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Europe > Balkans > Bulgaria > North Bulgaria > Belogradchik

Belogradchik

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Belogradchik Fortress

Belogradchik (Bulgarian: Белоградчик) is a city in North Bulgaria in the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The town is famous throughout Bulgaria for its unique rock formations.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

From the Central Bus Station in Sofia, direct buses run to Belogradchik about once a day. (Trip time: 4 hours) The town is most easily reached by bus from Vidin, 50 km to the north. Regular buses run between Belogradchik and Vidin throughout the day. (Trip time: 1 hour) The bus station in Belogradchik is conveniently located just below the main street.

By train[edit]

Trains on the Sofia-Vidin line (leaving from the Sofia Central Railway Station) stop at the village Oreshets, which is about 10 km to the east of Belogradchik. On the way to Mezdra, the train crosses a mountain range and travels through the Iskar Gorge, and is described by some as one the most scenic trains in the Balkans. People may tell you there is a bus service connecting the train station to Belogradchik. If you find one, great, but count taking a taxi, many of which wait at the station for every train. A fair price is 6 leva or 3 leva if at least 3 person in the taxi. To return, get the taxi number from the Tourist Office and call them long in advance (sometimes you may receive a negative answer and miss your train back to Sofia), or ask in the bus station.

By car[edit]

Belogradchik lies just off the main road between Montana and Vidin. From Sofia, the trip time by car is about 3 hours.

Get around[edit]

Belogradchik is a small town and is easily and most enjoyably experienced on foot. Limited taxi service is also available.

See[edit]

  • Belogradchik Rocks, Bulgaria's most spectacular rock formations covering an area of 90 km². Some of the best views of the rocks are from the main square, the top of the fortress, the town park or along one of the many hiking trails. Belogradchik Rocks is a nominee for the New7Wonders of Nature [1]
  • Belogradchik Fortress, built into the towering rocks on the hilltop overlooking the town. Open daily: Jun-Sep 08:00-21:00; Oct-May 09:00-17:00. The fortress, also called Kaleto, was begun by the Romans in the 1st-3rd centuries, continued by the Bulgarians and later completed by the Turks in the 19th century. From the top of the fortress, there are spectacular views of the surrounding hills and rock formations.
  • There is an defunct Ottoman Mosque nearby to and easily visible from the fortress. It was supposedly built in 1751. It's not in the best repair these days and the building itself is not very remarkable, but the minaret and Arabic artwork above the door are beautiful. Worth taking a bit to admire.
  • History Museum, in town center on the main street. M-F 09:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00. A small museum containing exhibits of local history and folklore. The museum is housed in a well-preserved national revival period home (c.1810).
  • Art Gallery, in the town center on the main street. M-F 09:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00. A small gallery featuring the work of local and regional artists. Its collection includes over 180 paintings and drawings.
  • Natural History Museum, in the town park. M-F 08:00-12:00 & 14:00-17:00. A small museum featuring wildlife native to the region.

Do[edit]

  • Hike. Spend a day exploring the area's unique rock formations on one of the many marked trails through the surrounding hills. Ranging in length from 4 km to 24 km round trip, the trails are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll or a full day adventure. They offer beautiful views of the surrounding hills and rocks and opportunities for viewing local wildlife and exploring local caves. For trail maps and information about local guides visit the Visitor's Center on the main square.

Buy[edit]

In the center, there is a small souvenir shop which offers the typically selection of trinkets, pottery, embroidery and knickknacks. For a more unique purchase, try the wine shop next door which features wines and spirits from the surrounding region.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

There are numerous small cafes and bars located along the main street of town. Most of these only serve drinks or occasionally a light snack. In the summer, a small outdoor cafe just off the main square provides the perfect spot to relax in the shade and offers one of the best views of the Belogradchik Rocks.

For a taste of the local drinks, try a bottle of Magura wine made in the neighboring village of Rabisha. Or for something stronger, try a shot of domashno rakia, homemade brandy, the national drink of Bulgaria and always a source of local pride.

Sleep[edit]

While several larger hotels are under construction, the only available accommodations are smaller family-run businesses.

Visitors can also find accommodations in a number of private "guest homes" which typically offer 2 or 3 rooms for tourists. For a complete list of these guest homes with contact information see the 'Travel and Lodgings' section on the town's official website, [2]

Go next[edit]

Some of the drawings in Magura
  • Explore the 1 Magura Cave (Магурата Magurata, 10:00-17:00 daily, 5 Лв), located 25km to the northwest just outside the village of Rabisha (Рабиша), which is one of the most impressive caves in Bulgaria and contains some of the oldest cave paintings — estimated to be between 8–10,000 years old — in Europe. The cave is 2.5 km long, consisted of multiple galleries.
  • Visit the village of Chiprovtsi, located about 35 km to the south, which is famous for its hand-woven carpets.




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