Belogradchik rocks have been forming for a million of years. They were once upon a time on the bottom of a sea. Then erosion wind-carved them into beautiful and strange shapes. Most of the rocks have names given by the locals. The names usually represent their appearance. You can see Madonna, The Rider, The Monks and many others. You can even come up with a name on your own – the rock formations are so many :).
The best time to visit is either in spring or autumn. The problem with the summer is the temperature (June-August) and you definitely don’t want to be hiking on the rocks when it is 35 degrees. You don’t want to be doing that in the winter as well. When it’s snowy it’s really slippery. Although, I guess it will look really beautiful covered with a snow.
As most of the Bulgarian sights, this one is pretty hard to be reached if you don’t have a car. I don’t have one, so we will take the train and do it for one day from Sofia. We will also visit Venetsa cave which is in the village where the train terminates – Oreshec. If you do not want to be in a rush, you can take a bus to Belogradchik and can spend one night there. A lot of guesthouses offer rooms for about 15 euros.
This is the official railway’s website. Search for Oreshec. That is the closest point you can get with the train. It is only 11km away from Belogradchik. So, you have two choices to take a taxi, cost around 5 euros, or hitchhike, which I did. The taxi drivers will be conveniently waiting for you when you exit the train. I took the train at 7:25 and at 11 I was in Oreshec. 30 minutes more on the road and I arrived in the town of Belogradchik. There is an entrance fee to enter the fortress where the main massif of stones is. As of 2017, the price is 3 euros. The fortress was originally built at the time when the territory belonged to the Roman empire. Later on, it was reconstructed by the Bulgarians and also by the Ottomans. You don’t need more than 1 and a half to see all places inside.
Outside of the fortress, there is a trail. It is marked and takes about one hour and a half to be completed. There is a trail which can be done with a bike, as well, but it is quite long walking.
3 km away from the village Oreshec is Venetsa cave. You can visit it on the way back. It was recently opened to visitors and spectacularly illuminated.
You can visit it between 9 and 5 pm. It cost another 3 euros and it is totally worth it. The last train to Sofia is at 18:32. Make sure you are back before that time. And check the schedule in case they make some changes.(:
If you happen to have your own transportation, there are two other sights around that might be of interest to you. 18km away is a cave called Magura. It is one of the biggest caves in Bulgaria and the one where you can see paintings over 10 000 years old. Vidin is 55 km away and it has beautiful and very well preserved fortress on the bank of Danube river – Baba Vida.
I went back to Sofia and was in bed at 11:30. It was a rather long day but totally worth it. Happy travels.