Home » Explore Bulgaria » Nature
Mountains | Lakes | Sea | National Parks
Glacial lakes are most numerous in Bulgaria. There are about 280 of
them, located in the high mountain zones of the Rila and Pirin Mountains.
Most are situated at altitudes of 2,200-2,400 m, the highest lying lake
- Ledenika Lake in the Rila Mountains - being situated at an altitude
of 2,715 m.
lakes freeze around October and melt in June. The ice cover can be up
to two metres thick. In summer they get their water from the melting
snow-drifts on the mountain screes and peaks. Most of them flow into
wild streams from which the big Bulgarian rivers - Iskur, Maritsa and
Mesta - take their course.
These lakes either form separate groups or are located singly.
are about 190 glacial lakes in the Rila Mountains. Most of them are
scattered in circuses, but there are also a number of large groups of
lakes: the Ribni (Fish), Malyovitsa and Moussala lakes, the Seven Rila
Lakes, etc. Their depth varies between three and 40 meters. Okoto Lake
(The Eye) is the deepest - 39 m. Average visibility is from 6 to 15
The Pirin Mountains boast about 158-164 lakes, covering an area of
180 hectares. The larger lake groups include: Demyanitsa and Bunderitsa
and the lakes along the Sandanska Bistritsa and Retizhe rivers. Average
visibility is 15 m.
The champion of the Pirin lakes is Popovo Lake, also known as the "Pirin
Sea". Located in the largest circus, it covers an area of 12.4
ha and is 480 m long and 336 m wide. The small rocky peninsula Popova
Kapa, a popular tourist target, is located in its northwestern part.
The best known group of lakes in the Rhodopes are the Smolyan Lakes.
They are located in the Western Rhodopes. Seven in all, they are amphitheatrically
situated. The natural phenomenon Orlovi Skali (Eagle's Rocks) rises
in the vicinity.