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Southwest Bulgaria > Doupnitsa > Surrounding areas

Surrounding areas of Doupnitsa

The resort town Sapareva Banya is 15 km south-east from Doupnitsa in the foothills of North-Western Rila. It is built on the place of an ancient Thracian settlement, which in Roman time grew into the town Germanea. The fortress of Germanea was restored by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great (6th century). The main Roman road from Kyustendil via Samokov and Plovdiv to Tsarigrad passed through it. The fortress walls found there reveal the importance of the settlement. The St. Nikola Church from the 12th century is a sight of interest. Sapareva Banya is the birthplace of Velizarius - a renowned leader of Emperor Ustinian (527-565). The present and the past of the resort town are linked with the curative mineral springs. The temperature of the water varies between 57o and 100oC, and a 10 metres high gazer of 103.8oC, erupted recently in the process hydrological studies - the hottest spring in Bulgaria and extraordinary rare for Europe. Illness of the bones, joints and the locomotion system, as well as the peripheral nervous system can be treated with it.

There is a Tourist Hostel in Sapareva Banya - Verila, 400 metres to the west of the road for Doupnitsa, close to the spa. It is a complex of 13 two-room bungalows with 2-3 beds. There are several sanatorium in the town, where overnight is also possible, as well as several family hotels. Every hour there is a bus connection with Doupnitsa (at the bus station), as well as with Samokov and other settlements in the region. A private minibus to Panichishte Resort starts several times a day from the centre. There is a marked 2 hours long hiking trail. From Sapareva Banya one can set out for the St. Stefan Monastery (1.30 hours, 6 km along an asphalt road and a trail) and to the Ovcharenski (Shepherds) Waterfall of River Goritsa (1.15 hours, 5 km along an asphalt road and trail). The resort is one of the most frequented outgoing points for North-Western Rila. Reaching from here Panichishte Mountain Resort (1350 m above sea level) one may set out in various directions to the numerous tourist chalets in the region - Pionerska Chalet (1 hour), Lovna Chalet  (2 hours), Skakavitsa Chalet (2-2.30 hours), Rilski Ezera Chalet (2.30-3 hours), Vada Chalet (2.30-3 hours), the 7 Rila Lakes Chalet (the most beautiful lake circus in Rila, 3-3.30 hours), Ivan Vazov Chalet (6-8 hours) and others. The resort Panichishte is situated in the surrounding of beautiful old coniferous forests. There are many recreation facilities, profilactoria, big, modern information centre, ski-lift with a good ski-run and several hotels - Bor, Pondera, Doroteya, Zdravets, Lira, Temenuga, CSKA, etc. There are many catering facilities, offering delicious Bulgarian cuisine. The lowest-lying glacier-lake in Rila, the Suhoto Lake is located in the vicinity of the resort.

From villages near Doupnitsa interesting mountain passages across North-Western Rila can be made to the villages of Bistritsa (at 1.30-2 hours distance along an truck road to the  Samokovishteto Waterfall of River Bistritsa), Samoranovo (along a marked trail to Otovitsa Challet for 3.30 hours), Ressilovo (along unmarked tracks to Mt. Golyama Sivriya, Mt. Malka Sivriya, Mt.Kabul and others), Ovchartsi (for 30 min along Goritsa River, there is a cascade of 7 waterfalls and the penultimate, the Ovcharenski Waterfall is 39 metres high.). All villages are linked by regular town transport.

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