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Vacation in Rila during all seasons

БНР Новини
Photo: imagesfrombulgaria.com

For a great number of people the Rila Mountain in Bulgaria is synonymous with purity, crystal clear springs, fresh air filled with the scent of pine forests and endless views of snowy peaks. This is a piece of paradise very close to civilization. The mountain is a real treasure for those who love nature and hundreds of routes invite us to get acquainted with one of the best preserved eco systems in Europe. Tourists also enjoy the region during all seasons.

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Local municipalities have also paid efforts in this direction and recently created a joint project for the development of tourism with the financial support of European funds. Three municipalities on the territory of the Rila Mountain - Samokov, Dolna Banya and Sapareva Banya rely on unspoiled nature, mineral springs and cultural heritage in order to attract more guests during all 4 seasons. The fact that several nature reserves with unique flora and fauna exist in the region, is sufficient to get a backpack and hit the steep paths. Compared to other Bulgarian mountains, Rila is harsher and less accessible.

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A number of rivers spring from the mountain, including Iskar, Maritza and Mesta. That is why environmentalists say that water is one of the greatest treasures of Rila. There are a great number of mineral water springs in the foot of the mountain. Belchin Bani, Sapareva Banya and other towns have successfully developed into spa centers. Hotels offer a wide range of programs for rejuvenation, weight loss, etc. Moreover, the hotels operate all year round, so one can always enjoy a relaxing vacation in nature. But what about the cultural heritage in the region?

The Ressilovo convent of the Shroud of the Virgin Mary

A great number of monasteries located in the most beautiful places of the mountain, enjoy the interest of tourists. Among them are reclusive Resilovo nunnery dating back to 1932 and the Alino Monastery, founded in the 16-17 century, which used to be a literary center during the time of the Revival. The ruins of the Alinsko Kale medieval fortress, dating back to the 11th-14th century are also situated nearby. The newest tourist attraction is the Belchin Banya village with the rebuilt ancient fortress of Tsari Mali Grad that includes a renovated early Christian basilica, a medieval church, etc.

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In the summer months the mineral water pools in the area, as well as opportunities for rock climbing and horseback riding attract many tourists. Rural tourism in Rila has old traditions. Samokov, Govedartsi, Mala Tsarkva, Beli Iskar and Madzhare are some of the most popular places where one can stay in a rural guest house and enjoy the natural way of life. Marked trails link all tourist sites in the region, says Lyuboslava Yarlovska, coordinator of the project.

"The area on which our municipalities are situated has a diameter of about 55 km, which allows for tours of various lengths. There is sufficient number of hotels and guest houses, too. Not just in the renowned ski centers like Borovets and Panichishte, but also all across the mountain tourist can find a cozy place to spend the night. Tourist information centers in the municipalities provide detailed information about the tourist sites and accommodation offered in the area. A number of foreign guest also visit the mountain. People have become more interested in mountain and rural tourism, and in this respect Rila offers a great number of opportunities."

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: BULFOTO and BGNES

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