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

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Combine a visit to Rila Monastery with a trek through the natural wonders of the Rila Mountains. Enjoy a hike of the 7 Rila Lakes of the Panichishte region, before exploring one of the most important Orthodox monasteries in Bulgaria.

Highlights

  • 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

Description

This full-day tour is designed for active people wishing to combine a trek to natural wonders, with a tour of the most visited tourist attraction in Bulgaria, the magnificent Rila Monastery. Departing Sofia, you will head for the Rila Mountains, where you will enjoy a moderate hike through what is arguably the most distinguished area in the mountains, the 7 Rila Lakes. After a transfer of approximately 90 minutes, you will reach the region of Panichishte, where you will board a chair lift to the Rila Lakes hut. Consisting of a group of glacial lakes, the 7 Rila Lakes is located at an altitude of between 6,900 feet (2,100 meters) and 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. Surrounded by rugged peaks and deep valleys, you will see spectacular views as you walk through its pearls, such as The Eye, The Tear, The Kidney, The Twins, The Trefoil, The Fish Lake, and The Lower Lake. The route can be adjusted on the spot, following more gentle or steeper paths, depending on your fitness levels. Having visited all of the lakes, continue by car for approximately 90 minutes to Rila Monastery, the biggest and most important symbol of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Behind the 65-foot (20-meter) walls lie impressive monastery buildings, including a church and a chapel with valuable murals. The monastery's most treasured historic and artistic monuments include the 14th-Century Hrelyo Tower, the 5th-domed Birth of the Blessed Virgin Church, and the original monastery kitchen from the 19th century. You will also explore the monastery’s rich museum, containing a valuable collection of old manuscripts and documents, charters and icons, an ethnographic exhibition of fabrics, jewelry, carpets, and wrought iron objects, and a library containing more than 16,000 books. The tour is offered as well with an ONLINE, cloud-based audioguide in different languages - English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, and English. INTERNET required to download and use. The local tour operator, Traventuria, was awarded a “Business Which Supports Biodiversity” certification by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation for its “Tours with a Cause” initiative.

Includes

Trek in the Rila Mountains Transport by air-conditioned minivan English-speaking guide

Important Information

  • The Rila Lakes is a ski area in winter. Due to heavy snowfalls at the end of the ski season, knee-deep snow is expected to cover the Lakes until around the end of May. Therefore the area may be covered in snow and/or mud and puddles, and very slippery by mid-June. The demanding weather requires adequate equipment such as comfortable and waterproof trekking boots and clothes, and a warm layer beneath the jacket. The varied terrain and conditions require a high level of fitness. The total walking distance is 17 km. (approximately 7 hours). Previous trekking experience along snow paths is a big advantage.

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Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund

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