Sofia Tours
The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery
4.5

The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery

By Traventuria
Recommended by 94% of travellers
94% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Sofia visitors may not know it, but this Bulgarian city is actually an ideal jumping-off point for a side trip into the countryside. With this full-day tour, you're whisked to trek at Seven Rila Lakes, and visit a monastery that's listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though entry fees and chairlift ride are at your own expense, you still get a great value, with travel—and mountain views—included.
from
S$67.46
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 12-99, max of 30 per group
Duration: 12h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
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Audio guide: German, Russian, English, Italian, French, Spanish
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Highlights
  • Explore the Bulgarian mountains on this full-day tour and trek, from Sofia
  • Ride a cable car to the Seven Rila Lakes, and enjoy a mountainous hike
  • Visit Rila Monastery, and see its cloisters, chapel, and museum collection
  • Travel easily from Sofia's Old City Center, with no more than 15 travelers

  • Transport by air-conditioned bus/coach or minivan
  • English-speaking guide (if guided tour selected)
  • Fuel surcharge
What's not included
  • Entrance fee for the Rila monastery's museum
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Chairlift ticket


Start:
  • Aleksandar Nevski Square, Old City Center, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
    IMPORTANT: The meeting point is BEHIND Alexander Nevski Cathedral (opposite La Cattedrale restaurant) | | GPS coordinates: 42.695598, 23.333649 | Please, be there 15 min. in advance!
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6992P20

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • Food: although there are two huts on our way where we can purchase some basic food (i.e. beans soup, meatballs, tea) we advise you to come prepared with a lunch pack from Sofia, because the programme today is rather tight and for sure we won’t have much time for a proper lunch.
    • Difficulty: the hiking route is moderately arduous, with individual brief paths featuring steep inclines. Please bring along comfortable walking boots. Sandals and flip-flops are not accepted. Rain jacket might be useful in summer as heavy showers sometimes occur in the afternoons.
    • IMPORTANT FOR MAY AND JUNE DEPARTURES! Kindly note, that availability of the tour depends on the weather conditions and the operation of the chairlift.
    • The terrain will be very wet and slippery and there will still be snow in the area. Walking in such conditions requires adequate equipment (good trekking boots, waterproof clothes and a warm layer beneath the jacket). The hike is demanding, so a good fitness level is also required. Keep in mind that some of the lakes may be covered in snow.
    • Important! As with all lifts the one, used for the hike to The Seven Rila Lakes, may halt operations (due to strong winds, power cuts etc.). In this unlikely event, an alternative hike will be offered on spot by the guide. Mind that such a situation does not make you eligible for a refund for the tour.
    • Tour with ONLINE (cloud-based) Audio-guide in different languages (EN, ES, IT, FR, DE, RU). INTERNET required to download and use. Headphones required, too.
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 30 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    Which attractions will I visit with The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery?
    How much is The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery?
    The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery price starts from S$66.27. Discover and book The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery on Tripadvisor
    What is the The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery cancellation policy?
    The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery?
    The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery is hosted by Traventuria. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Traventuria on Tripadvisor. Discover and book The Seven Rila Lakes & Rila Monastery on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 6992P20

    Reserve your spot

    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • Old City Center, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
      IMPORTANT: The meeting point is BEHIND Alexander Nevski Cathedral (opposite La Cattedrale restaurant) | | GPS coordinates: 42.695598, 23.333649 | Please, be there 15 min. in advance!
    • Pass by
      St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
    • 1
    • 2
      Pass by
      St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Traventuria
      1,601
      Sofia, Bulgaria
      Joined in March 2011
    • beverleybK2427CD
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      A long trip, very little of interest
      I found this trip boring. Much of the time is spent travelling or hanging around. Unless you have a specific interest in religion and churches, I wouldn’t recommend this. I feel like it was a day wasted.
      Written 29 May 2024
    • beverleybK2427CD
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointing Customer Service
      I do not recommend this company. I booked to go on a day trip to Plovdiv. I left my hotel early to get to the meeting point but the google maps directions I was sent got me totally lost. I tried calling and WhatsApp ing the contact numbers I was given but got no response. As a result, I arrived about 5 minutes after the bus had left. The tour operators had my number and claim to have tried to call me but that is untrue. I have no missed calls. My WhatsApp was responded to at 8:17 which was pointless. The office staff were arrogant and would not give me a refund. I therefore had to go on an alternative tour to a church and monastery which I found extremely boring. It was a long drive to see very little. A day wasted - so disappointing.
      Written 29 May 2024
    • TLAOrangeville
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Professional, Positive Tour Company (Boyana Church & Rila Monastery Trip).
      I had originally signed up for the Rila Seven Lake Hike and Monastery tour but there was too much snow for the hike so switched to this tour instead. Phillip G. Was very helpful when communicating about this issue in advance. Boyana Church is a little gem…even if you have to pay 10lev on top of the tour price , only get ten minutes inside and can’t take pics. The frescoes are amazing. Our Tourguide: Liubomir Petkashev was outstanding. I’m always impressed with guides who run the sane tour day in and day out who still manage to be enthusiastic and supportive. The bus was comfy and the trip there went fast with the beautiful views of the countryside. The Rila Mountain region is stunning and the Monastery is definitely worth the trip. We also had the option of joining the St. Ivan cave tour group (again for an extra 10lev) but I would say go for it if you don’t mind a 15 minute uphill hike there. Really glad I booked this day trip from Sofia.
      Written 17 May 2024
    • Meander53485804260
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      It was a privilege to experience the spirituality and reverence of the Rila Monastery and the Boyana Church in such beautiful s
      This was a delightful tour that i would highly recommend to anyone. Our guide, Lubo, was knowledgeable, interesting and informative. We always knew how much time we had and what our options were at each site. He projected his voice, was easy to hear and always waited for us to be within earshot before starting his talks. The audio guide is a clever idea and provided additional information along the route and at the sites. It was great to be able to investigate these treasures at one's own pace after having had the more expressive and interactive presentation from the guide. Both the Boyana Church and the Rila Monastery, set in the very beautiful Bulgarian scenery, are moving tributes to the vision and technical expertise of the early painters and architects who created them. Thank you, Lubo, for giving us such an interesting day and for going above and beyond in sorting out my problem with my phone! It is truly appreciated.
      Written 17 May 2024
    • BrendaC683
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Top tour with Bilyana!
      I joined the italian tour and I was very lucky that our guide was Bilyana. She speaks good italian and has a very good cultural background, she gave us a lot of information and explanation. She is professional and we had also the opportunity to ask additional questions on religion, culture, etc during the trip back to Sofia. I honestly think that she has been one of the best guides I have met during day trips. Boyana church and Rila monastery are wonderful. During this tour it was also possible to visit the St. John cave for a small additional fee. I decided to join and happy I did it. In the tour there were also people not speaking italian but using the audioguide. The guide was very professional and asked them to leave the seats close to the front of the bus to the italian speaking people as the tour was in italian, we paid more for this and have the opportunity to interact with the guide. 2 people didn't want to move because one of them was getting car sick. Of course no issue and they stayed there but I think that the agency should make more clear this to the people joining a tour in a language that they don't speak, so that they can choose if they still want to join or not. Places we have seen where very beautiful and Byliana was a great guide, I wished the tour would have been lasted a bit longer!
      Written 15 May 2024
    • nilintentum_reliquit
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      3 perfect day tours with this professional company.
      Excellent schedule, communications, and comfort. Special shout out to engaging Martin (Plovdiv), passionate Hristo (Rila), super helpful Petar, and my favourite, the informative and super lovely Maria (Veliko). Thank you
      Written 13 May 2024
    • 78nirinar
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Thank you Traventuria and Kristo
      Rila monastery is really worth a visit, especially with Kristo as your guide. He gave us a very passionate tour with a personal touch. Thank you all.
      Written 11 May 2024
    • ghenix
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Enjoyable visit
      Rila monastery was impressive and beautiful and in such a picturesque setting, it was enjoyable even on a rainy day. There was good amounts of time to explore on your own after the guided bit. Don’t miss out on visiting the little bakery out the back of the monastery. Boyana church was much more intimate and there is a 10 minute limit on the time you get to spend in the church, to preserve the frescos, but it was enough time. The guide was very enthusiastic and her stories really helped to bring the places to life. What I didn’t like was having to pay extra to enter Boyana church. It would have been better to include that in the overall fee. Who is going to sign up for a trip that goes to 2 places and not want to enter one of the two?
      Written 6 May 2024
    • santiagocL7704CD
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience and great guide
      Completely recommend this tour. María, our guide, was very informative and led us to and from the monastery with professionalism. It was clear that she deeply loves her country and is passionate about spreading the beauty and history that it offers. The only negative is that we were given two different times to leave (8 am and 9 am) which was a bit confusing. Other than that, the monastery and Boyana Church were beautiful and completely worth the price. The entire trip took about 7 hours.
      Written 5 May 2024
    • B7453NXfrancisl
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      Memorable excursion
      Fully according to expectations, even the weather forecast proved to be right: drizzle and cold all day. Thus almost everyone accepted the offer to leave 75’ earlier for a warm meal in a nearby restaurant. Nice surprise: cards accepted everywhere. Our guide was very professional. Rila monastery is definitely worth the two-hour drive.
      Written 25 April 2024
    • lant420
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A Hidden Gew!
      What an amazing place to visit. Rich in history, culture and well preserved historic sites. Vibrant old town for shopping, dining, or just strolling around town. I only wish I stayed a couple nights to fully explore and enjoy this place.
      Written 21 April 2024
    • Destination694400
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Excellent
      Hired equipment and has lessons with this company. Service was excellent for equipment, used there lockers which meant didn't have to carry them back to hotel which was useful. Lessons were good.
      Written 1 April 2024
    • T5329HEtarat
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great tour for appreciating Bulgarian history and culture
      Very nice tour guide who was passionate and very well informed on Bulgarian history and culture. The trip was nicely broken up, we weren’t rushed and went when there were not too many people visiting, so a perfect time to take the trip. Rila Monastery is a must visit with lots of history and beautiful architecture. We also stopped off for lunch at a trout farm and the food was amazing. Highly recommend this trip and very reasonably priced.
      Written 29 March 2024
    • scql96
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Nice day tour to Rila Monastery
      Excellent tour to Rila monastery and Boyana church. Our tour Maria was really professional and informative, explaining the significance of the monastery well. Recommended to join the tour with guide Maria.
      Written 29 March 2024
    • scql96
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Day tour to Plovdiv
      Booked a tour in English but the group has many Spanish speaking tourists. The guide prioritised explanation/ speaking in Spanish throughout the tour even though the other half spoke English. Sometimes, he switched between english and Spanish in one sentence, making it difficult to understand. In addition, we didn't enter the Museum, the tour just consisted of walking around the Plovdiv old town and shopping areas
      Written 29 March 2024
    See all 1 review
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles55 reviews
    Excellent
    45
    Very good
    7
    Average
    1
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    2

    xanthe0160
    Northampton, UK57 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2023 • Couples
    Loved the Rila lakes, but the guide said he would go at a moderate speed, he did not!!! Hence I missed any bits of info that he gave to the people at the front. May I add that I am not a slow walker, or particularly unfit. We were not allowed to enjoy the beautiful scenery, because of the sheer speed that we needed to walk at and before we started we were told only seeing 5 lakes not the seven! However it was stunning up there, the monastery was nice as well, if you are really into history then you would want longer than an hour there. This trip needed to be longer by a couple of hours to see 5 lakes and all day to see all 7 and really appreciate them.
    Written 13 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hello and thank you very much for your feedback. It is of great importance to us and we appreciate your time. Our highest priority is customer satisfaction and we will take into account your remarks. We will put an effort into improving as we always strive to provide the best hassle-free experience to our customers. We would be very happy to have you on another tour with us. It would be great to give us another chance to impress you - next time with 5 out of 5 stars! With our kindest regards, Nora Dobrinska (Traventuria Team)
    Written 14 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Gareth Jones
    Hailsham, UK15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2023 • Friends
    We had our best day in Bulgaria doing this! It's a long way up and steep in places. When they advise good walking shoes, you should listen. Some parts could be slippery, especially coming down. Walking poles are a good idea. The views though were astonishing and we felt a great sense of achievement in getting to the peak! (Having said that, there were several small children who also made it...). The guides were really nice and informative. I'm not going to post photos because that would spoil the impact. Lake 6 had mini icebergs floating about in July...
    Written 16 July 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hello and thank you very much for your feedback. It was a pleasure reading your review. The Seven Rila Lakes are one the most beautiful nature sights in Bulgaria and we are glad you have enjoyed your trip with Traventuria. Looking forward to seeing you again in the future. With best regards, Nora Dobrinska (Traventuria Team)
    Written 26 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Cathy Beans
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2022
    The views from the 7 lakes hike were absolutely beautiful; and the walk was nice and easy in pace so that we had time to really take in our surroundings. Going up the chair lift was a lovely way to start viewing the mountain. It was a bit chilly on the chairlift, but then when we were hiking it was really warm (we were lucky with the sunshine).

    Both of our guides were nice and friendly and they gave us some really interesting info about the Rila Monastery and it's frescoes.

    We also got chatting to some other English travellers, so overall a really great day!
    Written 24 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Cathy! Thank you for sharing your feedback with others here on TripAdvisor! We are lucky we had you as our guest! Looking forward to many new trips! Best regards, Maria Kamenova
    Written 26 October 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Didi H
    Strasbourg, France329 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jun 2020 • Friends
    We did Seven Rila Lakes and Rila monastery in 2 days .This is one of the most beautiful areas of Rila mountain with stunning views and friendly local people .At this time of the year ,the weather was foggy and rainy so we could not actually hike to the top .The snow was melting the the mountain streams were wild ,flooded and not easy to cross .I have visited many times Seven Rila lakes and I think the bad weather was actually my award so I could experience something new and different.
    The next day at Rila Monastery was fabulous,due to the Pandemic it was empty and I shut the best pictures ever .
    Written 27 September 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Didi, Thank you for your review! It's amazing that such a passionate traveler is our guest! Most people find the bad weather really challenging and I am so happy to see that you enjoyed it! We are looking forward to seeing you again in the nearest future! Best regards, Annie Paykova
    Written 10 May 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    CarrFarr
    12 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2022 • Couples
    I would like to thank both the guides / drivers and also to the administration team. They did all the best to help us in order to go / join these tours since we really wanted to go.

    Going to the 7 lakes it's was a wonderful experience. An experience that we will never forget. Even though the trail might be challenging in the beginning but worth it once you reach the summit.

    With regards the monastery, it was OK. It's an experience of you had never been to a monastery. Yet certain places where restricted to view them.
    Written 19 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Caroline! Thank you for reviewing our service. I hope you will meet us again and we will meet your expectations for an excellent review next time! Kind regards, Maria Kamenova
    Written 1 August 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Alex K
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2021
    Thank you. That was very nice tour with really fascinating views on Rila mountain. In Rila monastery was a great opportunity to hear some interesting facts about the history of Bulgaria and monastery.The guide was really nice and friendly.
    Written 23 July 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hello, We are the people to thank you for choosing our services and for letting us host you in our small, but beautiful country! Wishing you many many amazing travels! Stay safe, Annie Paykova
    Written 1 August 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Paul R
    Harringay, UK5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well organised with friendly and knowledgeable guides.
    The trek is tiring on the legs but nonetheless provides amazing views. On my trip we saw 5 of the 7 lakes plus the monastery.
    All this was enhanced by being with a happy, sociable group of people.
    Definitely one of the best day trips/tours I’ve done and would highly recommend it.
    Written 1 October 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear friend, Thank you very much for your kind review. We greatly appreciate your feedback and are glad you enjoyed your trip. Looking forward to seeing you again in the future for other hikes together. Safe travels! Nora Dobrinska (Traventuria Team)
    Written 17 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Janette J
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2022 • Friends
    A faultless trip. Traventuria were fantastic. They looked after us very well and the organisation was superb. The walks were varied and in truly stunning countryside. Very demanding walking/hiking/scrambling but so worth it. Loved that we ate out in 4 different places in Bansco rather than just in hotel. They threw in a couple of surprises too. KAMEN our guide was excellent and his knowledge of Rila Monastry was a highlight. ROSEN our driver was very kind when one of our group was unwell. Bulgaria is beautiful and inexpensive.
    Written 17 July 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Janette! Thank you for the amazing and detailed review that you gave of our service and the sights seen. Kamen and Rosen are happy to know they were an important part of your day! Looking forward to many new trips! Safe travels, Maria Kamenova
    Written 1 August 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Mauro M
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Cool trekking tour, the lakes are located in the beautiful national park. The tour guide, Todo, was so great, nice and help us to enjoy very much the day! Also the monastery was very interesting .
    I suggest it very much!
    Written 28 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Mauro, It's a pleasure for us to read your feedback! Todor will be also very happy to know you enjoyed the time with him! Thank you for sharing your review of our services! Our team is looking forward to seeing you again! Best regards, Annie Paykova
    Written 29 June 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Garrett S
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2019
    The lakes region was beautiful and the hike was great. Beautiful nature and not too difficult to trek. Todor was a great guide, very friendly and helpful, he did a perfect job explaining everything and managing the group in general. The monastery was equally beautiful, a truly unique complex and a must see if you're in Bulgaria. Highly recommended!
    Written 31 August 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Dear Garrett, What a great comprehensive review - thank you! We really appreciate that your review covers the work done by our exceptional guides. Todor is such a genuine and helpful guide and a valuable member of our team. It is so incredibly pleasing to hear you say our guides are great, we know they are, so it is amazing when they get such lovely public recognition for all their hard work. The word of mouth from people like you recommending our trips to people traveling to Bulgaria is invaluable for us. Thanks for taking the time to write a review. Kind regards, Annie Krumova
    Written 25 September 2019
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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