Sofia, Govedartsi, Lake Iskar, Panichishte,Seven Rila lakes, Malyovitsa hut, Rila Monastery, Sofia
Time to travel
June to October ( July and August are considered best months)
Rila is the highest mountain range of Bulgaria and the Balkans, its highest peak is Musala at 2,925 m.
The name Rila is believed to be of Thracian origin and is thought to mean “well-watered mountain”, referring to to Rila’s many glacial lakes (about 200) and hot springs.
Culturally, Rila is most famous for the beautiful Rila Monastery, Bulgaria’s largest and most important monastery founded in the 10th century by Saint John of Rila. Alongside this cultural landmark, the mountain is also famous for The Seven Rila Lakes.
This trip is a great way to experience both the natural beauty and rich culture of the region. You’re going to enjoy magnificent mountain sceneries on horseback, an unforgettable sailing adventure in Lake Iskar, we will trek to the famous 7 Rila Lakes and enjoy the stunning views from the top, go on a thrilling mountain bike experience and then continue to explore the country’s rich culture by visiting Rila Monastery and the capital, Sofia.
- Rila Mountain is a glaciated range, mostly granite, with spectacular peaks. The lower part of the mountain is covered with forests while the upper slopes contain vast meadows and rocky peaks. Panorama views are superb. The most visited places on the mountain are the magnificent cirque of the Seven Rila Lakes and the famous Rila Monastery.
- Govedartsi is a village and ski resort in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria
- Lake Iskar is Bulgaria’s largest inland lake and can be likened to an inland sea, stretching for 15kms along the main Sofia-Borovets road, it is an impressive sight.
- The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of lakes of glacial origin situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria.
- Rila Monastery. The biggest and the most famous amongst all the monasteries in Bulgaria, it was founded in the 10-th century by St. John of Rila, and in the following centuries was the center of Bulgarian cultural and spiritual life. The Rila Monastery is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Day 01: Arrival (D)
A Rahhalah local guide will meet you at Sofia airport and drop you to Rila Mountains. We will stay overnight at a family run hotel in Govedartsi, a village at the foot of Rila Mountains.
Day 02: Walking or horse – back riding (B, L, D)
We will leave the guesthouse to explore Govedartsi, a village and ski resort, and the lower parts of Rila on foot.
Optional: Horseback riding if you’re fit for it
Overnight: Govedartsi, family run hotel
Day 03: Sailing (B,L, D)
Today, we will take a boat trip in Lake Iskar, Bulgaria’s largest water reservoir. Our qualified instructors will choose the exact route depending on the daily weather conditions.
We will take a break with a fun picnic lunch on the shore of the lake.
Transfer: 1,30 hours
Boating: 3 hours
Overnight: Govedartsi, family-run hotel
Day 04: Hiking to Seven Rila lakes (B, L, D)
The Seven Rila Lakes are without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural attractions in the Balkan Peninsula. You’ll notice that the lakes have been named after their shapes and characteristics. The highest lake, Tear Lake, was named for its crystal-clear water. Eye Lake is the deepest of the seven lakes, it is oval and intense blue when the weather is good. Kidney Lake, named for its shape, has a surface area of 85 hectares and steep rocky banks. The Twins are lakes that resemble an hourglass that separates into two different lakes in the dry years.
Farther down the trail, we will see the Three-leafed Lake, Fish Lake and the Seven Lakes Shelter on the banks of Fish Lake. The lowest lake is called Lower Lake, all the lakes are connected by narrow streams.
If we have time, we can make a one-hour sightseeing tour in the nearby town – Samokov.
Of course, there is the option to walk all the way up and down without using the gondola. In this case, the hike will require a whole day. Recommended only for experienced hikers.
Transfer: 1, 30 hours
Trekking: 4 -6 hours
Overnight: Govedartsi, family – run hotel
Day 05: Climbing in Rila Mountains (B, L, D)
A morning 30 minutes drive will bring us to the starting point of the day, from here we will take another hour to reach Malyovitsa hut to meet our climbing instructor. Malyovitsa is the Central Mountaineering School in Bulgaria. The whole area has been developed for sport, traditional and alpine climbing, as well as via-ferrata. From this point, it is a 15-20min to the climbing site called “Kuklite”.
Overnight: Belchin Spa & Wellness hotel or similar
Day 06: Mountain biking (B, L, D)
We will enjoy various Mountain biking activities for beginners and experienced adventurers.
We also have a mountain bike park which offers 20km worth of routes, with four levels of difficulty, perfect for beginners and experts. For the more adventurous ones, there is a “downhill” track with a length of 2400m, 440 meters of displacements, equipped with step ups and step downs, north shore, few monster jumps and kickers. It meets the standards of the International Cycling Union, so different international races take place in the park.
The park has a new feature called the “family track” which is suitable for all ages and goes around some of the most beautiful scenic parts of the mountain.
Overnight: Belchin Spa & Wellness hotel or similar
Day 07: Transfer to Sofia, en route visit Rila Monastery (B, L, D)
On our way to Sofia, we will stop enroute at the infamous Rila Monastery. After exploring the 10th century old site, we will take a walk in an open-air botanical garden to reach the sanctuary place of the founder of the monastery: St. Ioan Rilski.
Later on, we will reach the capital Sofia for an afternoon sightseeing tour with trip highlights such as:
- Sunday square
- Statue of Sofia
- Catholic church and Muslim Mosk
- The old bath
- The Largo square
- Rotunda St. George – 3th century
- Royal palace and the city garden
- National theater
- Rotunda St. Sofia
- Alexander Nevski cathedral
- National library, Sofia University and the National Parliament
Optional: paragliding on the mountain next to Sofia called Vitosha. The traveller will transfer from Govedartsi to Vitosha, paraglide over the town of Sofia and land nearby.
Overnight: Sofia, 3* hotel in the center
Day 08: Departure (B)
Our guides will drop in to the airport for your departure flight.
per person in a group of 4, Double Occupancy.
- This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
- This cost is valid till 15th December, 2017,
- Full payment should be made 30 days prior to departure date.
- All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.
- 4 nights in Govedartsi, family – run hotel
- 2 nights in Belchin, 4* Spa & Wellness hotel
- 1 nights in Sofia, 3* hotel
- 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches (picnic) , 7 dinners
- Car for 2-3 pax, Minivan for 4 pax, Autobus for 6, 8, 10 pax
- Licensed Guide – driverl for 2 – 4 pax; Guide and driver for 6 – 8 – 10pax
- Licensed specialized guides for: sailing, climbing, biking, horse – riding
- Equipment: horse , yacht, climbing equipment, bike & helmet
THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE
- International flights
- Visa fees
- Travel Insurance
- Single Supplement
- High Season supplements
- Meals not mentioned above
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal expenses
Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.