Dobravitsa

The longest river to run entirely in Bulgaria is the River Iskar, which rises in Rila Mountain and flows into the Danube between Bulgaria and Romania. Geologically, it is the oldest river in the Balkan Peninsula. Plenty of reason to admire it, then.

North of Sofia, it forms the Iskar Gorge, a fact that is taken advantage of by the railway, which runs alongside the river. The first major town heading north from Sofia is Svoge, famous for its chocolate factory, and from here Dobravitsa Waterfall is only twelve kilometres away!

So expect a windy road that follows the course of the river, with some spectacular views. To get there from Sofia, you need to go round on the ring road to Novi Iskar and then follow the signs for Svoge and Mezdra. Svoge is 38 kilometres north of Sofia, so the distance to the waterfall is 50 kilometres, but because of the twists and turns the journey takes about an hour and a half.

When you enter Svoge, do not follow the signs for the centre, which is left of the main road. Keep going and turn left when you reach the sign for Iskrets. You will pass the chocolate factory on your left and now you are following the course of another river, the Iskretska. Drive through Iskrets, but before you exit the town, take a right turn for Breze (5 km). This takes you up into the hills.

Pass an abandoned factory, and shortly after you ‘enter’ Breze (though the village itself is further on) you will see a dirt track leaving the road on your right. This is signposted for the waterfall and for the village of Dobravitsa. You can either park the car here, next to the main road, or risk driving your car up to the village. The distance from the main road to the waterfall is 3.9 km and takes about an hour and twenty minutes. If you drive to the village, the distance to the waterfall is 1.7 km and takes about forty minutes.

Immediately as you enter the village of Dobravitsa, the track veers to the right (the village is ahead of you). Follow this track for 800 m. When the track forks, turn left. The waterfall is another 900 m. There are some wonderful views over the hills, and you can see back to Iskrets.

As you approach the waterfall, you will see a remarkable rock formation on top of the hill in front of you, forming the Greek letter omega (Ω). Follow the rock with your eyes as it descends to the left. The waterfall is at the end. As the track veers back on itself, you leave the track and continue on a path to the waterfall, which is directly in front of you.

On your return through Iskrets, do consider stopping at Iskrets Monastery, which is in the grounds of the Tsar Ferdinand I Hospital, a specialized lung hospital. There is another beautiful waterfall just north of Svoge, near the village of Bov. The autumn colours here are amazing! But this might be better left for another day!

The Iskar Gorge with the railway running alongside it (in the background is Vitosha, the mountain south of Sofia).
The River Iskar as it passes through Svoge.
The dirt track leaving the road in Breze (the yellow sign is for the waterfall, the blue sign is for the village of Dobravitsa).
The dirt track leading to the village of Dobravitsa.
At the entrance to the village, the track veers right (again, the waterfall is signposted).
An island in the sky.
Here, the track forks – turn left (again, the waterfall is signposted).
The Omega formation on the hill in front of you.
Ice in a rut!
The waterfall in front of you.
Arriving at the waterfall.
The waterfall close up.
When we were there, ice kept cracking off the rock and landing in the water near us!
An overview of Dobravitsa Waterfall.
Iskrets Monastery.

One thought on “Dobravitsa

  1. Pingback: Bov – Stones Of Ithaca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s