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Hotels in Beli Iskar, villas. Skiing at Borovets. Rural and ecotourism in Rila.
Beli Iskar is located just a kilometre from the Central Rila Reserve and 10 km from Borovets, at the foot of the Mount of Musala, at 1130 m asl. It is situated 65 km south of Sofia and 7 km from Samokov. It emerged from the settlement of blacksmiths from nearby villages who produced iron from the Beli Iskar River. Because of its strategic location and beautiful scenery, nowadays the village attracts many tourists. The most famous landmark in the region is the Rila National Park, established for the protection of several ecosystems and numerous cultural and historical monuments of national importance. It is especially attractive for hiking considering its network of maintained trails, huts and shelters. Two European tourist roads - E4 and E8 pass through it. The diversity of plant and animal species is rich as some of the species are endangered or endemic to the area. There are hiking routes to Musala that start from Beli Iskar, as Musala is the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, at an altitude of 2925 m. There are also trails to the peak and ski resort of Malyovitsa, Vada Hut, the Seven Rila Lakes, Chakar Voivoda, Yastrebets, Granchhar Hut, Tsarska Bistrica Palace, Borovets, etc. An eco-trail with the name of the village goes along the upper waters of the river and crosses it by 8 large and 5 small bridges and then reaches a panoramic terrace overlooking the tributaries of the Beli Iskar River that have the same names as the valleys in the area. The historical area of Demir Kapia is situated near the village of Beli Iskar, too, where there was a large outbreak of fighting during the liberation from the Ottoman yoke. In the village, there are a few preserved historic fountains and wells - the Voinishko Cheshme, Kadan Well and Belyov well. Another local attraction is the Church of the Assumption, built in 1847. According to village stories Yavorov married Lora there in 1912. The cave located 5 km south of the village, called Kamenna Koliba, is also associated with Yavorov. There he was meeting Yane Sandanski. In recent years there is a modern and interesting tradition occurring in the village - an annual summer festival of Rock in Rila is held here, gathering the Bulgarian rock bands from across the country. The hotels in Beli Iskar are basically family ones. Many private homes work as guest houses in Beli Iskar and often self-contained holiday villas are offered, too. Overall, the accommodation base in the village is well developed; the hotels in Beli Iskar are a good alternative to those in Borovets and Samokov.
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