Sofia

Day Trip to the cave of God's Eyes

30 Jun 2019
One of the most haunting images that has done the rounds on social media recently, is that of the natural phenomena generally referred to as  'The Eyes of God'. The actual name of the cave is 'Prohodna' (Проходна) which literally means passage - and you can actually pass through the 262 metre length of the cave which has two entrances referred to as big and small. The larger entrance has a height of 45 metres and is used for bungee jumping (70 leva) on certain dates throughout the year.
More information and dates: bungeeclub.bg/prohodna
Near the village of Karlukovo about 125km north-west of Sofia (just 50 km from Pravets) this is a perfect half to full day trip destination, with plenty of hiking opportunities along designated eco-paths (Zlatna Panega River) to extend the day. A popular rock climbing region there are several other caves in the region but this is by far the most accessible.
Not far from the cave up within the rocks is a humble two storey monastery St. Nikola, which can be reached via a slightly challenging path (25 mins). It is said the original wall paintings are from 1350 with a second layer dating to the early 17th century. The original wall paintings are now kept in the National History Museum in Sofia and the Regional Museum in Lovech.  Also nearby another deep cave 'Temnata Dupka' which holds evidence of early Neolithic settlements, but is not open to the public. Additionally there are several interesting rock formations in the region.
How to get there:
A2 Motorway out of Sofia in the direction of Pleven.
The turn off from the the main road to the cave is currently not signposted, so you may miss it but there is a second turn off (worse road conditions) just before the town of Lukovit.
Tip:
Stop off at the large restaurant complex Dobrevski in the town of Zlatna Panega. You can either go to the self serve / take out counter or sit at one of the many tables and be served. The menu features a cross section of Bulgarian dishes from meaty barbque through to a very tasty vegan bean stew.
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