Although many visitors see Bansko primarily as a winter
destination, the summers here are magnificent too. The town is steeped in
history both from its successful merchant days and its latter Turkish rule
and fight for freedom. Bansko offers an array of activities and is a
great base for visiting a number of locations where saints, legends and
mythological characters were born including:
An amazing climb through the rocks to see the river dropping
into the underworld. Tons of wood vanish into this cave every year never to
reappear. Legend has it that this is where Orpheus returned to the underworld.
A small town on the Greek border where Spartacus, the Thracian
Slave who launched an uprising against Rome, was born.
The location of a small chapel where the recently cleaned walls
showed an unknown old fresco depicting the last supper. The fresco clearly
shows Mary Magdalene at the side of Christ painted long before the famed
Michael Angelo version. It is believed that the Templars visited this site and
it is linked to stories of the Holy Grail.
This monastery is the holiest site in Bulgaria and a frequent
place of pilgrimage. It is located high in the forest of the Rila Mountains. It
is also possible to walk to the cave where St. Ivan Rilski spent his days in
isolation as a hermit.
This is a major wine growing area famed for the sandstone
pyramid rock formations unique to this area, in addition to its famous wine
cellars and vineyard.
Originally a Thracian settlement, latterly falling under the
rule of the Greeks, Romans and Turks, Plovdiv is a beautiful city with some of
the most visible Roman ruins in Bulgaria, including the amphitheatre and a
chariot race track.
In a small clearing between Bansko and Dobrinishte a small Roman
settlement has been found and archaeologists are in the process of excavating
The mountains provide some of the most accessible walking in
Europe with a large number of trails and 176 crystal clear mountain lakes.
Close to Bansko is the Baikushev Pine, the oldest tree in Bulgaria, which is
more than 1,300 years old.
A beautiful forested sanctuary on the slopes of the Rila
Mountains created for the ex-dancing bears of Bulgaria and Romania.
Dobrinishte to Septemvri Narrow gauge railroad
This 106 kilometer railroad, now over 100 years old, passes
across the Rila Mountains taking in some breathtaking scenery, numerous
bridges, loops tracks and 35 tunnels.
White Water Rafting
The season for white water rafting now runs from the end of March
to the end of June. Grade 2 - 5 trips are available in Bulgaria. The rivers
Struma and Mesta offer varied rapids in the Bansko Area.
Horse riding and quad biking tours
Available from various sources in and around Bansko, an
interesting way to explore the outstanding mountain scenery.
There is an excellent open air thermal mineral pool in
Dobrinishte, opened in 2007.
A very popular hot spring is found in Banya, bring your swim suit
and also a warm coverup if you are going in the winter!
Bansko Jazz Festival
The Annual Jazz Festival is a popular event that now attracts
large numbers of enthusiasts and well known players. It has become a major
summer attraction and is held the first week of August each year.