Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria

The Seven Rila lakes are a group of lakes located in the beautiful Rila mountain, Bulgaria and situated between 2100 and 2500 meters above sea level. A visit to the Seven Rila lakes is a great one day trip idea and one that will not dissapoint.

Each lakes carries a name, which portrays the feature associated with it. Starting at the bottom and at about 2095 meters above sea level one can see “The lower lake”. An interesting fact is that each lake flows into the one below it, so here at the Lower lake the water comes from all six lakes above. It conveys a sense of harmony and unity and reminds us of the ways of the natural law.

Lower Lake

Above the Lower lake, and only a short walk away, situated at 2184 meters above sea level is the so-called “Fish lake”. 

The Fish Lake

Next is “Trefoil”, located at 2216 meters above sea level and deriving its name from the form it has.

The Trefoil

To follow we can see the fourth one named “The twin” and located at 2243 meters above sea level. This is the largest of all lakes and it covers about 22 acres. Just to compare it to the smallest, which is the Fish Lake and about five times smaller.

The Twin

“The kidney” is the next one on the way up and and stands proud at 2282 meters above sea level. The Kidney is the second deepest lake.

The kidney

Located at 2440 meters above sea level is “The eye”. The Eye lake is the depth record holder of about 37.5 meters of ice cold water.

The eye

Finally, you will reach the top lake which is the smallest and called “The Tear”. Located at 2535 meters above sea level you can see a panoramic view over all other lakes below.

In just a day you can explore all lakes. In terms of the best way of getting there,  I would recommend that you travel to Panichishte. When you reach the village you have several options to go up to the lakes. 

You can choose to go up by lift, which will cost about 25 leva (13 euro) for a two way ticket and it takes about 20 minutes. This is one is the fastest way of reaching the lakes.

Also, you can choose to rent a jeep. It can carry up to 5-7 people and will cost about 100 leva (50 euro), maybe even less. Don't be suprised if the brand of the actual SUV is not Jeep as in Bulgaria people call all SUVs jeeps. It's a weird thing, I know!

Another option is to ride a horse.This seems a lot of fun, but I can’t give you more details as I have never done it myself.

The last option, is to reach the lakes on foot, which will take you about 2 hours. I don’t recommend this since you will be too tired to walk through the lakes after that.

Finally,  I wish to share a couple of words about the walk around the lakes itself. Depending on how fast you walk it can take you 2-4 hours to get to the top and back. Hence, it is recommended that you have some water and food with you.

The Seven Rila lakes is one of my favorite destinations in Bulgaria. I go there for the clean air, the lovely landscape and just to get out of the city. Since 2012, I have visited them 3 times and am looking forward to visiting again soon.

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