||Northwest Bulgaria > Berkovitsa > Surrounding areas
Surrounding areas of BerkovitsaThe northern slopes of the Berkovski Balkan at the foot of which Berkovitsa is situated are famous for their chestnut woods - one of the two natural finds of tame (mordant) chestnut in Bulgaria (the other one is in Belasitsa Mountain, above the town of Petrich). Berkovitsa is a main point of departure along marked tourist tracks through the Berkovski Balkan (refer to the Stara Planina Mountain related chapter herein). Kaleto a woody hill (515 m) to the northwest near the town. It is a natural forest-park and a protector of Berkovitsa from wind. Here are the remains of Roman and medieval Bulgarian fortresses built in three belts in terraces. Of interest are the two late antique Christian churches that date back to 4th-5th century. The Ashiklar Area (the valley of the singers in love) is a romantic neighborhood to the south of the town, spreading out to the chestnut woods. A favorite place for recreation in natural environment.
Vurshets Resort (18 km to the southeast) is a balneological centre of national importance and is the biggest in Northeastern Bulgaria. It is nestled in a small valley, surrounded to the south by the main ridge of Stara Planina and to the east by the Vratsa Balkan. Since 1860 its thermal waters (temperature from 32.6 to 36.4� are used for healing rheumatic, cardiovascular, gastric-intestinal, nerve and other diseases. There is a great number of sanatoriums, holiday houses, villas. Marius Hotel (126, Republika Blvd., tel.: 09527 2109, tel./fax: 09527 3034) works, too. One could rent private lodgings. The resort is a point of departure of marked tourist tracks in the Vratsa Balkan - to the Byalata Voda Chalet (1.30 hours along a blazed track and 7 km asphalt road), to Parshevitsa Chalet (about 8 hours on foot), and to Proboinitsa Chalet (4.30-5 hours on foot). There is a regular bus transport between Varshets and Berkovitsa.
The Klissoura Monastery St. St. Ciril and Metodius (about 10 km to the south east of Berkovitsa and 12 km to the west of Varshets) was founded in 1240. It was many times burned and restored in times of the Ottoman Rule it remained a real fortress of Bulgarian national spirit in this region. It has a striking outlook. The walls are not painted. One is attracted by the beautiful wood-carvings of the iconostasis, made by Stoicho Fandakov from Samokov and the marvellous icons of the famous icon-painter Nikola Obrazopisov. One can spend the night there against minimal payment. Behind the monastery starts a marked tourist track up to Mt. Todorini Kukli (2.30-3 hours on foot) on the main ridge of Stara Planina where one may join the Kom-Emine route. There is no regular transport to the monastery but buses between Berkovitsa and Varshets stop at the road fork from where one can walk 3 km along an asphalt road. One can also go on foot from Varshets (through the village of Spanchevtsi) for 1-1.30 h.
The village of Burzia - 6 km to the south of Berkovitsa. Mountain and balneological resort of local importance. All buses going through the Petrohan Pass stop there.
Petrohan Pass (1444 m above sea level, 25 km to the south of Berkovitsa) is on the Stara Planina ridge and is a boundary between the Berkovski Balkan (to the west) and Koznitsa and Ponor (to the east). This is the road from Sofia to Berkovitsa, Varshets, Montana, Lom, Vidin. It received its name after the Petrovs Inn, which had many years served those who passed by it (it is not preserved). There is a motel-restaurant, gas-station and a chalet (Petrohanski Prohod Chalet) and another big Chalet (Petrohan Chalet) to the east 30 min on foot. A point of departure for tourist routes along the ridge of the Balkan - to the west: Mt. Kom (2016 m, about 3 hours), the new Kom Chalet (3.30 hours), the old Kom Chalet (3.00 hours), the town of Berkovitsa (about 6 hours) and to the east (except to the Petrohan Chalet): to Mt. Todorini Kukli (about 2.30 hours), Proboinitsa Chalet (5-6 hours), Lakatnik railway station (7-8 hours), etc. All buses going through the Petrohan Pass stop there. The Haidoushki Waterfall is situated 9 km to the southwest from Berkovitsa in the lovely valley of Goliama Reka where the water goes down with roar on the two falls. The neighborhood district is very beautiful. One can walk to the waterfall in 1.30-2 hours.