Vratsa – a town like Balkan, ancient and young


Vratsa has a population of about 45 thousand inhabitants, it is located in northwestern Bulgaria, at the foot of
Vratsa Mountain and the small river Leva, which forms the area Vrattsata (Vratata), where the name of Vratsa comes from. There were two huge wooden doors with metal hardware that guarded the passage and led to Okolchitsa. It is a medieval Bulgarian town. The first Bulgarian bishop Sofronii Vrachanski was appointed here during the revival. In 1822 the first secular school was opened.

The starting point is the Vrattsata gorge and Ledenika cave. When visiting the city you can take the time to visit:

Regional History Museum Vratsa

Located in the southern part of the central square Hristo Botev. One of the most interesting expositions is the Rogozen Treasure around the world. This is the largest Thracian treasure ever found. The museum also preserves the oldest human skeleton found in Bulgaria. There are two other complexes – the Ethnographic-Revival Complex Sofroniy Vrachanski and the Complex dedicated to Nikola Voyvodov.

Complex Vestitel

Complex Vestitel – Located at the foot of Vratsa Balkan. It is reached by steep stone steps, as well as circular alleys, which literally leave from the very center of Vratsa. The most interesting sites in the area are the Tourist House, also known as the Chalet, as well as the Monument of the Freedom Fellows. Every Sunday there is the sound of a trumpet – the signal of the Russian soldier, the Tsar Petlak, who announced on November 9, 1877 – the liberation of the city. At 100 meters behind the monument stands a tall white-stone obelisk with the names of the volunteers from Vratsa. Complex Vestitel is a favorite place for walks of both Vratsa and all guests of Vratsa. From there, there is a wonderful view of most of the city and the beautiful and majestic mountain.

Tower of the Mesquite

Tower of Meshite – One of the symbols and landmarks of the city. The shape is a correct stone prism with a height of 13 m. The land has a storage purpose and the three floors are used for residential purposes. It is believed that the tower dates back to the 16th century. Then, the native notables – Ayans became of particular importance as an institution. At the end of the 19th century the tower was rebuilt as a city clock. In 2006 the tower was rebuilt. A dial, as well as new artistic lighting.

Courtyard Tower

Courtyard Tower – With its original silhouette, despite its small size, it creates the impression of a medieval castle. It is one of a few similar ones that existed during the Turkish times. It is a fortified home of a local feudal lord. It dates back to the 17th century, but its elements and the way of construction indicate continuity from the fortress construction of the Bulgarian Middle Ages – 16th century.

Ledenika cave

Ledenika Cave – Ledenika is a cave in Stara Planina with many galleries and interesting karst forms – stalactites and stalagmites dating back thousands of years. The cave is about 300 m long. It has ten halls. The biggest is the Concert Hall. The Pass of Sinners leads to it. Only the one who has a pure heart can pass through it. Once the cave was full of water, but gradually the water has disappeared and there is only one little lake left – the Lake of Desires. According to the legend, if someone submerges his hand in the ice cold lake in the cave and wishes something, his desire will be fulfilled. Ledenika Cave is located in the northwestern part of Strazheski ridge of the Vratsa mountain, 16 km away from the town of Vratsa.

Around Vratsa

If you want to spend more time in the nature around Vratsa you can visit one of the hiking trails around Vratsa.

Here’s an example:

Tourist Route “Beginners’ Mountaineering” – Route Time: 3 hours The route is built in the Ledenika area and starts next to the restaurant of the complex, where the main boards are covered with basic themes that give a minimum of knowledge about the pleasant and safe This is information about the technique of walking and the organization of the movement, the equipment, the types of bivouacs, the tourist marking, the initial knowledge of topography and meteorology, the dangers in the mountain and the first aid may. The route is dotted with beautiful scenery and opportunities for observation of rare flora and fauna. On it are built rest areas and picnic area with a fountain. The route is marked with summer and winter markings.

More similar routes around Vratsa can be found here

Sport activities

Around Vratsa, one has the opportunity to practice a lot of extreme sports, including:

Mountain biking

Vratsa mountain is a real paradise for mountain biking fans. The relief of the mountain offers excellent conditions for unmarked bicycle tours or real bikes, which are a test of physics and psyche even by well-trained athletes. Mountain slopes are a serious challenge for high-sensitivity practitioners practicing the descent and free-ride disciplines.


The Balkan has many different and wonderful starts Starting points are at a maximum of 15km. from Vratsa or Mezdra. Among them are Mount Okolchitsa, Skolon Darmantsi and others.

Rock climbing

The climbing site The Vratzata Pass is situated 2 km southwest of the town of Vratsa against the river Leva. It reminds the rock gate, where the name Vratsata came from. The site is located on the territory of the Vratsa karst reserve within the Vratsa Balkan Nature Park. The rocks are characterized by a variety of forms requiring the application of all climbing methods and a colorful set of wedges and “widgets” – clamps, friends, eccentrics. Contemporary, the site is divided into 32 massifs where more than 330 traditional, alpine and sporting routes are traversed.

Sorce: speleo.vratza.eu