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Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes

There are many places in Bulgaria that you will fall in love with and the Seven Rila Lakes is one of those places. Sitting higher than 2000 meters above sea level in the Rila mountain they are one of the most visited natural landmarks in my country. Not only that, but the Seven Rila lakes are one of those breathtaking places that you would like to stay forever.

Each of the lakes has a name that corresponds to its characteristics. The Lower lake is the lowest lake of all the Seven Rila lakes and is located exactly next to the Rila lakes hut. Then, is the Fish Lake, which is one of the shallowest lakes from all of them. Then, is the Trefoil lake, which has the shape of a three-leafed clover and then comes the Twin lake, which consists of two lakes that are two lakes connected by a tiny water line. The Kidney lake is one of the most famous lake of all of the lakes, as it is the biggest one and also has the exact form of a kidney, which is quite fascinating. Then, a bit further is the Eye lake, which is the most beautiful lake and last comes the Tear, which has the clearest waters, where you can even see the bottom.

Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes

How to get to the Seven Rila Lakes?

Getting to the Seven Rila lakes is not that hard, especially if you have the chance to go by car. The whole trip usually takes around two hours from Sofia where your final destination is the Pionerska hut. There you will have to park the car somewhere and either catch the lift up to the Rila lakes hut or hike up the trail to the lakes.

The other way is to catch a direct bus from Sofia to Separeva Banya. You can do that by going to the bus station in Ovcha Kupel and there you can buy a ticket for the bus to Separeva Banya. The ticket costs 10 leva, which is 5 euros and the bus departs at 2 pm every day. From Separeva Banya you can catch a minibus to the lakes that is coming every two hours. However, going by bus to the lakes is time-consuming and not very reliable, so I would advise you to rent a car or go with a friend of yours that has one so that you can have plenty of time to visit all of the lakes.

What is the weather like in one of the highest mountains in Bulgaria and what to bring with yourself?

The weather in Rila mountain is quite unpredictable and that is why everyone that is going up in the mountains should be very well prepared. Usually, when I go I always put on some warm clothes in my backpack, so that I am not cold because even if it is sunny it can be quite cold and windy. I always put sunscreen, because my skin is fair and burns easily up there and also put a hat on my head for even better protection. I never forget to get at least a liter of water and food, so I can have them when I take breaks from hiking.

My trip to the Seven Rila Lakes

My trip to the Seven Rila lakes started early in the morning when me and two friends of mine decided to visit this beautiful place in Bulgaria. We travelled around two hours surrounded by tranquil forests until we reached Pionerska hut where we decided to take the lift up to the Rila lakes hut. The pricing of the lift was 18 leva, which is 9 euros and this was the price for a two-way ticket. The ticket can be bought by a wooden kiosk that stands a couple of meters before the lift. Then, we went on to wait in line, so that we can get on the lift.

When our turn came we had to literally jump on the lift seats, so that we can continue our journey up to the Rila lakes hut. That is why I would suggest that you should be very careful when you do that, as there is a chance that you might fall.

Anyway, the lift was slowly taking us up the mountain and we could see everything that was around and even the hiking trail that was going almost exactly under the lift. Finally, we saw the huge Rila lakes hut that was built in a plateau just before the trails for the Rila lakes. We got off and needed a bit of time to decide which hiking trail to take, as there are two options. One of the options is to take the higher hiking trail, which leads you to a hilltop from which you can oversee the Lower lake and the Fish lake. The other option was to take the normal hiking trail that was going closer to the Lower lake and the Fish lake. However, we decided to take the higher hiking trail that required lots of climbing, but it was absolutely worth every bit of sweating along the way.

Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes

Eventually, we climbed on the top of the hill from where we had to walk a bit until we saw a very beautiful view of the two lakes below – the Lower and the Fish lake. From that point, we could also see the rest of the path, as well as lots of mountain hills, spread all around leading to other beautiful spots.

Then, we continued further until we reached the Kidney lake where we decided to take a break after almost two hours of hiking. Thus, we laid on the grass around the lake and enjoyed the tranquillity this place had to offer. From that point, we could see the Twin lake, which was far away from us, but seemed quite big and untouched, as there we almost no people walking around it.  After a while, we made a little picnic with all the food we had and after resting for a bit we continued further.

Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes

Honestly, we made the best decision to take a break before going to the next lake, which was the Eye, as we had to climb a lot to reach it. While climbing up all the hills that were in front of us we saw lots of waterfalls around that were the result of the snow that was melting in the summer. However, we had to be extremely careful, as climbing up the path, was no easy job and required a lot of attention, especially when there were so many people around on the narrow path.

Eventually, we reached the Eye lake where we took another break and walked around it to get a better view of it. The Eye is the most beautiful lake of all the lakes in the national park of Rila. It had crystal clear water and even in the summer, there was still some snow around it. In addition to that, there were not many people around it, which made it one of the less crowded and peaceful places in the Seven Rila lakes park.

Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes

Finally, we climbed up to the last lake, which was the Tear lake known for its crystal clear waters, which allow you to see the bottom of the lake. Absolutely mesmerizing! However, we did not stay there for a long time, as the weather started changing and there were lots of clouds that were covering the place not allowing the sunlight to reach the ground. Thus, since it became quite cold we decided to slowly continue our hike down to the lift. This time, we chose to take the other path that did not require climbing and was going closer to the lakes. Thus, as soon as we reached the plateau after the Eye lake, we turned right and continued on the path that was leading to the Twin lake. From there we continued straight, where we found a nice little house with lots of purple flowers around it. It seemed like an old hut that was used ages ago, as now there were not any inhabitants.

However, going a little bit down we reached the Trefoil and Lower lakes that were along the way until we ended up at Rila lakes hut. Almost at dawn, we caught the lift, which took us to Pionerska hut from where we could hop in the car and go home.

I have been going to the Seven Rila lakes a couple of times and each time my experience was quite incredible. Honestly, this is one of the unspoiled natural gems in Bulgaria that will take your breath away and where you will feel recharged and happy. That is why I would definitely recommend you to go and visit this magical place in the south part of Bulgaria. You will not regret it, I promise!

Visiting the magical Seven Rila Lakes


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