When it comes to escaping from Sofia over the weekend, Vitosha always comes first! I dare say that the most wonderful place there is Boyana Waterfall! The walk to it is very pleasant, it isn‘t difficult and doesn‘t take much time! And if you want to create the perfect day trip program, the plan should be this – Boyana Waterfall ➡ Boyana Lake ➡ Boyana Church!
To Boyana Waterfall from Boyana quarter
Our starting point for the walk is Boyana quarter. The start of the waterfall path is at the end of ‘’Pop Evstati Vitoshki” Street. We leave the car somewhere there… At the entrance we are greeted by the words of a famous Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov:
“It looks like as if this waterfall does not come from the Vitosha Mountain, but somewhere from the sky, carrying the rays of the azure and the noise of their storms.” /Ivan Vazov, “The Waterfall”/
And when you first go to the Boyana Waterfall… they act very motivating!
There are also 2 routes to the waterfall on the information board – the main road that runs close to the lake and the path around the river. Our choice comes down to the idea of getting to the waterfall on the less marked path and to return to the main road (to stop at the lake).
On the path to the waterfall
Shortly after the main entrance, the main road continues to the left, and we take the other direction. Honestly… I imagined the path was easier and better marked… The trail follows the course of the Boyana River and if you lose the mark you can navigate the noise of the flowing water. And this is sure to happen in places… To note, you happen to cross improvised creeks if you visit it during the high-water season… It is imperative that you wear comfortable shoes and be careful!
In some places you can descend to the river bed, because there are some very beautiful water falls… They deserve to be photographed. The whole distance runs in 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. And the path itself takes us right under the waterfall…
The wonderful Boyana Waterfall
What can I tell you… It’s unique! Especially in its high-water form… The noise from the power of the water is deafening! Of course… it’s very difficult to shoot in this form… It took me quite a while to make it without the camera being flooded with multiple drops… Well, get it… The Boyana Waterfall… in all its beauty!
The water fall is poured from about 25 m, making it the largest in Vitosha! It is located at 1260 m above sea level and it is curious that on clear days (and when it is most full-water) it can be seen from the center of Sofia! The presence of many people is also expected, however this paradise is only 2 hours from Sofia!
To the Boyana Lake
You can easily navigate where the main road is… most people come from there. And the plates and the marking on it are much clearer and more noticeable. The path is wide and it goes very lightly. And among the bared branches there are beautiful views of our capital…
In about 40 minutes you will reach the lake! There is a perfect place for relaxation and rest. The lake was artificially created in 1906 with the construction of the Plumbing of Vitosha . Today it is an important place for many reptiles, amphibians, frogs and more. And also an attractive location for photographers, but my photos weren’t very good… Without excuse, but the sun wasn’t favorable! 😀
Back to Boyana quarter
From here to the end of the trail is a pleasant walk in the woods! It will take you about 40-50 mins of quiet walk. The road also runs past the open chapel of Saint Panteleimon. The marking is very good and you will not find it difficult to navigate!
To the Boyana Church
Arriving here, you can’t miss a visit to the Boyana Church! Undoubtedly it is one of the biggest landmarks in Bulgaria! Since 1979 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List! Unfortunately, many Bulgarians have heard of it, but never visited it…
As we enter, we find ourselves in the beautiful courtyard designed by King Ferdinand and his wife, Queen Eleonora. There are three Sequoiadendron giganteum from Northern America in the yard, planted by the royal family! Definitely waiting to get into the church was not boring! The entry is in groups of about 5-6 people, so that the murals can be preserved. Photograph is also prohibited inside! And the murals themselves… They are amazing! The first church dates from the X – XI centuries, having been expanded over the years. In appearance it is built in Romanesque style and has nothing to suggest about the treasure that lies inside…
And the murals, the greatest treasure of the Boyana Church! In fact, the name of the church is “St. St. Nicholas and Panteleimon”. The first preserved layer of murals dates from the XI-XII centuries! But the second layer of murals are world famous! They are the case of the so-called “Boyana Master”, unknown to this day… They stand out for their reality and individualism… Filled with life paintings. Something more characteristic of the Renaissance than of the Middle Ages… The Boyana Church became known as the Bulgarian Renaissance Temple! The most striking are the works depicting Sevastokrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava, as well as the first portrait of St. Ivan Rilski. The murals date back to 1259, which is ahead of nearly a century the Italian renaissance!
P.S. Photos in the church are forbidden! For this I give you the opportunity to view it online! You can visit it with a virtual walk and see all the murals from HERE!
P.S. 2. All information about entry fees and opening hours ➡ HERE!
One useful day…
There is no way we aren’t happy with the walk! Wonderful scenery, a cool whiff of the waterfall, relaxation by the lake and touch to the World Heritage Site… What to ask for more?