The Seven Rila Lakes are one of the most famous Bulgarian Landmarks. It is a group of glacial lakes situated in Rila Mountain. With its relatively easy access, amazing views and beautiful nature – the seven lakes are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria.
Each lake is named on it’s shape, or water quality and characteristic. In the first place – the fastest route to reach the Seven lakes from Sofia is via Dupnitsa, Sapareva Banya and Panichishte. Right after Panichishte you can find Hizha Pionerska and there you can take the chair lift to the Seven lakes. The chair lift was build in 2009 and goes straight up to Hizha Rilski ezera. The best time to visit the lakes is during the summer in July and August. At that time the temperatures are around 10 degrees and the risk for sudden storm is lower.
Even though the access during the summer is relatively easy with the recently build lift, the lakes are situated between 2095m and 2535m and the difficulty and changing mountain weather should never be underestimated. Therefore please check your mountain equipment, warm clothes, tracking shoes euqally important phone battery and communication devices before starting.
The Seven Rila Lakes
The first lake is Dolnoto Ezero (The Lower lake). By the name you can guess that it is the lowest situated lake at 2.095m altitude. The streams, coming from the other lakes here form Dzherman river. Dolnoto ezero is eleven meters deep.
The next lake – Ribnoto ezero (Fish Lake) is with 2.184m altitude and is the shallowest lake from the seven lakes. You can rest at The Seven Lakes Shelter which is in fact right on its banks. Surprisingly there is fish in some of the lakes although these high mountain lakes are an unsuitable habitat for marine life due to it’s cold waters. The lakes normally freeze in October and the ice, which can be up to two meters deep, can stay as a result until June.
Trilistnika (The Trefoil) is a lake with irregular shape, low shores and is situated at 2.216m altitude. Largest by area lake is Bliznaka (The twins). The form of the lake resembles an hour glass. The lake is wider at the two end and narrower in the middle. That is why during very dry summers the lake can actually become two smaller lakes.
Babreka (The Kidney) is situated at 2.282m altitude and it’s shape resembles a certain body organ – guess which one. It is 28m deep but it’s depth is not even near to the deepest cirque lake in Bulgaria – Okoto (The Eye). The lake is named by it’s oval shape and intense blue color waters.
The highest from the Seven Rila Lakes is Salzata (The tear). With the altitude of 2.535m above sea level and with crystal clear see through waters – an origin to its name.
All the lakes are connected by water streams and form nature phenomenon. As a result the beautiful nature attracts lots of tourists from Bulgaria and abroad. Have in mind that the seven lakes are part from Rila Natural Park. Please be always mindful of any litter and damage which can be accidentally done to this dream destination.
The White Brotherhood
Every year in August there is an annual gathering of the White brotherhood who celebrate their New Year. The celebrations take place near Babreka (The Kidney Lake). Rila is a holy place for the brotherhood and thousands can gather to greet the dawn.