RILA Mountain

      The highest mountain in the region of Balkan is Rila mountains. More information for it can be seen here:


 Several common considerations:


      - On the map above I have pointed in red Beli Iskar Dam: on the maps a road to Beli Iskar Dam can be seen, but it is steep and extremely rocky, I have heard the region around it is a closed zone because it is a water supply one. Do not visit this place, do not try to cross Rila here as well !!!;

      - Have in mind that the mountain is high, the climate in its higher part (having altitude above 2200 m. is just like the one behind the north polar circle). Exploring the higher mountain area always have a winter equipment with you, food and well charged cell phones !!! ;

      - Look also for the weather forecast - the daily forecasts are enough precise, if there will be rain, it would be not worth to walk in the mountain;

      - Roads, which are better to be avoided because of the intensive traffic around Rila Mountains are:

              a) road N 62: Dupnitsa Klisura Pass - Samokov (road segment Samokov - Borovets Saddle - Kostenec is nice for pedaling - no traffic there);

              b) road N19: Simitli Razlog; The climbing Simitli - Predela Pass is significant - 28 km, it would be not nice to breath here expositive car gases. In the back direction situation is much better;

              c) road N 84: Varvara - Velingrad; The same consideration as in the previous point.

      - The road Sofia - Samokov (road N 82) really is very scenery, but also is the one having very intensive traffic. I have seen bicyclists pedaling along it, my suggestion is to avoid it ! 

      - The mountain is rocky, especially its higher part and it is not so appropriate for bicycling. I have seen young boys climbing up in the higher mountain areas carrying bikes on their shoulders, but I do not thing it is a great pleasure, especially if panniers are available as well, never mind, it is only my opinion. My suggestion is to approach the most interesting places in the mountain by bikes, to leave bikes and to walk in the mountain for a while. There are several places, which are worth to be explored (on the map above I have pointed these places), and the content of this Chapter further will be:


A. Places, which are worth to be explored:


       1. Region around the Seven Lakes (sector VII. A);

       2. Borovets Resort and the highest pick Musala, altitude 2925 meters (sector VII. A);

       3. The region near Belmeken Dam (sector VII. B);

       4. and 5. Rilski Monastery and Fishs lakes (sector VII. C);


B.  Approaches toward Rila Mountains from Sofia:

      6. The route Sofia - Borovets Resort;

      7. The route Sofia - The seven Lakes & Rilski Monasteri;

      8. The route Sofia - Kostenets - Varvara.

A. Places, which are worth to be explored:

       1. Region around the Seven Lakes           (Sector VII. A: Dupnitsa - Kostenets)

      On the map above I have shown the road:

      Dupnitsa Samoranovo - Sapareva Banya - Panichiste Resort - Govedartsi - Beli Iskar - Samokov

as an alternative of road N62. Have in mind that the road N62 is very busy from Dupnitsa to Samokov, there are narrow and broken road segment, pedaling along it is not a pleasure at all. The traffic from  Samokov to Borovets to Dolna Banya to Kostenets is not intensive.

      Sector VII. A - 1

      Down is more detailed map, my suggestion is to pedal:

      Sapareva Banya Panichiste Resort Govedartsi  Samokov

      This area is perfect for bicycling; as it is pointed on the map, between points A and B the road is dirty, this area is almost flat and pleasant for exploring. At point A there is a chair lift to the area of the Seven Lakes, maybe the most scenery area in Rila mountains (details in the point 2).

      Overnight accommodation is possible in Dupnitsa. Some information for it and several photos:

      Two routes are possible between Dupnitsa and Sapareva Banya, as I have shown on the map below (sector VII. A - 1. b)

Sector VII. A - 1. b




      The route a is along road N 52; Never mind the traffic here is more intensive, pedaling here is not dangerous, the road is wide and nice.

      The route b is:

      Dupnitsa - Samoranovo - Resilovo - Ovchartsi - Sapareva Banya

      In the same region next to Resilovo there is a monastery:


      Next to Ovchartsi are so called Goritsa Waterfall:  

      Sapareva Banya is a convenient point to enter in Rila mountain. It is a small spa resort, there are a lot hotels and guest houses for overnight accommodation. Information and photos from Sapareva Banya (here is the most hot thermal spring - geyser in BG, water temp is 103 deg C):

      Up in the mountain: the ascending from Sapareva Banya up to Panichiste Resort and the chairlift station is considerable.

      Panichiste Resort is a winter resort popular among lovers of skiing. No many tourists summertime in it. Some information for it:

      And the off road between points A and B on the map above (between the lower chair lift station and Vada Hut)

      Sector VII. A - 1.a          The Seven Lakes


      The area of the Seven Lakes maybe is the most scenic area in Rila Mountains. Information for this area:

      As I have mentioned above, there is a chair lift to the area of the Seven Lakes. Between lift poles there is an off road to the upper lift station, it is very rocky and steep. 

      The lift Site is:

      Unfortunately it has not English translation, it is important than Monday mornings the lift is not working (maintenance).


      The upper lift station is near Hotel "Rilski Ezera". Its site is:

      Again English language version is missing, but Google translator can be useful.


      Have in mind that the July and August weekends there are a lot of lazy tourists visiting this place by the lift, so you can wait an hour even more to use it.

      The best thing I can recommend is to do 4 6 hour walk around the lake circus - because the visibility is perfect, it is not necessary to go along the tracks, but be careful. (the green dashed line on the map). Almost each summer I do it and always I have a great time there. Always have a winter equipment visiting this area, convenient shoes, food and well charged cell phone. The weather high in the mountain is very changeable.

      Another view of the Seven Lakes area. The route I nave mention above here is the white dashed line.

       I can not refrain of posting of more pictures of this beautiful place.

Above the lake named "the Kidney" because of its shape. Usually I walk above it without any tracks.
Next three pictures are taken above the lake named "The Eye". On the first photo can be seen the track coming from "The Kidney" and going to "the Tear". 

Walking down toward "The Eye". The upper point of the walk (above "The Tear" - the place is recognized easy - a lot of stone pyramids are made by tourists there)  and down toward "The Twins".

If you do not walk along the track, choose carefully your route here, the place is very steep. 

      Have in mind that the last 10 days of August the region is overcrowded by people who are members of a peaceful international sect The White Brothers (followers of Peter Deunov the Teacher).


      Deunovs doctrine (as long as I can appreciate it) is a mixture of Buddhism, Christianity, old pagan customs (cult of the sun) and God knows what else. Several days the pilgrims in white are rotating in huge concentric circles, they dance and sing songs devoted to the Sun (I have never noticed if the sun pays any attention of all that, but I hope they know it better):

      The view of all that is interesting even impressive. Next several

      Next several were taken in the middle of June '17. The climate in the mountain areas above 2000 meters is just like one behind the Polar Circle. Have it in mind visiting this area and always bring with you a nice winter equipment.

      The next road profile chart is from the chair lift station to Beli Iskar. (Look the map sector VII. A - 1 above).

      Overnight accommodation is available in Govedartsi and Beli Iskar:

       2. Borovets Resort and the highest pick Musala               (Sector VII. A - 2)

            For the distance Samokov Kostenets two alternatives are possible:

      - route b:

      from Samokov to Borovets Resort to Raduil  to Maritsa  to Dolna Banya to Kostenets.

      The route is not hard for bicycling (in this direction), use it, if you intend to visit the highest pick of Rila Mountains - Musala, alt. 2925 m. There is gondola type lift in Borovets Resort to the higher part of the mountain (details in Sector VII. A - 2. a);

      - route c:      

      from Samokov to Shipochane to Gutsal to Dolna Banya to Kostenets.

      No any traffic between Shipochane and the crossroad before Dolna Banya. The 3 photos below are the road segment between the crossroad after Shipochane and Gutsal it was a dirty road when we explored this area several years ago, in the moment it is very nice asphalt road without any traffic along it.

      - route a:  

      There is a shortcut between Beli Iskar and Borovets Resort (I have not photos of this route - it was raining I explored it, the last thing I needed to do was to take photos in those moments). Use it if you want to miss Samokov, but have in mind it is steeper, it would be better to be avoided.

      Overnight accommodation is available in Samokov. Several photos and nformation for it:

      A nice place for overnight accommodation in Dolna Banya it is 10 kilometers to Kostenets.

      It is an appropriate place for relax on the photos can be seen this nice spot a hotel and a beautiful swimming pool of mineral water near it (leaving the town toward Kostenets). Although the hotel is not the best place, its garden, restaurant and especially the swimming pool are perfect.

      And the last place I want to mention is village Kostenets (10 km south-west from Kostenets), a place with 2-3 nice hotels for relax and beautiful thermal water.

      Sector VII. A - 2. a                  Borovets Resort and Musala


      Pedaling along the road:

      from Samokov to Borovets Resort to Dolna Banya to Kostenets,

it is worth to visit the highest pick in Rila Mountains: Musala,  do it only if the weather is nice.

      Borovets is a winter skiing resort:


      From Borovets resort to the higher part of the mountain there is a gondola type lift (Wednesdays the lift is not at work). The lift is almost 5 kilometers, it overcome altitude of more than kilometer beginning from alt. of 1320 merers, reaching alt. of 2370 meters for approx. 20 minutes:

      Some guys load bikes in the lift and after descend madly down to Borovets Resort along skiing tracks, but I do not believe it is a wise decision.

      It would be much better to do 2 2.30 hour walk to the pick. The walk is easy, a harder climbing is 30 minutes just before the peak. The scenery is amazing, you will not regret if you visit this place. If it is clear, the visibility in each direction is more than 200 kilometers.

      Have heavy factor skin cream and some cream for your lips because the sun high in the mountain is very strong.

      3. Belmeken Dam        Sector VII. B


      Next amazing place convenient for bicycling is the region near Belmeken Dam. The Dam is a part of an interesting hydro - electro - power system including several reservoirs and three electro power plants. The aim of the system is to supply BG electro-system with power in the pick hours of consumption working on a generate mode, and pump the water back in the hours of min power consumption.


      A detail description of the system:


      A kilometer from the Belmeken dam contra wall is placed Belmeken alpine Sports Complex (it is signed). Hotel and restaurant can be found out there:

      The blue triangles on the map are springs of drinkable water.


      There are several roads to reach Belmeken Dam: Route a: from Varvara; Route b: from Belovo; and Route c: from Poina A, and looking altitudes I have pointed on the map above, you can choose one of the routes (you can not be wrong exploring this area):

      - Route a

      from Varvara to Velingrad to Yundola Resort (E84) to Belmeken Dam.



    Varvara as a base point to explore Rodopi or Rila Mountain;

      My suggestion is to use Varvara or Vetren Dol) as a base point to explore this region.

      In Varvara there is a nice motel and swimming pool of thermal water there.

      Have only in mind that weekends in the summer time (June - August) this spot is overcrowded by relaxing tourists and there will be not free beds (Friday & Saturday nights) in the motel.

         There are another possibilities for overnight accommodation in Varvara or Vetren Dol.

      The left photo - a motel (" ") in Varvara (nice restaurant and small swimming pool are available here as well) - on the road coming from Septemvri, just after enter in Varvara (I recommend it);



      The right photo - a private home-hotel ( ) in Vetren Dol - on the road coming from Pazardzhik.

      The next three photos are the road from Varvara toward Velingrad.

      My suggestion is to avoid it this road especially up the mountain. Weekends there is a heavy traffic along this road segment - people love to spend weekends in Velingrad. To avoid it, it is much better to take on the narrow gage train in Varvara and enter in the mountain by it. Traveling with this amazing train is exciting! You can choose to travel by the train:

      A. from Varvara  to Velingrad;

      B. from Varvara to Avramovo narrow gage line station.


      Several words for Velingrad: is a place with a lot of thermal springs. Information for Velingrad:

      It is a known spa resort not only in Bulgaria. There are a lot of hotels of different quality; a nice place to stay for a night in is Hotel Iv (the 3 photos below). It can be found out easy, there is a nice small swimming pool of thermal water next to it, the place is clean, inexpensive, and the hotel restaurant offers nice meals. The staff is friendly, they have an experience with touring bicyclists.

      Several words and photos for the narrow-gage train Septemvri - Dobriniste.  As the traffic along the road N 84 between Varvara and Velingrad is intensive,  an appropriate way to enter in the mountain is the narrow - gage train serving the line Septemvri - Dobriniste.

      The red line on the map below shows places where the line is not next to the road.


      More information concerning this amazing train can be seen here:

      The narrow gage train can be taken on in Septemvri (at 8. 30 am), but my suggestion is to take it in Varvara (at 8.46 am). This place can also be used as an initial point to explore Rodopi or Rila Mountains. There are several reason to use this amazing train when you begin exploring Rodopi or Rila Mountains:

-          - I think there are no many such trains in the world. Its velocity is 25 30 km/hours, the scenery of the area it is going is marvelous as it can be seen from the photos below; Each year I travel by it at least one time;

-          - It is not a problem to load your bicycle in it (if bicyclists are more than 4 use different carts to load baggage (buy an additional ticket for the bike 1 EURO);

-          - Some climbing can be avoided: altitude of Varvara is 270 m., Velingrad 750 m., the highest point Avramovo line station almost 1300 m. My suggestion to tourists having a restricted time for touring is to take on the train and enter in the mountain. It will save some time which can be used later to visit more exciting places in the mountain;

-          -  you can take off the train: A. in Velingrad; or B. in Avramovo train station;

-          - In the opposite direction it would be unnecessary to travel by the train. The pedaling down the mountain along the line is very pleasant.

The line station in Varvara. The train from Varvara to Velingrad is here at 8. 46 am. Inside the cart - no problem to load your bicycle in it. The diesel engine - there are such engines made in Romania and former East Germany. At work since 1963.
Avramovo Line Station.
Avramovo Line Station - the highest on Balkans - alt.1267. There are a lot of tunnels along the line. Inside the engine - some time I arrange tourists to travel inside it.
The visibility in the engine is much better than in the cart, but it is not easy to arrange to travel in it.
In the mountain there are several serpentines of the line.  Velingrad Line Station.
Old steam engines can be seen in Bansko Line Station. Rocks on the line after powering rain. Some time in the mountain it happens ...

      There is one original steam engine still at work, it is used only when there is a group of tourists  paying in advance for such a traveling; See the video - speaking in Germans:

      As a conclusion, you can take off the train: A. in Velingrad;  or B. in Avramovo. In the first case you have to climb toward Belmeken Dam from Velingrad in the second - from Avramovo line station.


      A. if you choose to take off the train in Velingrad.

      The climbing from Velingrad toward Yundola (approx 18 km.), have in mind it is a sunny place. Water is available higher in the mountain near the crossroad toward Sveta Petka.


      Next three photos are from Velingrad toward Yundola.

      Yundola is a little mountain resort placed just on the border between Rila and Rodopi Mountains, overnight accommodation is possible there:


      B. if you choose to take off the train in Avramovo line station.

      You have to pedal 9 kilometers toward Yundola of first. The road is easy for pedaling, the view is very exciting.

Three photos from Avramovo line station toward Yundola.

      The climbing toward Belmeken Dam from Yundola is considerable. It is a high mountain area.

      Approximately in the middle of this distance there is a little restaurant - the last time ( July 2017) I toured in this area, on the grass near the restaurant there were more than 20 bicycles of a big group young bicyclists drinking beer there;  3 - 4 kilometers further there is a hut, food and overnight accommodation are available in it.

      Higher in the mountain there are nice place to set up your tent, I do not miss to spent a night there.

      Several photos from the area near the Dam. Drinkable water is available there. One more time I will mention that a kilometer from the Belmeken Dam contra wall is placed Belmeken alpine Sports Complex (the road toward is signed). Hotel and restaurant can be found out there:

      Once reaching the Dam, you can leave your bikes and visit the highest pick in the region - Belmeken Pick. A slow walk to the pick and back is 5 hours (it is not necessary to look for a track to the pick and back).

      An impressive view toward Pirin Mountain to south is revealed.

      The best year period to visit this place is July - August, but next several photos are taken in the extremely hot and sunny December '15.  An impressive view toward Balkan, Pirin Mountain and Thracian Field is revealed from the pick.

      - Route b: Belovo - Yundola:

      The stronger bicyclists can climb:

      from Belovo to Goliamo Belovo  to Yundola rezort (E842).

      The route is 26 km. permanent climbing, the traffic here is negligible. Bring some food with you. Beginning from Belovo,springs of drinkable water are available approximately after 4 km (just after leaving Golyamo Belovo), 9 km, 19 km and 23 km.

      The climbing begin from Belovo - a little town, where overnight accommodation is available. Unfortunately there is not English language Site for it.

      Fore kilometers further is Golyamo Belovo - the last place you can find food.

      Leaving Golyamo Belovo, you ill see a nice water spring. From the other side next to the river is maybe the only nice place for camp in the wilderness all along the road to Yundola.

      So, climbing hardly after it 20 kilometers turn after torn you will be in Yundola.

       - Route c: Sestrimo - Belmeken Dam:

      I would recommend this route up the mountain only for strong bicyclists loving to climb long distances. This road was constructed and purposed for heavy trucks working on the hydro cascade Belmeken - Sestrimo. It is because the slope is no more than 10% and it is constant all the distance. I pedaled this route only down the mountain, so I am not sure if drinkable water is available here. Bring water and food with you. Next  photos are from this area beginning with Belmeken Dam Wall.

      4. and 5. Rilski Monastery and the Fish's Lakes       Sector VIII. C

      Another place worth to be visited in Rila Mountains is Rilski Monastery. The Monastery itself and especially up the mountain - area near the Fishs Lakes, are more than amazing. Fortunately the motor road E70 is now in exploitation (Sofia - Blagoevgrad), so the traffic along road N1 is not intensive, so already exploring the region by bicycles is no more dangerous. the entire area is a national park - reserve:

      from Road N1 to Kocherinovo to Rila to Pastra to Rilski Monastery 31 kilometers up the mountain. Along the road there are 3 - 4 hotels & restaurants.

      As it can be seen from the road profile chart, the climbing here is not difficult (except the last 2 - 3 km just before the monastery).

      The first interesting place along the road are the sand pyramid next to Stob. The place is not so impressive as the sand pyramid near Malnik, but the place is interesting.

      The road toward the Monastery is in a nice conditions, usually in the weekends the traffic here is more intensive.

       There is a hotel and restaurant near the monastery, 2 - 3 kilometers further camp place with bungalows and restaurant.


      The Monastery played an important role in our history, more information about it can be seen here:

      Approx 7 km. further up in the mountain there is an asphalt road. It is very nice mountain area, the climbing here is harder. In the end of the asphalt road there is a small restaurant and bungalows.

      Further you can pedal up along off road towards the Fish's Lakes. It is in very nice condition for climbing, but for heavier bicyclists the back road down the mountain would be not so nice.

      The off-road is 8,6 kilometers (the last 2 kilometers are almost plane area), in its end there is a home, maybe a meteorology station. After it to the Lakes there is a track. Never mind it is not steep, it is not convenient for bicycling, especially for heavy loaded bicycles.

      You can leave bicycles at this home and walk to the lakes. The walk up to Fish's Lakes will be not more than 45 min up in the mountain.

      The last 2 photos above illustrate the end of the off road and the highest pick in the region - Iosifitsa pick, alt. 2697 m.

      Between the lakes is placed Fish's Lakes Hut, food and tea can be find in it. Overnight accommodation too.

      In the same region is placed so called the "Stinking" Lake. Never mind of the awful name, in fact it is very nice lake, the largest one in Rila Mountain, which is worth to be visited.

B.  Approaches toward Rila Mountains from Sofia.

     (Please, have a look in Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle)


      6. The route Sofia - Borovets Resort        AVOID ROAD N 82 from Sofia to Samokov !!!

      (see also the above mentioned route Dupnitsa - Kostenets (Sector VII. A).

      I see 3 relative save routes to reach Borovets Resort and the area of the Seven Lakes from Sofia:

 - Route a:

      from Sofia to Elin Pelin to Novi Khan to Vakarel  to Ihtiman to Kostenets to Dolna Banya to Borovets.

      Information concerning this route or can be seen above as well as in the Chapter II.  Crossing Bulgaria from west (Serbian border) to east (Turkey border - Edirne) and south (Greece border), Sector II. B, Point 6. (route C) Sofia Plovdiv Svilengrad Edirne.

      Here I will mention again that climbing the road segment from Kostenets to Dolna Banya to Borovets is long and not easy. I would recommend the first variant;


- Route b:

     from Sofia to Bistritsa to Zhelesnitsa to Kovachevtsi to Belchin to Samokov to Borovets.

      I have never bicycled the road segment Sofia - Kovachevtsi, but I can say that leaving Sofia in this direction is long and tedious, the traffic is terrible. There is traffic between Sofia Ring and Zheleznitsa especially in the weekends. I would not follow this route toward Samokov.

      A nice place to relax for a while here is Belchin:

- Route c:

      Bicyclists hating off road can miss this opportunity. In the raining and wet weather it will be nice to avoid this route. It is not appropriate for tricycles and recumbent as well.

This opportunity, according to me, to reach Borovets Resort from Sofia is much more exciting comparing with above described, unluckily the road segment in Vitosha Mountain: from Chyipetlovo to Yarlovo is not signed well off road.

      The route is:

      from Sofia to Vladaya to Dragichevo to Studena to Bosnek to Chyipetlovo to Yarlovo  to Kovachevtsi to Belchin to Samokov to Borovets.

       Dealing with this map,  Google map define this distance as 1h 58 min driving, which makes me laugh, because the road segment from Chuipetlovo to Yarlovo (sector VII. E) is off road, I do not believe it is possible to be driven by cars.

        The sector VII. D - 1 on the next map (sector VII. D) is a complicated crossroad: follow the blue line on the map below and you will miss the high way between Dragichevo and Studena (sector VII. D - 1).

          Food can be found in Bosnek and in Yarlovo.

      Again I will mention the nice place to relax for a while - Belchin:

      Sector VII. D


      On the left map I have shown altitudes beginning with Dragichevo.  And no way, just after Stydena up to the crosroad toward Bosnek you have to pedal along the high way approx 3 km. No alternative.

      After leaving the high way toward Bosnek (the first photo below), you will be in the scenic wilderness, no any traffic.   Up to Chyipetlovo there is no problem with the road except the crossroad towards Studena Dam. It is saved and closed zone, there is guard post, often dogs are running free. Never mind that dogs are not so dangerous, I always use my spray against dogs here.




      Another opportunity here is a nice track crossing Vitosha Mountain - the dashed green line:

      from Dragichevo to Rudartsi to Kladnitsa to Chuipetlovo,

(further there will be several words about it)

      Sector VII. D - 1

      Here is important to avoid the motor road A1, so I increase here the scale because the crossroad toward Studena is a little complicated.

      Here I have pointed Daskalovo Train Stop - more information I will give further - how to use a train from Sofia to Pernik, in other to avoid traffic from Sofia to Vladaya to Pernik

The rocky off road between Chuipetlovo and Yarlovo.

      An opportunity here is a nice track crossing Vitosha Mountain:

      from Dragichevo to Rudartsi to Kladnitsa to Chuipetlovo


      Unfortunately the road in Kladnitsa toward Chuipetlovo is not signed, although once finding it, no more problems to reach Chuipetlovo. I think, it would be better to avoid it without a guide.


      Maybe GPS device will work here, I intend to try it one day.


      The area between Kladnitsa and Chuipetlovo was a closed area, the forest is full of game - a reserve for communistic lords in the years of communism. Exploring this area in the end of December 2001, suddenly 21 black boars (6 of them were very big) crossed my track several meters before me. I was scared up totally, I had neither spray not knife, the only thing I did was to count them. I never visited this place again. Maybe it is not so wise to walk there.


      Vitosha Mountain is the oldest National reserve in Bulgaria. Information for the Mountain:


      Sector VII. D

      Just before entering in Chuipetlovo, you have to take the dirty road to right (the last 2 pictures above). Here and further up to the mountain ridge there is not any signs. I will only say, while climbing (up to the ridge) always take the left road.

         Once reaching the mountain ridge (the first 6 photos below), you will find easy the road towards Yarlowo - bike only down the hill.


        The back route from Yarlovo toward Chyipetlovo is not easy to be recognized.

       Sector VII. F

      The route from Yarlovo to Borovets is without any problems:

      from Yarlovo to Kovachevtsi to Popovyane to Belchin to Relyovo to Samokov to Borovets Resort.

      Be careful along the road segment E62 - the road is narrow, the traffic is intensive.

      It can be mentioned that close to Belchin there is very nice spa hotel - Google will help you to find out it.


      If you decide to explore this region, my suggestion is to take on a train: Sofia - Daskalovo (Sector VII. D - 1) . This will give you a possibility to avoid the very heavy traffic between Sofia and Pernik.

      There are a lot of train serving this line, in the morning there are not passengers traveling by it, so it is very easy to load your bikes in the train. Trains for Pernik, Radomir, Dupnitsa, Blagoevgrad, Petrich and Kulata work for this purpose.


      For the next route I would suggest you again to use this train, only take off the train in Pernik.

      (In the back direction my suggestion is to take on the train in Pernik back to Sofia. Afternoons trains are empty).

      Use the trains surrounded in green !!! There are reasons to do it.

    7. The route Sofia - The Seven Lakes & Rilski Monasteri

      Please, have a look in Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle.

      To avoid the Motor Road A3, my suggestion is to follow the route:

      from Pernik to Radomir to Dren to Dupnitsa (to Sapareva Banya to the Seven Lakes) to Kocherinovo (to Rila to Rilski Monastery).




      The Route:

      from Pernik to Radomir to Zhedna to Bobov Dol to Dupnitsa

is very nice as well - there is not any traffic along this route, next 3 photos are from this area. (An additional not so high mountain is between Zhedna and Bobov Dol).

      8. The route from Sofia to Kostenets to Varvara


      Please, have a look in:

- Chapter IX.  How to enter/leave Sofia by bicycle,


and in


- Chapter II.  Crossing Bulgaria from west (Serbian border) to east (Turkey border - Edirne) and south (Greece border), Sector II. B, Point 6. (route C): from Sofia to Plovdiv to Svilengrad to Edirne.

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