Panichishte is sports and recreation centre for various sports. Some of the most varied ski facilities can be found here. It is also one of the most inexpensive ski resorts in Bulgaria.

Panichishte Resort


Panichishte resort is located 1,350 meters above the sea level and lies on the border with Rila National Park. The natural beauty of the Northwestern part of Rila is unforgettable. It is located in Rila mountain, near the town of Separeva Banya (also a spa resort), and not very far from the town of Dupnitsa. This is not only a ski resort, but also a sports and recreation centre for various sports. Some of the most varied ski facilities can be found here! It is also one of the most inexpensive ski resorts in Bulgaria.

Sports & recreation

The Panichishte Resort offers optimal conditions for physical training in all varieties of sport (1300m. - 1600m. altitude). There are Alpine ski-tracks for sleigh contests. Football, volley ball, basketball and other teams, can take advantage of the beautiful terrain of the "Dry lake" training area. Competitors in swimming and tennis can use the swimming pools and tennis courts of the local hotels.


Panichishte is attractive for the comfortable chalets, hotels and holiday houses.
Via the marked tourist paths you can get to the Skakavitsa, Lozan and Vada chalets and to Sedemte rilski ezera (the Seven Rila Lakes).
Downstream of the Bistritsa River mountaineers can reach the Byal kladenetz (White Well) and Ivan Vazov chalets. The trip to Skakavitsa chalet lasts about two hours.
The route prolongs to the Seven Rila Lakes, to the “Rila Lakes” chalet and the old “The Seven Lakes” chalet. The place is suitable for skiing with belts trips, skiing on unbeaten snow and descending through the forests. In the evening you can enjoy sauna in Panichishte. Sapareva Banya is on the way to Panichishte.
The road from the town to the resort site is cleaned regulary and there is also a regular minivan that can take you there. The history of Sapareva banya is connected with the mineral springs the town has been established nearby. Once, this Roman town has been a key stop on the road from Macedonia to the Black Sea. Here is the warmest mineral spring and the only geyser on the Balkans that erupts. The geyser appeared in the 60s. At present interesting for sightseeing are the excavated ruins of the ancient town of Germanea and the medieval church “St. Nicola”.

Panichishte Visitor's Center

The Rila National Park Visitor’s Center in the Panichishte Resort was created with funding from the PHARE Program of the European Union under the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Water. It is patterned after some of the most famous centers found in reserves and national parks around the world. It is the first such park center created in Bulgaria. As Panichishte is the largest natural opening to the heart of Rila Mountain there is no doubt that here the visitors’ center is on the right spot. Many of the most popular hiking trails on Rila start or pass through Panichishte. Trails to the Seven Lakes, Skakavica Reserve and Waterfall, Malyovitsa, Borovets and the most spiritual and cultural monument in Bulgaria- the Rila Monastery. The focus of the visitor's center is to offer visitors all the information they may require concerning National Park Rila. It also serves to acquaint visitors with the rich variety of plant and animal species that live on the mountain through educational materials, programs and events connected to the natural environment.
The center also helps to promote ecologically sensitive tourism and awareness of activities within the park boundaries. The center was designed to attractively fit its location and blend with the natural silhouette of the mountain.
At the Rila National Park Visitor’s Center you can arrange discussions concerning the local flora and fauna, watch films, find necessary information regarding tourism trails on Rila, organize mountain guides, make reservations or simply have a coffee or tea on the terrace cafe. Maps, postcards, souvenirs, film and toiletries can be purchased in the small store on the first floor. Newspapers and magazines are also available here. The visitor's center is simply the heart of Panichishte and should not be missed!

How to reach Panichishte

Panichishte is easy accesible through a winding road from Sapareva Banya.
The road from Sapareva Banya to Panichishte is cleaned regulary and there is also a regular minivan that can take you there.

Ski centre in Panichishte

During the winter Panichishte offers good conditions for skiers and winter sports fans. At their disposal are an alpine ski path (470 meters long), ski path for children (200 meters) and a several other paths, all of them equipped with a tow rope. The resort has got a long run path (5,000 meters), children’s ski ground with a baby lift. Special attention is paid to sledging on a runway, 1,130 meters long.

Available at the resort are the following pistes:

Bekyara:length of 470 m, equipped with a tow rope with a capacity of 280 people per hour. Base located directly across from Restaurant Elenite.

ski slope of 400 m and tow rope with a capacity of 250 people per hour. It also includes the children's "Baby Ski Run".

Cross-Country track:
located just below the Dry Lake training area. This run will soon be equipped with shooting platforms for biathlon training.

Near Pionerska Hut:400 m. ski run with tow rope with capacity of 350 people hour capacity. Also includes a sledding run of 1130 m.

Near 7 Lakes Hut:
300 meter ski run with a tow-bar drag with capacity of 250 people per hour capacity.

Near Rila Lakes Hut:
950 meter ski run with a tow-bar drag with 700 people/hour capacity. Ski equipment rentals as well as tuition by qualified ski instructors are available at the resort. In the near future a 2-chair lift will start operating from Pionerska chalet to Rila lakes hut, with total length of 2200 m and capacity of 960 persons per hour.

Recommended hotels

Panichishte is attractive for the comfortable chalets, hotels and holiday houses.

    During the summer Panichishte is a starting point for many hiking routes.

    The resort borders the Rila National Park, and the lowest glacial lake is in the region – Suhoto Ezero (The Dry Lake).

    - The Seven Rila Lakes (4 hours from Panichishte) are a group of glacial lakes, situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains. Govedarski is one of the starting points for walking tours to this place. The lakes are well-known for their beauty not only in Bulgaria but also in Europe. The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres above sea level.

    - The Rila Monastery – 2 hours.

    Sakavishki Waterfall – 3 hours.

    - Strashnoto ezero (the Scary lake) is located at 2,465 m above sea level and at 4 hours walking distance from the Malyovitsa Hut.

    - The town of Sapareva Banya (about 10 km) is a village famous for its mineral water springs, swimming pools and spa hotels.

    Comments Panichishte

    • Adam Nelson From USA
      Sent on 07 February 2011
      Panichishte is the most amazing ski and spa resort that i ever seen.