Vratsata, a natural landmark

Vratsata is a majestic gorge on Leva River, at the foot of the Vratsa Mountain. It rises over 400 m on both sides of the road meandering along the river.

The gorge is a symbol of Vratsa and has given its name. It was dubbed Vratitsa (Gate) in the Middle Ages as its shape resembles a craggy gate. The straight was of strategic importance in the past - it is no accident that the remains of the Vratitsa medieval fortress (X - XII century) are still standing not far away.

Vratsata's vertical cliffs are the highest on the Balkan Peninsula - the central climbing wall is more than 360 m. They are a paradise for amateur and professional climbers, with both national and international climbing championships being held here. Over 100 alpine routes of all grades of toughness have been chiselled across the rocks, with some of them constituting hallmarks of Bulgarian mountaineering, e.g. the Mirrors, the Second Congress, the Iron Bar, the Dog's Tooth, etc. The rock massif offers mountaineers a huge variety of forms, e.g. chunky overhangs and ceilings, sheer smooth slabs, crevices and chimneys of varying widths, edges, interior angles, etc.

Useful information:

The gorge is located 2 km from Vratsa's central square, on the road leading to the Ledenika cave, the Parshevitsa ski slope and the beautiful highland village of Zgorigrad. It was listed as a natural landmark in 1964 and is part of the Vratsa Mountain Nature Park.

The Chayka Compound is nearby (https://chaikahotel.bg/) with its restaurant, playground and a small pond. As the place is a favourite of both locals and visitors, be sure to book a table in advance!

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