Text: *Petya Bankova, intern in Lost in Plovdiv
The high temperatures are the biggest disadvantage of the otherwise beautiful summer in Plovdiv. If you live in the City under the hills or visit it often, we guarantee that you have happened to think of a cool day of shade in nature. This is why the team of Lost in Plovdiv is here just in time with suggestions for eco-trails near Plovdiv.
The concept of "close" is debatable in terms of distance, so we specify that the chosen eco-trails are 30-60 km from the beloved Plovdiv. There are 8 suggestions in our list - one for each remaining weekend by the end of the summer, and the decision of which and when to visit, we leave to you.
Ravnishta Eco-trail above the village of Dedevo is the first and the closest eco-trail of the eight, which you can use for refuge in the heat. It is located 30 km from the city under the hills and the journey time is about half an hour. To reach the endpoint of the eco-trail, follow the yellow mark along the black path before the Ravnishta hut and the wooden signposts. The rock, part of the eco-trail, is called "the edge of freedom in Bulgaria" and "the rock of the end of the world".
We continue with the nearby offers and the Green Trail, which is again 30 km away from Plovdiv. You can combine the route with a visit to the Bachkovo Monastery because its beginning is just opposite the gate of the monastery. The Green Trail is one of those places that we wonder if they exist at all because they look like being taken out of a movie - waterfall, beautiful scenery, fountains, and gazebos - the perfect conditions to escape in a cool place.
Our third recommendation is the Mogila Eco-trail, Dryanovo village in the Plovdiv region, which starts at the center of the village and is 14 km long. Its length, however, should not scare you, because nature is extremely beautiful and there are 5 resting places with gazebos and benches as well as fountains with cold spring water. And if that's not enough – you can make wonderful pictures in the places of relaxation and on the path.
The next offer is more distant - about 50 km from Plovdiv is the eco-route to the peak Dragoyna. You can climb to the top on two roads, one is from the village of Bukovo and is shorter and the other one is from the village of Dragoynovo and is longer - about 3 hours. The routes end with a Thracian sanctuary on top, which was studied in 2004-2006, but it didn’t become very popular.
The Komin Dere Eco-trail is very visited in autumn, spring and summer because of the slight transition and the relatively short route, which is about 4 km. It starts from one of the neighborhoods in the town of Lucky and has 3 gazebos for resting, information boards and a panoramic ground with a wonderful view. Many animals live in the area - foxes, beetles, goldsmiths, and deer, so your experience may include meeting one of them.
About 50-60 km from Plovdiv is the Belitsa-Krustova Gora Eco-trail, which is12 km long and starts from the Krastova Gora Monastery Complex and as the name suggests - ends in the village of Belitsa. It is from these places in nature, where you just feel at home no matter what end of Bulgaria or the world you come from. The route has tables, chairs, and gazebos for rest, as well as information boards for orientation, besides the mandatory marking.
And if you want your walk in nature to have a slightly romantic feel, the right choice is The path of the heart Eco-trail in the village of Borovo. It is actually an adventurous eco-trail and consists of three separate routes - The Route of the Smile, The Route of the Faith and The Route of the Light. Their starting point is the Nativity of the Virgin church in the village, where there is a notice board for the three routes. They are marked in three different colors - yellow, red and blue, and the average length of the hike is about 2 hours.
The last suggestion is suitable for families with young children because of the short route of 830 m - Snezhanka Eco-trail near the Snezhanka Cave, 5 km away from the town of Peshtera. Snezhanka Cave has a parking lot and the eco-trail can be passed for about an hour and a half. Fun and motivating signs are part of the path of the trail, making the experience even more enjoyable. And if you wish the route can be combined with a visit to the beautiful Snezhanka Cave.
If you are still wondering what to do in the summer heat in and out of the city under the hills, Lost in Plovdiv is here to give you fun ideas.