SPA resorts
Velingrad

Location: Velingrad is located in the western part of the Rhodope mountains, in the valley of river Chepino, 130 km south from Sofia and 86 km southwest from Plovdiv. Surrounded from centuries old pine forests the town is enjoying mild and sunny climate.

Today Velingrad is renowned balneological centre and point of origin for many field trips in Rhodopes and Rila.

The climate here is very pleasant with more than 270 sunny days during the year, which makes the little town one of the sunniest days in Bulgaria.

There are 80 springs of hot mineral water with curative and preventive properties in and around the town, with water temperature varying from 22oC to 90oC and capacity of 130 140 liters per second.

The mineral waters of Velingrad are recommended for medical treatment of a wide variety of diseases such as stomach and gut, peripheral neural system, spinal anomalies, diabetes, obesity and many more.

Thanks to the curative and relaxing properties of its mineral waters and pleasant climate, today Velingrad is one of the most visited SPA centers in the country.

There are 10 public swimming pools with mineral water in the city, 43 sanitariums and recreational homes and more than 60 hotels from all categories. More of these hotels are recently build or fully renovated offering ideal conditions for relaxing stay. All these conditions attract more than 500 000 tourists every year. In 2008 Velingrad was granted the prize SPA capital of the Balkans.

Places of interest :

  • The spring Kleptusa as well as the two lakes and the park surrounding it are the symbol of Velingrad and one of the most visited tourist attractions here. The park is located in the Chepino neighbourhood and is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in Velingrad. Kleptusa is the biggest Karst spring in Bulgaria. It pumps 1200 litres of cold mineral water every second. Part of that water goes to the citys pipe line for drinkable water and the rest of it goes to the rivers of Maritza and Chepelarska.

Surroundings :

  • Youndola pleasant resort At a distance of 19 km west from Velingrad, it mainly consists of villas scattered through a pine tree forest in the gorge that splits the Rhodope mountains and Rila.

  • Palaeonthological site near the village of Dorkovo That village is about 14 km northeast from Velingrad. In 1965 on the land of the village were found fossils from mastodons dating around 5 - 6 million years ago and are considered the oldest such fossils in Europe.

  • The medieval fortress of Tsepina is situated 18 km east of Velingrad and 6 km northeast from the village of Dorkovo. It was constructed in a cone-shape atop of a peak with the same name at an altitude of 1,136 m. During the Middle Ages that was one of the most famous fortresses in the region. In the 9th century the fortress was adopted in Bulgarian territory and is taken by Byzantium in 11th century. Liberated again by the Bulgarian forces during the rule of khan Kaloyan who appointed Despot Alexius Slav as a governor of the Rhodope region. In 1206 Alexis Slav marries the daughter of the emperor of Constantinople Henry I de Hainaut. After Kaloyan's death in 1207 Slav practically became an independent local ruler. Between 1246 and 1254 Tsepina was occupied by the Nicaeans but was recovered by Emperor Michael II Asen. In 1373 the fortress was captured by the Ottoman Turks in the course of the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars and destroyed. During the archaeological excavations here were found the remains of three churches, 4 water tanks (with depth of 10 m each), inner and outer fortress walls attracting many tourists. The outer walls are 3 m thick and are preserved up to 6 m height. Two marble reliefs were found in one of the churches with the faces of St. Peter and St. Paul and are now on display in the Hermitage museum at St. Petersburg in Russia.