The town of Velingrad, Velingrad municipality, Pazardzhik district
Velingrad is one of the most preferred SPA and balneo destinations in the country. It is located at 750m altitude in the northwest Rhodope mountains. The resort is 130 km away from Sofia and 80 km away from Plovdiv.
The town of Velingrad is famous for its variety of mineral waters, for which it is also recognized as the SPA capital on the Balkans. The healing mountain air and beautiful nature attribute to the attractiveness of this region, which is visited throughout all seasons by thousands of Bulgarian and foreign tourists. The destination is attracting visitors for SPA and balneo vacations, healing, restoration, mountain tourism, hiking, cycling and more.
The resort is at first place in the country for variety of mineral waters. They spring from 4 habitats and have a temperature between 27.2°Сand 94°С. The composition of the water is different and with high balneological properties. They have beneficial effect on diseases of the locomotor system, neurological diseases, kidney-urological, gynecological, respiratory, gastrointestinal, skin, liver-bile, metabolic-endocrine and more.
The hotels offer mineral water pools to their tourists with modern SPA centers with different types of balneo services. In the town there are a few indoor and outdoor public and private mineral water pools, balneo parks, two aqua parks, public mineral baths and sinks.
Velingrad is also famous for its two beautiful artificial lakes, which originate from the largest karst spring in Bulgarian - Kleptuza. Near the lakes there is a separate area to relax and walk available to the guests and residents of the town. There are several restaurants, water wheels and so on. From the Kleptuza area you can walk along the marked trails to the places of Harmanite, Brezi, Gray Water and others.
Velingrad was founded in 1948 when the three nearby villages Kamenitza, Ladzhene and Chepino were merged, which are now its neighborhoods. The town bears the name of the party leader, Vela Peeva, who died in the anti-fascist struggle. Details and interesting facts about the history of the city and the area can be found in the local History Museum. Here you can see the permanent expositions: Memorial Exhibition "Vela Peeva", Ethnographic Exhibition "Mountain - hospitable home", Exhibition "Nikolai Gyaurov - The Great Bass" and Easter Written Eggs Exhibition, which is the largest collection in the country.
You can also visit the city art gallery, the beautiful temple “Uspenie Bogorodichno” as well as the temple “St. Georgi” and the church “St. Trinity” and more.
Your trip to Velingrad can also be romantic if you prefer the narrow-gauge railway. Through the town passes the only preserved and functioning narrow-gauge railway in the country: Septemvri – Dobrinishte.
Tourist attractions in the area. On the ountskirts of the village of Dorkovo (14 km away from Velingrad) is the largest field of mastodonts in Europe, dated 5-6 million years old and also the Paleonthological Museum. 6 km away from the village you can also see the remains of a medieval fortress “Tsepina” dating from the time of the Bulgarian ruler despot Aleksi Slav, who ruled the principality of the Rhodope and Pirin region in 1207-1230.
The beautiful 3-storey Lepenitza cave is 10 km away from Rakitovo and 11km away from Velingrad. Here you can see admirable natural formations such as stalactites, stalagmites and stalactons. The cave is 1 525m long. There is an underground river on the lower floor. On the second floor there are 4 lakes, some of which dry in the summer, the third floor is dry but is inaccessible.
Not far from Velingrad are Mount Golyama Sutkja (2 186m), the protected areas Valiavitsite, Kleptuza, the biosphere reserve “Mantaritsa” and many other beautiful mountain locations. You can reach them on different hiking trails. Detailed information about the routes can be obtained from the Tourist information center (TIC) - Velingrad.
The Dams “Dospat”, “Belmeken”, “Batak”, “Beglika” which are a favourite summer destination for recreation and fishing, as well as the resort Jundola are also located in the area.
Attractive traditional events. The biggest event here is the cultural celebrations of the town during the first week of July, when many tourist and troops are visiting.
Accomodations. The destination has over 70 hotels with different categories, 2 sanatoriums, 6 vacation complexes, many guest houses, etc.
The town has plenty of cozy pubs and entertainment venues. Along with the tasty national dishes and local beans salads you can also try the local dish “Chufki” - dried grean beans with pork legs.
Tourist information center (TIC) - Velingrad
Town of Velingrad, 1 Svoboda sq.
Phone: +359 889 459 558, website: https://velingrad-bg.com
Monday-Friday: 8.00 – 18.00, Saturday and Sunday: 10.00 – 16.00
To visit the Lepenitza cave:
Town of Rakitovo
Phone.: +359 895 755 885, +359 877 808 770, website: http://sutkya.org
The cave is undefined, but secured. In it you have to go with a guide, special equipment, which is provided on site. The cave is open from April 1 to November 30. You can reach it in 2 different ways - from Rakitovo or from Velingrad. If you go through Rakitovo you can reach it by car. If you go through Velingrad, the last 2 km to the entrance of the cave are walked on foot. Before you go it is advisable to call the above mentioned telephones for up-to-date information.