In the past few years Stef and I have travelled all around Bulgaria: enjoyed its countrside, hiked (and snowboarded) across its mountains and stormed through beaches, caves, lakes, valleys and all sorts of beautiful places. We had seen a lot on our motorbike trip across the country, but the past year provided us with the chance to explore some of the prettiest spots in the country. It is quite hard to choose just 5 but here are the places which really impressed me during the year:
Belmeken felt like entering the Twilight zone. We went there on a day when a thick blanket of fog covered everything around us and it felt like our car was piercing its way through a hostile yet truly magical place. I would really like to come back on a sunnier day, but still: the area looked amazing (See more).
4. The Devetaki Cave (Devetashka Peshtera)
The cave (named after the nearby village of Devetaki) looks so surreal and cinematic that some of my friends asked me if whether I had photoshopped it! No, I haven’t: it does exist in reality and its incredible space was used as a set for Hollywood movie productions.
What makes it even more special is that it is one of the most important speleological spots in Bulgaria and one of the largest habitats of rare bat species in Europe! (Learn more)
3. The Belogradchik Rocks
This is one of the most populat tourist spots in Bulgaria but I saw it for the first time this year. I definitely regret not coming here earlier: what an amazing and unusual view! (Read more).
2. 30km across Rila in a day
Musala is the end destination for most visitors in the Rila mountain but for our small group of enthusiasts it was just…the first stop.
After reaching the summit, we simply continued through the vast beauty of Rila for another 20+ killometers, we spent the night in Zavratchitsa Hut and on the next day…we kept walking…(Read more)
1. Tsigov Chark & The Lakes in the surrounding area
I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful nature around the world, but Tsigov Chark and the abundance of not-so-popular but wonderful lakes in the area really took my breath away.
Waking up at dawn to run to the shore and take photos of the awakening nature was one of the best mornings I’ve had this year! (Read more)
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I love that your friends asked if you had photoshopped an image. Many years ago, my parents took a photo of my husband and me standing in a field of sunflowers and regularly get asked the same thing. But no, Bulgaria’s natural beauty needs absolutely no Photoshop or any other editing whatsoever. Thanks for sharing your travels. We traveled for several days in the western part of the Rila area this past summer, but hadn’t made it as far east as the Belmeken dam. Definitely one for the 2017 list.
🙂 “Bulgaria’s natural beauty needs absolutely no Photoshop or any other editing whatsoever”- So true and so well said! The comments about Photoshop are really a compliment about the unusually beautiful spots we have. When we talk about travel, we often focus on foreign and exotic destinations, but there are also sooooo many hidden gems here at home! P.S Belmeken is definitely worth seeing 🙂