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The name of Mount Rila is most likely of Thracian origin. Originally the mountain was called Donkuka, then Dunak, Dounak and Donkas Mons (a Roman name). Later, the names Rohula and Rila, which means a multi-mountainous mountain. The name is well-founded – in Rila there are over 200 lakes and numerous mineral springs in the breakaway areas – Sapareva Banya, Dolna Banya, Kostenets, Banya and others. Many streams give rise to three of Bulgaria’s largest rivers – Iskar, Maritsa and Mesta. At the ridge of Rila passes the main Balkan watershed separating the catchment areas of the Aegean and the Black Sea.

Panichishte is located in the north-western part of the Rila Mountain, about 10 km from the town of Sapareva Banya and about 80 km from Sofia. Panichishte is situated at an altitude of about 1400 m and is known as a destination for both summer and winter tourism

In winter Panichishte offers good conditions for skiers and fans of winter sports. There is an alpine ski slope (470 m), a children’s ski slope (200 m) and several other ski slopes, all equipped with a ski lift.

There is also a long-running runway (5000 m) in the resort, a children’s ski slope with a “baby” lane. A special place is also reserved for downhill skiing along the track, 1130 meters long.

In summer Panichishte is the starting point for many pedestrian crossings. The resort borders with the Rila National Park and the lowest glacial lake in the mountain – Dry Lake. From Panichishte you can also get to the Rila Lakes (4 hours), the Rila Monastery (2 days), the Skakavishki Falls (3 hours) and others.

Panichishte offers accommodation in different categories of hotels, villas and chalets. The resort has a well developed sports base for practicing sports such as football, volleyball and more.

The proximity of the resort to Sapareva Banya, where springs the warmest mineral water in Bulgaria, makes it a preferred destination for both balneological and health tourism.

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