One of our most favorite destinations, the 7 Rila Lakes, is without a doubt also one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bulgaria. Spending several days in the Sapareva Banya and dedicating one of those days to the lakes is an amazing idea, but did you know you can also add them to your list of day trips while in Sofia?
From Sofia to the 7 Rila Lakes
According to Google Maps, the journey from Sofia to the beginning of the lift (which is also the start of the hiking path if you choose to walk) is approximately 1h and 30 minutes. Check this link for more info. Don’t forget to check out the list of awesome cars we’re described in details for you (rented from our very good friends at Val &Kar).
If you’re not driving, check this link for shuttle services from Sofia to the 7 Rila Lakes.
1. What to wear when going to the 7 Rila Lakes?
I guess I don’t need to tell you that your clothes shoud be comfy. This is a hiking place and although it is not the toughest one you can find, it can’t be compared to the paved city streets. Here’s my list of recommendations:
I prefer long ones as they protect my legs from scratches, but it’s up to you. Decathlon (which happens to be one of our favorite stores) offers some really cool ones that can easily turn into shorts. Check them out here (and yes, they are also suitable for ladies, nevermind what the website says).
- Shoes with a very good grip
Preferably waterproof as well – mountain weather is quite unpredictable and you never know what will happen. We personally prefer the hunting section in Decathlon to the hiking one, but both have some really cool things.
Do not think you won’t need it just because it’s summer. Go for a jacket with a hoodie, preferably a wind stopper. This (link) jacket for ladies is absolutely beautiful and this here (link) is also an amazing idea. Here (link) is something for guys as well.
2. What to pack?
- Dry tissues (Kleenex).
- Wet tissues (always need one when I don’t have any)
- Water bottle. Check this one here and buy something similar (plastic changes the quality of your water and we don’t recommend it).
- A second T-Shirt.
- You camera (!).
- Sunglasses (!).
- Sunscreen (if your skin is sensitive).
3. Weather on the 7 Rila Lakes
Check the weather forecast on this link before you go. Even though it’s in Bulgarian, you’ll understand the most important things. The 2 pictures you will see there are changed every 30 seconds, so you can also see the what it looks like at this very moment.
5. The lift taking you from Panichishte to the 7 Rila Lakes
Lift’s working hours: 9 a.m. till 4:30 p.m.
This basically means that the lift stops at 4:30 p.m. so if you’re planning on using it on your way back, you want to make sure you’re there 4 p.m. the latest!
For the summer season of 2017 the lift will operate every day from 9 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. On Monday the lift doesn’t start until 12:00 lunch time (weekly check-up time to ensure everything is good with it).
The phone number of the lift is 0884 163 479.
Lift’s prices :
|Tickets||Adults||Children, Seniors, Disabled|
|Return||18 leva (€ 9)||12 leva (€ 6)|
|One way||10 leva (€ 5)||8 leva (€ 4)|
Lift’s prices for cards (allowing you to get on the lift as many times as you wish):
|Cards||Adults||Children, Seniors, Disabled|
|One day||28 leva (€ 14)||20 leva (€ 10)|
|Half Day||20 leva (€ 10)||17 leva (€ 8.5)|
|Two Days||50 leva (€ 25)||36 leva (€ 18)|
|Three Days||69 leva (€ 34.5)||50 leva (€ 25)|
|Four Days||90 leva (€ 45)||65 leva (€ 32.5)|
|Five Days||110 leva (€ 55)||79 leva (€ 39.5)|
|Six Days||132 leva (€ 66)||95 leva (€ 47.5)|
|Week||150 leva (€ 75)||108 leva (€ 54)|
The journey with the lift takes about 20 minutes. Here’s a little preview of what it looks like in the end of April:
6. How long does it take to see all 7 Rila Lakes?
The lift from Panichishte takes you up in the mountain where you can begin your trip to the 7 Rila Lakes. The first thing you will see is the chalet where you can have a cup of coffee or tea or use the loo. When you’re ready you can begin your walk.
There are two ways to see all the lakes. The beginning of path one is located to the right of the entrance of the chalet and begins with a serious incline. The other path begins behind the chalet. Although many choose the first one, I personally preffer path #2 (behind the chalet) – I personally find it more beautiful.
The path takes you around 5 of the lakes. If you want to see all 7 of them, you will have to make 2 detours. The first 5 lakes will take you about 3 hours (depending on your speed) and if you decide to see all 7 you will need about 5. Of course I strongly recommend you spend as much time as you can there and enjoy every moment – the screnery is absolutely incredible!
Info: We do not make any commission from the links in this article and are not paid by neither of the companies presented here. We have recommended the items we use and the companies we trust.
7. The 7 Rila Lakes Route Explained
Over time I’ve come to realise that many people are confused by the route on the 7 Rila lakes, so here it is, explained. The dashed line marked as #1 is the general route that starts from the Rila Lakes chalet – precisely where the lift ends & begins. This path allows you to see 5 of the lakes. If you’d like to see all 7 you’ll need to continue on the path #2. It starts with an ascent right after the Kidney Lake. There’s no way to miss it – the path is obvious and there’s are usually people on it.