Range Rila (Bulgaria)

Duration 7 days
Date
Difficulty Advanced
Route Sofia – Sapareva Banya – Rila lakes – m. Dodov vrah – m. Malyovitsa – Popova kapa – Ribnoto lake – Vapa – m. Kovach vrah – m. Musala – Borovets – Sofia
Distance 80 km
Price 250 €






OVERVIEWITINERARYDETAILSMAP

The Rila Range (Rila-Planina) is the highest mountain not only in Bulgaria but also in the Balkans. There are unique ancient landscapes with glacial reliefs and many lakes; pine forests and ancient monasteries.

We climb to the highest peak of Bulgaria and south-eastern Europe – Musala (2,925 m). Also we pass through the mounts of Yezeren verh (2,559 m); Dodov verh (2,661 m) and others.

The name of a range is of Thracian origin and means «mountains with good water» because it’s about 200 glacial lakes here! During the trek, we’ll see dozens of clear mountain lakes. The most famous are the Seven Rila Lakes (Седемте рилски езера), located at an altitude of 2,100 and 2,500 m. We also go to the Ice Lake (Ледено езеро), which is at an altitude of 2,709 m and is the highest lake in the Balkans; Smradlyve lake (Смрадливо езеро), which is the largest glacial lake in the Balkans.

We’ll also be walking around Sofia, one of the oldest capitals in Europe; and after the hike you can go to the sea 😉

Rila-rocks

 

1 DAY

 4 km  + 300 m


We meet in the morning at the Sofia bus station. Firstly we distribute the products to the backpacks (do not forget to leave the spare place when you are packing) and go to the town Saperova Banya.

After about 4 kilometres, we stop for a night in the forest, near the Skakavitsa refuge.

In the evening, we do camp routine (set up tents, collect firewood, cook dinner) and have a rest near the fire.

2 DAY

9 km  + 500 m


Every morning starts at 7 o’clock (enthusiasts wake up earlier to see sunrise). Two hours for: physical exercises, breakfast, packing and cleaning up a camping spot.

We move in the southern direction, gradually gaining height. The path passes through the forest, so the heat will not disturb us.

This day is finished after leaving the forest on the vast expanses of the Rila range. Not far away there are the Seven Rila lakes (Седемте рилски езера) – several high-altitude glacial lakes.

3 DAY

10 km  + 900 m


In the morning we go up to the ridge. In the first half of the day, we climb to the top of Dodov Verh (2,664 m).

Then we are climbing to the summit of the Mallowitza (2,738 m), after which we descend to Lake Strashnoto, where we stay for the night.

4 DAY

18 km  + 800 m


On the fourth day we continue to go along the mountain ridge, passing mountain lakes.

Camping at the shelter near Fish Lake.

5 DAY

15 km  + 740 m


One of the most difficult days. We start it from the ascent to Mount Kanarata (2,700 m), then we move eastward, passing the peaks of Vapa (2,528 m) and Kovach (2,646 m). On the left we’ll see the reservoir of Beli Iskr.

In the evening we go to Grnchar shelter (2,200 m), where we camp. Those who wish will be able to stay in the shelter.

6 DAY

12 km  + 1000 m


This day is the culmination of our trek, as today we climb to the highest peak of the whole of Eastern Europe – Musala Mount (2,926 m). The photo below is what we will see there.

From the top, we descend to the lake Ledenoto, and then further down to Musala shelter, where we spend the last night in this hike. You can also choose to stay in a shelter, not in a tent.

7 DAY

10 km  + 1100 m


On the last day, we have a long descent to the resort village of Borovets, from where we go to Samokov town, and then to Sofia.

START / FINISH

We meet at the bus station in Sofia in the morning. Then we go by bus to Separeva banya, which is the starting point of a hike. The distance between them is 80 km.

End of the trail is in the village of Borovec. We return to Sofia near 6 p.m.

WHAT TO EXPECT

About the difficulty. The difficulty of this trek is advanced. It means that you need to have hiking experience and do some minimal physical preparation before the trek.

If you join us, then you go on a multi-day trek in which:

  • We are hiking as a team with a motto «all for one and one for all». That means we are suffering from tiredness, making camp and having fun together.
  • Each person in his backpack carries his own gear, clothes and a part of group products.
  • We stay in tents.
  • We cook food on fire or using gas burners.

Note:

the guide can change the pre-agreed tour plan if the weather conditions become worse, someone feels bad or some other adventures happen. Your life and health in these few days is our responsibility, and we are very serious about it!

WHAT TO TAKE

You are packing for the hike by yourself, but with our advice. We will tell you about the suitability of your clothing and equipment for the tour (temperature of the sleeping bag, the convenience of the backpack, the endurance of the tent, etc).

The gear list is classical for a multi-day trek in the warm season. Read about it here.

WHAT DO YOU PAY FOR

You pay in cash when meeting with a guide in Sofia; prepayment is not required.

What’s included

  • meals from lunch on the first day till lunch on the last day;
  • transport from Sofia;
  • guide’s job;
  • use of gas and group equipment (cooking gear, first-aid kit, etc.).

What’s NOT included

  • personal equipment (tent, sleeping bag, backpack are yours, but we can help);
  • transport to Sofia from your city.

WITH WHOM

Before the hike, we will tell you what your guide is about.

The size of the group is from 4 to 10 participants. Usually, we hike with small teams: it’s easier to find a common language, more comfortable to hike at the same tempo. And also it is a requirement of the ecological principle leave no trace in the wild!

THE DETAILED ROUTE: 

Day 1: Sofia – Sapareva Bania – Zeleny preslap – Skakavitsa;

Day 2: Seven lakes – lake Rybne

Скакавіца – Сім рільських озер – Рибне озеро;

Day 3: mountain Dodov vrakh, 2664 m – mountain Malovitsa, 2738 m – lake Strashnoto;

Day 4: lake Popokvapski – mountain Voden Nal, 2688 m – lake Ribnoto;

Day 5: mountain Vapa, 2527 m – maountain Kovach, 2646 m – refuge Grynchar;

Day 6: mountain Ovcharets, 2770 m – mountain Musala, 2926 m – refuge Musala;

Day 7: river Bistritsa – village Borovets – Sofia.

Contact us if you have any questions.

You can take a look at the schedule of all our hikes here.