Distance from the beginning to the end of the trail and back – 1.30h
GPS coordinates: 43.187208, 24.159922
Degree of difficulty: mild
The Iskar-Panega Geopark eco-trail starts from a parking lot next to the sign for Lukovit on the road between Sofia and Pleven. The car park is quite large and has a caravan for barbecue and drinks as well as a tourist information center.
The trail offers a variety of conditions for adventure, alternative, speleological and alpine tourism.
The Zlatna Panega River, specific in this part with its blue-green color, starts from the karst spring “Glava Panega”. Its name in the past was Panax. There is a belief from antiquity that it had healing properties.
The path is easy and convenient for families with children. There are several places with gazebos for barbecues. It is quite popular, we were waiting all the time for large groups of tourists, so if you are looking for peace and privacy with nature, come on a more unconventional day and time to avoid the crowds.
Beginning of Geopark Iskar-Panega
There are 2 options at the beginning. The official entrance is through a small arch symbolizing the Prohodna cave with the two cult eyes. After it there is a very short section on which you have to go down steeper stairs.
The easier alternative is behind the tourist point of the parking lot, from where a wide path starts down the hill, with which you miss the steep stairs.
After the above-mentioned steep stairs, we pass a gazebo with an Eco-trail arrow and follow the arrow (be careful not to get confused and walk on the bridge).
The path winds along the river Zlatna Panega and we cross several bridges from where we can admire the turquoise colors of the water.
In the geopark, you can enjoy not only the surreal azure shades of the river, the fabulous karst forms that surround the horizon, and the amazing biodiversity.
The songs of frogs are heard everywhere and the azure wings of dragonflies and butterflies flutter.
Mother nature has woven wreaths of vines everywhere, on the trees, and in the river, which greet the traveler.
We pass through 2 wooden platforms, at the foot of the rock, from where we can enjoy up-close the divine view of the river.
We do not miss one of the attractions on the trail before the final. The Dark Hole Cave ( Temnata dupka), which is not ennobled and suitable for visits. Traces of the first Homo Sapiens ever lived have been found in the Dark Hole!
Final of Geopark Iskar-Panega
We reach the end of the more commercial part of the path, a meadow with gazebos and picnic benches. Further on, the trail is significantly more unmaintained and the flow of people decreases.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the trail for all who wish to touch the picturesque sketches of nature. Let me emphasize that it is a “photographic” eco-trail, so grab your phones and attack!