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Seven Rila Lakes Bulgaria

The striking Seven Rila Lakes in Bulgaria are a collection of glacial lakes, and can be found in the stunning Rila Mountains, in the north west of the country. The lakes are a major tourist attraction, and attract thousands of visitors to the area every year. They are located some 2 100 to 2 500 metres above sea level. The lakes each have their own individual characteristic features, and are named according to this.

The lake names and meanings

Here we take a look at the seven Rila Lakes and start with the highest positioned first. Lake Salzata means "The Tear", and earns this name from it crystal clear water that allows you to see well into its hidden depths. Next is Lake Okoto or "The Eye", this is a name given to its perfect oval shape. It also has an intense blue when the weather is good. Okoto has a depth of over 37 metres, and is in fact the deepest lake in the whole of Bulgaria. Lake Babreka or "The Kidney" named from its appearance, and in addition has steep shores. Lake Biznaka or "The Twin" is at the foot of the Haramiyata peak, and is the largest in area. Lake Trilistnika or "The Trefoil" is famed for its uneven contour, and situated on the lower shores. Lake Ribnoto Ezer or "The Fish Lake" is a shallow lake, and it is here you will find tourist accommodation on the north east shore. The last of the seven is Lake Dolnoto Ezero or "The Lower Lake" which is located at the lowest point. This is where the water gathers from the other lakes and forms the River Dzherman. Fish such as minnows and trout can be found in some of the lower lakes. The higher lakes in general are not suitable for marine life to survive, due to the varying temperatures of the water as a result of being fed by rain and melted snow.

Best time to visit

The Seven Rila lakes are an astonishing natural beauty, and are connected to one another by means of small streams and waterfalls. The best time to visit the lakes is in the summer months June, July and August, when there is less chance of storms, and temperatures average about 10 degrees Celsius. The weather at other times of the year is not suitable for tourists; occasionally the lakes freeze in October, and do not thaw until June.

The seven Rila lakes in Bulgaria are in a really wonderful setting, and have breathtaking views of the surrounding area of the Rila Mountains. A visit on a sunny day gives you the opportunity to breathe in the fresh air, and take in the wonderful atmosphere of the natural landscape around you. The lakes offer tourists fantastic opportunities for sightseeing, and outdoor activities for keen mountaineers and hikers. The area is a picturesque spectacle, so remember to take your camera for some unforgettable images.

Special events

The seven Rila lakes are situated in the Dangskiya region of the Rila Mountains, and are an outstanding natural attraction on the Balkan Peninsula. The seven Rila lakes of Mount Rila can be reached from all the Borovet trails. Special events are staged every year on 19 August, when a large crowd of the White Brotherhood or Danovites assemble to celebrate their New Year. This takes place close at the Kidney Lake, and involves a musical ritual of dancing in a large circle. The Rila Mountains are a special Holy place for the Danovites, and thousands gather every year to welcome the first light.

To see

The beautiful lakes are a great place to visit, but be aware that to see the entire seven lakes it can take between 4 to 6 hours of walking to get to all of them. It is not for the faint hearted, there are some steep paths, and rocky climbs combined with heights, so be prepared! However, the view is astounding. If you choose to get around to see all of the seven lakes make sure you go well prepared with, hiking boots, raincoat, sunglasses, food, plenty of water and a camera. The start of the trail is fairly easy, and the complete hike is 10 km. A chair life - the Pionerska, will take you from the car park at the base to the top of the first level, and from here it leads to the rest of the lakes.

You will see plenty of fauna and flora en route, as well wildlife such as mountain goats grazing amid the wonderful scenery. The seven Rila lakes in Bulgaria are an amazing display of untouched, natural beauty and certainly worth a visit.