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Mountain Tourism: Maliovitsa

Maliovitsa - Pictures Of Bulgaria
Maliovitsa is a smaller resort in comparison to Borovets but there is no other place not only in the Rila Mountain but also in the whole of Bulgaria, which can compare with its beauty and grandeur. It is situated within the Maliovitsa sub-part of North-Western Rila at about 1,700 metres above sea level. An asphalt road connects it to the village of Govedartsi (13 km) and to the town of Samokov (27 km). There is a regular bus transport to the village of Govedartsi and once per day - to the town of Samokov, too.

Maliovitsa is a symbol of Bulgarian alpinism and mountaineering and a natural base for alpine sports. Along with the sublime mount of Maliovitsa, a dozen of other Alpine peaks rise within the region, turning the Maliovitsa sub-part into a preferred place for high-mountain rock climbing and hiking in Bulgaria. One of the most beautiful high-mountain lakes on the Balkan Peninsula - the Strashnoto Ezero (the Frightful Lake) - is located in its proximity, too.

The School for Training of Qualified Staff in Mountaineering Sports was established here during the 1950s. It is unique of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula and is specialised in training mountaineers, hiking and ski instructors, mountain leaders, ski-tourism instructors, etc.

A number of marked hiking itineraries start from the resort and advance towards North-Western Rila - some of these lead to the Ivan Vazov Chalet (7 hours), the Ribni Ezera (Fish Lakes) Chalet (9 to 10 hours), the Rila Monastery (6 hours), the Strashno Ezero (Frightful Lake) Shelter (3 hours), the BAK (Bulgarian Alpine Club) Shelter (2 hours), the Vada Chalet (1.30 hours), the Lovna (Hunters) Chalet (2.30 to 3 hours), the 7 Rila Lakes Chalet (8 hours along the ridge and 5 hours under it), the Mechit Chalet (4 hours). The Maliovitsa Chalet (including an old and a new building, as well as wooden bungalows) is situated at an hour-walk from the resort against the stream of the Maliovitsa River. It lies at over 2,000 metres above sea level and here one can find accommodation and have a freshly cooked meal.

The Mount of Maliovitsa can be climbed along a marked path for 2 to 3 hours of leisurely walk. There are several ski- runs and ski-related facilities within the region.

The number of places of accommodation is relatively limited here. The Maliovitsa Hotel has the greatest number of beds (180). It offers also a restaurant, a discotheque, a coffee bar, a games hall, a souvenir shop, a ski-equipment rental and safekeeping services. The Training Centre has a lower number of beds, with the rooms being for four people and more. The centre has its own restaurant at self-service, a bar, a sports hall, a man-made Alpine wall, and a museum of mountaineering. There are a lot of small coffee shops scattered around the Mecha Polyana (Bear Meadow) where one can have a drink and a meal or just relax listening to nice music. There is a post of the Mountain Rescue Service in the building of the Training Centre, too (tel.: 07125 2382).

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