Location: Northern Bulgaria Type: road trip; nature and historical landmarks; caves; Danube river; Bulgaria Suitable for children: yes; with a baby carrier for babies and toddlers
Belogradchik, Magurata and Vidin were on our to-visit list for some time.
Belogradchik is one of those alluring places in Bulgaria which will surely impress you. The rocks above the town were nominated for a new Wonder of the World a few years ago. A visit to Belogradchik can also be combined with a walk through the city of Vidin on the Danube river, Baba Vida fortress, located in Vidin – the only fully preserved fortress in Bulgaria. And with a tour around the Magurata cave, which contains prehistoric drawings.
Belogradchik, Magurata and Vidin
Belogradchik, Magurata and Vidin are located in the northwest part of the country. If you travel by car from Sofia you should take the E79 route through Botevgrad, Vratsa and Montana. Drive carefully in these cities, especially if it rains, because there are quite a few holes in the road that form thanks to the bad weather.
Vidin and the fortress
The trip from Sofia to Vidin takes about three hours and a half, and if you leave Sofia early in the morning the destination is reached right before lunch. You can check the tidy city center of Vidin, the beautiful promenade on the Danube river and the city park before you visit the Baba Vida fortress. The fortress is open for visitors between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. (on weekdays) and between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (during the weekends and holidays). The entrance fee is 4 Bulgarian Lev (or 2 Euros) and you can also pay for a guide. You will hear the legend of Vida, daughter of a nobleman, who once lived in the fortress. The massive stone building, perched on the banks of the Danube, will fill your imagination with fantastic dreams of gallant knights and noble ladies. Simply put, the view is enchanting.
The Magurata cave
One of the largest and most beautiful caves in Bulgaria is located close to the village of Rabisha, 17 km from the town of Belogradchik, in the limestone Rabisha mound. The cave is open for visitors between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and the entrance fee with a guide is 10 Bulgarian Lev (or 5 Euros). The guide will tell you all about the history of the cave and the origin of the prehistoric drawings. The cave is impressive and beautiful and in the last years many couples have been getting married here. But beware of the slippery stairs. The temperature in the cave is a constant 12 degrees Celsius, year-round, keep that in mind if you visit in the summer and prepare a jacket.
The rocks above the city certainly deserve the nomination for a new Wonder of the World. A walk through and over them, and a visit to the Belogradchik fortress are among some of the things to do in Belogradchik. The entrance fee for the fortress is 2 Bulgarian Lev (or 1 Euro) and the view from above – priceless.
We will not go into more details – go and see for yourself! The town of Belogradchik itself is small, cute and well maintained, with nice buildings from the early 20th century. The only drawback of the neat center is an ugly 4-star hotel, which could be seen from everywhere in the town. This bad impression is somewhat fixed, thanks to the beautifully restored building of the old town school. There is also a time capsule, stamped in a stone plate in front of the school. So if you find yourself in Bulgaria – go and visit these beautiful places!