If residing in Veliko Tarnovo for a few days and you want to go on a day trip, I highly recommend visiting Krushuna falls. On the way we pit stopped at the Sopot Reservoir to stretch our legs because our friend/driver Paul got a tad lost. The reservoir was quite peaceful and picturesque, a nice warm breeze blew as local families camped nearby and a small group of men enjoyed a spot of fishing. After about 45 minutes resting here we hopped back in the car and eventually found road signs directing us to Krushuna falls.
Nested in a scenic forested landscape with abundant caves and other karst formations, the Krushuna Falls impress with their turquoise waters and peaceful natural setting. The Krushuna waterfalls are reputed to be the highest in Bulgaria and are also known as the Maarta waterfalls which is the name of the river which flows through this area. Some of the falls are as high as 20m along the gorge and there are many eco paths you can choose to walk.
Walk up the eco- trail to see the waterfalls from the top of the gorge and have an enjoyable lunch on the meadow by the caves. Or even spend the night camping under the stars at this heavenly location!
How to get there: The Krushuna Falls are adjacent to the village of Krushuna, not far from Lovech in north central Bulgaria. There are regular daily buses from Sofia or Veliko Tarnovo to Lovech as well as local buses from Lovech to Krushuna and back, so even though our journey was a bit muddled it is actually rather easy to get to these waterfalls.
Interesting fact: Krushuna is a bird of prey that is still found in the area.
After paying a small entrance fee and receiving a map, we walked to the start of the two trail heads. In this area there is a small restaurant that sells pizza,other take-away meals and there are some public conveniences. The first trail takes you past the main falls and a rather beautiful blue pool where we stopped for a picnic. The trail loops back to the trail head, where the second trail can be embarked upon. The second trail is a bit harder work than the first, which involve steeper steps but my mother in her late 50’s (who also has arthritis in her toes) managed it. The trail goes past some caves under the overhang of a cliff, then onto a “hidden” fall.
At the end and on the way back to the car park there is a play area and a large outdoor swimming pool which is great for a hot and sticky summer day- especially after two hours of walking through the trail. We didn’t go for a swim as we were unaware a swimming pool was included but it is open to the public so pack your swim wear if you fancy a dip to end your day.
Interesting fact: The strange blue-green colour of the water is due to the dissolved travertine. Travertine is a form of limestone which is deposited by hot springs.
In my opinion the best time to go is the shoulder season (May, June, September & October). When we went it was during a Bulgarian bank holiday of some kind and in the middle of summer therefore it was packed and because the trail is a bit of a climb, walking through and up narrow paths and steep steps it was difficult to maneuver past people attempting to push past us. I don’t recommend you go during winter either even though it would be at its quietest, it would also be slightly dangerous because of the snow and rain making it slippery. Because we were there at the height of summer it was difficult to really enjoy the place and take beautiful nature photographs without a brightly dressed tourist or local stood in our shot (whilst this doesn’t bother the average person; I’m an artist, Jon’s a professional photographer so it matters to us that we don’t end up with shots of places of natural beauty caked in badly dressed humans holding selfie sticks).
It was also deeply irritating waiting in queues watching families and couples take forever to take a million selfies by each waterfall knowing full well other people were waiting, I just find that rude and selfish- When I want my photo taken and I know people are waiting, I get my shot within seconds and leave. So that is my only gripe and we would like to go back just to be alone with the waterfalls, to truly marvel at their beauty but also allow ourselves to take our time on the trail rather than rushing through to get away from crowds of people.
If you love natural beauty, water falls, unusual yet stunning pools of turquoise water and going for long walks then this is for you. Krushuna falls is hidden gem in central Bulgaria. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Magical.
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