Day trip

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

Activity provider: URCA Travel
Day trip

From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

Activity provider: URCA Travel

From US$ 53.21 per person

Explore the most famous natural and cultural sites of Bulgaria on a self-guided trip to the 7 Rila Lakes and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rila Monastery in Rila National Park.

About this ticket

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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 12 hours
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  • Get back to nature at the 7 Rila Lakes
  • Explore the 10th-century Rila Monastery at your own pace
  • Benefit from a convenient round-trip transfer from Sofia city center
Full description
Depart Sofia in the morning and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver. Journey in air-conditioned comfort to Panichishte in the beautiful Rila National Park. Get briefed on arrival by your driver, who will tell you the different options and routes you can take up the mountain. Ride the chairlift to the 7 Rila Lakes, where you will get 5 hours of free time to go on some amazing nature walks independently to experience the glacial lakes from different perspectives. Board the shuttle bus at the agreed meeting point and relax on the 2-hour drive to Rila Monastery in a deep valley of the Rilska River. Founded in the 10th century, the monastery complex is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural and historical monuments. Get 1.5 hours to explore the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria at your own pace. Then, return to Sofia in the evening and get dropped off at the meeting point.
  • Round-trip shared transfer
  • Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
  • Licensed driver
  • TIckets for the Rila Lakes chairlift and Rila Monastery History Museum
  • Food and drinks
  • Guide
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Meet at the parking lot behind the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, in front of La Catedrale Restaurant, close to the Sofia University metro station. Look for the vehicles a Rila shuttle sign on the front window.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Rain gear
  • Packed lunch
  • Passport or ID card for children
  • Cash

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Smoking in the vehicle

Know before you go

  • This trip involves a moderate to intensive amount of walking. Hiking experience is essential
  • The ticket for the 7 Rila Lakes chairlift costs 25 Leva per person, roundtrip and is payable in cash, onsite (no credit cards accepted)
  • Entry fee for the optional visit to Rila Monastery History Museum is 8 Leva per person, payable in cash, onsite (no credit cards accepted)
  • This trip operates in all weather conditions. Please dress appropriately
  • High heels, short skirts and trousers, and shirts with no sleeves are not permitted to enter Rila Monastery
  • Child/baby seats have to be requested in advance, at least 24 hours before travel date
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 412 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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I had a great time here and the views were amazing. I do recommend that you pack a bag with food and water. This was an all day thing and because it was a Sunday the small food places that were around closed pretty early/ or weren’t open at all. If you go throughout the week I would pack cash for buying food. Also you should pack layers of clothing/comfortable clothing just in case because many parts get very cold while others are warmer and you can downgrade your clothing. Please be aware of animals, we did see some foxes but they didn’t engage with us. The tour guide was amazing, and very informative. Also maybe bring a portable charger for your phone, it is an all day thing and they’re weren’t any chargers. We got to the drop off area by metro which was great and inexpensive.

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March 23, 2023

It is a nice hiking experience, a bit hard but beautiful scenery and can be cold out there , there are four or five steep spots but otherwise flattened, if difficult, have the option of stopping any point and returning after seeing the three lakes , chair lift is a amazing experience with beautiful view of variety of very tall pine trees , there is a waterfall as well

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March 23, 2023

An incredible experience with breathtaking views. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in Bulgaria - be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions at Rila Lakes, even if it's the summer. I thought we had a bit too much time at Rila Monastery, especially because most things were closed but other than that, the trip was fantastic. Bobby was an amazing tour guide and took great care of us

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March 23, 2023

Product ID: 121476