Lukovit

 

The river Zlatna Panega flows to the north of the Balkan Mountain, where the rivers Vit and Iskar are also flowing. Its spring called Glava Panega is one of the largest karst springs in Bulgaria and its water has a permanent temperature of 11,5°. The river estuary is located close to the spring, owing to which it never freezes and in summer its flow rate never drops below 1500 l/sec. There are interesting and valuable tall stone obelisks formed around the cliffs of Panega, which have been called “Kuklite” /”The Dolls”/ by the local people. About 600 caves have been discovered in this area. The most popular ones in the region of Karlukovo are Prohodna – with the highest cave dome in Bulgaria /45 m/, Temna dupka, Bankovitsa, Svirchovitsa and others and in Bezhanovo – the dry Parnik and the wet Panik, as in the latter it is possible to move around only by using boats.

Special attention has to be paid to the Rock arches (bridges), which are the real “symbol” of this destination. Those along the river Vit /”Dupkata” (“The Hole”) near the village of Aglen/, “Provartenik”, to the west of the river Iskar, a few near the Parniks and others are more popular. Along with the arches, it is also worth mentioning a few weird rock formations /phenomena “Slona” (“The elephant”), “Katerichkata (“The squirrel”), “Choveka” (“The man”), “Ochite” (“The eyes)”) along the river Vit.

Prohodna is one of the popular and easily accessible caves in Bulgaria. It is a natural rocky bridge 262 m long and has 2 entrances – a big entrance and a small entrance. From the big entrance about 35 m high, a small path emerges, passing through the entire cave and the big entrance. Prohodna is naturally lit by the huge entrances and the natural openings in the ceiling – “okna” /”windows”/. It is the “okna” that make the cave unique. This is the reason why the local people call them “God’s eyes” and sometimes even “Devil’s eyes”. When watched from a particular angle, they even resemble a face looking down and in wet weather, there seem to be “tears” dropping from them. In order to visit the cave, you need a guide. The cave is accessible for tourists all year round.

Geopark Iskar-Panega eco-path is 8 km long. It starts from Lukovit and reaches Karlukovo. The Panega section includes the Kotlen area, weird rock formations known as Kuklite /The dolls/ and a water cave. The Iskar section includes three major sites – the phenomenal caves called Prohodna, Zadanen dol and the rockslide Strupanitsa as well as the three smaller caves -  Temna dupka, Bankovitsa, Svirchovitsa. Three of the caves and rock formations of Strupanitsa have been declared natural sights of national importance.