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Rila Natural park is situated in Rila mountain. Rila is the highest mountain on the Balkan peninsula. It occupies an area of 2 629 sq. km and average altitude - 1484 m. Rila is divided into 4 parts: Northwestern part (Malyovishki) - the highest peak there is Golyam Kupen (2 731 m); Middle part (Skakavishki) with the highest peak Cherna polyana (2 716 m); Southwestern part with the highest peak Angelov vrah (2 643 m) and Eastern part (Muselenski) with the highest peak Musala (2 925 m). On the height of 2 200 m there are many glacial valleys and rapids. There are 190 glacial lakes in Rila Mountain. Maritza, Mesta, Iskar, Rilska Rivers spring from Rila Mountain.

Rila Natural park was declared protected territory in 1992 on an area of 81 046 hectares. There are 4 reserves on its territory: "Central Rila Reserve"; "Ibar"; "Parangalitza" and "Skakavitza". They spread on 20 % from the territory of the park. On the territory of the park there are spruce, white pine trees, fir-trees and etc. There are also bears, wolves, different kinds of eagles, owls, lizards, viper and etc.

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The Rila Natural park is situated on the territory of the towns: Belitza, Blagoevgrad, Razlog, Simitli, Yakoruda (Blagoevgrad district); Dolna Banya, Kostenetz, Samokov (Sofia district); Sapareva banya, Dupnitza (Kyustendil district); Belovo (Pazardzhik district).

Parangalitsa Reserve

Parangalitsa Reserve

"Parangalitza" Reserve was declared protected territory in 1933 on an area of 1 509 hectares. On an area of 200 hectares there is century old spruce forest. Some of the trees are 60-65 m high. On the territory of the reserve there are also many siberian juniper trees, endemits and rare plants."Parangalitza" is a biosphere reserve. It is situated in the vicinities of the town of Blagoevgrad, Blagoevgrad district.

"Ibar" Reserve is situated in the vicinities of the town of Kostenetz, Sofia district. It was declared protected territory in 1985. It was widened in 1992. The reserve occupies an area of 2 248, 60 hectares.

"Central Rila Reserve" was declared protected territory in 1992 on an area of 12 393, 70 hectares. It is situated in the vicinities of the town of Samokov, Sofia district.

"Skakavitza" Reserve was declared protected territory in 1968 on an area of 70, 80 hectares. It is situated in the town of Sapareva Banya, Kyustendil district.

Rila Monastery Natural park along with Rila Natural park is part of the only one natural complex in Bulgaria which consists of 2 protected territories. It was established in 2000 on an area of 27 270, 7 hectares aiming to preserve plant and animal species. The appearance of the park consists of "rocky rainbow" which includes peaks: Zliyat zab, Iglata, Kupenite, Lovnitza, Orlovetz and Elenin vrah; steep channels and avalanches. There are glacial lakes in the high mountainous areas of the park. The first lake from the group of "Dyavolskite Ezera" (Devil's Lakes) has the highest position (2 445 m). The Suhoto Lake has the lowest position (1892 m).

On the territory of the park there are common beech, oak tree, spruce, fir-tree, maple, sycamore and etc. The yew trees, oak trees and aquatic hornbeam trees are very valuable. In the upper zone thrive maple trees. On the height of 2000 m there are eagles, larks, alpine thrush, wild goats. In the thick century old forests there are woodpeckers, bears, 16 kinds of bats.

On the territory if the park is situated the reserve "Rilomanastirska gora" next to the Rila Monastery. The park was named after the Rila Monastery. It is situated in the vicinities of Rila municipality, Kyustendil district.

"Rilomanastirska gora" Reserve was declared protected territory in 1986 on an area of 3 676, 5 hectares. The forests in the reserve are 120-200 years old. There are many endemic and relic flora species. There are 74 kinds of birds here. Vertebrate animals on the territory of the park are: bears, wolves, wildcats, Balkan wild goats.

The Seven Rila Lakes are glacial lakes in Northeastern Rila Mountain. The Salzata Lake (The Tear) has the highest position (2 535 m). It occupies an area of 0,7 hectares and a depth of 4, 5 m. "Okoto" (The Eye) is the deepest lake from the group with a depth of 37, 5 m and area of 6,8 hectares. The other lakes from the group are: "Bliznaka", "Babreka", "Trilistnikovoto ezero", "Ribnoto", "Dolnoto ezero". "Dolnoto ezero" collects the water from the other lakes which flows into the Dzherman river.

Elenskite Lakes small group of 3 lakes in Southwestern Rila Mountain. They are situated between Malyovitza and Eleni peaks. It has an enlarged shape on an area of 1,4 hectares and a depth of 5 m. It is situated on 2 472 altitude. The rest of the lakes are smaller and have an irregular shape.

Dyavolskite Lakes (or Dzhendema Lakes) are a group of 7 glacial lakes in Middle Rila Mountain. The are situated on an altitude of 2 294-2 445 m. They flows one into another. From Dyavolskite Lakes springs the Dyavolska river, left tributary of the Rilska river.

Kanarskoto Lake is a glacial lake in Middle Rila Mountain. It is situated on an altitude of 2 270 m. It is a shallow lake with round shape and occupies an area of 2, 19 hectares.

Karagyol Lake situated in Northwestern Rila Mountain, northeast of Golyam Polich peak. The lake is almost round and occupies an area of 5,25 hectares. The lake has been connected with "Kalin" dam since 1953.

Seven rila lakes

Musalenskite Lakes are situated in Eastern Rila Mountain. The biggest ones of them are Karakashevo lake and Alekovoto lake. The Karakashevo lake occupies an area of 2,62 hectares and a depth - 6,6 m. The Alekovoto lake occupies an area of 2,39 hectares and a depth - 14,5 m. The Ledenoto Lake has the highest position. It is situated on an altitude of 2 709 m. It occupies an area of 1,8 hectares and a depth of 16,4 m. From September to June the lake is frozen. The Borovetzka Bistritza river springs grom Musalenskite Lakes.

Marichinite Lakes are 2 glacial lakes situated in Eastern Rila Mountain. The upper Marichino Lake occupies an area of 2,2 hectares and a depth of 11 m. It is situated on an altitude of 2 378 m and is surrounded by steep, rocky shore and rocky bottom. The lower Marichino Lake occupies an area of 1,1 hectares and a depth of 5 m. It is situated on an altitude of 2 368 m. The Maritza river springs from these lakes. Maritza is the largest river on the Balkan peninsula. The river flows on the territory of Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece.

Smradlivite Lakes are a group of 6 glacial lakes in Middle Rila Mountain. One of these lakes is the biggest glacial lake in Bulgaria. The lakes have grassy shores with rocky bottom. There is trout in the lakes.

Ribnite Lakes are 2 glacial lakes in Middle Rila Mountain. The bigger one is the Gornoto Ribno Lake which is situated on 2 225 m altitude. It has an oval shape with low shores. It occupies an area of 17,6 hectares and a depth of 6 m. An overflow was built between the two lakes. The Dolnoto Ribno Lake is situated at 2 210 m altitude. It has closed low shores. It occupies an area of 4,7 hectares and a depth of 8,9 m.

Skalishkite Lakes (or Redzhepskite Lakes) are 2 glacial lakes in Middle Rila Mountain, in the southern foot of Skaletz peak. The lower lake is the bigger one. It is situated on 2 336 m altitude and has an oval shape. It occupies an area of 3,66 hectares. The Skalishka river, which is left tributary of the Belishka river, springs from Skalishkite lakes.

Urdinite Lakes are a group of 6 high mountainous lakes in Northwestern Rila. The second and the fourth lakes have a tectonic origin and the other ones - glacial origin.The first Urdino lake flows into the second one. The rest of the lakes form the Urdinska river, tributary of the Cherni Iskar river.


Yakorudskite Lakes are 7 lakes in Eastern Rila Mountain. 4 of them dry up in the summer. They are situated between Kavach and Suha Vapa peaks. The highest and the smallest one is Ottochnoto Yakorudsko Lake. It flows into Ribno Yakorudsko lake. The biggest and the deepest one is Martvoto Yakorudsko lake. It occupies an area of 4,27 hectares and a depth of 16,5 m. The Golyama Banenska river, tributary of the Byala Mesta river, springs from Yakorudskite Lakes.

Dyavolskite igli are rocky formations in Western Rila Mountain. They are situated at 2 580 altitude on the bank between Beliya (White) and Dyavolskiya channel.

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