The Seven Rila Lakes
The Seven Rila Lakes
The Seven Rila Lakes are one of the most notable natural attractions on the Balkan Peninsula, a dream destination not to be missed. The lakes have been named for their shapes and qualities. They are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level.
The Seven Lakes are a tourist attraction in Bulgaria because of its natural environment, located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades.
The most common time to visit the lakes is summer, in July and August, when temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and the risk of sudden storms is lower. In the summer the trails are in their best condition, the lift is working and plenty of hotels, guest houses and restaurants in the area open up for the season. You will need 6 to 8 hours to walk around all the lakes, enjoy the scenery and take pictures.
How to get there?
There are many trails to and around the lakes. The most popular way to get there is to drive to Panichishte, a small village 13.5 km from Separeva Banya and 90 km from Sofia. You can park your car at the paid parking lot here and take the chair lift - costs 15 leva both ways. The lift covers the 4 km to the Rilski Ezera shelter for about 20 minutes. On busy days however, due to many people and long queues, the waiting time for the lift can be more than 2 hours, that is, you may be better off walking/climbing this distance yourself. There is the option to hire horses to carry your luggage up the hill while you walk in the light. It is about 2 hours climb from the Rilski Ezera shelter to highest (The Tear) lake.
There is an option by bus from Sofia to Dupnica, (which is a local city) departure on every 50-60 min fron the Central bus Station. From there you have to take a mini bus to Separeva Banya which is the first local city before the Lakes. The mini bus will take you to the Gondola and from there is very easy or if there is no direct one from Dupnica to the Lakes you have to stop First in Separeva Banya and then to take a bus to Panichishte which is the station of the Gondola for the lakes. The bus from Dupnica to Separeva Banya departure on every 30 min.