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Rila Monastery and 7 Rila Lakes Self-Guided Shared Trip from Sofia

Badge of ExcellenceSofia, Bulgaria

From $48.96

Select Date and Travelers

Reserve Now & Pay Later
Secure your spot while staying flexible
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 13 hours (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English
  • Good for avoiding crowds


Reaching the Seven Rila Lakes by public transport typically involves two buses, a shuttle and most of your day. Take the pain out of transportation—while maintaining total independence—with this cost-effective shared transfer. Visit both these beautiful glacial lakes and the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with ample time for hiking.
  • See the Seven Rila Lakes and the UNESCO-listed Rila Monastery in one day
  • Enjoy more than half a day exploring the lakes and Rila National Park
  • Revel in the history, frescoes, and relics of Bulgaria’s largest monastery
  • Shuttle departs from and returns to a convenient central Sofia location

What's Included

  • Round-trip shared transfer
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Driver
  • Entrance fees - Rila Lakes chairlift ticket (20 BGN per person, approx 10 EUR, two-way)
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks
  • Guide services

Departure & Return

Departure Point

  • pl. "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski" 4, pl. "Sveti Aleksandar Nevski" 4, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia, Bulgaria

    Meeting point is at the car parking, behind St. Alexander Nevski cathedral and in front of La Cattedrale restaurant

Departure Time

7:00 AM

Return Details

This activity will end right where it started.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A moderate to intensive amount of walking is involved (walking/hiking experience is a must)
  • Comfortable walking shoes and clothes suitable for mountain/walking are required
  • Sun cream and sunglasses are strongly recommended
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Dress code at the Rila Monastery: high heels, short skirts and trousers, shirts with no sleeves, etc. are not allowed in the monastery.
  • Minimum age is 5 years
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 36 travelers
Operated by URCA Ltd

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

about cancellations

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Rila Monastery and 7 Rila Lakes Self-Guided Shared Trip from Sofia?

A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Rila Monastery and 7 Rila Lakes Self-Guided Shared Trip from Sofia?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized

Traveler Photos

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46 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 46 reviews
Nice trek into the mountains
Marwan_A, Sep 2021
This is a very nice self guided (on your own) tour. Need to be in reasonably good shape to make the trek up the mountain. Pack variable clothes as weather changes and you will need to shed some layers. Address somehow got me to the wrong place, google S. Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Amazing nature and an incredible culture site
Angel_N, Sep 2021
The itinerary was explained very well. The hike around the lakes was pleasant - you can choose different levels of difficulty. The view from above the lakes was magnificent. The monastery was absolutely splendid. I highly recommend this trip to everyone.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Worth it!
Christine_L, Sep 2021
Our driver/guide was very friendly and explained the itinerary thoroughly before we left the city. Though it’s a full day, we didn’t feel rushed and felt like we had enough time to enjoy the 7 lakes and Rila Monastery on our own pace. Both of these were the highlights of our trip to Bulgaria, so we enjoyed every moment!
1 traveler found this review helpful
The trip was really good!...
MarieChristin_A, Sep 2021
The trip was really good! Our driver was amazing, he explained everything really well and there was no guide needed for this tour. The day was really great
Definitely a must!
Joyce_G, Sep 2021
A very nice day trip, especially if weather is nice and clear! Highly recommend this tour. Although self-guided, it was very easy to manage on our own.
Best day in Bulgaria
Soline_H, Aug 2021
the discovery of the Seven Rila Lakes was an incredible experience. from the meeting point at the back of the cathedral to the chair lift, and many lanes, the entire walking itinerary has been explained to us with great clarity. Cherry on the cake, the rila monastery really deserves attention, even if it requires a bit of road following the seven lakes. small note to those ladies who would like to visit the monastery, remember to take something to cover your shoulders and knees to be able to enter :) a big thank you to the organizers for this wonderful day !!!! Lots of good memories here
Do not hesitate, it's worth it
Inna, Jul 2021
It's worth it to wake up so early to see such amazing landscape. We had a great guide, very helpful. No need much hiking experience, only good shoes and jacket. The monastery is beautiful and we had enough time to enjoy both the mountain and the monastery!
2 travelers found this review helpful
definitely worth it!
Johana_L, Jul 2021
great trip, breathtaking views, definitely worth participating. we had enough time for the longer route even though we wouldnt consider ourselves being super fit. rila monastery complex was an interesting experience as well, it was raining which made the atmosphere even more adventure-ish
beautiful views, overall great trip
Johana_L, Jul 2021
beutiful trip - we had enough time to walk the longer route (even though we wouldn’t consider ourselves being super fit hikers) and the views were breathtaking. definitely was a highlight of out bulgarian adventure. the rila monastery complex was beutiful as well, we didnt visit any exhibition though
Easy and Quick
Rogue R, Oct 2019
Not much to rate here, they picked us up and dropped us off as needed. We had adequate time and the bus driver was very good. I would recommend that you bring pants for the Monastery because they were not happy with the length of my (male) shorts.
362luciani, Aug 2019
Very interesting trip. The 7 Rila Lakes are trully amazing. I am a mountain lover and I hike lots of mountains, but I was really impressed by the view at Rila. The Monastery was also impressive. I reccommend this trip for everybody who loves nature! The guide we met in the morning was very nice, gave us maps and information in order to manage alone our trip. The driver was also ok.
Response from Host, Aug 2019
Thank you for writing back. We are really happy that you enjoyed the beauty of Rila Mountains and the efficiency of Rila Shuttle. Hope to see you again in the near future for other parts of the Rila mountain !
Overall it was a good tour but we...
Carina T K, Nov 2017
Overall it was a good tour but we did have our challenges particularly the hike to the lakes. This is an independent tour. There is only a guide at the beginning who briefed us on the bus then she left us on our own with just the driver. The hike to see the Seven Rila Lakes was more challenging than we expected. When you go up the ski lift, you had to figure out which path to take. There were some signs but they were written in Cyrillic. We had a choice to follow the green, red or yellow paths. We chose the one with less incline however, with only 4 hours in total it was not enough time for us to see all 7. We only saw 3 out of the 7 lakes that included eating our packed lunch. The others we were with saw 5 of the 7. We weren't experienced hikers and we found ourselves lost a few times but eventually found the markings on the rocks. The terrain was rough but the view and landscapes were amazing. We just wish we had more time and more guidance on the hike, perhaps a printed map/guide in English. We had ample time to see the Rila Monastery and we didn't need a guide to go around the area.
El autobús era incómodo,...
antonio_c, Oct 2021
El autobús era incómodo, los paisajes preciosos, el guía no va con nosotros, solo da explicaciones al iniciar el tour.
Ok, but not to Corona-rules
Gerd_F, Sep 2021
Tour wird durchgeführt wie beschrieben, ist eigentlich wie beschrieben nur der Transport, sicherer Fahrer, freundlicher Guide, Abwertung, da Corona regeln nicht eingehalten werden (weder von Fahrer noch Reisenden), Bus mit 100% Auslastung


Product code: 15352P6