We continue with the ideas for a getaway from the City under the hills because summer weekends are for nature walks and exploring the surroundings


Photos: Silvia Gallo

We continue with the ideas for a getaway from the City under the hills, because even if we are totally lost in the streets and fascinated by the oldest city in Europe - it is hot here in the summer. So hot that in the afternoon you seem to feel the suffocating embrace of the sun, which deceptively gently strokes your skin, but at the same time it makes you look for the closest cool place to wait for the twilight to fall.

For today's suggestion, it's easiest to have a car available. Byala Reka Ecopath is located near the town of Kalofer. There are buses to Kalofer three times a day, but the path itself is 8 km from the town, so you will need transportation. When you are already in Kalofer, you should see the Kalifer voyvoda monument on your left and immediately turn left. Then continue to the men’s monastery "Nativity of the Virgin" about 6 km. About 300-350 m after the monastery on a single-lane road you will reach the beginning of the Central Balkan National Park, and there is also a parking lot. There are two markings - red, which is for the eco-path and blue - for mountain hut Rai.

ByalaRekaEcopath is one of the longest eco-trails in Bulgaria - almost 2 km. It is built in the gorge of the river of the same name in the Kalofer area of the Central Balkan National Park. The eco-trail is situated at 570 m above sea level and its highest point is 630 m. The track follows the gorge of Byala Reka, crosses its blurred rapids and forms a peculiar eight with a displacement at its highest point of about 97 m. The eco path has a longer and a shorter route. The small circle of the "eight" reaches the Monastery dam and is accessible to even hard-moving tourists. The second circle is longer and requires more effort. It runs along 8 bridges with a total length of about 80 m, about 400 m of built-in stairs and more than 85 m of wooden stairs and platforms.

In many places, there are interactive boards - plants, mammals, reptiles, birds in the National Park. There are small rotating paintings, on one side there is a short content, and on the other is the very name of the plant or the animal. Here, there are more than half of the plant species in Bulgaria, about two-thirds of the healing herbs and 11 species of plants unique to this place only. The park is a refuge for the wolf, the bear, the chamois, the red deer, the imperial eagle, and 120 species of birds.

You can pass the entire trail for about 2 hours, and at the very end, there are places for resting and having a picnic.