On Danube River cruise itineraries, Vidin is the port of call which serves Belogradchik. This small, quiet town lies in the extreme north west of Bulgaria, very close to the border with Serbia and at the foot of the Balkan Mountains. It’s just over 30 miles from the Danube River to the north, making it easily accessible for day excursions from the river to see the famous Belogradchik Rocks; incredible formations which reach up to 200 metres in height.
The aforementioned Belogradchik Rocks are the main reason why people make the journey to Belogradchik. These vast rock formations are spread over the mountains, consist of sandstone and conglomerate and cover an area of around 50 square miles. Many of the rocks are named for various reasons, including the fact that some of them resemble famous objects or people or are intertwined with particular local legends. Just some of the rocks at Belogradchik include the Monks, the Horseman, Adam and Eve, the Camel, the Rebel Velko and the Madonna, so be sure to have the camera at the ready to make your own lasting memories of these famous stony sights.
Aside from the rocks, though sharing an obvious connection with them, the biggest attraction close to the town is Belogradchik Fortress, which is an ancient structure that incorporates the rock formations as part of its natural defences. It is one of the country’s most important cultural monuments and one of its best preserved ancient fortified buildings and even today is an imposing sight, with walls which are six feet thick and reach almost 40 feet in height. Though it has been modified somewhat over the years, the fortress has played a strategic role during medieval, Tsarist and Ottoman times, as its strategic potential was one of the few things that every occupying power could agree on. Another nearby attraction which dates back even further is the Magura Cave, which is home to a number of incredible prehistoric cave paintings.
For those wishing to learn more about the region’s history, the town of Belgradochik itself has an art gallery as well as an informative history museum, which tells the story of local and national events throughout the years. For those in search of a little something to take back home, there’s also a souvenir shop in the town.
Belgradochik may not be the town which immediately springs to mind when you think of wine but in fact, there’s a shop in the town which is dedicated to some of the region’s vintages and it’s a great place to visit if you’re a wine-lover or know someone else who is.