Geopark Iskar-Panega – to walk over the blue-milk waters of the river…

Geopark Iskar-Panega – to walk over the blue-milk waters of the river…

Геопарк Искър–Панега / Geopark Iskar-Panega

When it gets hot out, we do not sit at home… We need fresh air, a little walk and beautiful scenery. The nature around Lukovit is famous for its beauty. In this area, we are heading to the affluent of Iskar River – Zlatna Panega River and more specifically Geopark Iskar-Panega.

Where is located Geopark Iskar-Panega ?

Take the main road to Pleven and after 98 km you will reach the village of Zlatna Panega. But the Geopark is not here! In the village is the karst spring Glava Panega, from where the Zlatna Panega River flows. It is also the largest karst spring in Bulgaria! But… the surrounding paths are overgrown, and the signboards are almost missing. It’s hard to orientate…

We missed it and went directly to the Geopark – another 12 km in the direction of Pleven. The distance from Sofia swelled to 110 km, and from Pleven was only 54 km. Perfect for a one-day escape from the capital… And if you chose this area for a few days off, do not miss this place! Parking is large and can be seen from the main road. If you come from Sofia, go to the left (respectively from Pleven – on the right), just before the sign for Lukovit (and again… from Pleven – after the sign).

The steep descent…

Welcome to Geopark Iskar-Panega! The parking lot has a lot of information about the area. Everything is well-designed and welcomed for tourists. The eco-path differentiation has been developed under a project for the Development of Bulgarian Ecotourism in 2006… We start the walk, passing a little bridge. Afterwards, you will see the beautiful river valley… I advise you to visit the place in spring or autumn. Then it’s probably the most beautiful. My pictures here are from autumn walk… you see from the colors of the trees …

Follow the wooden handrails and go tantivy downhill! This is the most difficult part of the whole trail… First are the steep stones, and then a little steep stairs, made in additional assistance to tourists. Do not forget to look back, especially after going down the stairs…

Walk by the river

The route is certainly not difficult, it is even easy, except for the steep part at the beginning. It is also suitable for the most inexperienced tourists. We met even a mother with a newborn… Already down the stairs, we pass through a short rocky area. You can not go wrong, go straight ahead through the stones. After 5-10 minutes you will reach the first branch, which can confuse you… only if you are very distracted! There is a bridge and a gazebo for relaxation, and there is a clear arrow on it, where the path goes… As much as we want to cross the bridge, we continue in the other direction…

There are about 300-400 meters of walking on a flat meadow and a new opportunity to jump to the opposite bank of the Zlatna Panega River! Here we already need… A well-visible arrow again points you to the direction.

From here follows a pleasant walk along the river bank and several bridges, which enable us to fully enjoy it. Depending on the season, the landscapes you see will change… On my visit, the color range was more than varied! Тhe quiet time helped me to use the surface of the river as a mirror. This gives a great blend of the lovely blue of water and the orange tones of vegetation…

The most beautiful part of the route…

Walking along the shore and admiring the wonderful views that are revealed, we come to the most beautiful part! Slight deviation… Impression will make you the blue-milky color of water! It’s really unique! This color is characteristic of karst territories around the world. It is due to the fact that the water is extremely saturated with carbonates.

Legends tell that the area was considered to be sacred, and water for healing since ancient times. There is evidence of the existence of an ancient Roman sanctuary. People from different places came here in the hope of finding a cure for their illnesses.

The river itself is about 50 km long. It traverses them from the spring Glava Panega to the Iskar River where it flows. The breach that forms before Lukovit is one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria… And continue on our way… We come to a new gazebo, and after it the opportunity to hike to the rock and lean over the river! It‘s beautiful! Pastel colors surround you everywhere, and if you listen, you hear only the sounds of nature and animals… Breathtaking breath is…

And for end

Immediately after descending from the wooden platforms, you will see Panezhka Temna Dupka (or Panezhka Dark Hole in a literal translation). This is still an unexplored cave with a gushing karst spring. I do not advise you to try to enter if you are not experienced cavers.

Shortly after it is the end of our walk. We reached a large meadow with a well-appointed recreation area. The length of the eco-trail is 12 km, continuing to The Karlukovo Karst Complex. But the traces of the well-separated path are lost here and becomes difficult to find… Getting to this place took us about 1 hour and 15-20 minutes of normal walking and lots of photos. We went back the same way, we wanted to go again through the bridges and enjoy the beautiful blue-milky river…

2019-03-30T12:06:43+00:00