Sapareva Banya’s Hot Springs


A friend of mine had told me about Sapareva Banya (Сапарева баня), a small town located south from Sofia, where Europe’s hottest geyser is located (103ºC). Throughout the whole winter we had been speaking of visiting this place, but for some reason we never did. Maybe I was too busy traveling, or maybe our schedules just didn’t match. What I didn’t know is that Bulgaria is Europe’s number 2 region with the highest density of thermal water springs (after Iceland).

The Geyser. This photo was shot in July during my 2nd visit to Sapareva Banya

22nd April 2017, that was the exact date of my first visit to Sapareva Banya. We drove from Sofia in the morning and I recall it as being the last day of snow. It was perfect for a visit to Aqua Club Kotvata, which was exactly the place we had been planning on visiting for a really long time.

An admission fee of just 10 leva (5€), grants you full access to all mineral pools with different temperatures. Entertainment also takes place. There is a climbing wall, a pool that imitates the current of a river, geysers, a water bar and much more.

The view makes the experience a lot better! Sapareva Banya is situated at the foot of the Rila Mountain. If you’re thinking of hiking the Seven Rila Lakes, this is the best route leading to the lift that will take you to Bulgaria’s most famous group of lakes. From the Aqua Club you can witness the mountains covered in white while you relax.

One of the hottest pools at Aqua Club Kotvata

Swim through the hole on the wall and you’ll reach the bar!

Watching the snow falling in the water and instantly melting was magical. Our heads were covered in snow while our bodies were enjoying the warm water.

Later on, we left the complex and we had a late lunch at a restaurant named “Sedemte Rilski Ezera” which literally translates to “The Seven Rila Lakes”. Finding a restaurant was not an easy task, there aren’t many restaurants and the few that were open didn’t appeal to our taste. After our meal we drove back to Sofia, knowing that the winter season was over, but planning on going back next winter.