7 waterfalls in Bulgaria that will take your breath away

As a mountainous country renowned for its water resources, you can bet Bulgaria has some amazing waterfalls! The majestic waterfalls of Bulgaria may not be as well-known as the Niagara Falls or Iguazu Falls, but they are still perfect places to visit as part of an adventurous hike or on a more relaxed picnic trip.

From the highest in Southeastern Europe to some of the most picturesque, here come 7 waterfalls in Bulgaria that will take your breath away!

1. Thunder of the mountains: Skakavitsa in Rila

Thunder of the mountains: Skakavitsa in Rila

Thunder of the mountains: Skakavitsa in Rila

Around 70 metres high, the Skakavitsa Waterfall is among the main tourist attractions in the Rila Mountains. Skakavitsa (Скакавица) flows dramatically down from the eastern slope of Kabul Peak, at an elevation of 1750 metres above sea level. Due to its high-mountain location, the Skakavitsa Waterfall freezes every winter and is at its peak in spring. Then, the melting snows feed it with huge amounts of water and turn it into a thundering cataract.

As the Seven Rila Lakes are a two-hour hike away, it’s a great idea to combine Skakavitsa with a visit to Bulgaria’s most famous lake group.

  • How to get there: Skakavitsa Waterfall is less than half an hour away from Skakavitsa Hut in Rila National Park. Travel by bus or train to Dupnitsa and catch a local bus to Sapareva Banya, then make your way to Skakavitsa on a four-hour hike from the town via Pionerska Hut.

2. Balkan record holder: Raysko Praskalo

Raysko Praskalo (Райско пръскало) literally means “a heavenly spray” in Bulgarian, and this waterfall does indeed look like one. Situated deep in the Central Balkan National Park, Raysko Praskalo may not be big in volume… but at 124.5 metres, it’s the highest permanently-flowing waterfall in the Balkans!

Here’s a tip – visit Raysko Praskalo during spring or autumn to see it in its proper size. If you go in high summer, you may be disappointed by the small amount of water flowing down from the imposing rocks.

  • How to get there: Raysko Praskalo is located just next to Ray Hut above the town of Kalofer. Get to Kalofer by train or bus from Sofia or Plovdiv and start your challenging four or five-hour trek from the Panitsite area.

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Lake Elena in all its glory en route to the summit

Conquer the Alpine pinnacle of Malyovitsa on a heroic hike in Rila

In this series I present amazing hikes in the Bulgarian mountains – all of them personally tested and tried – to enjoy the most unforgettable trekking experience in Bulgaria!

Rila, located in the southwest of Bulgaria, is the highest mountain range in the Balkans and all the way from the Alps to the Caucasus. Rila is relatively compact and very walkable even for inexperienced tourists, with a large variety of entertaining trails to choose from.

It is no coincidence that Rila’s name means “well-watered mountain” in the ancient Thracian tongue – the mountain range is abundant in groups of scenic glacial lakes, mighty waterfalls and hot mineral springs (including a boiling geyser!) to discover.

  • In a nutshell: single-day summit hike, 6-8 hours there and back
  • Getting to the starting line: In summer, plenty of buses go to Samokov and then to Malyovitsa from South Bus Station (avtogara Yug, автогара Юг) in Sofia. If no direct buses are available, you should get to Samokov and arrange transport from there (some 25 km away).
  • Accommodation: not necessary, but there are options at Samokov, Govedartsi, Malyovitsa Ski Centre and Malyovitsa Hut
The forested foothills of Rila from above Malyovitsa Hut

The forested foothills of Rila from above Malyovitsa Hut

The Malyovitsa ridge doesn’t rank among Rila’s highest parts, but with its 2729 metres (8953 ft), it’s quite a challenge nonetheless. What it impresses most with, however, are the steep pyramidal peaks of the eponymous Maloyvitsa and its little sister Little Malyovitsa – the former one a proper ascent you can pride yourself on.

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