Best time to visit Bulgaria

Seven Rila Lakes Hike in Bulgaria 2024

Explore the magnificent Seven Rila Lakes, one of the main natural pearls of Bulgaria

Best time: June–August

Seven Rila Lakes Hike
Seven Rila Lakes Hike
Seven Rila Lakes Hike
Hiking to Seven Rila Lakes
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The magnificence of the Rila Mountains, the clean air, the warmth of the sun, and the beauty of the unique Seven Rila Lakes can truly be a touching experience. This is the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria.

These lakes are located in a picturesque valley under the no less beautiful ridges and peaks in the North-West of the Rila Mountains, at an altitude of 6,890 to 8,202 feet (2,100 to 2,500 m) above sea level. The name of each of the seven lakes has a connection with the specific external features of this lake.

One lake that is higher than the others is called Salzata (The Tear) because of its water's transparency, which allows you to see the bottom of the lake. Okoto Lake (The Eye) is an oval shape and a dark blue color in good weather. Babreka Lake (The Kidney) has the steepest shores. The fourth lake of Bliznaka (The Twins) is the largest in the Seven Rila Lakes. It is similar to an hourglass and divided into two smaller similar water bodies from which the name comes from. Trilistnika Lake (The Trefoil) is irregularly shaped with low shores. The smallest among the Seven Lakes is the Ribnoto (Fish Lake). And the lowest of the lakes is Dolnoto (The Lower Lake). It collects water that flows from other lakes and forms the Dzherman River.

Some of the lakes are home to Balkan trout. Another highlight of this area is the high Skakavitsa Waterfalls, located on the river of the same name in reserve. In winter, the lakes are under a thick layer of ice and snow, but the mountains offer visitors a unique opportunity to ski or snowboard there. The best time to visit the lakes in the summer months. Even in June, the lakes can still be covered with ice.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit the Seven Rila Lakes?

The ideal time to visit the Seven Rila Lakes is from June to August, when the hiking trails are not obstructed by ice and snow. There may still be ice on the lakes in early June, and it is strongly recommended to avoid hiking in the winter as the mountains can be dangerous. Show more

What is the location of the Seven Rila Lakes in the Rila Mountains?

The Seven Rila Lakes rest in a stunning valley beneath the picturesque ridges and peaks toward the northwest of the Rila Mountains. The lakes are perched between 6,890 to 8,202 feet (2,100 to 2,500 m) above sea level and can be found in Rila National Park in the southwest of Bulgaria. The lakes' breathtaking scenery and uniqueness make them one of Bulgaria's must-see natural attractions. Show more

What logical relationship exists between the Seven Rila Lakes and their names?

Each of the Seven Rila Lakes has a distinctive name that reflects its unique physical features. For example, Salzata (The Tear) has crystal-clear water that offers a view to the bottom of the lake. Okoto Lake (The Eye) has an oval shape and turns dark blue on sunny days. Babreka Lake (The Kidney) has steep shores, while Bliznaka (The Twins), the fourth lake, consists of two identical water bodies that together form an hourglass pattern. Show more

Do the Seven Rila Lakes house any specific genre of fish?

Balkan trout, an indigenous freshwater species native to the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, resides in and around the Seven Rila Lakes. The species inhabits high-altitude streams and lakes, and visitors can fish for it in compliance with specific permit requirements. It is crucial to respect the wildlife and comply with the regulations and guidelines for angling in the region. Show more

Are there any other notable places to visit near or activities to partake in near the Seven Rila Lakes?

In addition to visiting the Seven Rila Lakes, tourists can also check out the Skakavitsa Waterfalls, located in a preserve near the Seven Rila Lakes. Accessible via hiking paths, the falls offer breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Winter brings skiing and snowboarding opportunities to the region, as the lakes are buried in layers of ice and snow. Finally, the Rila Monastery, famous for its architecture and historical significance, is worth exploring since it is also situated in the Rila Mountains. Show more

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