Bulgaria

The Seven Rila Lakes: Your ultimate self-guided tour (+Map)

Last updated on Mar 18, 2019 | 5 mins read

The Seven Rila lakes are of glacial origin and are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 meters of elevation in the Rila mountain. Each of the Seven Rila lakes carries a name that is mainly associated with its most characteristic feature:

Seven Rila Lakes Map
Seven Rila Lakes Map
Click on the Map to open in Google Maps

How to get to the Seven Rila lakes?

You are most probably wondering how to get to the lakes on your own. For sure, I can tell you that you will have to reach the Pionerska hut first, so that you can actually start your hike to the lakes. Below are the options to reach the Seven Rila lakes:

By car is the easiest and the most convenient way to get there. From Sofia to the lakes it is taking around 2 hours. Once you arrive at the Pionerska hut (there is also the lift of the 7 Rila lakes) you can park the car there, but bear in mind that it might be quite crowded especially during the weekend (and in the summer).

There are couple of options to go by bus:

A direct bus from Sofia to Sapareva Banya departs every day at 14:00 pm from “Ovcha kupel” bus station and the ticket is around 10 leva (West bus station of Sofia)

Another way to reach the lakes is to catch a bus from Sofia to Dupnica (which is around 6-7 leva) and then catch a bus to Separeva Banya from Dupnica‘s station (bus number 11). After you reach either Dupnica or Separeva banya catch a bus to the lift for the lakes.

 Personally, I would choose going to Separeva banya and staying there for a day. There are lots of mineral water pools where you can relax after a tough day of hiking or climbing. Also, food is great there and you might not wanna miss this too.

How to get to the Seven Rila Lakes?

One of the ways to reach the the lakes from Pionerska hut is by catching the lift. The lift itself costs 10 leva one-way or 18 leva for a two-way journey (kids’ ticket is 8 leva one-way or 12 leva two-way). The journey with the lift takes around 30 minutes and stops couple of steps from the Seven Rila lakes hut.

However, if you decide on going to the lakes by foot you can start at the Pionerska hut, where is actually the lift – it takes around 3 hours to get to the Seven Rila lakes hut. From the Seven Rila lakes hut it takes around 4-5 hours of walking to the highest lake.

Where to stay in the Seven Rila Lakes?

There are couple of options to stay near the lakes and enjoy the serenity surrounding them. Whether it will be a guest house, a hut, camping or a hotel, it’s all up to you and your preferences for a perfect stay.

If you decide to stay in a guest house or an a hotel you can always check Airbnb or Booking for their offers in Separeva Banya. There are also options for staying in an entire apartment, so it is up to you. Prices during the high season may vary, but you can expect them to be around 20-30 EUR per person per night.

Camping up near the Seven Rila lakes or staying at the Rila lakes hut is always a good option. You will experience a truly unforgettable night up in the heights and enjoy some stargazing. Bear in mind, that it gets really chilly during the night, so you have to get warmer clothes. If you decide to stay at the hut the prices vary on what room you want to stay in and the type of season. 

You can always reach out the Seven Rila lakes hut by visiting their website

Weather in the Seven Rila Lakes ?

Weather up in the mountains can be quite unpredictable and also change really fast. That’s why it is really important to be prepared when going up the mountains. Do not forget to always bring with you water, food and warmer clothes. Sunglasses & sunscreen are also a necessity to avoid sun burns.

Before you go, check the forecast to avoid any encounters with thunderstorms or else here.

Wanna hike some more?! Check out my post about the Azores here

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