Near Samokov are located Malyovitsa resort and the villages Beli Iskar, Govedartsi, Madjare, Mala Carkva, which are becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination. They are located in the beautiful and wild valley of the Iskar River.
These villages are the starting point for walking tours in Rila for picking rare berries – blueberry, wild strawberry, wild raspberry, herbs, mushrooms.
Govedartsi is a village with 1385 inhabitants and ranks first in population after Samokov. The village is located in the zone for the Rila National Park, along the river Cherni Iskar. It is located in Govedarski valley 1,329 meters above sea level. There is a ski run with length of 1,700 meters, which is served by a single lift. Over the village is Malyovitsa peak and the village is one of the starting points for reaching it. From Govedartsi start the routes to Vada Hut (2 hours walk), hut Mechit (1 hour), hut Lovna (3 hours), mountain school Malyovitsa. Through Vada hut can be reached the Seven Rila Lakes hut.
Malyovitsa resort is located in the northwestern part of the Rila mountain, 27 km from Samokov. Permanent snow ensures skiing in the winter. Two lifts provide access to the slopes for good average and advanced skiers. Malyovitsa is a well known place in the Bulgarian mountain climbing and hiking. At the foot of Malyovitsa peak is located Malyovitsa hut starting point for trips to the top. From the hut to the top of the glacial valley leads marked trail, part of the international tourist route E4. The area around Malyovitsa peak and the slopes of valley of the river Malyovitsa are avalanche dangerous and should be passed with caution during the winter season.
Beli Iskar is located at the foot of Mount Mussala with incredible nature for ecotourism and rural tourism. The village is located 7 km south of the town of Samokov and 10 km from Borovets. The Village Beli Iskar has a population of 850 people and is situated at an altitude of 1130 m. It is on the most strategic place in Rila. From here start attractive routes to Mussala peak at altitude 2,925 m – the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, to Malyovitsa, hut Vada, Seven Lakes, hut Chakar Voivoda Yastrebets, hut Granchar, Palace “Tsarskal Bistrica” and Borovets. Every year the local tourist association organize the traditional “Feast of the Rila zelnik” and rock festival “Rock in Rila”. One kilometer above the village of Beli Iskar starts “Central Rila Reserve” – one of four reserves in the National Park “Rila”, included in the List of Protected Areas of the United Nations.
Ecopath Beli Iskar
Ecopath Beli Iskar is located right at the entrance of the Rila National Park. The name is same as the name of the river, which winds along its entire length. Besides picturesque scenery, the length of the ecopath is 7.5 km, displacement is small – 300 m, it is easily accessible and abounds with recreation areas. Suitable for young children. The trail starts just after the end of the village Beli Iskar. Route is closed and passed for more than two and a half hours. Along the trail were built seven bridges that cross the river Beli Iskar. The longest of them is a bridge № 4. The highest point of the trail – 1380 m Here are the typical for the area strawberry, scented geranium, yarrow, thyme, bilberry. Using the information plaques are identified plants that can be seen: Balkan broom pansy, red avens, stitchwort ball, Icelandic Moss, reclining sandwort, deer bell and many others. It is home of the golden eagle and the wild cat.
Botanical trail “Friends of the plants”
In the place of meadow Yavorova over Govedartsi is the first botanical trail in the country, called “Friends of the plants.” Inaugurated on October 5th, 2002. The route leads from the lawn to the area Yavorova Urdina circus. It will allow for three hours to get acquainted with the main tree and shrub species, grasses and herbs, peek into rock crevices near streams, in the shadow of the spruce and white fir forest. There are nine viewpoints, which can be observed on average over 60 species of higher plants. Unique relict flora and fauna and a wealth of endemic species determine its high conservation value. The park is a habitat for plant and animal species listed in the World Red Book, the European list of rare, endangered and endemic species, the Red Book of Bulgaria kind of application of international conventions to which Bulgaria is a country. Opportunities available in the park overnight existing huts and shelters. In the park there are 17 chalets with about 1,500 beds, which for the most part managed by the Bulgarian Tourist Union. In addition, built four tourist shelters used in bad weather.
Hunting economy “Iskar”
The farm is located about 20 km east of Samokov and is situated on the right bank of the dam lake “Iskar”. They breed here deer, roe deer, wild boars, wolves, bears, foxes, mouflon, and several species of birds. In addition to frequent guest-hunters farm is visited by many tourists, with special programs:
- Fishing in the internal micro dams
- Riding thoroughbred horses / East Bulgarian breed /
- A picnic in the reserve
- Two-, three-, four-and eight-day tours on horseback to Borovets, Saragyol, Malyovitsa 7 Lakes and others.
- Photo safari tour of the farm, with trained guides that game ends with dinner in the hunting lodge.