- Transfer from your hotel in Sofia to Panichishte resort and back
- English-speaking guide (for the guided hiking option)
- Return chairlift tickets from Panichishte to The Seven Rila Lakes and back
- Detailed route notes in English and maps (for the self-guided hiking option; 1 set of route notes and 1 map per group)
WHAT TO EXPECT
Spend the day in the Rila, walking around its pearls: The Seven Rila Lakes. During the last few years, this destination has become one of the most popular places for one-day hiking tours in the Rila Mountains.
Difficulty: this walking route is moderately arduous, with individual brief paths featuring steep inclines. Please bring along comfortable hiking boots. Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.
The tour is offered as guided (small group) or self-guided.
Total transfer time: 3-3.30hrs
Walking time: 3.30-4 hrs (hiking time only; moderate difficulty)
Best period: mid-June – mid-September (possible until mid-November and also in May – contact us for details on weather conditions and lift working time)
Circular trek, starting from the Rila Lakes hut, going along the lower lakes up to the highest one (the Tear Lake) and descending past the Kidney Lake back to the Rila Lakes hut. (3.30-4hrs hiking time only; 6km; +450m; -450m)
A transfer from Sofia takes us to the Panichishte Resort cable car which takes us to the Seven Rila Lakes Cirque. Then we start exploring them one by one. Each lake is named after its most characteristic feature. The highest one (at 2500m/8200ft above sea level) is called Salzata (“The Tear”), from where we have a bird’s eye view over all seven lakes, as well as surrounding outcrops and deep valleys; the next one in height carries the name Okoto (“The Eye”) after its oval form; Babreka (“The Kidney”) is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group; Bliznaka (“The Twin”) is the largest of all; Trilistnika (“The Trefoil”) has an irregular shape; the shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero (“The Fish Lake”) and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero (“The Lower Lake”; 2100m/6995ft), where the water that flows out of the other lakes is gathered to form the source of Dzherman River.
Food: if you have forgotten to take a lunch pack or a sandwich with you, you can take advantage of the meals on offer in the two huts on our way. The menu is limited though: soups (lentils, beans), grilled meat and some basic meals.
Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.!); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still, this varies a lot on the terrain, the group size and the hiking experience of each client within the group.