When in Bulgaria, there’s one thing you ABSOLUTELY have to do: hike around the Seven Rila Lakes. Why “absolutely”, all of a sudden? Well, if you’ve heard anything about the Seven Rila Lakes before, seen pictures of it on Pinterest, watched videos about it on YouTube, then you must know that it’s a drop-dead gorgeous, stunningly beautiful and simply amazing place, which, without doubt, is one of the most notable natural attractions not only in Bulgaria, but on the whole Balkan Peninsula. It is, in other words, a dream destination.
I was extremely excited to hike there, hoping the Lakes to become the highlight of my two-week-long journey around Bulgaria. My ultimate experience, however, went far and beyond my ultimate expectations. Seven Rila Lakes is what Bulgaria is all about: a beautiful pearl lost in the crowd of other countries in Eastern Europe. Often unseen, often unheard, it is nevertheless one the most memorable places to visit. Bulgaria has easily hit my Top Three favourite destinations around the world, and the Seven Rila Lakes have undoubtedly become that one place I always tend to come back to in my dreams.
But hey — that’s already too many words said and too little pictures shown, right? I hear you. So without any further ado, here are my postcards from the Seven Rila Lakes. I hope they inspire and persuade you to visit more than any words! At the bottom, I also give you a small information guide on how to get there.
How to get to the Seven Rila Lakes:
If you feel inspired enough to start planning a hike to the Seven Rila Lakes, here’s a little how-to guide for you.
First, you should know that your new dream destination is conveniently located between the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv — another two must-visits in Bulgaria. If arriving from Sofia, you can take a Rila Shuttle that takes you directly to the base station. If you choose to book it, use promo code OLGA to get 2 EUR off the initial price 😉
Alternatively, you can also rely on your own efforts, even though that will take a while.
First, take a bus from Ovcha Kupel in Sofia to Dupnitsa. From there, take another bus to the village of Sapareva Banya. After that, take a mini-bus to Panichiste. And then, a cab to Pionerska Hut (around 4 km).
When you reach the base station, you’re free to either take a chair lift to Rila Lakes Hut — a return ticket costs around 9 EUR — or walk up on your own (will take you approximately 2 hours). Once you’re up, it’s finally… not over: you still need to walk up for around forty minutes to reach the destination. But once you’re really really up, it’s gonna be really really worth it. I promise ♥