Оnly about three kilometres away from Camspite Kapinovski Monastery starts a picturesque eco trail offering two equally beautiful routes: Каpinovski Monastery – Yovkovtsi dam – Elena ( through the village of Valchovtsi) and the shorter one: Kapinovski Monastery – Yovkovtsi dam – Valchovtsi – Kapinovski Monastery.
This eco trail is one of the longest in the central region of Stara Planina (tha Balkan Mountains). It provides the tourist with fascinating sceneries along the Vesselina River and passes through dozens of spots that are emblematic for the Bulgarian history. The route of the eco path passes through the exceptionally beautiful valley of the river. The water level of Vesselina is relatively low because the Yovkovtsi dam is located in the upper stream and “captures” a large part of its flow. One can enjoy a large variety of natural beauties along the shores of the river. At sоme places the river forms grenadier trenches in the surrounding terrain (for example at the Elena’s heights), elsewhere it runs slowly through the breathtaking forests, or forms marvelous spurs and small waterfalls suitable for cooling in the hot summer months and for year-round fishing.
* Please note, that the both routes of the eco trail are not suitable for children. We advise you to approach this trail with adequate mountaineering equipment.
Kapinovski Monastery – Yovkovtsi dam – Villgage of Valchovtsi - Elena
Beginning: From the Kapinovski monastery, follow the road towards the Yovkovtsi dam in the canyon of the river Vesselina (red marking). On both sides descend steep slopes in places with cliffs. After about 3km is reached half-destroyed Roman bridge, after which the deviation is to the left through the river. On the deviation there is a water fountain.
Crossing the river is over scattered stones, and then starts climbing in places at the beginning steeply to the east. The path runs along the flowing brook with countless waterfalls and mixed deciduous forest. For about 50 min is reached the high voltage line and crosses the ride. The slope is becoming easier from now on. After 20 min it comes out to the ridge near the hamlet Razvalatsi. Here crosses the forest road and if it continues to the south, after 1km, reaches the panoramic areas with views of the Yovkovtsi dam and the Balkan mountains (Stara Planina).From the intersection with the forest road – with continuing east, going slightly downhill, it crosses flow with fountain. Movement continues on the forest road almost horizontally through the coniferous forest. On the first sharp left turn follows a deflection to the right along the path through the forest.
After a short descent is reached mixture of two flows, which form a small river. The path goes along it. After 20 min. it reaches a dirt road with panoramic views of the dam. On it, all the time, along the dam, in the southeast, for about 1 hour it reaches the village of Valchovtsi and hence through the village of Marafeltsi it descends to the town of Elena.
The eco-trail is with medium difficulty to complete but because of its extent it is advisable to plan adequately your time (average time to cross the route: about 7hrs). It is suitable for overcoming from early spring to late autumn.
Kapinovski Monastery – Yovkovtsi dam – Villgage of Valchovtsi – Kapinovski Monastery:
Beginning: From the Kapinovski monastery, follow the road towards the village of Kapinovo (blue marking). After passing the villa zone, the road deviates to the right along the forest path and starts climbing up to the summit “Vyatarnitsa”/744m/, it continues along the ridge on the east, reaching the peak “Sechena mogila” /708m/. From there the road starts descending south through the village of Martinkovtsi and peak “Kitkata” /508m/ to the village of Valchovtsi. From here the route continues along a dirt road to the northwest near Yovkovtsi dam. After bypass the crossroad of the path towards the village of Razvalatsi about 300m. the road is branching, as the route continues to the right up to the “Panorama mogila” peak /582m/. From there through the panoramic meadows and after a gentle ascent to the peak “Vyatarnitsa” and on the already known route starts a descent to the Kapinovski monastery.
Average time to complete the route: about 4 hours.
For any questions regarding the eco trail, please ask at the reception desk.