As usual, in December I respect the blog’s tradition to distinguish the most interesting sights in Bulgaria I have visited during the year. Take the list below as advise and wish for 2019!
Arbanassi: church of the Nativity
The Church of the Nativity in Arbanassi is extremely interesting for its architecture and mostly for its frescoes taking a total area of 2000 square meters – on walls, vaults and ceilings. The features in these frescoes are thousands.
The church was built in the 16th century. It has a complex architecture, as it has been upgraded and modified several times over the years. The church is currently a museum and the entrance ticket is 6 BGN.
Waterfall Skoka near the village of Kaleytsa
We visited the Skoka waterfall in mid February. It was very picturesque – so plump and lush, its waters fell into a small lake, green like an emerald.
The trail to the waterfall starts after the village of Kaleytsa, just next to the bridge over the river. The walk to the waterfall takes about 45 minutes. It is not difficult to reach it, but keep in mind that to see the falls close, you have to cross the river twice – no bridges there.
The church in the village of Berende
At the end of February we visited the small St. Peter Church near the village of Berende, Dragoman municipality. It is a monument of culture and it is quite authentic. The temple was built in the years of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom – in 13th or in 14th century. The frescoes inside the church are pretty well preserved, despite their age. They are the most valuable in it.
The church is located in the outskirts of the village of Berende. There is a trail to it. It takes 15 minutes of walking to get to the church.
Suvcharsko Praskalo waterfall
Suvcharsko Praskalo is one of the tallest waterfalls in Stara Planina Mountains with a direct drop of water of 54 meters. The waterfall is very beautiful, although it is not much open for sightseeing because it is in a dense forest. Its waters fall from a tall rocks and rush down into the river, throwing cold splashes far away.
The path to the waterfall starts from the village of Hristo Danovo. It takes about an hour and a half of walking to go to the waterfall.
Devil’s trail in the Rhodope Mountains
Devil’s trail is one of the most interesting Rhodopean eco trails. The route is circular, with a longer and a shorter version, respectively Large circle – 10.2 km and Small circle – 3.8 km. In case you do not have enough time, you can walk only the part of the route between Borino and Yagodina Gorge, which includes the most interesting places on the path – the Devil’s Bridge, the hidden waterfalls and the many wooden bridges and stairs.
The Small Circle route passes through the beautiful gorge of the Chatak Dere River and the Buinov Gorge, climbs the high Tepe Bair, overlooking the panoramic Eagle Eye. It normally takes about 3 – 4 hours of walking.
Stara Zagora: Ancient Forum Augusta Trayana
I have been in Stara Zagora more than once. My last visit there was in July. Despite the fact I have visited the ancient Forum Augusta Trayana before, I was excited to see it again. You can reach the Forum passing on an authentic Roman street aged more than 2,000 years. Another old Roman street you would see in the Historical Museum.
Saint Anastasia Island
The next place in my list is the island of St. Anastasia in the Bourgas Bay. I visited it in July as well. The island is reachable by boat and it takes about half an hour. Visiting the island is a real sea adventure.
Saint Anastasia is the only inhabited Bulgarian Black Sea island. The most interesting site of the island is the Monastery of St. Anastasia with its ancient church Virgin Mary. The sea views are in all directions. You can see in the sea near the shore the mysterious rock remains of a Pirates ship 🙂 .
Thracian domed tomb near Pomorie
We visited the Thracian tomb near the town of Pomorie in late July. Although it was a hot day, in the temple was quite cold. The tomb was aged the 2nd-3rd century which is the Roman era on Balkans. The tomb is a large round room with a diameter of about 12 meters and a thick hollow column in the middle. There is a 22-meter long corridor, a dromos, leading to the temple.
Unfortunately, there are no artifacts found in the temple and around to unravel its history or at least its purpose.
Muratov peak in Pirin
Muratov Peak is one of the most panoramic one in Pirin Mountains. Personally for me, Muratov Peak is a personal achievement – climbing is not easy, as it is more difficult than the Vihren peak.
The route for climbing Muratov Peak starts from the Vihren hut. On the way is the picturesque Muratovo Lake. It takes about 3 hours to get to the Muratov peak.
Rock Sanctuary Badjaliata
Bajaliata is a Thracian rock sanctuary discovered more than 20 years ago, believed to have been used over a long period of time, from the early Iron Age to the Late Antiquity. It is located near the Silistra village of Strelkovo, in the valley of Taban River.
The lands there were inhabited by the Thracian tribe of Getty, who worshiped the god Zalmoksis. They believed in the immortality of the soul and the afterlife. Therefore, it is believed that the sanctuary is devoted to Zalmoksis.