The surface of Bulgaria has thousands of natural wonders to offer: rivers, mountains, beaches, and valleys. But beneath it, there are also many treasures. There are more than 5,000 caves in Bulgaria. But it should be borne in mind that only a few Bulgarian caves are set up for visitors, with lights, railings, steps, a guide, and a watchman.
In this post, I will give you a list of 8 top-rated caves in Bulgaria that are my favorite. Read on!
1. Devetashka Cave
When I was organizing the trip through Bulgarian caves, an impressive photo of the Devetashka cave appeared. Simply by seeing the photo, I knew that I would go. It is one of the most beautiful caves in the world, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of the trip.
It is a karst cave and is characterized by the huge holes in its ceiling. I, and other tourists, had access to the initial part of the 2 km of the caves. The entrance is impressive, with a height of almost 60 meters.
Once inside the cave, on one side there is a small river creating small waterfalls as it goes down between the rocks and the other passes through rooms, one of them very dark that we had to go with the mobile light on to be able to see something.
The seven holes in the ceiling through which the sun’s rays pass timidly left me speechless. And without speaking, we walked around this place impressed by what we were seeing and hearing. This is because the silence makes us hear all the sounds, the water, the wind, birds, and other unknown noises that are a little scary. We were alone the entire time we stayed in the cave.
More than 30 species of mammals (four of them threatened) and 15 different species of bats live in the Devetashka cave. Unfortunately, the recording of “The Mercenaries 2″ was a problem because, with so much noise, most of the bats left the cave.
The Bulgarian government accused the film crew of breaking Bulgaria’s environmental regulations, and I suppose they got a good fine. Luckily, the following year the bats returned.
2. Prohodna Cave
The Prohodna Cave is a 68 million-year-old cave and has similar elements to the Devetashka Cave. The most characteristic thing about this cave is what gives it its name: two spectacular openings in the upper part, which resemble large eyes. It is said that when it rains, the water that falls through these openings makes it appear that they are crying.
It is a very open cave, and I perfectly liked it because it was not one of those small and closed spaces. It is so open that so much light comes in, and it made it not look like a cave, but rather a huge rocky tunnel. In fact, in Bulgarian, “prohod” means “passage.”
I advise you wear hiking boots before coming. The landscape of this cave is quite rocky, which is a bit slippery during rainy days. The hike is quite long because Prohodna Cave is actually an underground tunnel that spans 262 meters.
If you love bungee jumping, you can try it here. You can also try rappelling from the Eyes of God. There are also rock climbing opportunities that I found entertaining.
3. Devil’s Throat Cave
This cave is located in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, a couple of kilometers from the town of Trigrad and 17 from the city of Devin (in southern Bulgaria, not far from the Greek border). The name “Devil’s Throat” comes from the shape of the entrance, which supposedly looks like that, a huge and devilish gorge.
In one of the rooms of the Devil’s Throat, there is an interior waterfall of more than 40 meters, and the water makes so much noise when it reaches the bottom that this room is known as the “rumbling room.”
Legend has it that it was precisely through the Devil’s Throat where the hero of Greek mythology Orpheus (son of the god Apollo) went down to the Underworld to rescue his wife Eurydice, who had been bitten by a snake, from Hades, god of the Death.
If this legend does not sound familiar to you, I tell you that the end is tragic. Hades allowed Orpheus to take Eurydice away on one condition: that he did not look at her until they had left the cave. And he did, but once outside, he turned to look at her when she still had one foot in the cave, and Eurydice was no more.
Now, that’s a story for another day. Inside the cave, I saw that the interior differs as you get deeper. For example, there’s a part that looks like an underground tunnel, while there’s also a part that’s filled with rock formations. This cave was breathtaking, and that’s why I recommend including it on your list of must-see caves in Bulgaria.
4. Saeva Dupka Cave
This beautiful cave is located near the town of Brestnitsa, in the Municipality of Lovech, and is easily accessible by road.
At 100 meters from the entrance, I found a small space to leave the car (free). And before entering the cave, I saw some small pink flowers next to the path: they are wild cyclamen, and they are protected. So, don’t take any.
The interior of the cave is very breathtaking and has a total area of 3500 square meters. There are numerous beautifully formed stalactites and stalagmites. Embedding the cave walls are bulging rock formations that look very otherworldly. Be sure to carry water because this 300-meter long cave takes about 30 minutes to explore.
Some of the beautiful spots that I loved were the Srutishteto and Concert Hall. Srutishteto is where you’ll find a petrified waterfall. It’s already stunning as it is, and I can only imagine how it would look if it were alive.
The Concert Hall is a part of the cave for public musical performances. This is due to its rich acoustic. Shout loud, and your voice will easily reverberate inside.
5. Ledenika Cave
This is another of the most famous caves in Bulgaria, about 15 kilometers from the city of Vratsa, in northeastern Bulgaria. The name “Ledenika” comes from the word “led,” which in Bulgarian means “ice,” and the cave is so named because sometimes in winter, stalactites, and stalagmites of ice form.
It is not a very large cave, but it features ten different halls that can be accessed. Each hall contains beautiful rock formations such as pillars, columns, stalactites, and stalagmites. In one of the rooms, larger than the others, a concert is held every year during the “Botev Days” (at the end of May), in honor of the Bulgarian poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev. Inside the cave, there is also a small lake.
Ledenika Cave was declared a Natural Monument in 1960 and is one of the 100 Places of Tourist Interest in Bulgaria.
Again, I insist you wear a good pair of hiking boots or slip-resistant shoes. The trail inside is very slippery due to the moist environment of the cave. If you come with kids, be sure to hold their hands or carry them as slipping is a very probable accident.
6. Magura Cave
I took advantage of my friend’s trip to Vidin province to visit one of the most famous caves in Bulgaria: Magura, famous for its cave paintings. It is also known because the unique microclimate of this cave allows a sparkling wine very similar to French Champagne to be produced in one of its galleries. Every year 3 million bottles are produced there.
Magura Cave is karst and was formed 15 million years ago. The force of water and tectonic activity have shaped it and slowly created the rooms and rock formations that can be seen today.
There are ten rooms distributed over a 1,500-meter route: the main gallery and several detours. About 5,000 bats of 5 different species live in the cave. I could hear them on the ceiling and even see them!
In this cave, I was pleasantly surprised: there is plenty of room to move around! Having dragged myself through stiflingly narrow spaces in other Bulgarian caves, such spaciousness was a welcome novelty. Perhaps it is not as spectacular as other caves I have visited, but of course, so much space is appreciated. Some halls are as large as cathedrals.
The temperature in almost the entire cave is constant: 12 degrees all year round and 90-100% humidity (bring warm clothes and good non-slip footwear).
7. Bacho Kiro Cave
Bacho Kiro was among the last caves in Bulgaria that I visited during my last days. This is where the remains of pre-historic humans dating back to 46,000-44,000 years ago were found. Due to this, aside from the rock formations and majestic cave walls, the statues of Neanderthal, which the administrators added, make the interior unforgettable.
It took me like 20 mins to tour the cave. And not far from here, I trekked to the Dryanovo Monastery and Dryanovo waterfalls. The Dryanovo Monastery is famous for its library, which contains books and records that date back to the 12th century. On the other hand, the Dryanovo Waterfall is a small waterfall just outside Bachi Kiro where you can take a quick rest and snack.
8. Yagodinska Cave
The Yagodina Cave might be the longest cave I visited as it spans up to 10 kilometers long. For this reason, rock formations within it are very abundant. I was able to see hanging stalactites, patterned cave walls, narrow stalactites, and cave pearls.
The guides here are amazing. The one given to the group I was provided us with interesting facts about each part of the cave and about each rock formation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because there’s always something new to learn.
I can confirm that Bulgaria has so much to offer that you’ll be astounded on your first-time visit. I also have to commend Bulgarians for their friendliness. They’re always ready to lend a hand if you need help without prejudice about race or religion. Finally, these are some of the best caves in Bulgaria that you can plan to visit during your trip. Bye!