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Rila Mountains, Bulgaria

4.5
#14 of 33 in Nature in Bulgaria
Mountain Nature / Park
Rila is a mountain range in southwestern Bulgaria and the highest mountain range of Bulgaria and the Balkans, with its highest peak being Musala at 2,925 m. The massif is also the sixth highest mountain in Europe (when each mountain is represented by its highest peak only), coming after the Caucasus, the Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and Mount Etna, and the highest between the Alps and the Caucasus. More than one-third of the mountain is occupied by the Rila National Park, the rest lies within the Rila Monastery Nature Park.The mountain is believed to have been named after the river of the same name, which comes from the Old Bulgarian verb "рыти" meaning "to grub".Rila is abundant in glacial lakes (about 200) and hot springs in fault areas at the base of the mountain. Some of the Balkans' longest and deepest rivers originate from Rila, including Maritsa, Iskar and Mesta.Culturally, Rila is famous for the Rila Monastery, Bulgaria's largest and most important monastery, founded in the 10th century by Saint John of Rila. Alongside the cultural landmarks the mountain is also famous for the Seven Rila Lakes.
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41 reviews
  • Getting to the Seven Rila Lakes trailhead can be tricky. Your best bet is to stay in a town close to the park and drive/take a cab to the chair lift. Otherwise, accommodation is available at mountain ...  more »
  • First at podemnike, price 12 BGN per person round trip, then about an hour thanks to hizha Musala, then about one and a half hours before the ice Lake, the route is more complicated, and the most difficult then to the top about 30 minutes. Be sure to take things upstairs teple always cold. Should be a good physical preparation and comfortable shoes. Elevator down is open until 18.00.
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  • Rila monastery....Rila lakes....white people....many hostel huts to stay in. Loved late night post hike camp fires. Loved the scenery. Loved the unbelievable waterfalls...rivers and forest walks. Mona...  more »

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