Bulgarian Mountains :: Rila National Park
One of the youngest Bulgarian national parks, covering nearly half of the Rila mountain range, Rila's national park is renowned for the Seven Rila lakes, a hiker's paradise. The scenery is breathtaking and here the visitor can find peace with the sound of the water flowing over the rocks in the many streams and rivers.
National Park of "Rila"
The scenery in the Rila National Park is breathtaking and here the visitor can find peace with the sound of the water flowing over the rocks in the many streams and rivers. Bear, wild boar, red deer and several species of eagle are just a few of the animals to be found, while the fauna is a delight both for the amateur and professional.
The National Park "Rila" is located in the west part of Bulgaria in the Rila mountains. The average height of the peaks is about 2 700 meters, and includes the highest peak in Bulgaria, Mount Musala (2925m).
There are four reserves which are included in the Park – "Parangalitza", "Central Rila Reserve", "Ibar" and "Skakavitsa". All these reserves are a part of the system that represents ecosystems in Bulgaria and Europe.
An important factor for the development of the educational tourism in the National Park of "Rila" are the archeological, historical, architectural and cultural monuments and places in the Park and in the region. Many of them are found in the contact zone, such as the Seven Rila lakes. These lakes are part of 120 glacial lakes, located in groups in the high mountain areas. Three of the highest and longest rivers on the Balkan peninsula – Iskar, Maritsa and Mesta originate from these lakes.
Many cultural monuments of national importance are also found in the park: The remains of an ancient Roman road in the place of "Pomochena polyana"; The Municipality of Kostenetz; the St. Todor Stratilat church – art monument (the village of Dolno Dragalishte); the St. Georgi church ( the town of Belovo) – architectural and art monument.
The main entrances in the National Park of "Rila" are the resorts - Borovets, Panichishte, Malyovitsa, Semkovo, Belmeken and Kostenets. The National Park of "Rila" attracts thousands of visitors, providing them access to much of the beauty of the Rila Mountains.
There are rock walls (to the north of Malyovitsa, Zlia Zab, Orlovets) and they give the opportunity for practicing extreme sports, such as mountain climbing. Next to the Park's border are the ski resorts areas of Borovets and Malyovitsa.
Flora and Fauna
There are four plant zones in National park of "Rila" : beech, forest, prickly, sub -alpine. Wood, bush and grass vegetation participate in its composition. The forest vegetation is present mainly by the coniferous types.
The fauna of the Park is represented mostly by the spinal animals – 178 species, which are of National, European, and World significance – wild goat, brown bear, wolf, wild cat, weasel, and squirrel. The bird kingdom is also very rich – 99 species, including: the imperial eagle, small eagle, cock of the wood, and a black woodpecker.