The villages at the foot of Vitosha mountain - Bistritsa, Simeonovo, Dragalevtsi, Boyana and Knyazhevo - have become hugely popular residential areas not only with the expat community but also for ‘new rich’ Bulgarians.There is an amazing array of modern luxurious villas, so that Vitosha has been nicknamed the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Sofia. The Vitosha National Park can be accessed from any of the villages and there are plenty of marked paths, some heading up the mountain, others being on the flat. There are also several good restaurants to be found in this region, so even if hiking is not your thing, a trip to these areas may well be worth it.
Of cultural interest are the Boyana church and the Dragalevtsi Monastery, which dates back to the mid 14th century (approximately 40 minutes walk from Dragalevtsi Square along the Aleko Road). The large reservoir in the village of Pancharevo attracts crowds at the weekends, offering a gentle walk along its banks, rowing or fishing. There is also an open-air mineral water pool, Korali.