Day trip

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

Activity provider: URCA Travel

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

Activity provider: URCA Travel

From US$ 46.99 per person

Visit 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. Benefit from round-trip transportation from Sofia city center.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
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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
  • Ticket for the 7 Rila Lakes chairlift (BGN 10 per person, 1 way)
  • Optional gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Guide services
Not suitable for
  • People with mobility impairments
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask

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
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes suitable for mountain walking
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are strongly recommended
  • 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 252 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Star rating:

Absolutely unforgettable. Really comfortable minibus tour with a fantastic guide. Very knowledgeable, helpful, didn’t fail in any sort of advice or fact about any of the places we visited. If you consider this trip, don’t think twice. It’s worth the cost 100%, I couldn’t possibly fault the trip. Thank you Sofia and Rila for an amazing time!

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June 28, 2022

So glad I went on this trip! The lakes and monastry were absolutely beautiful. Great value for money for the journey. The hike was also not as tough as I thought it would be. The lift was about 20 minutes which seemed to take us up the steepest part of the mountain. It then it took us around 2.5/3 hours to get to the top, while stopping for lots of photos! There was some areas which were steep and still snowy but a lot of it was quite flat and a leisurely hike. Would definitely recommend!

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June 8, 2022

We couldn’t get to the Rila Lakes due to snow blocking the trails, what they let us know with time an the possibility of a refund or option b: see the Boyana Church, National History Museum and Rila Monastery. The option B was amazing. Our driver Phillip was very enthusiastic and lively, drove carefully and helped us get to know Bulgaria because he answered all or questions and always shared interesting facts along the way. The drives with him we’re as interesting as the visits itself! And the things we visited were super! Overall we enjoyed it a lot!

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May 21, 2022

Product ID: 121476