In Bulgaria the Seven Rila Lakes are well known, and this hike is an absolutely must do in Bulgaria. Believe me when I say that you won’t be disappointed doing this hike! If you think this hike is too long for you, you can easily start hiking and return whenever you want. The best thing you can do is hike the loop.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see where to go but many people hike the loop so you can always ask and hike together with somebody else. We met a lot of people during this hike which is amazing!
- Duration: 4 hours (starting at the top of the chair lift)
- Distance: around 12 kilometers
- Level: medium
The lakes are formed by melting glaciers and they are all connected by waterfalls and small streams. Every lake has a name that characteristic the lake the most. The seven lakes are the following:
- Salzata or ‘The Tear’ (2,535m)
- Okoto or ‘The Eye’ (2,440m)
- Babreka or ‘The Kidney’ (2,282m)
- Bliznaka or ‘The Twin’ (2,243m)
- Trilistnika or ‘The Trefoil’ (2,216m)
- Ribnoto Ezero or ‘The Fish Lake’ (2,184m)
- Dolnoto Ezero or ‘The Lower Lake’ (2,095m)
The chairlift opens at 8.30 am and it’s better to start your hike early in the morning. If you want you can hike up hill and don’t take the chairlift, this will take around two hours. I would recommend taking the chairlift up instead of hiking up, it’s a fun experience and you’ll have stunning views on the chairlift.
Tip: start your hike early in the morning. Make sure to be at the chair lift at 8.30 am to start your hike early.
You can hike all year round, but I think it’s best to hike during spring, summer, and autumn. When you hike the loop starting at the top of the chair lift, the hike would take around 4 hours. It’s a loop so you end where you started. The views you get with the loop are indescribable. Most people just hike a little bit and return but I recommend doing the whole loop.
Hiking around the area is already nice but try to do the loop than you have the best views and after hiking for a while you will have less people.
Tip: wear enough layers because it can get cold even in summer and wear decent shoes. Bring enough water (I always take my Osprey water bag), snacks, electrolytes for in your water, a rain jacket, gloves, sun protection and bring your walking sticks if you prefer. I also always recommend bringing a headtorch in case you don’t make it back in time and a whistle for safety reasons.
Besides this hike there is much more to do in Bulgaria. Read about Bulgaria in my other blogs What to know about Bulgaria and 10-day road trip in Bulgaria.