged alpine peaks, lakes and valleys. Sulzata Lake (the Tear) is 2 535 m asl and is the highest of the lakes (often frozen even during the summer). This is a moderately easy, but very rewarding and emotional a few hours hike in the heart of the epic Rila wonderland. Do not miss it as this is an experience to be remembered for a lifetime! Learn more about the lakes from our blog articles: Michaela Stoyanova – the Seven Rila Lakes and The tranquility of the off-season hike at the famous 7 Rila Lakes.
This is a small group tour, which starts at 7 am from the parking of La Cathedrale Restaurant, located at St. Alexander Nevski Square, behind the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (Hotel pickup optional). There will be an expert mountain guide with you throughout the tour. Your transfer to Panichishte resort, where the bottom station of the lift to the Seven Rila Lakes is located is about two hours (expected arrival around 9 am). Your guide will help you purchase the tickets for the chair lift (not included in the price (18 Bulgarian leva per person). The ride with the lift to the lowest lake is about 20 minutes. Your trek starts from an altitude of 2095 m asl. There are various paths to reach the Salzata – the highest of the lakes. Your guide will choose the ones that are most suitable for the fitness level of the group, but usually, a different route is used on the way back so the walking experience is different. The walking time is approx. 4-5 hours with a few photo stops.
The tour concludes with a return chair-lift ride and 2-hour transfer to Sofia (Departure from the bottom station of the lift to the Seven Rila lakes at 15:30 h, and expected arrival at Alexander Nevski Square 17:30 h). Drop off to your hotel is included.
DIFFICULTY AND WHAT TO BRING ALONG
This walking route is moderately arduous, with individual brief paths featuring steep inclines. The weather there changes quickly and can go from warm and sunny to freezing cold in matter of minutes. Please bring along comfortable hiking boots! Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket and warm clothes might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.
The huts located along the trail offer some basic food, but depending on the season you may have to wait quite a lot to receive your order. We recommend that you bring your own packed food and water.
MOBILE NETWORK COVERAGE
There is a mobile network coverage almost throughout the whole route.
Book online safely and with confidence. You will receive automatically your booking confirmation.
The price incl.:
+ English speaking guide throughout the tour
+ Pick-up from La Cathedrale Restaurant (back of Nevski Cathedral), Optional: Hotel pick-up
+ All transportation and parking fees
- Chair lift tickets – 25 leva per person
- Food and personal expenses