Lake Iskar :: Bulgaria's Largest Inland Lake
Summer Fun on Lake Iskar for the Entire Family
Lake Iskar is Bulgaria's largest inland lake and can be likened to an inland sea in fact. Stretching for 15kms along the main Sofia-Borovets road, it is an impressive sight. Being 30kms south of Sofia, it means that the lake is a magnet for tourists, particularly in summer time. In summer and particularly at weekends, the sides of the Samokov-Sofia road will be lined with tourists having picnics, enjoying swimming and boating etc.
It without a doubt adds to the total all year dimension to the beautiful Borovets region. Why go to the coast when you have the sea AND skiing here?! Just 30 mins from Sofia, the location is spot on as there is public transport (bus stops at a number of places on the route) and you access Sofia, Samokov and Borovets.
With private coves and bays, you will have many choices when trying to find a private area to spend a few hours with family and friends. The most popular restaurant has a large terrace where you can enjoy the fabulous cuisine and gaze out over the breathtaking view of Lake Iskar.
Boat Rentals & Wind Surfing
Nearby, boats and pedalos can be rented and you can take a trip right out into the lake. Because the weather is very moderate here and the lake is well protected from the elements, you will very rarely have waves. This makes boating particularly good for those who are inexperienced or with families.
For those wanting something a little more extreme, windsurfing is done further down the lake (near the Sofia side). This is not done all year round (due to some ice in deep winter) but from about April until October, it should not be a problem to windsurf. Other watersports like jet-skiing, water-skiing are also readily available.
Horseback Riding, Hiking & Jeep Safaris
Near to Lake Iskar are the famous Iskar stables. Here you can take horse-rides around the lake and also up into the Iskar mountains with qualified instructors. The four day trip that the stables offer is a truly great experience- you visit everywhere from Lake Iskar to the Seven Rila Lakes and the Rila Monastery. Jeep safaris are also on offer in the region and you can visit parts of the lakes that are particularly hard to access, particularly on the Ihtiman side which is virtually untouched.
A good challenge for any keen mountain walker is a trip around the lake. This normally takes about two days due to the sheer scale of the lake but on the Ihtiman side, it is unlikely you will meet anyone, the vistas are breathtaking and there are plenty of places suitable to camp.
Fishing in Pristine Lake Iskar
Lake Iskar is probably the fishing mecca of Western Bulgarian! All year you will find keen fishermen on the shores and in summer time, with the beautiful weather, there is even more. Because Lake Iskar is completely free of pollutants is constantly supplied with fresh clean water, fish thrive in the lake, particularly trout, bream, pike and carp, which have been known to grow to very substantial sizes. The majority of fishing is done in the Lavandula region, at the Samokov end of the lake.