The 10 most exciting places in Bulgaria I visited in 2019

My year 2019 was especially impressive – for my first published book “52 Paths for Everyone”, and for the lots of places I visited here in Bulgaria and abroad. This is why I was quite difficult to select only 10 landmarks to include in this traditional for my blog listing.

 Mechit Peak and Kaiser Road
Mechit Peak and Kaiser Road

I would be glad if the following lines inspire you to visit some of these fascinating places. Also, I would be grateful if you could let me know about some charming spot that I have not seen yet. I know there are quite a few and always will be, because Bulgaria is rich on interesting sites.

The medieval church in the village of Chukovets

The medieval church of St. Nicholas in the village of Chukovets is a real cultural wealth! Based on its architecture, it was dated back to the 16th – 17th centuries. Initially, the church was much smaller than the present one and it was partly dug into the ground as the all Bulgarian churches of that time were.

The medieval church in the village of Chukovets
The medieval church in the village of Chukovets

I visited the church just on the Jordan’s Day in January together with several other churches in Radomir’s region.

Gradishte Historical Park near Dolno Dryanovo

Gradishte Landscape Historical Park is a little known, but really compelling place located in Rhodope Mountains. It is a prehistoric rock sanctuary occupying a high ridge, accessible only from the northwest. The rocky hill is surrounded by precipices and a beautiful canyon.

Gradishte Historical Park
Gradishte Historical Park

The site is located in the Gradishte area near the village of Dolno Dryanovo. Various natural stone formations can be seen there – shaped almost like human heads, turtles and other animals. If you go down in the canyon, you can see other rocks with strange forms, a roman bridge, and several beautiful waterfalls.

I visited Gradishte at the beginning of February.

Anevo Kale

The Anevo Kale fortress had been in my plan long ago. In early March I implemented the plan. The fortress can be seen from the Sub-Balkan road in the area of Anevo village, very close to Sopot. The remains of the fort can be reached in about 50 minutes of walking on a steep path. Climbing to the fortress is not easy, because the first part of the route is a steep climb, and the second – a narrow path with a precipice down.

Anevo Kale
Anevo Kale

Lakatnik Rocks

The Lakatnik Rocks in the Iskar Gorge are a very nice and full of views route. You can spend there a whole day or just a couple of hours. The route starts from the Zhytolyub karst spring and ascends above the rocks along an eco-trail.

Lakatnik Rocks
Lakatnik Rocks

In addition, you can visit two caves – the Dark Hole and Rizhishka. But be careful – they are not ennobled, so your can see only their entrance galleries. Going deeper in them is dangerous.

I climbed on the Lakatnik Rocks at the end of May.

Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall

Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and well-visible waterfalls I’ve ever visited. It is located in central Stara Planina Mountains and with its height of 70 meters is among the highest waterfalls in Bulgaria. The route to the waterfall takes about 4 hours in the direction. It starts on the outskirts of the village of Tazha. The village is located about 30 km northwest of Kazanlak and about 170 km east of Sofia.

Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall
Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall

Krepcha Rock Monastery

The earliest records of Cyrillic in our lands have been found in the Krepcha Rock Monastery. It is dated back to the beginning of the 10th century. This was the time of the Bulgarian king Simeon the Great. The monastery is located in a beautiful gorge, near the village of Krepcha, about 19 kilometers north of Popovo city. I visited the site in July.

Krepcha Rock Monastery
Krepcha Rock Monastery

Ustra Fortress in the Eastern Rhodopes

The Ustra Fortress near the village of Ustren is located on a high rocky peak and its remains clearly show that it was a typical fortification facility. I visited it in early August as part of my big Rhodopes summer journey. You will need about 2 hours of walking to get to the fortress and there you will see not only solid remains, but also a fantastic panoramic view in all directions.

Ustra Fortress in the Eastern Rhodopes
Ustra Fortress in the Eastern Rhodopes

Mechit Peak in Rila Mountains

The next top site in Bulgaria that I am going to highlight is the panoramic Mechit peak in Rila, 2567 meters high. I climbed it in mid-September. It was a warm and sunny Sunday. The route to the peak is quite long, but it offers incredible views of the highest parts of Rila and even a piece of our recent history – the Kaiser Road of King Ferdinad.

Mechit Peak in Rila Mountains
Mechit Peak in Rila Mountains

St Marina Cave in Strandzha

St. Marina Cave in Strandzha Mountains is a definitely impressive place – mysterious, enigmatics, moist and very fresh. It is located in a deep valley. The cave is small with a vaulted entrance. Water dripping from the ceiling and walls is considered to be curative. Once upon a time the place was a Thracian sanctuary. I visited it in September.

St Marina Cave in Strandzha
St Marina Cave in Strandzha

Arda River Spring

Arda River is one of the big rivers in Bulgaria. Its spring was also a place I wanted to visit for a long time. The spring is located above the village of Gorna Arda in the Western Rhodopes. I managed to reach it in mid-October during the warm and so colorful autumn.

Arda River Spring
Arda River Spring
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