Reasons To Visit Bulgaria: 7 Stunning Rock Formations
Nature has never ceased to amaze mankind. With so many beautiful places to see all over the world, you could easily miss out on some of the lesser-known (but just as incredible) nature spots. Bulgaria is full of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered and you’ll no doubt be amazed by the rich history of every region! There are several natural deserts in Europe and one of them happens to be here – yet another reason to visit Bulgaria!
Here are 7 stunning rock formations you’ll only find in Bulgaria that are certainly worth exploring!
1/ The Melnik Pyramids: a natural phenomenon of world significance
The Melnik Pyramids are a group of unique sand formations that happen to be one of the most visited rock pyramids in Bulgaria. They are continually changing shape as a result of the combined erosive effect of water, wind, heat and cold. Some reach 100 meters in height and offer truly amazing views! You can see them from any place in Melnik, but if you want to get a complete experience you have a couple of options.
One is to hike the trail from Melnik to the Rozhen Monastery or get on top of the hills surrounding Melnik. The trail starts from the main street before you reach the Wine Museum (you can buy genuine, homemade, local wine there). There is an old blue board with very short info about what you’re going to see along the trail. The main sights are the ruins of St Nikola’s Church, Despot Slavova Fortress, Rozhen Monastery and “St Haralampius” St Archangels Monastery. When you climb to the top, there are many places with gorgeous views of the Sand Pyramids, Pirin Mountain, Belasitsa Mountain and even Slavyanka Mountain on the Bulgarian-Greek border.
After hiking either of the eco paths, you can stop by one of the taverns in town and enjoy some traditional Bulgarian cuisine!
2/ Chudnite Mostove (Marvelous Bridges): one of the symbols of Bulgaria and the Rhodope Mountains
The Marvelous Bridges are situated in the valley of the river Erkyupriya in the West Rhodope mountains. They were formed due to the erosive activity of the once larger Erkyupryia River. It transformed the marble clefts into a deep water cave, the ceiling of which eroded through time, collapsing and creating two formations similar to bridges.
This wonderful natural phenomenon offers some truly breathtaking views of the valley and it is definitely worth spending a day there. The spot is ideal for families who’d like to have a picnic on a sunny day. This fairytale place is nothing less than a miracle of nature – one that can be seen, touched and experienced!
The Wonderful Bridges is a protected Natural Monument. In 1961 it became an important Natural Landmark and in 2003 it joined the list of the ‘’One Hundred National Tourists Sites of Bulgaria”.
3/ Pobiti Kamani (Stone Desert): the only desert of its kind in Bulgaria and one of 2 found in Europe
Pobiti Kamani, also known as The Stone Desert, is a desert-like rock phenomenon on the north-west Varna Province border. The unique desert is made of sand dunes and several groups of natural rock formations. So how did they form? It took nature thousands of years to carve stone pieces in order to turn them into the impressive sculptures you see today! The most popular theory is that the desert formed as a result of environmental factors – sea waves, wind, rain, algae.
The desert attracts many visitors during the summer and you can easily reach it from Varna with a car. A must-visit place if you’re ever in the region! With Varna City Card, you get free admission to the Stone Desert.
4/ Belogradchik Rocks: breathtaking natural rock formations with an ancient historical fortress
The Belogradchik Rocks are located near the town of Belogradchik in the Balkan Mountains (Old Mountain). The unique formations, more than 230 million years old, are composed of limestone, ranging in colour from red to yellow. The rocks are strangely shaped and form figures of people, animals, towers and other things. There are many caves between the rock columns: of particular note is the Magura Cave, decorated with ancient drawings.
The red colour of the rocks offers a really amazing view, especially at sunset. You can get the best view from the Belogradchik fortress (the fortress is within the rock formation itself). It’s no doubt one of those magical places that every nature and history lover should visit! It’s perfect for a calming walk in nature, sightseeing and is suitable for families.
In 1984, the Belogradchik Rocks were placed on the tentative list of places to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
5/ The Stone Mushrooms: a unique rock phenomenon near the town of Kardzhali
The Stone Mushrooms are a natural phenomenon near the road between Haskovo and Kardzhali, about 1 km from the village of Beli Plast. Forces of nature sculped these unique rock formations like giant mushrooms. They formed due to volcanic activity underwater when it was the bottom of the sea.
Although they’re not many they’re definitely worth a stop! You can visit the Stone Mushrooms con the same day as the Thracian city of Perperikon.
6/ Chudnite Skali (Wonderful Rocks): a magnificent landscape of unique nature
“The Wonderful Rocks” are located on the lake Tsonevo, 55 km southwest of Varna and 2 km from the village of Asparuhovo. These unique needle-shaped rocks formed due to the effect of water and wind on limestone. With a height of 50 metres, they rise vertically over the dam. Their reflection in the water makes the landscape really magnificent!
The rocks are very close to Varna and enjoy a lot of local visitors who come for the view or for a fishing trip to Tsonevo dam.
7/ Stob Earth Pyramids
The Stob Pyramids are one of the wonders of Bulgaria. You can find them in the western part of Rila Mountain, near the village of Stob. They are famous for their natural beauty and a local legend about how they came to be.
There’s a group of rocks called ‘’The Wedding’’. As the story goes, a man and a woman from the nearby village were getting married. The celebration had already started when the father of the groom cast his eyes upon the bride and immediately fell in love with her. He was about to ruin the wedding when suddenly the earth started shaking and a terrible noise filled the air. All of a sudden everybody turned into rocks!
By now you’re no doubt breath-taken by all the beauty of Bulgaria’s nature. It’s one of the reasons why so many tourists visit the country every year. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start planning what will be one truly unforgettable trip!