Musala in Rila, Bulgaria - The Highest Peak in the Balkan Peninsula

If you want a place with weak or no phone coverage, if you want to go to the highest place on the Balkans, if you are a nature lover, the next place is totally suitable for you and your short but memorable walk.

Musala is the highest peak of South-East Europe and on the Balkan Peninsula. It is situated in the Eastern part of the Rila Mountain that has a landscape reminiscent of the Alps. It rises to 2925 meters, and its conquest is an achievement as it is ranked seventh in the Most prominent mountain peaks in Europe. The name derives from "Mus Allah" ("the mountain of Allah"), named during the period when Bulgaria was part of the Ottoman Empire. 

Best period for hiking there is from mid-June to mid-September. There are many ways for conquering the Bulgarian Everest and it all depends on the amount of time you have and, of course, your physical condition. For the more experienced hikers, even a day is enough to go up on the peak and return. This is only possible if you are using the lift from Borovets. If you want to experience all the way up, you should try it without the lift but keep in mind that you have to stay somewhere overnight. You have the opportunity to stay in the Musala Chalet or in the Ledenoto Ezero Chalet and continue the long walk the next day. Moreover, this way you do not have to rush and have more time to enjoy the incredible views.

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One of the most popular routes starts from Borovets resort:

Stage 1: Lift from Borovets to Yastrebets hut;

Stage 2: Walking from Yastrebets to Musala chalet;

Stage 3: Walking from Musala Chalet to Ice Lake;

Stage 4: Climb from Ice Lake shelter to the top.

And there you are – on the top! You can see all highest peaks of the large massif of Rila and highest peaks of Pirin massif and Rhodope mountains. Also, few beautifully Rila Lakes can be seen.

If you wish, you can always join the tours organized by tour operators, most of which provide a transfer from Sofia with an English-speaking guide. It is very important, however, if you decide to go with friends, to explore carefully the route, to have food and water with you, to check the weather forecast immediately before going there, and to have the necessary equipment.

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Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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