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Sofia: Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Day Trip

5 Reviews
Tours Culture & history Activities Good for groups Reseller exclusions Outdoor sports

Experience the stunning nature of the famous, seven Rila Lakes and visit the nearby Rila Monastery on a self-guided day tour. Enjoy shuttle transportation and free time to hike around the lakes.

Our Top Experiences and Tours in Bulgaria:
If youʻre booking your trip to Bulgaria last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours and experiences!


  • Enjoy a hiking break in the mountains
  • Relax in a natural atmosphere
  • See the marvelous Rila Lakes
  • Have a break from the noise of the big city
  • Visit the Rila Monastery, UNESCO heritage sight


The tour departs at 7:30 in the morning- the meeting point is behind Alexander Nevsky Catheral, next to café La Cathedrale. Please be there at 7:15 and ask for travel agency City Tour. The Seven Rila Lakes are just 1,5 hours’ drive away from the capital, which makes them a great day trip in the nature. From the mountain village of Panichishte you will take a cable car to the area of the lakes. The driver will give you directions about the hiking route and the timing, which you should keep in mind. The ride with the chair lift is about 20-minutes. When on arrive, on the left you will see the hut – this is the only place in the area where you can have a toilet brake and buy food and drinks! On the right side of the hut, you will see the beginning of the main walking path – please stick only to it, including on the way back! There is another, downward path, which goes to the lower lakes, but is it much longer, and not in a very good condition! From the main path, you will be able to see all of the lakes. Please have in mind that entering into the lakes in completely forbidden! To reach the highest lake, usually about 2 hours of relaxed walking, combined with some short brakes, is enough. For the whole hike, you have a total of 4.5 hours, so if you have not reached the highest lake after 2 hours, please turn back, so that you can return on time. You should take the chair lift for the way back between 14:00 and 14:30 the latest. Food: it is strongly recommended to bring your own food; but even if you have not, you can buy from a gas station during our break on the way in the morning. In the afternoon you will also travel to the famous Rila Monastery, UNESCO heritage sight, where you can admire its amazing frescoes and architecture, take some photos and check the shops. The visit of the monastery is between 45 and 60 minutes. The expected return at Sofia is at 7:30 pm.


English – speaking driver Transportation with a comfortable van Trip to the Seven Rila Lakes Visit of the Rila Monastery

Important Information

  • - The hiking is with moderate difficulty! - Be prepared for mountain conditions with comfortable walking shoes and light jackets/ sweatshirts. In sunny days – sun cream, sun hat. - Women should have their knees and shoulders covered in the monastery

Easy cancellation

Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund


Book Now! Sofia: Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Day Trip

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