2-day hike from Seven Rila Lakes to Rila Monastery, Bulgaria

Join Nikolay, a UIMLA-certified guide on this hike through the Balkan Peninsula! You will see everything from crystal-clear rivers to ancient monasteries.




Trip Duration

2 days

Mountain Range

Balkan Mountains

People per Guide

6 people

Trip Level


Offer Period

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Type of Trip

Not specified



    Calling all lakeside hikers for an unforgettable 2 days in the Balkan Peninsula! Here, we will be able to see all of the magic that nature has to offer.

    The Rila Mountains are arguably the most boasted-about mountain range in the Balkan Peninsula. And the word,”Rila” meaning “Water Mountain” in old Slavic, might give you a good reason as to why. The Rila Mountains’ highest summit is located at 2,925 meters above sea level and the mountain range still manages to house deep gorges, a UNESCO world heritage site (the Rila Monastery) and over 150 lakes, 7 of which we will get to go out and explore. These lakes include: the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake.

    We will begin our trip in the capital city of Sofia before being transported to Panichishte resort area where a chairlift will carry us to the base of our hike. From there, we will hike about 5-6 hours to see all of the 7 lakes up close, and even enjoying a picnic lunch along the way. Eventually, after passing the Razdela, we will descend to the Ivan Vazov hut (2300m) and for dinner and our accommodation.  After enjoying breakfast the following morning we will begin our descent of 6-7 hours to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Rila Monastery. The day will be filled with many panoramic views of the forest and mountains, and once the hike concludes, we will transport everyone back to Sofia.

    This 2-day trip is intermediate in terms of its difficulty, as we will be hiking about 6 hours on average per day. This trip covers meals, accommodation and transportation, as well, and there is also a discount for people in groups of 2 or more.

    So, if you have ever wanted to ogle at the crystal-clear lakes nestled within the Balkan Peninsula, this is the trip for you! And if you are interested in exploring more of the Bulgarian mountainside, be sure to check out my trip trekking to Musala Peak!

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    Price per person

    Group of 1
    440 EUR

    Group of 2
    220 EUR

    Group of 3
    170 EUR

    Group of 4
    140 EUR

    Group of 5
    140 EUR

    Group of 6
    140 EUR


    Price includes

    • Guiding fee
    • Accommodation
    • Lifts tickets
    • Transport during the trip
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
     The food included in the price is a small energy pack. The price excludes: food and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, insurance, museum entry fees


    • Day 1Day 1

      After meeting in the capital city of Sofia, transportation will be provided to the Panichishte resort area, where we take a chairlift to the Rila Lakes mountain hut. Once we arrive there, we will start our hike to explore all the lakes (the Eye, the Tear, the Kidney, the Twins, the Trefoil, the Fish Lake and the Lower Lake) on the way to Ivan Vazov hut, where we will stay the night.

    • Day 2Day 2

      After breakfast we will start our descent to Rila monastery. This day is full with beautiful mountain panoramas and forest trails. After visiting the monastery, transportation will be provided back to Sofia.


    Other details

    Skill level required


    Fitness level required


    Meeting point

    Sofia, Bulgaria


    About the Guide


    I started snowboarding when only a few people were doing it. At the time, it was just an emerging sport. We used to experiment modifying our equipment by hand. We didn't know about first lines or powder days, we were simply having fun and enjoying amazing snow.
    As things got more serious, I gained experience and learned more about the mountains. I found so many new possibilities!
    From the mountains, I learned how to enjoy with just the essentials, to travel lightly and to cherish the company of a friend on the snow. But I also learned responsibility and learned from my mistakes.
    This passion led me in 1994 to the Himalayas, where the beauty of the scenery and the amazing peaks were almost overwhelming. In summer, I started exploring the mountain and in this way I discovered climbing.
    All of this inspired me to become a professional. Now I have a Ski Instructor Qualification Class C, a Professional Mountain Leader UIMLA Qualification and in 2009 I became the first Bulgarian snowboard guide. Since 2017, I'm a snowboard Instructor qualification Level “3” and international ISIA.



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    What People are Saying about Nikolay Pavlov


    Did a trip in Feb 2019 with Nikolay. This is the second year we have been with him. Brilliant day out with hiking and riding off the beaten track. I would highly reccomend this if you\'re looking for an experience off the slopes!!!
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    Red Hodgkinson
    We had 2 very professional guides whom we enjoyed very much. But this is a medium moderated course and it\'s not for people with no experience. It was a full day trip.
    Read review
    Nitzan Orgal
    we approached Explore - Share to find a guide for the Via Ferrata Malyovitsa in Bulgaria. Nikolay Pavlov responded and from this moment remain in ongoing communication to make sure we receive a great service. he was very responsive and was kind enough to assist us in planning additional hiking days. on the July 31st we met one of his guides - Stoimaen (AKA - Bambita) and another guide - Elena which led my partner and myself through the Via Ferrata with a lot of good spirit and patience (and passion).they made the introduction to Bulgarian outdoors much enjoyable. The additional tips we received from this great team enhanced the quality of our Bulgarian adventure. much recommended. Regards Natasha & Tomer
    Read review
    Tomer Ash
    I only have good things to say about this day trip! Nikolay is a really good and experienced guide. We had such a great time in this via ferrata! Do not hesitate to book this :)
    Read review
    Laurence Marineau

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