Beyond Rila Monastery, a narrow yet absolutely charming minor road wends its way deep into the Rila nature park. At first, the road follows the stream lined with a few inns, then it rises in hairpin bends through the forest of the same name, protected since 1986. Conifers and beeches thrive in this peaceful place. Ramblers can walk along marked footpaths, but bear in mind that panels are often written in Cyrillic. Fortunately, specialised organisations can prepare your itinerary.