The “Rockfall” of Matenitsa village, as they call it, is a true hidden gem in Bulgaria. This means that it’s very likely that you’ll be all alone there, so you can explore at your own pace and avoiding crowds! 🙂
Did you know Bulgaria is full of wondrous rock sanctuaries all around? Some of them are large and famous, while others don’t even have proper paths or directions to them. Well it took me quite a bit of research to find how to get to this hidden gem in Bulgaria next to Matenitsa village, so just in case I booked a tour guide to come with me – Kamen from Plovdiv Trips. My main goal here were night shots, so I didn’t want to risk not being able to go back in the dark. Here is the result, though:
Where is the Rock sanctuary of Matenitsa village?
This hidden gem is quite close to Hisarya – North of the city of Plovdiv. You can check it out at these coordinates and map:
It’s not hard at all to reach (that is, if you know where you’re going!) – the road is quite good and you can park at the edge of the village. Ten you can continue on foot, it will only take you about 10-15 minutes to climb the hill. When you get to the center of the village (you’ll recognize the square), take a left and park at the end of this street. You can also ask around the people – they’ll gladly help if you tell them “mogilata” in Bulgarian. Here are the coordinates where we parked our car: https://goo.gl/maps/RpFFEpG3CrA7khvCA
How long will it take to go around the Rock sanctuary of Matenitsa village?
Apart from the large hill, there is another very close to it with even more wondrous rocks. It will take you a total of around 2 hours to explore everything, take photos and get back to your car. I, unfortunately, only had 30 minutes which I used to try and find a good spot for my nght shots.
Staro Jelezare village
15 minutes from Matenitsa
If you’re into street art, this small village will absolutely take your breath away – it has the most amazing graffiti in all of Bulgaria. And no, they’re not a result of vandalism, political or even sports views. They are true works of art! You can see street art related to Van Gogh, Picasso and even celebrities like Marilyn Monoe and Donald Trump! Check out Rada’s post and photos from the place: Staro Jelezare.
15 minutes from Matenitsa
Starosel hides another hidden gem itself – a huge Thracian temple complex that is over 2500 years old! It’s actually the largest Thracian royal mausoleum complex ever found. It has 6 temples under the hills and it’s a popular thing to see in Bulgaria. This complex is probably one of the reasons there are so many rock sanctuaries around, one of which is the Rock sanctuary of Matenitsa village. If you have more time, you can also explore the Thracian architectural complex at Kozi Gramadi peak.
25 minutes from Matenitsa
With its 20+ mineral springs (16 of which natural!), Hisarya is a popular spa destination in Bulgaria. You will also find an ancient Thracian complex here, as well as other rock sanctuaries. Hisarya is a great place to stay in the region!
45 minutes from Matenitsa
Karlovo is a city you can’t miss if you’re exploring hidden gems in Bulgaria. Stop for a while, check out the house-museum of Vasil Levski (one of the most important people to help Bulgaria’s liberation from the Ottoman empire), and have a glass of white wine from Red misket, typical for the region.
1 hour from Matenitsa
This very rare museum-city in Bulgaria has over 380 historical, ethnographic and architectural monuments! Try to take a full day to explore it fully.
Where to stay close to Hisarya and Matenitsa village