Prohodna cave is my favorite cave in Bulgaria. It is wide open and huge. The amazing eye-shaped holes that the nature created are stunning. The area itself is also quite amazing and for some reason, it is not overcrowded which is perfect :). If that is not enough for a day you can visit a close by eco trail called “Zlatna Panega”. Beautiful bridges will lead you through it. All of those you can enjoy for free and your budget can be less than 15 euros (train+bus) and something to eat if you don’t come prepared with some sandwiches.
The journey starts at 7:20 at Sofia’s central rail station. Check the train schedule here. It takes about 3 hours to reach the destination. Once you arrive at Karlukovo you need to exit the train and go back a little. After about 300m walking on the line you will see a steep trail going up. There are no trail marks but you couldn’t miss it. Just walk on the rails and look for a small path at the first hill on your left. The trek will take you for about 30 minutes to a hut. The building is visible from the train. It is built on the rock, so make sure you stop by, have a drink there and enjoy the view from the terrace. The area is beautiful and it has plenty of unpopular hidden caves.
If you like rock climbing this is your place. Reaching the hut you will be able to see the cave. Another 15 minutes will take you to it. While in front of the hut, you will see a path going down. You can walk on it and reach a beautiful small church. Prohodna cave is currently open for visitors without an entrance fee. Occasionally you can see bungee jumping and climbers inside of the cave.
Once you are ready with taking the pictures with the Eyes go out through the other exit. A little bit climbing and you will get to the road connecting Karlukovo and Lukovit. I didn’t know there was a bus going between the two, but I was very lucky because I waited for about 10 minutes on the road before being picked up by it. Hitchhiking will work also pretty well. We were a group of 4 people, so we decided that the best thing to hitchhike should be indeed a bus :). We got on the road at around 1 pm. So if you would like to use the bus make sure you are there at around that time.
To reach the other point of interest you need to go a little bit outside of Lukovit. The bus driver was very nice and kind and drove us to the starting point. The trail is less than an hour long. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful colors of the water and the reflection of the bridges in it. We caught the last bus leaving to Sofia at 6 pm. You can combine this one with a trip to Vratsa and its waterfall Borov kamak. Check how to go there here. Have the best trip ever.