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

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

From $47.23 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 activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Mobile ticketing
Use your phone or print your voucher
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



Prepare for the activity

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

4.5 /5

based on 178 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Do the excursion only with the displacement without a guide, and it is fine but in the end I think the best with a guide. However to say that the route to the 7 lakes is a bit complex when going down we took the wrong way due to the null signs and we had to call the organizer to wait for us. Some hikers helped us get out of there. We had a very bad time because in the case of not having arrived, in that mountain there is no transport to leave this remote place.

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November 7, 2019

There are few tours that visit Lake Rila and the monastery on the same day, so I am very satisfied with the tour itself. Both spots did not take a full day and I was just right because I was not a type of staying in a tourist spot for a long time. However, there was a happening where the companion of the tour was delayed about an hour from the end of Lake Rila, so that the arrival at the monastery would be so dim. About 10 minutes after arrival, the area became dark. I could barely take a picture. Certainly, there is plenty of time around Lake Rila, but if it's sloppy, it will be difficult to go full (you can choose the length of the course yourself). Probability may not be high, but it may be better to take into account that there are such risks as being a self-guided and originally a tight tour. It was the same tour as an insane person and was very annoying. Participants should not disturb their companions. I would like to give one star to the transfer / pick-up service, but it&#

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October 29, 2019

It was first time tour I usually traveling in myself but in case, I can go alone there it is more than expensive and hard. I booked to leave tour just yesterday late night it is very simple ticks I can so easily that ticket I recommend go there everybody

October 23, 2019

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Product ID: 121476