Beli Iskar Eco Trail in Rila Mountains

The Beli Iskar Eco Trail is a very good idea for a walk near Sofia.

Some time ago I told you that the eco-trail White River is one of the best made eco-trails I have walked till now. In this article I will tell you about another well-made and maintained path. It also bears the name of the river along which it was built. Its route meanders in the gorge of the Beli Iskar River (White Iskar) above the city of Samokov, on the outskirts of Rila National Park. The trail is equipped with a lot of wooden bridges over the river and rest zones.

Beli Iskar Eco Trail in Rila Mountains
Beli Iskar Eco Trail in Rila Mountains

If you look for a nice place to walk close to Sofia or have a chance to go to the area of Samokov, Govedartsi and the village of Beli Iskar, this is a good option for a light and pleasant walk with picnic opportunities. In the post below you will read useful information about accessing the trail and what to expect, accompanied by several photos.

The best time to visit the Beli Iskar eco-trail is spring and summer, especially in the heat – the route is generally in the shadows of the gorge, and additional coolness flows from the river.

The Beli Iskar River is considered to be the beginning of the Iskar River, which is the longest river that flows entirely in Bulgaria and the third among the rivers flowing on the territory of Bulgaria (after Danube and Maritsa).

Travel resources

You can visit some of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria via organized daily tours. Have a look here for several options from the biggest Bulgarian provider for day tours from Sofia – Traventuria.

Rent a car for your trip to Bulgaria from Top Rent A Car, the major car hire provider in Bulgaria with loyalty program for the returning customers. Click here to rent a car.

You can find the best accommodation choices at Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. Click here to look for the place to stay in Bulgaria.

How to get to the Beli Iskar Eco trail

The starting point of the route has approximate coordinates: 42.243470, 23.541089, and is accessible by car.

The trail starts 3.9 km after the village of Beli Iskar, about 11 km south of Samokov, and 70 km south of Sofia.

To reach the trail you pass through the whole village of Beli Iskar, following the main road and keeping to the right at all deviations. The asphalt road after the village is narrow and in some places quite dilapidated, but it is still passable by car. You pass near a small chapel to the left of the road – a sure sign that you are on the right road and that you approach the eco-trail. At the beginning of the trail there is a large parking lot to the right of the road and information boards – to the left of it.

Beli Iskar River (White Iskar)
Beli Iskar River (White Iskar)

On the path

Beli Iskar eco trail length is about 7 kilometers and it is is well marked.

Beli Iskar eco-trail - with a lot of bridges over the river
Beli Iskar eco-trail – with a lot of bridges over the river

The route is entirely located in the gorge of the river Beli Iskar and goes between the left and the right bank several times over stable wooden bridges. Sometimes it goes on the road that is parallel to the river. All the time this road serves as a good orientation for you even if you lose the blue markings.

One of the bridges
One of the bridges

The trail is generally circular, but de facto it initially moves upstream, reaches a small shelter and then returns downstream.

Eco-trail Beli Iskar - the shelter
Eco-trail Beli Iskar – the shelter

Do not miss – on the way back, after the bridge number 8 there is a turnoff to the left of the road with a climb to a panoramic place with beautiful views of the river, the road below, and the opposite high hills with scary stone screes.

The trail is walked for about 2-3 hours in total, not counting the breaks.

Other interesting places nearby

Very close to the village of Beli Iskar is located the resort of Borovets. A lot of routs in the high parts of Rila start from the resort. Some of them include:

  • to the hut Chakar Voyvoda,
  • to the Yellow lakes,
  • to the hut Musala and the peak Musala,
  • to the peak Irechek.

If you look for easy eco trails in Rila Mountains, then read my articles about the Goritsa waterfall and about the Black Rock.

Enjoy the incredibly charming Seven Rila Lakes

A full-day trek into the Rila Mountains to the most picturesque area near Sofia and one of Bulgaria's most beautiful natural sites, the Seven Rila Lakes. More info here.

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