Not far from Dupnitsa at the foot of the Rila Mountains on the road to Samokov you will see signs for Saparevo and Sapareva Banya.
The spa town that claims the hottest mineral spring in Europe, with a geyser that erupts at 104°C every 10 seconds or so filling the air with its distinct sulphur smell, has to date avoided commercialisation and is still mainly a resort for locals. The local mineral baths have been renovated and make for a good few hours' entertainment. The outdoor pool complex can be entered behind the hotel/restaurant and offers about 15 pools of different size and temperature. A recent extension means they also now have a small indoor pool and cafe area, making it less of a scary prospect for the winter. Entrance fees in 2016 were 10 leva for adults and 4 for children. The indoor spa has a small, very hot pool on the lower floor and a selection of saunas, steam baths, etc on the upper floor.
From Sapareva Banya you can take the winding mountain road with its spectacular scenery up to Panichiste (approx. 1500m), where you will find a visitor centre with information on display regarding the flora and fauna of the Rila National Park. The chair lift up to the Seven Rila Lakes also starts here. Make sure to get here early on a nice summer's day as the queue can get quite long.