WALKING & HIKING IN THE RILA

Hiking in Borovets

The Rila mountains are the largest and most impressive mountain range in Bulgaria. Most peaks rise to around 2600m with Mount Musala at 2925m being the highest mountain in Bulgaria. Many miles of beautiful marked hiking trails cross the mountains, in many directions. The name Rila originates from the old Thracian name Roula, which means “plenty of water”. Over 150 crystal clear lakes dot the mountain landscape with the Seven Rila Lakes being a particular attraction for alpine trekkers and walkers. Three of Bulgaria’s largest rivers, The Maritsa, Iskar and Mesta all start their lives in the heart of the Rila.

Rila lakes

Borovets is the perfect starting point for some excellent hiking. Whether it's a gentle afternoon stroll, a challenging day-long hike, or several days of trekking with overnight stays in mountain huts – Borovets is guaranteed to fulfil your hiking dreams.

The Rila national park is a precious biosphere packed with over 2000 species of plant and animal life. The flora is very varied including beech, pine, fir, aspen, birch, spruce and many alpine herbaceous species. The wild life includes deer, bears, wolves, wild boar, eagles, hawks, wood grouse and many more animals.

Our varied programme of walks and treks will see you climb up through ancient forests and across rugged rocky terrain as we thread our way through a dramatic alpine landscape of peaks and ridges. Your walk can be designed to explore the landscapes and habitats of the Rila National Park, and discover more about the rich flora and fauna of the region

We can tailor the walks to suit the ability of your group. There is something on offer for everyone, from leisurely strolls of 1 or 2 hours up to high alpine treks over 10 hours long. Choose from a gentle valley walk or a challenging hike to peaks ranging from 2100m to 2925m. Guided walks are also available for those looking for extra support and safety.

Panoramic shot of a Rila lake

HIGHLIGHTS

Rila Mountains are the highest mountains in Bulgaria and on the whole Balkan Peninsula with Mount Musala reaching 2925m.

Stream in Rila

Borovets (1350 m) is the oldest international and most popular mountain resort in Bulgaria.

The Seven Rila Lakes The chain of "Seven Rila Lakes" is the most beautiful one in Bulgaria. They bear the following names: Salzata (The Tear), Okoto (The Eye), Babreka (The Kidney), Bliznaka (The Twin), Botanicheskoto or Trilistnika (The Botanical), Ribnoto (The Fish lake), and Dolnoto (The Lower Lake). The Seven Rila Lakes can be reached on several trails from Borovets.

Malyovitsa resort (1147 m) is the most popular and impressive of all the Bulgarian monasteries. It is located in a valley on the south side of the Rila mountains and is famous for it’s size, natural surroundings, architecture, murals and ancient history.

Strashnoto lake (The Scary lake) (2465m a.s.l.) is the biggest and highest situated in the circus of the Prekorechki lakes

Musala (2925m/9,596ft) is the highest peak in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula. The peak is situated within the Rila National Park. All the major mountains in Bulgaria can be seen from the summit. One of the best ways to reach the Musala peak is to take the gondola from Borovets to 2500m and then hike from there to the Musala peak via Musala hut and lake. Using this route the peak can easily be reached in one days trekking.

View from Rila