Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s Wonders: The Belogradchik Rocks

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From Serbia, we had two days of stops in Bulgaria. What I loved about cruising with AmaWaterways is that the company offers free shore excursions to all passengers in each port, plus a variety of options from which to choose, ranging from slow and steady to a bit more fast-paced.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

You’re not surprised then that I chose the latter every day, and I was glad my group of eight was of the same mindset, particularly as you’ve never met a speed demon quite like my mom. Those little legs carry her great distances at a very brisk pace that nearly doubles that of my stride!

Unfortunately, though, she had to pay an emergency visit to the dentist the day we docked in Vidin, and the rest of us were forced to go to Belogradchik without her. (Sorry, Mom.)

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

The bus ride out to Belogradchik was a winding and turbulent hour, one in which my sister and I—both very prone to motion sickness—were afraid we might not make it. (Take your Dramamine beforehand, folks.) But when we arrived to the otherworldly landscape of northwestern Bulgaria, our stomachaches quickly subsided and we were glad we’d made the trip.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria
Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Spread out over the Balkan Mountains, the sandstone rock formations looked like they could have belonged in the American Southwest, in northern Arizona or even Southern Utah. The difference, however, was the lush foliage—pops of brilliant green—that surrounded them.

Oh, and the fact that their formation begin roughly 230 million years ago.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

To walk to the base of the Belogradchik Fortress from the parking lot was a quick stroll, but to get to the top required quite a lot of climbing. We had parked my dad, who is just six months post-stroke and a bit wobbly at times, on a bench at the base while we set out to see the view—only to turn around and find him making the climb on his own.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria
Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

This would have been a huge accomplishment pre-stroke as he’s had a bad knee and hip that have been nagging him for years, but after a significant brain injury, it was a purely magical occurrence. My sister and I couldn’t stop beaming from his grit and determination. Go, Dad! (Or maybe he was just humoring Mom since she wasn’t there to see it.)

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria
Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Steep stairs aside, the hike up to the top was a pretty easy one—no more than 15 minutes of climbing—and once up there, there were unobstructed views of the surrounds (i.e. no burdensome railings like you’d find in the United States).

Naturally, I took this chance to do a little outdoor yoga.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Because that cliff’s edge was totally made for inversions, don’t you think?

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

SVV and I stayed up there so long, we wound up being the last ones down and back on the bus (oops). But it was too pretty—both the weather and the scenery—to be cooped up in a vehicle if you ask me.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Our slight delay (again, sorry to my shipmates!) meant we were late to our play at the Baba Vida Fortress back in Vidin. Given that it was in Bulgarian and like a community theater version of Game of Thrones, I didn’t mind too much—that is, until I found out they’d held the entire play for our arrival!

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Vidin didn’t offer a whole lot more by way of tourist draws, so if you’re headed to that area, I’d highly recommend you gloss right over the city and head out to Belogradchik by car—or private transfer (we use Blacklane)—instead.

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria
Exploring the Belgradochik Fortress in Bulgaria

 

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Visiting the Belogradchik Rocks in Bulgaria

COMMENTS
  • October 6, 2016

    Those mountains are absolutely gorgeous! Who knew Bulgaria?

  • October 7, 2016

    The pictures are absolutely breathtaking! And of course, yoga is meant to be done on cliffs! Haha x

  • October 7, 2016

    I missed out on the natural landscapes of Bulgaria on my visit because I only had time for two town! I seems I have to go back there, which is no big punishment as I absolutely love the Balkan!

  • October 7, 2016

    I just got curious of Bulgaria when I learned that my favorite actress is Bulgarian (Nina Dobrev). I knew it! The place is as beautiful as her. 🙂

  • October 7, 2016

    An x of mine lived in Bulgaria for 2 years…he never once mentioned this place. Jerk. Gorgeous scenery, and a big, huge round of applause for Papa Luna!!

    xox

  • October 8, 2016

    I have visited just cities in Bulgaria. Now I see I missed a lot! Beautiful photos.

  • October 10, 2016

    Interesting scenery! Glad to see your dad is doing well!

  • October 13, 2016

    Its great work this is nice way to attract audience and also unique and interesting article.

  • October 28, 2016

    Bulgaria is often underestimated, as the direction for the trip. This is a mistake!

  • January 12, 2018

    The place is as beatiful as Jessica Alba

  • January 12, 2018

    Those mountains are absolutely gorgeous!

  • May 5, 2018

    My website is called “Bulgaria with noodles” and it is about China and Bulgaria, two fascinating and very different countries. At the moment my wife and I are still in China, but this summer we will be retiring to Bulgaria.

  • July 1, 2018

    Wow! Look at how beautiful those rock formation! Amazing! I can’t believe they have it in Bulgaria. I’m including Bulgaria to my travel bucket list. Thanks for sharing those amazing pictures and stories.

  • November 23, 2018

    I have never been to Bulgaria, but your photos make me want to visit this place. If you are itching to travel again, I would suggest you go to Dubai and explore the stunning city and magnificent desert.

  • April 4, 2019

    Bulgaria is an amazing country! I had the opportunity to live in Sofia for 4 months and absolutely loved the country. We travelled around a lot and tried to visit as much as we could. Belogradchik was one of my favorite spots, even though it was foggy and rainy the day we visited. But despite the weather I LOVED it! Apart from that Bulgaria has a lot more to offer and I can’t recommend it enough. The Rila monastery surrounded by mountains, the 7 rila lakes, the caves, the monutains, the traditional towns such as Koprvshtitsa, all the history… It’s just amazing! If you have the opportunity to go again I highly recommend it! You can check some of those places here if you want 😉

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