Velingrad is one of the sunniest towns in Bulgaria, with over 250 days of sunshine a year. The region has abundant water resources – rivers, karstic sources and mineral water. It has a large number of karstic springs, the largest of which is the town’s emblematic lake, Kleptuza. Don’t forget to rent a water-bike and enjoy the beauty of the evergreen old trees, hanging over the water, and the wooden bridge and waterfalls reminding us of by-gone days.
Prooffor the balneological treatment here goes back to the ancient times. Many hot springs have been well known and used by the Thracians, Romans, Slavs and Pre-Bulgarians. At the beginning of the first millennium BC, when the Thracians settled in the Balkan Peninsula, in their religious understandings there was already a cult praising the waters, the Gods of water and of the running water and fountains. Later, under the influence of Greek mythology, this cult has transformed step by step to a form of worship for the nymphs. In honor of the nymphs people erected temples near the rivers, the mineral water springs. The use of the warm and temperate hot springs flourished during the Thracian period until the fourth century BC. Many Thracian villages and balneological centers have been transformed according to Roman models. The inscriptions preserved in the ruins of ancient buildings express gratitude to the healing power of mineral water and to the Gods, guardians of the baths. Many ancient records prove the use of mineral waters during The First and Second Bulgarian Kingdom. The fall of Bulgaria under the Ottoman yoke led to the stagnation of the development of SPAs. In any case, the balneological traditions of the ancient Bulgarians are preserved. After the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke began the great revival of balneology. The resorts opened their doors wide, new bases were created, many hotels were built, modern balneo-technological equipment were introduced, and human resources of high qualification were increased.
The richness of mineral springs, the presence of a modern base for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, as well as highly qualified specialists, are the main factors for the development of Velingrad city as a national and international first-class tourist complex. In the new democratic conditions and free economy, the resort rapidly changes its image and becomes more and more attractive.
If you want to go back in time and enjoy the fascinating beauty of the Chepino gorge you can do it while taking a ride on the unique for Bulgaria narrow-gauge train. The railway is 125km long and because of the mountainous landscape that distance is covered at a low speed for about five hours. There are 35 tunnels and multiple picturesque bridges. It starts in the Upper Thracian Valley, goes across the Rhodope and Rila Mountains and reaches the foot of thePirin Mountain. The train passes by the Avramovo station, which is the highest on the Balkan Peninsula and is situated at 1267m above sea level. The Alpine train is included in the Guide of European Railway Timetables, issued by the Germail Railways.
In the vicinity of Velingrad, there is a multitude of marked and unmarked tourist routes. Forest or cycling roads and tracks give the opportunity for hiking routes, varying in length and difficulty. To the west of the town lie the slopes of the Ostretz peak, along which goes a road to the village of St.Petka. To the northeast rises the Alabak ridge. Routes this way offer the opportunity for Youto reach spots such as Gergevana, Slaveeviskali, Samovoditza, Pechenek, Byalataskala, Kladova, Elin peak and more. To the south stands the mighty ridge of theBatashkamountain with the highest peak being “Syutka”. To the east of Velingrad lies the Strazha ridge, which offers marvelous views towards the Chepino valley and the Rhodope Mountain.
The Starina area is the closest place for the winter sports fans. The ski slope is located at 1680 m above sea level and is very suitable for beginners or for kids with sledges. In addition, for all of You looking for pro slopes, in 80km from our campsite, you could visit the most famous ski resort in Bulgaria, Bansko. Suitable for beginners and advanced fans as well, located in the Pirin Mountains, there are numerous ski and snowboard slopes on the Todorka Peak, including the challenging Tomba run. Ski-rental is available on both locations, as well as restaurants, café and parking lots. For our guest’s convenience, we offer a shuttle service from the campsite directly to the slopes.
The vast woods and mountain meadows in this part of the Rhodope Mountain are the natural habitat of precious and interesting fauna. Here one can meet almost all types of animal species, which are to be found in our country such as brown bear, wolves, red deer, does, boars, wild goats, fallow deer and mouflons. There are also some smaller species such as wild cat, fox, otter, badger and marten. For those who want to see wild animals in their natural environment, we could offer an organized monitoring guide. We do it at sunset, on a place in the forest area, especially prepared for that.
The History museum of Velingradis the first stop. It shows the traditions of the region. You can also enjoy the largest collection of Easter eggs, painted from local people as well as from representatives from Central and Eastern Europe. Then, the tour would go forward to the archeological monument “Tsepina Fortress” which has once been a residence of Despot Alexius Slav, the nephew of Tsar Kaloyan. Next step will transport Youfive million years back in time. It is called “The Pliocene Park”. There You could observe some findings from the Pliocene era, the second largest paleontological exhibition in Europe. Next will be the town of Kostandovo, where You can see the picturesque hills covered with pine woods and three mineral springs within them. This town is known with the HEMUS carpet factory. The technology of making carpets is absolutely authentic and done by hand. Then you will get in the Alpine Train for an hour during which the spectacular landscapes, picturesque tunnels and breathtaking beauty of the nature here will be a delight to your eyes. Last, You will have the chance to buy organic herbs, mushrooms, berries and honey from the market in the center of Yundola.
Departure 9:00am – Arrival 4:00 pm
Rupite is a picturesque area, surrounded by a mystical halo. It is related to Prophet Baba Vanga and brings a rich energy charge to every visitor. You can visit the Vanga-built temple “St.PetkaBulgarska”, a place that brings together thousands of Christian worshippers each year. Due to a big volcanic eruption in the past, the area is full of healing mineral springs with a temperature of 75ﹾC. The next stop would be the town of Melnik, where You can taste the traditional Bulgarian cuisine accompanied by fantastic red wine from the region. Melnik delights its visitors with the landscape of sandstones, historical houses and their rich architecture, beautiful nature and tasty red wine. The last stop will be the largest Orthodox monastery in the Pirin region, called “Rozhen Monastery”.
Departure 8:30am – Arrival 7:00 pm
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in Europe. As they say, Plovdiv is older than Athens, Rome and Constantinople. It is located between six unique hills in the fruitful valley of Thrace. The “Old Town” attracts many tourists from all around the world. ThereYou can see a number of historical and cultural monuments, the cobbled streets and the old Roman amphitheater, built by Mark Avreliy. Other gorgeous sights on the way are the church “St. Constantine and Elena”, the Ethnographic museum, the archeological complex “Nebettepe” as well as the Renaissance houses, which create the ancient environment of the old town. Then You could take a walk to the modern part of the city where You will find theaters, galleries, shops and restaurants. The tour will continue with a visit of the “Bessa Valley” winery. In the past, the area was the Valley of the Besi, which are known as the most recalcitrant Thracians who served in the sanctuary of the God of Wine. A professional sommelier would present different wines and tastes.
Departure 9:00 am – Arrival 7:00 pm
Bansko is one of the most attractive all-season mountain resorts in Bulgaria. Is it located in the Pirinmountain and is especially attractive for the fans of winter sports. The town is covered with cobbled streets and You could observe the abundance of stone houses with traditional wooden verandas. The historical museum and cultural monuments will be a part of the tour, as well as the church “Sveta Troitsa”, which was built in 1835. You would then go to theRila Monastery, which is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With its stone walls with a height of 24 meters and an irregular pentagon shape, the monastery looks like a fortress. It stands out with its unique architecture, columns, arches, covered wooden stairs and carved terraces. On the way back You would get a short break in the town of Razlog, located between the three mountains of Pirin, Rila and Rhodopes. Its old town has a typical Renaissance architecture.
Departure 8:30 am – Arrival 7:00 pm
First, You will visit the Historical museum of Batak, which is included in the list of the 100 national tourism sites to visit. It contains more than 500 exhibitions depicting the town’s history, including the flag and the cherry wood cannon from the April rebellion in 1876 against the Turks. Afterwards, You will depart to one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria, called “SNEZHANKA” (“SHOW WHITE”). The cave contains more than 800 000 stalactites, and stalagmites and you could hear the unique sintering lakes within. After the wonderful world of “Snow White”, you will head to the town of Peshtera. ThereYou will visit the historical museum with more than 8,000 artifacts, revealing the life in this area during the Neolithic era. There are several ancient churches on your way. You will continue to the fortress of PERISTERA, where history and spirit of many epochs will leave You enchanted. There is an interesting legend about the name of the castle, which your guide will tell you about. On the way to Velingrad,You will stop in the Rakitovo town, which is surrounded by wonderful landscapes and picturesque high hills.
Departure 9:00 am – Arrival 5:00 pm
Sofia is not only the capital of Bulgaria, but also the heart of the country. It is located at the foot of the Vitoshamountain, protected by UNESCO. A city with 3,000 years’ worth of historyand a lot of historical and cultural monuments. In the center of the capital there are also numerous galleries, museums, churches and cathedrals. One of the most famous and memorable monuments is the “St. Alexander Nevski” cathedral. Various architectural forms, details of artistic sculpture and a great variety of techniques have been applied. Then you will continue with a panoramic bus tour of the center of Sofia, going through a lot of significant sights. The next stop will be the “Boyana” church, included in the UNESCO List of cultural and natural heritage. It has been built in 11th century during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom of TzarKaloyan. Mural paintings from XI-XVII century and 1882 can be seen on its walls. They were made by The Master of Boyana and his group of medieval painters. The next step would be the National Musem of History, one of the largest museums in the Balkans. Inside, You could observe more than 650 000 cultural monuments and the huge archeological archive. Next door is the Thracian treasures gallery where you can buy replicas of the magnificent Thracian treasures found in Bulgaria. Afterwards, You will have some free time in Sofia downtown where you can walk through the pedestrian boulevard “Vitosha” and visit some brand stores,bars, restaurants and cafes.
Departure 8:30 am – Arrival 8:00 pm