We took the road from Sapareva Banya towards the start of the 7 Lakes Walk and initially thought we were on the wrong road. We had read about this fantastic new EU funded road leading up to a brand new Ski Lift which in peak season entertained coach tours and queues lasting upto an hour just to get to the top. The road was single track at best and giving way to oncoming traffic required on occasions the equivalent to bumping down a drop kerb. But, unexpectedly after several kilometers in this vain, the road widened to two lanes and brand new barriers for the rest of the way! There are plenty of free camping opportunities and we opted for one of the last pull ins before the ski lift car park.
There are several options for taking the walk, the most popular of which involves getting a 1.6km Ski Lift which takes around 15 minutes each way and is priced at 30lev return. This takes you up circa 600m and given the heat of the day we decided this was a sensible option to ensure we got down in one piece.
Sophie hadn't realised the ski lift would be of the open type, having previously traveled on enclosed lifts in Slovakia but she overcame her fears and only when we reach the top did she reveal she had hated the whole experience - but not enough to choose to walk down on our return!
The walk itself is a well marked trail and takes you a further 500 meters to the viewpoint from which you can see all of the seven lakes at the same time. I'm afraid to say we didn't make it quite this far as we were slowly being cooked to a crisp it wasn't really ideal to be trekking up mountain sides! But never the less the views we achieved were breathtaking and we managed to see 6 of the 7 lakes (although not at the same time).
Rila 7 Lakes GPS: (42.25408, 23.30440) - Small
layby/carpark near chalets about 2 miles from the ski lift which takes you to
the Rila 7 Lakes walk.
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