The Balkan Peninsula’s highest peak – Musala – rises at 2925 metres of altitude in Rila Mountain. It belongs to Rila National Park and is part of the 100 National Tourist Sites. Despite its impressive height, the peak is comparatively easy to ascend at least compared to its counterparts in Pirin and the Balkans – Vihren and Botev. The Borovets cable car service gets visitors to Yastrebets. From there a dirt road leads to Musala chalet and the last of the Musala Lakes. The road from the chalet up to the summit takes about two hours and passes by the third and considered the most beautiful of the seven Musala Lakes – Alekovo Lake. From the lake it takes an hour to get to the Ledenoto ezero (The Icy Lake) shelter and then, 30 minutes later, you reach the summit itself.
In bright weather Musala favours its visitors with spectacular views – from there you can see the grayish slopes of Pirin, the Balkans, Vitosha and the green Rhodopes. A working meteorological station and a scientific laboratory are situated on the peak.
Few understand the meaning behind Musala’s name. It is considered to originate from the Turkish “Mus Allah” or “Allah’s mountain”. The peak also used to bear the name of Proto-Bulgarian god Tangra while during Socialism it was known as Stalin.