"Rila" Top 5 Page for this destination Rila by hekate

Rila Travel Guide: 61 reviews and 240 photos

Rila mountain

Rila is the highest mountain in Bulgaria and on the whole Balkan Peninsula.

The name Rila is derived from the Thracian word roula, meaning ‘lots of water’ due to the beautiful perenial lakes and mineral springs in the area. One can find there the springs of three biggest Bulgarian rivers: Marica, Iskr and Mesta and more than 140 lakes.

It is a part of the Rila-Rhodope Massif and occupies its north-east end. Rila seems to be a piece of the Alps thrown into the heart of the Balkans with its 130 Alpine peaks above 2000m, glacial valleys and lakes.

Rila is a ideal place for hiking, mountain climbing and skiing.

Eastern Rila is the highest part of the mountain where one can visit Rila's highest mount-Moussala (2 925 m) and the 10 top peaks, and the highest lake in Rila-the Glacial lake (2 709 m).

Northwestern Rila is the home to some of the symbols of Bulgarian alpinism and mountaineering-Maliovitsa and Kupenite peaks, and the biggest and significant lake groups, the most famous and scenic of all - the 7 Rila lakes. The most of the chalets and high mountain shelters are in this part of the mountain. Many marked tourist hiking trails and high-mountain rock climbing tours originate from here.

Rila National Park

Rila National Park, the largest national park in Bulgaria, is located about 100 km. south of Sofia, in the central and highest regions of the Rila Mountains.

Rila National Park is located in the Rila Mountains, between 41° 53’ and 42° 19’ north latitude and 23° 07’ and 23° 55’ east longitude, in the southwestern region of Bulgaria. It comprises the treeless areas along the mountain ridge and sections of the coniferous forests below it. Its territory occupies 30% of the entire mountain. The mountain peaks along the main ridges rise to an average height of 2,700 meters above sea level and includes the highest peak in the Balkan Peninsula: Mussala (2,925 meters).

The Park contains large meadows, over 100 peaks rising above 2,000 meters, as well as a variety of rock faces, precipices, caves, deep canyons, and waterfalls. Its territory is dotted with about 120 lakes—70 date back from the Ice Age.

The Park contains rare and endangered wildlife species and communities, self-regulating ecosystems of biological diversity, as well as historic sites of global cultural and scientific significance.

The Park was established on February 24, 1992 to conserve the natural heritage of the Rila Mountains as well as the local traditions, culture, and livelihoods linked with the area.

Rila National Park is one of the largest and most valuable protected areas in Europe. The Park and all four of its nature reserves are on the UN List of Representative Protected Areas. The Parangalitsa Reserve and the former Marichini Ezera Reserve (now incorporated in the territory of Central Rila Reserve) are part of the World Biospheric Reserves Network under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program. Central Rila is the largest nature reserve in Bulgaria and covers a total area of 12,393.7 hectares. Parangalitsa, designated in 1933, is one of the oldest Bulgarian nature reserves.

Park Statistics

- Area: 81,046 hectares
- Highest elevation: Mussala at 2,925 meters above sea level
- Lowest elevation: the area above Blagoevgrad, at 800 meters above sea level
- Wooded area: 53,481 hectares
- Treeless areas: 27,565 hectares
- 90% of all ecosystems are natural
- four nature reserves, with a combined area of 16,222.1 hectares

  • Last visit to Rila: Aug 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (23)

Comments (29)

  • mavl's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2008 at 10:37 AM

    wedding? that's great news, i'm very happy for you! i'm good, swamped with work but good. congratulations and best wishes to you both! woohoo!!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2007 at 12:51 AM

    Nice views!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2006 at 12:59 PM

    i'm always a fan of your photography

  • Mar 13, 2006 at 11:20 AM

    I heard abouth Rila.But I didnt know that its so nice:) Ciao,ciao Franky

  • Feb 20, 2006 at 11:58 PM

    Beautiful scenery here Nina, looks like a lovely place! (I could do with some of that positive energy this morning! )

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2006 at 12:21 PM

    Hi Nina another nice page & a great place to hike = loved the lakes & the waterfalls - such natural beauty

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2006 at 11:09 AM

    Hi Ninch, Not yet been to 'mnogo hubav' Seven Lakes. Any chance to a VT event on 2006 there? 2 days hiking for example?

  • chbuchie's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2005 at 4:17 AM

    Hekate, Pirin was great, your images from Rila are great !! if we had more time we'd been hiking through Rila as well maybe next time ...

  • babar_1's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2005 at 6:01 AM

    Great place to visit. Beautiful landscape. Thanks for sharing.

  • Yijie's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2005 at 4:03 AM

    I'm falling in love with Rila, the landscapes are so spectacular!


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