Hiking Guide
Rila Seven Lakes

The hike to the 7 Rila Lakes is one of the most popular hikes in Bulgaria, known for its stunning views and natural beauty. Here’s a guide to help you plan and enjoy your adventure to these magnificent alpine lakes.

Trail Information:

Distance: Approximately 14 kilometers round trip
Elevation Gain: About 900 meters
Estimated Time: 6-8 hours (including breaks and exploration)
Difficulty: Moderate, suitable for hikers with a good basic fitness level


Starting Point:

There are different transportation options to reach the starting point of the hike. However, buses are more frequent and convenient for this journey.



Sofia –> Dupnitsa (1.5 hrs/70 km): There is a bus leaving every 30 minutes from the “Ovcha Kupel” station, also known as “the West” bus station. You can check the schedule and even book online on the following website: https://www.busradar.com. If you plan to make the hike as a day trip, it is recommended to take the first bus in the morning. The price for this leg of the journey is 6 BGN (about 3 Euro).

Dupnitsa –> Sapareva Banya (30 mins/20 km): Buses from the town of Dupnitsa to the small town of Sapareva Banya run approximately every 30 minutes. Tickets can only be bought on the spot and paid in Bulgarian leva. The price ranges between 1.2 to 1.5 leva, depending on the chosen transport company.

Sapareva Banya –> Pionerska Hut, Panichishte Resort (30 min/18 km): A shuttle bus operates from Sapareva Banya to Pionerska Hut, departing when it reaches capacity. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which should not cost more than 15 leva. However, it is advisable to negotiate the price in advance.

Remember to check the schedules and availability of transportation options in advance to plan your journey to the starting point of the hike. 


Gondola Ride:

Purchase a return ticket (costs 25 BGN) and board the gondola for a scenic 20-minute ride from 1600m to 2100m above sea level.


Begin the Hike:

Take shelter at the Rila Chalet to warm up and enjoy a tea before starting the hike. Follow the most popular route, but consider making the hike circular on the way back to avoid retracing your steps.


Peak and Panoramic Views:

Ascending towards the peak, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and five of the seven lakes. This is one of the highlights of the hike, offering an incredible vantage point to soak in the beauty of the Rila Lakes.


The Lakes:

Hike the highest Bulgarian Peak and experience the beauty of the Rila Mountains, home to the magnificent Seven Lakes. These lakes are a natural marvel, each possessing its own unique charm and crystal-clear waters. The trail leading to the lakes is considered one of the best in Rila, offering a classic route with a mix of difficulty. As you explore this remarkable area, you’ll be surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Rila Mountain, the highest mountain in Bulgaria. The journey to the Seven Lakes concludes your adventure, showcasing the splendor of these alpine jewels.


1. Dolnoto Ezero (Lower Lake):

As the first lake you’ll encounter, Dolnoto Ezero offers a serene atmosphere and stunning reflections.


2. Ribnoto Ezero (Fish Lake):

This picturesque lake is known for its vibrant turquoise color, making it a favorite spot for nature photographers.


3. Babreka (Kidney Lake):

Named for its distinctive shape resembling a kidney, Babreka is a unique natural formation that captivates hikers.


4. Okoto (Eye):

Okoto, aptly named “Eye,” captivates with its deep blue color, resembling a mesmerizing eye staring back at you.


5. Salzata (Tear):

Salzata, meaning “Tear,” enchants hikers with its cascading waterfalls, adding a touch of magic to the Rila Lakes’ natural charm.


6.Bliznaka (Twin):

Bliznaka is a stunning lake composed of two interconnected parts, giving it the appearance of twins.


7, Trilistnika (Trefoil):


Trilistnika, the final lake on the trail, offers a serene setting shaped like a trefoil, perfect for a well-deserved break.

Follow the trail back to Dolnoto Ezero (Lower Lake) and Ribnoto Ezero (Fish Lake), retracing your steps through the natural wonders you’ve encountered. From there, it’s just a short distance back to the Rila Chalet, marking the end of your hike to the 7 Rila Lakes.



Remember to check the weather forecast, carry essential hiking gear, and respect the natural environment during your adventure. Enjoy the incredible views and memorable moments as you explore the stunning 7 Rila Lakes.


Additional Tips:

  • Start your hike early in the day to allow ample time for exploration and to avoid potential afternoon storms.
  • Pack enough water to stay hydrated throughout the hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
  • Bring snacks or a packed lunch to fuel your energy during breaks and enjoy a picnic amidst the natural beauty.
  • Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes to navigate the diverse terrain with ease.
  • Layer your clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions. It can be cooler at higher elevations, so pack a warm layer and a rain jacket.
  • Stay on designated trails and follow trail markers to ensure you stay on the right path.
  • Respect the environment and leave no trace behind. Carry a trash bag to collect any waste and dispose of it properly.
  • If you plan to stay overnight, make reservations in advance for the Rila Lakes Huts or set up camp at designated camping areas.
  • Consider hiring a local guide for a more enriching experience and to ensure your safety.

GPX File:

To assist you during your hike, you can download the GPX file for the 7 Rila Lakes trail. The GPX file will provide detailed navigation instructions and help you stay on the correct path. Please ensure you have a compatible GPS device or a hiking app that supports GPX files.


Share Your Experience:

Share your hiking experience with others to inspire fellow adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Connect with the hiking community through social media, travel platforms, or personal blogs, and share your stories, photos, and recommendations.

Enjoy the magnificent journey to the 7 Rila Lakes and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this breathtaking Bulgarian landscape. Happy hiking!


Kindly ask the reception for you waffle voucher and exchange them for frechly made fluffy waffles in the communal kitchen


Every Tuesday can all the guests of BlaBla Hostel enjoy a delicious brunch of Beligan waffles with whipcream and jam for Free!


The event take place every Tuesday between 09.00 to 11.00

Nearby places

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Nearby places

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