The town of Sapareva Banya is situated on the Northern slopes of Rila Mountain in the Southwestern part of Bulgaria, approx. 2 hours drive from the city of Sofia. The region is rich in popular tourist destinations some of which are the Seven Rila Lakes, the Skakavitza Reserve and Waterfall.
Sapareva Banya is known for its cool, clean mountain water and is famous for its unique geothermal mineral spring in the very center of the town, surrounded by a large park and restaurant of the same name. Here you can find the hottest mineral water in all of Europe (103 C) and the only active geyser in the Balkans spraying water 18 meters into the air every 20 seconds. Be sure to visit the geyser at night when the colored lights at its base create a striking effect.
Sapareva Banya Health Center is a short walk down from the geyser. Its services are preferable by patients with diseases of the upper respiratory system, nervous system, bones, joints, and skin for over 50 years. Here work specialists in mud treatments, hot water massage and physical therapy. The Sanatorium complex also contains an outdoor mineral water pool for use during the summer season.
In recent years the town of Sapareva Banya has been improving its tourism infrastructure including new sidewalks, cafes and hotels constructed in the center of the town and along the main road leading to the nearby mountain resort of Panichiste. Sapareva Banya's transformation into a nice resort has been due largely to its proximity to Sofia and its growing opportunities for mountain, ski, religious and spa tourism.
Panichishte Mountain Resort is located 8 km away from the town of Sapareva Banya and offers optimal conditions for physical training in all varieties of sport, including football, volley ball, basketball, swimming, tennis, etc.
Panichishte resort offers accommodation on several hotels and hostels; a ski run of 470m equipped with a tow rope with a capacity of 280 people/hour; ski slope of 400m and tow rope with a capacity of 250 people/hour along with children's Baby Ski Run; crosscountry distance training run, which is to be equipped with shooting platforms for biathlon training.
Additionally, there are 400m ski run with tow rope of 350 people/hour capacity, a natural sledding run of 1130m, a 300m ski run with a tow rope with 250 people/hour capacity and a 950m ski run with a tow rope with 700 people/hour capacity. Ski rentals and instructors are available at most locations.
Panichishte is the largest natural opening to the heart of Rila Mountain. Many of the most popular hiking trails on Rila (to the Seven Lakes, Skakavitza Reserve and Waterfall, Maliovitza, Borovets and The Rila Monastery) start or pass through Panichishte.
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