In the autumn it sounds just wonderful to visit a small cozy place in the mountains of Bulgaria. Even now you can imagine the peace that reigns in the villages at the foot of Strandzha, and the silence you hear when you stand in front of a panoramic view in Pirin, or the small talks over a glass of wine by the fireplace after a long day of walking in the Balkan Mountains. What better time for all this than now - in the autumn, golden or cozy misty silent?! In the following lines you will find 10 suggestions for an autumn getaway to the mountains.
The Eagle’s Eye in Lozen Mountain
What do you imagine when someone says ‘Golden Autumn’? As long as we are concerned, we are already mentally transported to the picturesque and beautiful Lozen Mountain. Isolated as if from from the whole world, this corner reveals beautiful views from Polovrak peak to Sofia, Vitosha, Stara Planina, Rila and dam Iskar, but everyone who visits the place, wants to find the hidden Eagle’s eye…
We suggest you to cross the bridge to the other side of the dam. Nearly a kilometer from the bridge, you will want to take out your phone to take a photo. Nothing moves even slightly, just as you - you do not dare to lose sight of the mountain, because it seems that is is also looking at you. Take the whole day off, and combine your walk with a visit to the monastery of St. Spas and a lunch in the middle of the monastery forest with your partner or your closest friends.
And the best thing is that our ideas can become a reality in no time, because the place is only 30 km away from Sofia.
The Secret Gems of Rila Mountain
If in August you have visited the Seven Rila Lakes, now it is a good idea to see other hidden little gems in the Rila Mountains. Take a short day trip by car – firstly, stop by the Rila Ranch to ride a horse and enjoy a hearty picnic lunch, and then head towards the Rila National Park, to Belkemen Dam - the highest dam built with loose-stacked retaining wall not only in our country, but also on the Balkan Peninsula. The views are magic, and the fresh mountain air acts as an opiate for every city dweller.
In case you want to visit the place - the distance from Sofia to the dam is approximately 140 km, about 2 hours ride. Drive carefully, because in some places the road becomes really narrow, but it is picturesque, and during almost the entire time you can see the gorge of the river Kriva Reka (if you choose the right arm at the division after Sestrimo).
Panoramic View Over Mountains and Dams
If you are adrenaline junkie, then an extreme adventure in Rila, such as a motor hang glider flight over five dams, sounds like the perfect weekend afternoon. You will see from above (about 600 meters, to be exact) dam Dikanya, dam Izvor, dam Pchelina, dam Stefanovo and dam Dyakovo, and you will even have the opportunity to take the pilot’s seat.
Whichever option you choose, Rila Mountain has a lot to offer and you will not regret it.
The Nature Phenomena of Pirin Mountain
Pirin, Pirin, o... Pirin! No matter how many times you visit this part of Bulgaria, you will want to come back again. Well, when you decide, be sure to go through Melnik for a glass of wine, but most of all try to reach the Melnik Earth Pyramids. In fact, don't wait for the right moment at all - it's worth going to this place even next Saturday.
The Melnik pyramids are a unique creation of nature and will definitely awaken your imagination. From afar, you can see them as clay sculptures, mountain peaks or even the domes of Gothic churches. The area spreads over 50 sq. Km, which in other words is the distance from Varna to Dobrich. Their height reaches 100 m, and in places the pyramids are completely vertical. If you return to this place years later, you will probably see a slightly different view, as their appearance changes over time under the influence of numerous natural processes. A natural miracle only 2 hours drive from Sofia!
The Wild Wonders of the Rhodopes
Rhodopes Legend tales in the Village of Gela
You can't get tired of the magic of the village of Gela. Legend has it that Orpheus - the Thracian musician - was a native of the village of Gela in the Rhodopes. It's so beautiful there that even time stops… literally! Well, yes - scientists explain this by the fact that the place has a strong magnetic field, but we prefer to attribute it to the picturesque views. You can combine your visit with several Rhodope adventures in the area - a ride in a 4x4 jeep to the Eagle's Eye or the Wolf's Stone and a horseback ride near the Smolyan Lakes.
Exploring The Wild Nature Next to Madzharovo Town
If you want to do something different and highly adventurous over the weekend, how does the idea of an evening photo safari to the hideout of the otter sound to you? In the eastern part of the Rhodopes, on the banks of the Arda River, is the place for just that - the town of Madzharovo. You will also come across the Eastern Rhodopes Nature Conservation Center, which helps protecting the nature in this region. There you will hear fascinating information, presented in an interactive way, about the life of vultures, and you will enjoy them live in the wild through an expedition. For dinner, Betty from the TV reality, called The Farm, will personally cook you delicious fresh beef with vegetables from the garden. Grab your backpack and go. The wild is calling you!
The Almighty Power of Stara Planina Mountain
The scale of Stara Planina is so enormous that one life will not be enough for a person to go around all the little gems of it. However, if you are going there - do not underestimate the beauty of the Vratsa Balkan Nature Park and the interesting ice formations of Ledenika Cave.
Diversity and Natural Beauty in the Vratsa Balkans
With its diversity of flora and fauna, the Vratsa Balkans can make you lose track of time only in walks among various forests, encounters with animals and vastness. The park is 80 sq. km in size, which is more than the entire area of Balchik. You will find two belts of forests only of beech and oak trees, but you can also admire linden, walnut and pine - a real paradise and a great way to saturate yourself with oxygen.
More than 180 species of birds live on the territory and it is very likely that you will meet wild cats, some hedgehogs, many deer and otters.
There are so many waterfalls in the Vratsa Balkans that it would be difficult not to see at least one. However, look around for Borov Kamak waterfall. It is located near the village of Zgorigrad and descends from a height of about 60 m, which is equivalent to more than an 18-storey building.
There are so many possibilities that just one day will not be enough for you, but it is never too late to return to your favorite destination.
Adventures In The Dark In Ledenika Cave
One of the most interesting caves is Ledenika and it is definitely a reason to be noted in the list of The 100 National Tourist Sights in Bulgaria. Its length is a total of 300 meters, and you will pass through 10 natural halls. You can't help but see the "Lake of Desires", which was formed as a result of the fact that the cave was once completely full of water. Today, superstition dictates that if you dip your hand and make a wish, it will surely happen. Well, be careful what you wish for, because it can come true.
In the "Concert Hall" the formations have all sorts of names - the Crocodile, the house of Baba Yaga, the Head of the Giant… Whether their vision corresponds to the name, we leave it entirely to your imagination.
For the other halls, we suggest you continue the story - so put on your winter jacket, prepare your wish and go to the next adventure!
The Villages of Strandzha
They call Strandzha "The Little Sister of Stara Planina". Time has stopped in other centuries, and you hope to get lost somewhere to steal a breath of peace.
The Bulgari Village – the last place for firewalking
The village is located nearly 17 km from Tsarevo, surrounded almost entirely by beautiful river valleys. If you go there, climb the hill above the Karaagach River, where the Thracian antique fortress is. You won't regret it, and this is just a small part of your rural adventure. You are here mostly because of the authenticity of the Bulgarian firewalking.
Only in the village of Bulgari it is preserved in its original form, usually as a gift passed down from generation to generation within several genera. The tradition dictates on the night of St. St. Constantine and Helena the oldest firefighters to go around the embers 3 times and once to cross the middle. Then the young firefighters start dancing barefoot, believing that they fall into a trance and lose contact with the outside world. In this way, they give the impression of carrying a supernatural power inhabited by ‘the chosen ones’. One of the great mysteries of this ritual is that after the dance the firefighters do not have any burns on their feet, while the prayer to the higher powers is for success and protection from diseases.
The Varvara village – the Beauty of the Black Sea
Here we can only argue whether the place is famous for its sea or mountain beauty, but one thing is for sure - you can enjoy both the beach and the view of Mount Papia. If you go looking for it, you will find it between Tsarevo and Ahtopol - right at the foot of Strandzha. History tells us that in the past, there lived Thracian tribes, who often attacked the neighboring city of Agatopolis (today's Ahtopol). Today in the village of Varvara the locals are no more than 300 people, and every guest of the village enjoys the beautiful beaches, the rocky bays and the view of the Dardanelles. Either book this trip for warmer days or why not equip yourself well and leave immediately?
Did you already choose where to head to next weekend? You have nothing to wait for. Don’t forget to share your adventure experience on social media with the hashtag #GiftComeTrueМоменти