The Seven Rila Lakes (Bulgarian: Седемте рилски езера, romanized: Sedemte rilski ezera, pronounced [sɛdɛmˈtɛ ˈriɫski ɛzɛˈra]) are a group of glacial lakes, situated in the northwestern Rila Mountain 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 are a tourist attraction in Bulgaria because of its natural environment. The lakes are located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades. Tourist accommodation in the lakes' vicinity include a chalet on the northeastern shore of The Fish Lake, at an elevation of 2,196 m. The most common 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 can be severe. The lakes usually freeze during October, and do not 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|
View of the Seven Rila Lakes
Dolnoto, Ribnoto, Trilistnika and Bliznaka
- "Седемте рилски езера". Българска енциклопедия А-Я (in Bulgarian). БАН, Труд, Сирма. 2002. ISBN 954-8104-08-3. OCLC 163361648.