The pretty health resort village of Banya is situated amidst a large park at the foot of the "Sashtinska Sredna Gora" mountain. It is located near the geographic centre of the country in the Valley of Roses, between the Balkan and the Sredna Gora mountains. It is easily reachable by car, train or bus. Banya is 155 km away from Sofia, 47 km away from Plovdiv, 10 km away to Karlovo, Hissar and Sopot. The closest airports are Sofia or Krumovo (Plovdiv).
The beaches, swimming pools, sport complexes, balneological hotels and rehabilitation establishments in the town create wonderful conditions for pleasant summer holidays and tourism. The fans of the Bulgarian wines may sample the quality drinks produced by the famous "Rose Valley" winery.
The remains of an ancient village prove that the town was used for hydrotherapy in ancient times. There are 9 hydrothermal sources. The little town of Banya offers excellent opportunities for all year round complex balneological and climate treatment of joint, neurological, gynecological disorders and prophylaxis.
There are plenty of mineral springs and the place was populated even in the new Stone Age. In the region are to be found many Thracian burial mounds, which testify to the existence of Thracian settlements in the area. Later, during the period of Bulgarian Revival was developed the production of rose, spearmint and lavender oils, as well as wine-growing. After the Liberation, the two Bagarov brothers, who were contractors, came to the town and constructed three factories for rose oil distillation and holiday houses in the area of the thermal springs.
Boris III and His Palace
The summerhouse of Tzar Boris III /King of Bulgaria/ with its picturesque yard-garden, lovingly called by the locals "The Palace" is located in the town of Banya. In 1927, Tzar Boris III took a cure for rheumatism in the country house of the manufacturer I. Bagarov. Pleased with his stay, he decided to build up a Tsar's estate. It was located in a country yard with luxurious furnishings and was finished in 1929. The small architectural complex covers an area of 10 decares, 7 of which belong to the park. The villa is built in the Bulgarian Revival architectural style - with a large porch and wooden columns. The complex has two additional smaller buildings - one for the guests and one for the servants. A massive stone wall with two oak doors surrounds the whole villa.
The park covers 500 decares. King Boris III had a passion for plants and he began to build his own park in Banya. With his help, the landscaping began and the first poplar trees were planted around 1938. The larger planting of vegetation and trees in the park was started around 1955. The area was originally marshy and tons of sand were needed to make the land good for planting. There are lots of exotic trees here including Ginko Biloba, Red Oak, Black Pine and Acacia. The park is a peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature. You will feel a complete sense of safety and serenity, as you walk among the trees and listen to a variety of birds that live there.
Two hills - "Momini gardi" can be seen from any point in Banya which look like girl's breasts, hence the name. A thousand years ago Banya was a lake. People tied their boats up to side of the "girl's breasts" and on the summit there was a Thracian town. In the region are found many Thracian burial mounds, which testify to the existence of Thracian settlements in the area. If you climb up the hills the view at the top is incredible. You will see all the surrounding villages - Karlovo, Vedrare, Kurtovo, Vasil Levski village, Sushisa, Domlian, Prolom, Voiniagovo, Dabene and Gorni Domlian.
Aside from the beautiful mineral water pools, the river is another reason to come to Banya. Along the river bank is a well known tourist attraction called "Tepavitsa"; a water driven machine for washing rugs used in olden times. Plus there's a fishery, and a pheasant and ostrich farm. In the river, you'll find bream, trout and pike and fishing is permitted. There are also fishing facilities at the dams of Mihiltsi (4 km) and Domlan (8 km).
Winter lasts from November to the end of February. Days are mild, dry, clear and sunny with some snowfall. Snow never stays long though because of the underground hot springs. Day time temperatures are generally around 5 degrees C. Spring lasts until the end of April with balmy temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius. Summers are hot, approximately 30-38 degrees Celsius. There is no "best" time to come to Banya because each season brings its own particular charm and the pools are relaxing and beneficial both during the warm and the cold seasons.