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Beli Iskar Eco Trail – a pleasant walk in the woods

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Beli Iskar ecotrail - wooden bridgesBeli Iskar Eco trail is like a stroll in the park – easy, relaxed and refreshing walk. It is suitable for one day trip from Sofia for people who don’t like or can’t do hikes, but still want to enjoy the forest.

The trail is winding among the stream of Beli Iskar River, with nine wooden bridges build above the river. The landscapes alternate from valleys with narrow gorges, interesting rock formations, old coniferous forests and crystal water of the river. There is also a shelter built at the one end of the route. The altitude is around 1200 meters all the time and there isn’t any parts that requires any climbing, except the Eagle eye which you can skip.

The length of the trail is about 9 km, which takes about 3 hours in a round route. The route can be excellent choice for families with small children. If you have enough time you can organise a picnic in any of the designated areas.

How to reach the Beli Iskar eco trail?

The trail is located in the Rila Mountain near the village of Beli Iskar, which is about 5 minute drive from the city of Samokov. See here how to get to Samokov.
The beginning of the trail is about two kilometers from the center of the village which is not it its best condition, but still works. You can also walk to the starting point.

As any other location reachable by car, here you will also meet other folks enjoying the mountain. It’s not as crowded as at is at Musala or Malyovitsa huts, and there is enough room for everybody and you will not feel disturbed. Most of the people are coming here to picnic, so probably from the middle of the trail you will meet only a few people.

Several bridges a built above the Beli Iskar river

One of the bridges

The flow of Beli Iskar river

The bridges are crossing the river at several places

The path in the forest

The Eagle Eye panoramic terrace

The eagle eye is а panoramic terrace with a nice view of the river gorge. It is situated at around 1500 m attitude. You can skip this part of the trail, but if you are in for it, make sure not to miss the path deviation. The hike to the terrace is no more than 15 minutes and it’s worth the detour. From there you can easily return to the main road.

A view from the Eagle eye terrace

The Eagle eye panoramic terrace

How much time will you need and when is the most convenient time to visit the Beli Iskar eco trail?

The most convenient time to visit is during the summer and beginning of autumn. If you departure from Sofia, you can make it as one day trip. You won’t need any special gear, but make sure to bring food and water with you or buy some along the trip (always support the local business). If you go there in spring or during rainy season, you will need at least waterproof boots.

A place that I can recommend to grab a bite is the Sweet and salty diner. It is a multi-cuisine restaurant with homemade (and some home grown) food in the center of the Beli Iskar village.

The owner is a sweet lady that will passionately tell you everything about the menu. The village is the last place you would expect to find dishes like black rice with shrimps, but you will be in for a nice treat for your empty stomach.
Beli Iskar eco trail can be also combined with a visit to Borovets or Malyovitsa which are only few kilometers from there.

It is prohibited to light a fire at some parts of the Beli Iskar eco trail

Keep from fire! It is prohibited to light a fire at some parts

The crystal water of Beli Iskar river

The crystal water of Beli Iskar river

Century-old trees of Rila mountain

Century-old trees of Rila mountain

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