Seven Rila Lakes

Lake, Bulgaria

The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of glacial lakes located in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 meters elevation above sea level, making them some of the highest lakes in the Balkans. Each lake is named after its most characteristic feature, such as The Tear, renowned for its clear waters allowing visibility in depth, and The Eye, the deepest lake of the collection. These cascading lakes are connected by streams that create spectacular waterfalls and rapids, especially noticeable during the spring melt.

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  • Climate


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  • Lighting conditions

    Lighting conditions

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  • Accessibility, services and permits

    Accessibility, services and permits

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  • Visitors and risk factors

    Visitors and risk factors

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Access to the Seven Rila Lakes requires a moderate to difficult hike, suitable for those with good physical condition. During summer, a chairlift from the Rila Lakes Hut to The Eye lake reduces the walking time significantly. The area is well-covered by mobile networks, but some spots between the lakes might have weaker signals. Although public transport is available to the nearby town of Sapareva Banya, private or hired vehicles are recommended for flexibility. The use of local guides is advised for first-time visitors to navigate the trails safely.

Services nearby

Accommodation options range from mountain huts near the lakes to hotels and guesthouses in the town of Sapareva Banya. Several restaurants and shops are available in Sapareva Banya, catering to basic needs. The closest medical facilities and more extensive shopping options are in the larger town of Dupnitsa, approximately 30km away.
< 30 km
Gas station
More than 50 km away
Hospital or emergency room
More than 50 km away
< 30 km
More than 50 km away
< 30 km

Basecamp and facilities

Facilities such as parking and basic toilets are available at the Rila Lakes Hut, the start point for hikes to the lakes. The area lacks extensive on-site facilities, so planning for base camps and equipment storage needs to consider the natural terrain.

Risk factors

Potential risks include sudden weather changes, challenging terrains, and altitude sickness. Proper preparation and acclimatization are recommended.


The Seven Rila Lakes are a popular destination for both Bulgarian and international tourists, especially during weekends in the summer months. Early mornings or weekdays are less crowded, offering better opportunities for filming.

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