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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Saturday came and I headed to Stara Planina.


The unadulterated and natural beauty of Apriltsi

The starting point for this adventure is the town of Apriltsi.

This beautiful jewel is located in the middle of the northern slopes of the Central Stara Planina, just below the Botev peak.


I will try to describe Apriltsi in a few words – silence, incredible peace, greenery, unadulterated and amazingly beautiful! I was simply fascinated!


Entering Apriltsi, I looked on the navigation for "Vidima" HPP, from which my Saturday adventure along the rivers Vidima and Praskalska begins.


Hydropower plant "Vidima" in the town of Apriltsi
Hydroelectric power plant "Vidima"
"Vidimsko praskalo" eco-path

You can't go wrong with the start of the "Vidimsko praskalo" eco-trail, because you will notice many informative signs giving a huge amount of information.


There are designated wide parking spaces where you can leave your car in the shade.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

The Vidimsko Praskalo eco-trail was built as an educational tourist route starting at the Vidima Hydroelectric Plant and offers visitors to the area to get to know the Central Balkan National Park and one of its reserves - Severen Jendem.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

The "Vidimsko praskalo" eco-path is about six kilometers long.

The route runs parallel to the Praskalska River, passes through a century-old beech forest and leads to rock walls from which the 80-meter Vidimsko Praskalo waterfall descends.

The entire route is incredibly picturesque and reveals the charming and magnetic beauty of the "Central Balkan" National Park.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

You will see huge biodiversity, beautiful landscapes and natural attractions.

All the time you move in the shadows of a dense beech forest, which makes it especially attractive during the long hot summer days. Also, the path itself follows the Praskalska River, which in turn brings coolness and a fresh breeze from the mountains.

The air here is clean and cool. It breathes lightly and the pace is moderate.

The way to the end point is easy and very pleasant.

This route is suitable for mountain lovers of all ages.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

Almost the entire trail is wide and well marked. There's no way you can go wrong. The road is paved with large stones, so equip yourself with suitable comfortable hiking shoes.


Along the Praskalska river you will see quite beautiful waterfalls. The river has carved incredibly beautiful and whimsical shapes into the rocks through which it flows.

On the path to the cherished goal, you will be well informed about the biodiversity in the area by a significant number of directional information boards.


Several fountains have also been built, from which ice-cold and crystal-clear water flows for thirsty throats.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

After about two hours of moderate walking, including breaks, you will find yourself near a large gazebo and several benches and rest tables where you can have a bite to eat. Nearby there is a fountain with wonderful, icy and clear water.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

After the gazebo, the road turns into a path, it becomes narrower and a little steeper, but that shouldn't bother you at all!


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

You will also cross a number of wooden bridges - a total of five in number, built over the Praskalska River, which are in excellent condition.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park
A panoramic platform towards the Praskalska river and a waterfall

The first bridge will take you to a wooden panoramic platform built over a wonderfully beautiful waterfall, from where you will have the opportunity to enjoy this fascinating creation up close.


From the bridge there is also an incredible view of the "North Jendem" reserve.

Nearby there is a fountain and a bench for relaxation.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park
You pass "Praskalska" street and continue forward

A second wooden bridge follows, after which the path becomes slightly steep and narrow.

You will successively cross three more wooden bridges.

The fifth and last bridge will take you to the cherished goal - an excellently designed panoramic platform with benches by the river, from where there is a wonderful view of the Vidimsko praskalo waterfall and the "Severen Jendem" reserve.


Vidimsko praskalo eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park

The Vidim Splash is a waterfall flowing down the slopes of Severen Jendem Reserve, in the Central Balkan National Park in Stara Planina.


The height of its fall is over 80 meters, which makes it the fourth highest in Bulgaria after Vrachanska Skaklya (141 meters), Raisko praskalo (125 meters) and Bovska Skaklya (85 meters).


The waterfall is a formation of three separate streams that converge into one. They spring from the Yurushka heap.


The water flows in such a way that the foothills have turned into a natural pool, suitable for recreation and relaxation.


The waterfall is amazingly beautiful!


Vidimsko praskalo waterfall along the "Vidimsko praskalo" eco-trail in Central Balkan National Park
Vidimsko praskalo waterfall

It's very pleasant all around and even though it was a Saturday, there was almost no one there the entire stay.


Rest well here because the reverse transition follows.


The way back is even nicer and easier. Without even getting out of breath, you'll soon be in the starting position.


How do you get to Apriltsi?

Apriltsi is a city in central northern Bulgaria. It is located in Loveshka region, near the town of Troyan. The city is the administrative center of Apriltsi municipality.


It is located in a mountainous area, in a vast hollow at the foot of the peak of Stara Planina - Mount Botev, not far from Mount Maragidik.


Apriltsi is a town created by the merger of four large villages, which are currently its districts:

  • "Novo selo"

  • "Zla reka"

  • "Vidima"

  • "Ostrets"

The merger took place in 1976. The name Apriltsi was chosen in honor of the area's heroic participation in the April Uprising.


The city can be reached from the west by road from the town of Troyan and Oreshak, from the north - through the Gradnishka boaz (to the village of Krvenik) along an asphalt road or through the Debnevska boaz, and from the northeast - through the Batoshevska boaz along the newly asphalted road, but narrow and with sharp turns way.


Apriltsi stands at:

  • 183 kilometers (about 2 hours and 20 minutes by car) from the capital

  • 150 kilometers (about 2 hours and 56 minutes by car) from the city of Plovdiv

  • 298 kilometers (about 3 hours and 55 minutes by car) from the city of Varna

  • 293 kilometers (about 3 hours and 50 minutes by car) from the city of Burgas




Apriltsi is one of the longest cities in Bulgaria with its 22 kilometers along the Ostreshka River, from the Ostrets district to the Vidima Hydroelectric Plant, along the Vidima River.


How do you get to "Vidima" hydroelectric power station?

In the "Zla Reka" district, turn south on "Stara planina" street. Keep going straight until you see the "Vidima" hydroelectric power station.



What can be visited nearby?

Only about 30 kilometers northwest of the town of Apriltsi (about 35 minutes by car) is the village of Kaleitsa. In the meadows near the village you can enjoy the Skoka (Lopushnica) waterfall - a beautiful and high waterfall in the middle part of the Pre-Balkans.


Skoka (Lopushnica) – a beautiful and high waterfall in the middle part of the Pre-Balkans
Skoka (Lopushnica) – a beautiful and high waterfall in the middle part of the Pre-Balkans

Only about 53 kilometers west of the town of Apriltsi (about an hour and 12 minutes by car) you will find the "Arch of Freedom" monument, which is erected on Goraltepe peak (1595 meters) near the Troyan pass (Troyan - Karnare pass).

From here you can see incredible panoramic views of Northern and Southern Bulgaria.


Liberty Arch Monument
Liberty Arch Monument

Only 52 kilometers east of the town of Apriltsi (about 55 minutes by car) is the town of Gabrovo.


In Gabrovo, you must visit the Architectural-Ethnographic Complex and Open Air Museum "Etar"


Architectural-ethnographic complex and open-air museum "Etar"
Architectural-ethnographic complex and open-air museum "Etar"

Just 16 kilometers from the town of Gabrovo (about 26 minutes by car) you will find the charming jewel of Bozhentsi, which you must visit.


Village of Bozhentsi
Village of Bozhentsi

Only 21 kilometers from Gabrovo (about 22 minutes by car) you will find the town of Dryanovo.

In Dryanovo, visit an authentic bridge built by master Kolyu Ficheto.


Kolyu Ficheto bridge in Dryanovo
Kolyu Ficheto bridge in Dryanovo

Just 22 kilometers east of Gabrovo (about 34 minutes by car) is the beautiful Tryavna, which I recommend you must visit.


Tryavna
Tryavna

Only about 23 kilometers south of the town of Gabrovo (about 34 minutes by car) is the Freedom Monument known as the Shipka Monument.


Freedom Monument (Shipka Monument)
Freedom Monument (Shipka Monument)

About 48 kilometers south of the town of Gabrovo (about 58 minutes by car) is the town of Kazanlak.


In Kazanlak, you can visit the rose museum.


Rose Museum in Kazanlak
Rose Museum in Kazanlak

After viewing the museum's rich exposition, I suggest you take a relaxing walk through the wonderful alleys of Rosarium Park in the city of Kazanlak.


Park "Rosarium" in the city of Kazanlak
Park "Rosarium" in the city of Kazanlak

In the city of Kazanlak, I suggest you also visit the church "Saint Elijah", also known as the Kulenska church.


Saint Elijah Church in the city of Kazanlak, known as the Kulenska Church
Saint Elijah Church in the city of Kazanlak, known as the Kulenska Church

Only 5 kilometers south of the city of Kazanlak (about 8 minutes by car) is the village of Buzovgrad, from where the wonderful eco-trail adventure "Path through the Ages" begins.

You shouldn't miss it for anything in the world!


Ecopath "Path through the ages: natural landmark Megalith
Ecopath "Path through the ages: natural landmark Megalith

About 77 kilometers north of the town of Apriltsi (about an hour and 20 minutes by car) there is a natural landmark "Nine Cave".


Natural landmark "Devetashka cave"
Natural landmark "Devetashka cave"

Only about 15 kilometers east of the "Nine Cave" natural landmark (about 19 minutes by car) are the wonderful Krushuna waterfalls.


Krushuna waterfalls
Krushuna waterfalls

And as a finale, my dear friends,

you shouldn't miss a look

the special album with photo moments –

discovered, experienced, captured and shared with you!



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