About Velingrad

Sightseeing Guide to Velingrad

Velingrad is located 130 km from Sofia and 80 km from Plovdiv. It is known as the SPA capital of the Balkans because it unites the four elements of nature: air and water, sun and earth. 

Velingrad is one of the leading wellness centres for regenerative procedures after medical disorders and a place for active recreation and tourism. We would advise you to visit the following sites during your stay at the Grand Hotel Velingrad:


Bulgaria has an abundance of karst springs because ¼ of its territory is covered by carbonate rocks, but the most picturesque one is in Velingrad. It lies on the right bank, next to a mountain slope in Chepino Borough. The water from the spring is used for water supply and for a fishery, and also serves to fill two beautiful ponds. They are among the most popular places for leisure and recreation both for the locals and the visitors of this resort town.

Markovi Rocks Area

This area is located right above Kleptuza and is the only place in Bulgaria where a meridian and a parallel intersect – its geographical coordinates are 24˚ E longitude and 42˚ N latitude.  

St. Nicola Area

This area is located 3 km west of Kamenitsa Borough and is the starting point of one of the most popular tourist routes: Gergevana – The Old Chark. There, in the place of the temple destroyed by the oppressors in the 17th century, today there is a small and beautiful chapel called St. Nicola.

Kladova Area

The departure point for this area is the last bus station of the Kamenitsa Borough. From there one must walk for 10 minutes to the northwest before arriving at the foot of Elin Vrah. The name of the area dates back to before the Independence Day, when this was a place for timber processing and storage in piles, and this is where it derives its name from (Kladova originates from the Bulgarian word for bonfire piles). You will know you have arrived when you reach the sun-soaked meadows surrounded by tall spruces.

The Old Chark

One can take the eco trial from the St. Nicola Chapel and reach this area in 15 minutes. The name of the area is derived from the word for a wheel propelled by water. Apart from the clear cold water, the picturesque river and the beautiful nature, there is also a place for recreation. It makes for a great weekend getaway destination, close to Velingrad.

Elin Vrah

One can get there from Kamenitsa Borough by taking the beautiful eco trail. It is situated at an altitude of 1,568 m and the walk there takes about 3 hours, until one gets to the very top crowned by the St. Iliya Chapel. The murals in the chapel were made by the famous Velingrad artist Zavarin Veselinov. The view is breathtaking; one can see a large part of the Rhodopes – Batak Mountain and the Big Syutkya Mount, and also some parts of Pirin.

Ostrets Mount

From Ladzhene Borough, take the southwest trail with the green markings. Ostrets Mount is at 1,378 m and borders the Chepin Valley to the north; it is also the highest point between the hills of Alabak and Syutkya. From the top one can get panoramic views of the Pirin, Rila, and Rhodope Mountains, and to the Chepin Valley. The mount has two culminations: Little and Big Ostrets.

Tsepina Fortress

It is located 18 km east of Velingrad, in the territory of the village of Dorkovo, Municipality of Rakitovo. This is an Old Bulgarian fortress which was the capital of Despot Slav. In the Middle Ages, Tsepina was one of the best known Rhodope fortresses. It became part of the territory of the Bulgarian state in the middle of the 9th century. In the 11th century Byzantium took control over it but during the rule of Tsar Kaloyan (1197-1207) Tsepina was once again brought back into the territory of the Bulgarian state. When Kaloyan appointed his nephew, Alexy Slav, as the governor of the Rhodopes, Tsepina became the seat of the territories and possessions of the despot. 

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