Cover photo: visitsmolyan.bg
Golubovitsa cave is located in the area of the village of Smilyan, Smolyan Region. When you pass the sign, you should look around for directions to the Garga Dere area. There you turn and head towards the village of Koshnitsa, from which the Water Cave is only 1 km away. To get to the entrance itself, you have to go through a medium-difficult eco-path and a not very stable suspension bridge. The route is only about 10 minutes. The price for a visit is BGN 30 per person, and the group must be a minimum of four people. It includes cave guides, use of alpine and cave equipment, insurance.
The natural landmark itself is a system of four caves, genetically and morphologically interconnected. The name comes from "dove" as it is believed to be inhabited by the rock dove species. Golubovitsa 2 is the one that actually causes the most interest for visitors. It consists of an underground lake and a river, which can be crossed with boats and waterproof overalls. You wade inside with rubber boots, and one section is covered literally lying on the bottom of an inflatable boat. It can only be entered with a guide, after instructions and with special equipment. It is good to book a place at least a day in advance. There is no lighting and everyone moves around with headlamps. The tour in Golubovitsa lasts up to 3 hours, depending on the size of the group. The temperature is constant and is around 11 degrees. You can visit it only in summer and early autumn due to the high water level in winter and spring.
In addition to the cave, visitors can also enjoy the via ferrata (a railway cut into the rocks) as well as an alpine trolley that rises 20 meters high between the two banks of the Essenna river. You can "fly" on it to the starting point of the route. Via Ferrata is a metal path in the rock, made of iron steps, belay and parapet rope. The extreme vertical transition is 140 meters long and is only possible with the special equipment provided by the club. The final section of the climb is under beautiful rock arches sculpted by the natural forces of water and winds.
Less than a kilometer away is another interesting place to visit, which we told you about in our article about the caves around Plovdiv. Uhlovitsa is one of the most beautiful and oldest caves in Bulgaria. It is called one of the underground palaces of the Western Rhodopes and you should make sure you have time for it as well. Groups enter on a circular basis, with the last one at 4 p.m.