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The Samokovska Valley is located between several mountains - Rila, Plana, Vitosha, Verila, Ihtimanska Sredna Gora - 950 meters above sea level. The Iskar Rivers goes through the heart of the municipality. The area comprises 185 sq km land, most of it being hilly.

There are a few hills in the heart of the valley. One of them is called Rido and is turned into a town park spreading up to the Dybova Glava peak. The location of the city determines the climate of the area - not too hot summer and mild but long winter. The climate is moderate continental but influenced by the high mountain. Precisely Rila mountain blocks the wind and severe snowfalls making Samokov a rather pleasant winter destination.

The Samokov valley is rich of water supply. It includes the longest river in Bulgaria Iskar with its main feeders Cherni and Beli Iskar.

The town of Samokov is situated 60 km south-east of Sofia, 40 km east of Doupnitsa, 36 km south-west of Ihtiman, 37 km west of Kostenets and 12 km north-west of Borovets Resort. There are 6 more resorts in the region, 2 of them being of international significance.

The population is 28228 residents with the majority being Christian Orthodox.

The advantageous geographical location , the diverse mountain relief, the specific bio climate conditions, the multitude of water sources are just some of the conditions that determine the tourism and the forestry as main priorities for development.

The rich cultural and historic heritage , the cultural monuments , the national park Rila , the biggest natural reserve in Bulgaria - Central Rila Reserve add to the many options for tourism.


Samokov emerged during the 13-14th century on land that was inhabited since prehistoric times. The medieval town was built on the site of a Roman settlement. It became important because of the iron processing and the mining. During the Ottoman rule it was under the protection of the Sultan as quality iron mining was a valuable asset for the empire. All residents had the same rights as the Turks and were hired in workshops and building sites. The blacksmiths' shops were equipped after the Western European standards with large fans and big hammers moved by water. Those hammers were called samokovi and that's where the name of the town comes from.

During the national revival era the town was one of the largest crafts, trade, cultural and economical centers.


  • The town historical museum which preserves material connected with ore mining, as well as rich collection of embroidery, fabrics and stitching from Samokov
  • The metropolitan church of the Assumption - the work of local masters: builders, woodcarvers and icon painters - a remarkable architectural and artistic monument
  • Belyova Church of the Birth of the Virgin (15th - 16th century) - a cultural monument with precious murals
  • Bayrakli Mosque built in the 16th century and rebuilt in the mid 19th century
  • Nunnery (convent). Founded by local residents during the 1770s.The Holy Virgin's Church was built in 1839.The masterful fretwork, with which the icons and bishop's throne are decorated, is of particular interest.
  • The large drinking fountain from the 17th century
  • Belyova House, Sarafska, Zografska, Drenska, Mandrova Houses
  • The Otets Paisiy cultural club, a nationa revival Monument
  • Monuments: in tribute to the fallen in the wars of 1912-1918, in tribute to the fallen in the Tursko-Russian Libarating war, to the first printer Nikola Karastoyanov, to the first publisher Konstantin Fotinov and many others
  • St Spas Monatsery (located 3 km away from the village of Alino), established at the beginning of the 17th. Its small single-corpus church has preserved a large amount of murals from the time, which are of high cultural value.
  • Belchinskite Mineralni Bani (Mineral Baths) - a balneological resort near the Palakaria River with a water temperature of 41.5 C. The baths are situated 10 km from the Alino Monastery of the 16th century. All kinds of muscular-skeletal system diseases are treated in here.
  • Dolna Banya resort with many holiday centers and children's camps. The temperature of the mineral water is 56.3 C.
  • The mountain resorts of Borovets, Malyovitsa and the village of Govedartsi are very close to Samakov. This determines it is a main winter tourist destination. The oldest winter resort in Bulgaria - Borovets has history since 1896. Today Borovets is the biggest and most modern resort in the country with a multimillion projects for expansion. One of the most talked developments is the Super Borovets Project which should extend the ski tracks to the outstanding 100 km.