Rila Mountains

  • Rila - © Flickr user Borislav Dimitrov
  • Rila Lakes - © Flickr user Mladen Jablanovic
  • Rila Mountains - © Flickr user Samfk
  • Twin Lakes in Rila Mountains - © flickr user Fillips Stoyanov
  • Six out of Seven Rila Lakes - © flickr user Klearchos Kapoutsis
  • Borovets Rila Mountains - © Flickr user Samfk
  • © Flickr user Mladen Jablanovic
  • © Flickr user Mladen Jablanovic
  • Rila Lakes - © Flickr user Emil Manolov
  • Rila Mountains - © flickr user Stella
  • Rila Seven Lakes - © Flickr user Fillips Stoyanov

Key information: Rila Mountains

    The highest mountains in Bulgaria (29 peaks over 2,500m), a relatively compact range in the country's south-west.

    Some magnificent walking in classic glaciated landscape of cirques, sharp peaks, huge cliffs, lakes, deep valleys and moraine fields.

    A remote(ish) area, the range is rich in animal and plant life.

    This can be tough walk in high, remote mountains. Come prepared.

     

    ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating85
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest5
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating85

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,925m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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© Flickr user Mladen Jablanovic

WALK SUMMARY

The highest mountains in Bulgaria (29 peaks over 2,500m and Musala, at 2,925m, is the highest between the Alps and the Caucusus), a relatively compact range which lies at the north-western end of the chain running along the country's southern border-areas, which includes the Pirin  and the Rhodope (Rodopi) which it links with, so you can create extensive walking tours.  Its core is now a World Heritage Site.

The range is mainly old igneous/metamorphic rock, and was high enough to be under ice-age icecaps, which have shaped its classic glaciated landscape of cirques, sharp peaks, huge cliffs, high pastures,exquisite and dramatic lakes, deep valleys and moraine fields. The high Musala ridge area is in the east, while the best lakes are in the centre and north-east.

As a remote(ish) and protected area, the range is rich in animal and plant life (some of it endemic): it is famed for its conifer forests in particular, and is home to bears, wolves deer and chamois, as well as many bird species.

The range has some magnificent walking, often on good paths, including:

  •  Sections of the E4 international route cross the Rila and Pirin ranges, then run south into Greece. And E8 also passes through.
  •  You can create all sorts of circuits or muti-dayers to suit your taste, as there are refuges and huts scattered around the massif. Classics include traversing the north-western group via the Seven Lakes; and a 4 day horseshoe talking in Musala and he Seven Lakes.
  •   You can climb Musala in a long day.

  • The lakes make for  marvellous day walks (as well as a focus for multi-dayers), especially the Seven Rila Lakes in the north-east, a series of glacial scoops descending a hillside in the approach to the huge and very dramatic cirque below Otovishki.

Have a look at the dreaded TripAdvisor . You should get good, current views on this area.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by recommending your best walks/making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Rila Mountains - © flickr user Stella

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© Flickr user Mladen Jablanovic...
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