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More Great Locations for Caving Holidays in Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s wealth of caves covers the length and breadth of the country and you don’t need to be an accomplished caver to explore some of these amazing sites, because most offer guided tours to the general public usually during the summer months. The beauty about basing your holiday around an area rich in caves is that you can learn more about the country’s geology as well as see some of its most striking landscape. Many companies on the internet offer caving holidays in Bulgaria, however it is possible to just do-it-yourself by purchasing low cost flights, a hire car and taking advantage of traditional local accommodation. Often this type of DIY holiday proves to be the best because you can integrate and experience more of the local culture than if you were in an organised group.

 

Rosinka Dupka

The Rosinka Dupka lies beneath the northern side of the Rosokastro fortress close to the village of Zheliazovo near Bourgas. It is only a small cave no more than 4 m high and 17 m long but archaeologists have found remains of a Thracian sanctuary here.  The cave can be accessed by means of a small path leading from the nearby church. There is a strong legend associated with this cave, which maintains that on St George’s day, the area around the cave was visited by a dragon that swooped down and grabbed a young girl called Rousa, who was celebrating with local villagers. The dragon found her so desirable that he hid her in the cave so that he could be married to her. The girl was so distraught that she leant against the cave wall and cried all day and night. Her tears are said to have formed a holy spring, which local people claim has healing power. People still visit the spring today to pray for their good health.

Orlova Chuka

The Orlova Chuka lies 35 km away from Rousse, in the valley formed by the Cherni Lom River. It is Bulgaria’s second largest cave, but one of the few caves that has not been fully explored. The upper floor is open to the public but the lower levels are not accessible as they are covered in water. Archaeologists have found many ancient artefacts in the cave, which because of its amazing acoustics has become a perfect location for concerts; many musical offerings have also been recorded here. The cave is also home to eight different bat species, some quite rare in Europe.  The public tour covers one km and takes visitors past the cave’s best feature – its brilliant white stalagmites at the spot known as Izvorcheto.

Sueva Dupka

The Sueva Doupka ranks among the top three caves in Europe because of its striking rock formations. This cave is located three km from the village of Brestnitsa in north central Bulgaria and its name comes from twins called Suiu and Seiu who hid in the cave to escape capture by the Ottoman army. It is nearly three million years old and lies at an altitude of 500 m and for this reason two of its chambers are permanently filled with ice. The cave is 250 m in length and has a constant temperature of between 7 and 12 degrees. The cave is open to the public and it is one of the few caves in Bulgaria, which is fully lit.  The cave consists of five chambers; the Koupene and Beliat Zamuk chambers have the most distinctive rock formations, the Cosmos chamber is the tallest, the Sroutnishte chamber was the subject of a damaging earthquake in 1893 and the Kontsertna is the chamber with the best acoustics - its name actually means concert hall in Bulgarian. Several concerts have been staged here as well as the movie Detstvo Moe (My Childhood).

Anduka Cave

Another cave close to the village of Brestnitsa in north central Bulgaria is the Anduka Cave. It is made up of four chambers whose total length is 3,600 m. Anduka is open all year round but perhaps the best time to visit is during summer when the cave is open from 8 am until 7 pm. (Out of season it opens from 10 am until 4 pm). It is easy to see around the cave as it contains electric lighting. There are two routes around the cave and both are open to the public; one route takes 30 minutes and the other 70. What is special about this cave is the fact that it used to be inhabited by humans and archaeologists found human remains along with knives and relics made from bones.

Devetashka Cave

The Devetashka cave lies on the banks of the Osum River, between the villages of Doirentsi and Devetaki in the Lovech region. The cave is one of the longest in the country with a length of 2,442 m and it was first discovered in 1921. It used to be used for the storage of petroleum by the army and this has destroyed some of the caves natural features. Fortunately what is left is now under protection as this site was deemed natural landmark in 1996.