From Sofia: Guided Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery Full-Day Tour

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Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
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11 hours

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

12 people



About this tour

This full-day excursion is ideal for athletic people who want to combine a hike to natural beauties with a visit to Bulgaria’s most visited tourist attraction, the beautiful Rila Monastery.

You will depart Sofia for the Rila Highlands, where you will enjoy a modest hike through what is undoubtedly the most notable portion of the mountains, the 7 Rila Lakes. After a 90-minute transfer, you will arrive in Panichishte, where you will take a chair lift to the Rila Lakes lodge.

The 7 Rila Lakes are a series of glacial lakes located between 6,900 feet (2,100 meters) and 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. You will enjoy amazing vistas as you travel through its pearls, such as The Eye, The Tear, The Kidney, The Twins, The Trefoil, The Fish Lake, and The Lower Lake, which are surrounded by steep peaks and deep valleys.

Depending on your fitness level, the route can be changed on the fly to choose more gentle or steeper paths. After seeing all of the lakes, drive for around 90 minutes to Rila Monastery, the largest and most important icon of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The monastic structures, which include a church and a chapel with remarkable murals, are hidden behind the 65-foot (20-meter) walls. The 14th-century Hrelyo Tower, the 5-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church, and the ancient monastery kitchen from the 19th century are among the monastery’s most prized historic and aesthetic monuments.

You will also visit the monastery’s extensive museum, which houses a valuable collection of antique manuscripts and papers, charters, and icons, as well as an ethnographic exhibition of fabrics, jewelry, carpets, and wrought iron artefacts and a library with over 16,000 books.


  • Get breathtaking views during a morning trek of the 7 Rila Lakes
  • See the pearls of the Rila lakes, such as The Fish Lake, The Twins, and The Trefoil
  • Visit the Rila Monastery, the biggest and most famous monastery in Bulgaria, located in the beautiful surroundings of Rila Nature Park
  • Explore Rila's turbulent history at the monastery museum
  • Tailor the tour to suit your fitness level


  • Trek in the Rila Mountains
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • English-speaking guide
  • Lift pass to the 7 Rila Lakes (€15 per person, to be paid on the spot)
  • Entrance fees
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off


Fullday (+7hours)



Starting time

7:00 AM

Important Information

Children under 12 years Pregnant women Wheelchair users People afraid of heights People with altitude sickness People with low level of fitness

On the back side of Alexander Nevski Cathedral, right in front of the restaurant La Cattedrale. Open Google Map

Comfortable shoes

Shorts Short skirts Sleeveless shirts Alcohol and drugs Slippers Swimming See-through clothing

Please note that the tour is subject to weather conditions and operation of the chairlift. In case of last minute cancelation due to harsh weather conditions or chairlift closure a 100% refund will be offered The hike can be slippery and there may be snow in the area. Some of the lakes may be frozen and snow covered as well Please wear appropriate hiking boots, warm layers, and waterproof clothes The hike can be physically demanding so a reasonable level of fitness is required

Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.

Tour's Location

Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery


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