Rila is a mountain range in southwestern Bulgaria and the highest mountain range of Bulgaria and the Balkans, with its highest peak being Musala at 2,925 m. The massif is also the sixth highest mountain in Europe (when each mountain is represented by its highest peak only), coming after the Caucasus, the Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Pyrenees and Mount Etna, and the highest between the Alps and the Caucasus. More than one-third of the mountain is occupied by the Rila National Park, the rest lies within the Rila Monastery Nature Park.
The mountain is believed to have been named after the river of the same name, which comes from the Old Bulgarian verb "рыти" meaning "to grub".
Rila is abundant in glacial lakes (about 200) and hot springs in fault areas at the base of the mountain. Some of the Balkans' longest and deepest rivers originate from Rila, including Maritsa, Iskar and Mesta.
Culturally, Rila is famous for the Rila Monastery, Bulgaria's largest and most important monastery, founded in the 10th century by Saint John of Rila. Alongside the cultural landmarks the mountain is also famous for the Seven Rila Lakes.
Before you head to Rila, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Rila online visit planner , to make sure you see all that Rila has to offer, including Rila.
Tours To Rila
Rila Monastery Bike Tour from Sofia BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $106
Duration: 8 hours
Rila Monastery and Wine Tasting Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $66
Duration: 8 hours
Beautiful place to go for a hike. Also the view from the top of the mountain is worth the hike up.
Wonderful mountain, best for several days, even week, long trails. Nice conditions for alpinism, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, biking. Amazing nature, many cultural and architecture monuments, like Rila monestary, Stob Pyramids, 7 Rila lakes, highest peak at Balkanian peninsula - Musala 2975 m. Church at Dobarsko, and more. Belmeken sport centre has perfect conditon for sports camp.
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