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Essential information

Getting to Rila Mountains

By public transport, the easiest ways to the Rila Mountains are through Rila village (for the monastery and surrounding hiking trails) or Samokov (to reach Borovets ski resort). Buses to Rila leave from Sofia's Ovcha Kupel bus station (22 lv, two hours). For Samokov, board a bus from Sofia (6 lv, 1¾ hours, hourly) or Plovdiv (7 lv, two hours, four daily); from here you can take a minibus to Borovets (1.30 lv, 20 minutes, hourly).

Roads to both Rila village and Borovets are well maintained. Those beyond these primary tourist draws tend to be potholed and with plenty of sharp bends.

Health and safety

Insurance

  • Comprehensive travel insurance to cover theft, loss and medical problems is highly recommended.
  • Some policies specifically exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving, motorcycling, skiing and even trekking: read the fine print.
  • Check that the policy covers ambulances or an emergency flight home.
  • Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
  • If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.
  • Paying for your airline ticket with a credit card often provides limited travel accident insurance – ask your credit card company what it is prepared to cover.
  • Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
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