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View of the Seven Rila Lakes
Panoramic view of the Seven Rila Lakes from Mount Ezeren

The Seven Rila Lakes (Bulgarian: Седемте рилски езера, transliterated: Sedemte rilski ezera) are a group of lakes of glacial origin (glacial lakes), situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria. The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level.

Each lake carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature. The highest one is called Salzata ("The Tear") due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. The next one in height carries the name Okoto ("The Eye") after its almost perfectly oval form. Okoto is the deepest cirque lake in Bulgaria, with a depth of 37.5 m. Babreka ("The Kidney") is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group. Bliznaka ("The Twin") is the largest one by area. Trilistnika ("The Trefoil") has an irregular shape and low shores. The shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero ("The Fish Lake") and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero ("The Lower Lake"), where the waters that flow out of the other lakes are gathered to form the Dzherman River.

The Seven Lakes chalet are a main tourist attraction in Bulgaria because of the inspiring natural beauty of the place. The lakes are located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades. You can find tourist accommodation in the lakes' vicinity. It lies on the northeastern shore of The Fish Lake, at an elevation of 2,196 m. The most appropriate time to visit the lakes is summer, in July and August, when temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and the risk of sudden storms is lower. During the rest of the year the weather is unfriendly to tourists. Sometime in October the lakes freeze and don't melt before June. The ice cover can reach up to 2 meters.


English name Bulgarian name (transliterated) Altitude Area Depth Notes
The Tear Сълзата (Salzata) 2,535 m (8,317 ft) 0.7 ha (1.7 acres) 4.5 m (15 ft) Named after its clear waters
The Eye Окото (Okoto) 2,440 m (8,010 ft) 6.8 ha (17 acres) 37.5 m (123 ft) Named after its oval shape. Deepest cirque lake in Bulgaria
The Kidney Бъбрека (Babreka) 2,282 m (7,487 ft) 8.5 ha (21 acres) 28.0 m (91.9 ft) Steepest shores of all
The Twin Близнака (Bliznaka) 2,243 m (7,359 ft) 9.1 ha (22 acres) 27.5 m (90 ft) Largest by area
The Trefoil Трилистника (Trilistnika) 2,216 m (7,270 ft) 2.6 ha (6.4 acres) 6.5 m (21 ft) Irregular shape and low shores
Fish Lake Рибното езеро (Ribnoto ezero) 2,184 m (7,165 ft) 3.5 ha (8.6 acres) 2.5 m (8.2 ft) Shallowest
The Lower Lake Долното езеро (Dolnoto ezero) 2,095 m (6,873 ft) 5.9 ha (15 acres) 11.0 m (36.1 ft) Lowest


Panoramic photo of the six lowest (and largest) Seven Rila Lakes, From left to right: Окото (Eye), Бъбрека (Kidney), Близнака (Twin, half hidden), Трилистника (Trefoil), Рибното езеро (Fish lake), Долното езеро (Lower lake)


  • (Bulgarian) "Седемте рилски езера". Българска енциклопедия А-Я. БАН, Труд, Сирма. 2002. ISBN 954-8104-08-3. OCLC 163361648. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°12′10″N 23°19′12″E / 42.20278°N 23.32000°E / 42.20278; 23.32000

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