What Is So Good About… Gradishte Historic Park?

Bulgaria never ceases to amaze me! We made a random stop off at Gradishte Historic Landscape Park after leaving Melnik and we were so glad we did.

Where is Gradishte Historic Park

On the road from Melnik to Yagodina, you pass many picturesque villages and towns (including Gotse Delchev, where we stopped to grab coffee and bakery goods). At around the halfway point, just after Gotse Delchev, there’s a place called Gradishte Historic Landscape Park (Ландшафтен исторически парк “Градище”). The title sounds very grand but from the description, I was expecting it to be a few interestingly shaped rocks. Bulgaria, once again, managed to totally blow us away!

Gradishte Historic Park is on a plateau above woods and rivers

Useful Information for Visiting Gradishte Historic Park

The car park is just off the main road and entrance is an astounding 1 BGN per person (0.5 EUR) which you pay to a couple of guys who are hanging around in their cars smoking (I’m therefore not 100% sure where that money goes but it’s not much). The friendly one out of the two exchanged some gesticulations and pointed at pictures with us so we could understand some of the rocks we were looking out for (including a turtle, dog and a head).

Hiking, Rock Formations and History…

After this slightly strange but jolly welcome, we discovered that the park consists of an incredible 4km walking trail. It is really nicely laid out with information and different things to see. The landscape itself is fantastic, with huge boulders and a 360 degree view of the valley bellow – just trees, mountains and river. You can’t even hear cars, it’s so quiet!

In addition to rocks, there is information on paleolithic/neolithic remains that were discovered there – it’s believed the site was used for rituals (you can definitely imagine this). The footpath takes you down into the valley where there is a stream and a Roman bridge and then loops back up to the beginning. It’s very clean – I don’t remember seeing any trash.

Another wonderful thing about Bulgaria is that all over the country you find natural springs for drinking water. They’re often at the side of the road and people go to fill up large containers of water – much better than buying them from the shop! There was one halfway round just where we needed a drink (we forgot our water as usual).

Another Bulgarian feature, and this walk was no exception, is the small shelters that have benches and often even a fireplace with logs. You are really set up in Bulgaria if you end up lost, needing water and shelter.

Structure made of wooden planks with a stone fireplace and wooden benches in Gradishte Historic Park
Shelter with a fire place

The moral of the tale: making random stops in the Bulgaria countryside is always worth it! Did you make it to Gradishte Historic Landscape Park? Let me know your thoughts via the comments below or write to me on Facebook (Hopelessly Nomantic), Instagram (Hopelessly_Nomantic) or Twitter (HopelesNomantic)!

A Road Trip through Southern Bulgaria

Check my other Bulgaria Posts for other off-the-beaten track destinations on Southern Bulgaria

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