Undoubtedly, for its small territory, Bulgaria has managed to accommodate extremely many beautiful places that delight both us and visitors from far corners of the world. One of the paradise corners of nature, this is Rila mountain. It is there that Musala rises majestically – the highest peak not only in our country, but also on the entire Balkan Peninsula.
If you decide to organize a mountain walk to Rila, there are many more natural, historical and cultural attractions in the area, which we advise you to include in your list. In the following lines, we will tell you about some of the most interesting, exciting and beautiful places in the mountains that are worth visiting. See who they are:
Musala – “touching god”
If you are one of those people who literally or figuratively like to climb peaks, then Musala is a great destination for you. The highest peak in our country has an impressive height of 2925 m, and its conquest is the goal of both experienced mountaineers and beginners. The terrain is not too difficult to climb, but it does require preparation before heading out on an expedition. Among the most important things is to check the weather forecast, choose comfortable shoes and warm clothes. Also, don’t forget sunscreen lotion and a raincoat. To make the climb as pleasant as possible, stock up on tasty food and enough water. And last but not least, take a camera to capture the amazing natural scenery and also your satisfaction when you reach the top.
The seven Rila lakes are one of the emblematic sights that every nature lover must visit. The place will energize you and is a great option for a day trip away from the big city, dirty air and noise. Usually the starting point is the Panichishte lift, which will take you to the hut where the trek begins. Here again, the rule that you should go prepared applies. In case you are not an experienced mountaineer, the best time to visit the Rila Lakes is in the summer – the months of June, July and August. You will have the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful lake groups in our country.
The Rila Monastery
The Rila Monastery is the largest in the country and is located about 95 km away. from Bansko. It was created more than a millennium ago and since then it has been the guardian of Bulgarian history, culture, traditions, and also of Christian religion, rites and values. The monastery is under the auspices of UNESCO and is included in the list of the Hundred National Tourist Sites. If you get the chance, definitely visit it. So you will be able to learn more about the history of this holy place, to see its architecture. In the immediate vicinity of the Rila Monastery is the shrine of the most revered Bulgarian saint – St. Ivan Rilski, which you can also visit. While there, you can eat delicious soft drinks and try homemade yogurt.
In the western part of the mountain, above the village of Stob, there are some of the most famous rock formations, the so-called Stob pyramids. One of the popular local legends tells that two young lovers decided to get married. However, the mother of the bride did not like her chosen one and tried in every way to prevent the wedding. However, the love of the young people prevailed over the disapproval and they were determined to connect their destinies. Desperate and angry, the mother cursed them, and on the day of the ritual, they, along with all the guests, turned into stone figures. The view of the pyramids is particularly impressive early in the morning at sunrise or just before sunset, as the light makes them appear extremely bright.
Sapareva Banya is another destination worth adding to your travel list. The mountain town is known for its clean air, beautiful nature and healing mineral water. For this reason, many people from the country and abroad come here every year to take advantage of the beneficial properties of the hot mineral springs. According to the research done, water is rich in various elements that help to relieve and cure many diseases. In the center of the city is also the hottest geyser in continental Europe, whose temperature is as much as 103 degrees.
Maliovitsa is one of the challenging peaks to conquer, which is located in the northwestern part of the Rila mountain. It rose to 2731 m above sea level. The ascent to the top by the standard route lasts about 4 hours. The terrain is uneven and the road crumbly, so it is imperative that you are equipped with appropriate footwear. Maliovitsa has become an emblematic place for Bulgarian mountaineering. The peak can also be climbed from the north side, called the Black Triangle, which is, however, a test of spirit and skill for many experienced climbers. For the first time this dangerous route was overcome by Konstantin Savadzhiev and Georgi Stoimenov in 1938, after more than 30 hours of climbing.
These are only a small part of the picturesque places that you will find in the vast and unruly Rila mountain. If you haven’t had the chance to visit these iconic sights yet, it might be time to plan your next mountain vacation.