Undoubtedly, the spring weekends are the time to go outside the city, even more so when they are as long as in May. One of the places that always attracts both lovers of more extreme experiences and tourists are the caves. They combine within themselves the beauty and grandeur of nature and the phenomena it creates, along with the mystique and legends of national folklore.
We’ve already "walked" you virtually to two of the most famous in the Rhodope region - the Devil's Throat and the Yagodinska Cave, but today we will tell you a little more about another 3, which are worth visiting this weekend.
By Спасимир - Собствена творба, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The first, and probably the closest to Plovdiv is Snezhanka. Its name is borne from the snow-white overlays that have formed for millions of years and have faded in bizarre shapes - "The Dolphin", "The Karakachanka", "The Statue of Liberty", "Dwarfs", "Parrot", as well as the "Snezhanka" a girl waiting for her prince. It is 5 km away from the town of Peshtera, and the road to the parking lot to leave your car is quite narrow. Then there are about 30 minutes of walking on a steep eco-path up to reach the entrance. Its length is only 145 m, with a constant annual temperature of 9 degrees. It is rich in stalagmites, stalactites, stalactones, draperies, and ponds. The largest stalactite is 1.27 meters long. It consists of several beautiful halls: the Hall of the udders, the Great Hall, the Music Hall connected to the Srutishte, over which a bridge passes. In the Magic Room, covered with a snow-white crystalline sinter, nature has created a figure likened to the fairy-tale character.
The cave is refurbished and open to visitors every day. There are a tea room and a souvenir stand next to the entrance. Visit groups are organized every hour.
Our second suggestion is for adventurers with an experimental spirit, as the cave is not well developed and can be accessed only with the special equipment and a guide. Lepenitsa is located in the Western Rhodopes, 10 km southwest of Rakitovo and 11 km south of Velingrad. It is currently a tourist site since more than 50 years ago it was inaccessible for tourists. It was declared a natural landmark in 1960. Lepenitsa has three floors. The lower one has a length of 273 m and an underground river flows through it. On the second floor, in rainy weather, four lakes are formed, and in dry weather, the lakes are only two. The third floor is dry but inaccessible. The fauna is extremely rich and interesting. There are over 24 species of animals - beetles, spiders, centipedes and other organisms, some of which are categorized as troglodytes - living only in the dark. At Lepnitsa there’s also troglofauna, whose representatives are 3-4 species of bats. There are animals that are found only in this area and are not found anywhere in the world. It is preserved in unchanged form, there is no lighting, the track is secured only with wooden grills, bridges, stairs, railings and safety ropes.
Working hours are upon request.
By Vassia Atanassova - Spiritia - Собствена творба, Public Domain, Link
Cave Uhlovitsa is one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. They call it one of the underground palaces of the Western Rhodopes. It is situated 3 km northeast of the village of Mogilitsa and 37 km from Pamporovo resort. It is one of the oldest in the region, opened in 1967. It is 1040 meters above sea level. From the parking lot to the entrance, it takes about 30-40 minutes to climb. The name derives from the word "ululitsa" - a kind of owl that probably lived in the region of the cave. It is on several floors. On the upper floor is the Abyss Hall. The throats of four deep chasms descend from this room to the lower floor, which is reached by a steep metal ladder. This gallery is the most beautiful part of the cave. It ends with 7 beautiful lakes that are filled with water in the spring. The most attractive formation is the large stone waterfall sparkling in white. It is assumed that the lower floor was an underground lake. Uhlovitsa is inhabited by 3 types of bats and in winter, when bats are in hibernation, you can see a representative one foot away from you. The entrance of the cave is specifically designed to facilitate the entry of this species of mammal. Unlike other caves in Bulgaria, traces of primitive people have not been found in Uhlovitsa because it is precipitous and difficult to reach.
During the winter period, the cave is open every day without Mondays and Tuesdays, and during the summer season - every day. The opening hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. The groups arrive at a round hour, the last one is at 4 pm. There is a table bench above the cave, so the place is quite suitable for an improvised picnic and outdoor break.
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