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Bratsigovo and Snejanka cave – a great weekend far from city

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Traditionally with approachment of the weekend one question gives me no peace – where to go this time? Recently I reached a lot of places that are in a hour distance from Sofia and obviously it was time to extend that circle.

Suddenly I recaled Bratsigovo – a small town situated in around 130 km from Sofia. It was sealed in my memory like a quiet place and it seemed to have everything for a great weekend – mountain nearby, fresh air and new places to visit. Why not, I thought and then made a quick reservation for overnight stay at local house on booking. And here we are packed and loaded in the car ready to good in the early noon of Saturday. There is almost no plan what to do there, but we are departuring with lots of entusiasm.

How to get to Bratsigovo

Not sure what is the situation with buses to Bratsigovo. I guess there are some direct options from Sofia to city of Peshtera (which is in around 10 km from Bratsigovo) but from there you should catch another transport. I would suggest to go by car as there are many places that you can see cin few km from the city. The duration of the trip by car is around 1:30 h. The fastest and most convenient route is passing through the highway and city of Pazardzhik from where you should cath the road to Peshtera.

Upon arrival we went to have some food and make a sightseeing of the city.

Things to do in Bratsigovo

Bratsigovo is a small, picturesque town – a home of many insiders and revolutionaries from Bulgarian history, something that you can feel even today.You can still see a big part of architecture of that times preserved in the city.

Preseved architecture of Bratsigovo

The first things that make impression to visitor are the exceptionally clean streets and preserved architecture of the city. Apparently the people that are living here are taking care of this. Then you meet that kind locals and realise that you have chanced upon a special place where the genes of the revolutionaries are still ‘living’ through their generations. Apart from the rebels of the past the city is also known with its industrious citizens and stone-masons. We asked the locals for some must-visit places around and we even felt a bit pressured by time, as it turns out that there are so many places that deserve the visitor’s attention.

One of the emblematic buildings in Bratsigovo is the Church of St. John the Baptist. The construction of the building started back in 1832. The building is one of the very rare churches with two domes.

Another interesting place is the historical museum. We left the museums and sightseeing for the next day, as there is one place which we want to see as soon as possible. It is a small village in Rhodope mountains in 15 km from Bratsigovo.

The historical museum in Bratsigovo

The Memorial Park Apriltsi is also interesting place to go, especially if you are there during the summer when everything is green. The park is built in honor of Bulgarian revolutioners from Bratsigovo and is situated just in the center of the city.

The memorial park

Rebuilding of weapons from the past

Our cosy guesthouse

Day 1: Village Ravnogor and Bekovi rocks

The village of Ravnogor is located between the slopes of Rhodope mountain just in 15 km from Bratsigovo. The road to there is flowing through the mountains and is really panoramic. The village istself is very warm and cosy. It was interesting for me to learn that all of the inhabitants are Christians and you will see a large white cross at the entrance of the village which has been built in honor of the 225th anniversary of the foundation of the village back to 1777 year.

The path to Bekovi rocks starts from the center of the village. Google maps tried to confuse us and send us literally in the middle of nowhere. So if you want to catch the path to Bekovi rocks set as location the center of Ravnogor and then ask locals for the route. Basically you should follow the road to the monastery of St. Elena. Till there you can use your car, but after that there are small parts of routes that are not in very good condition.

We decided to leave the car close to the monastery and to get there by walking as the weather was just pleasant for this.

The gazebo of Bekovi rocks

The duration from the monastery is around 30 min and the route is like walking in the park. You will walk along a wide sland road which is well marked so there isn’t a change to get lost. Only just when you reach the end of the route you will realise how high you have lifted up.

Bekovi rocks – The view over Rhodopes

There is a gazebo and a panoramic benches build on the rocks. From there you can see the ‘frozen’ beauty of the Vacha Reservoir, the village of Osikovo and some high peaks of the Rhodopes. I personally remained silent – the view from the observation site is as impressing as is one of the most famous places in Bulgaria – the Eagles eye close to Trigrad. Even I can say it is better, because there isn’t no crowds up there. We were there on Saturday and we didn’t meet a single guy. Only the whiff of the wind and the songs of the birds were our companions.

Day 2: Snejanka (Snow-white) cave and Batak dam

On the second day we went to the history museum just to found out that it is close on Sundays.

Then we took a fast breakfast and headed toward Snejanka cave.

The cave is situated in around 20 km distance from the city. You should drive in the direction of Peshtera town from where to follow the signs to the cave. There is a big parking at the foot of the mountain where you can leave the car. From there you should walk around 3 km.  Those who don’t want to walk can simply continue driving but the road is not so good and narrow. Up above there are some places to parking as well. Once you leave the car you will see an info board where the climbing to the cave starts. It is written that the duration from there is 40 minutes, but we took it for only 20.

The cave was discovered during 1961 year and some of the most beautiful formation can be seen there.

It has numerous halls and is very reach of stalactites, stalagmites and draperies. The cave derives its name from a nature-sculptured woman`s figure of snow-white crystal sinter in one of the halls.

People are entering once per hour and the entry fee is 6 bgn and it is opened all years round.

Batak dam

On the way back to Sofia we passed through Batak for lunch. Then we decided to took more from the day and to visit Batak dam.

Batak dam is the third largest dam in Bulgaria and is a very visited place for people who like camping and fishing during the summer.

Batak dam – our last stop before going back to Sofia

It was a really intensive and inspirational weekend. I hope you will like it if you choose this destinations. You can also check some one day trips here.

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