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Cruise tourism, high adrenaline, "Opera of the Peaks" - Belogradchik expects a successful 2023 season

Photo: Belogradchik Tourist Information Centre

83,000 Bulgarian and 18,000 foreign guests have visited Belogradchik in 2022, bringing the picturesque north-western town almost to the successful tourist year 2019, we learn from Deputy Mayor Rosen Mladenov. In addition, the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions gave a boost to cruise tourism on the Danube. The ships dock at the port of Vidin and the passengers have a 24-hour stay to explore the region's landmarks.

"These are cruise tourists with a fixed schedule, they board buses from the port of Vidin and arrive in Belogradchik. Most of them visit the Belogradchik Fortress and also the Natural History Museum, while some take light hikes among the Belogradchik rocks. Most of them are retirees from Australia, USA, Europe and Asia and find this easy-going program perfectly suitable. But this year we are already getting requests for activities that are more adventurous, such as horseback riding or ATV trekking. And this means that the demand for these trips is growing and we are already seeing interest from younger cruise travellers, too," says Rosen Mladenov.

The busiest time of the year is in August, when the town will once again host one of the most outstanding cultural events in the country - the Opera of the Peaks Festival. Guests from Europe, Asia, the USA and Latin America will come to the town again this year to enjoy the wonderful performances of the National Opera and Ballet Theatre against the natural decor of the magical Belogradchik rocks, we learn from Rosen Mladenov.  In the area there is a wide choice of accommodation in small family hotels and guest houses. But it seems that there is much to be desired in this respect:

"There is a slight shortage of beds for accommodation during the summer season, especially during the Opera of the Peaks festival, when many visitors stay in neighbouring municipalities, and we, as the municipal administration, organise bus shuttles for the performances," Mladenov explains.

Outside the peak season, however, it is not difficult to find vacancies in local family-run hotels. And one weekend is unlikely to be enough time to "check out" all the attractions being organised. Rosen Mladenov lists them:

"Hot-air ballooning, mountain bike rides, extreme ATV rides on designated routes, horseback riding in the village of Veshtitsa (meaning "Witch" - ed.), summer adventure camps in the village of Stakevtsi are offered in Belogradchik. And for the ladies – photos in a Flying Dress (elegant rental dress with a 7-metre train - еd.) among the amazing rock formations and unique nature. One can go wine tasting at the local wine cellars. In addition, since recently one can visit the so-called Red Church in Borovica Monastery - after a resident novice has been appointed there. I am extremely pleased that these are private initiatives that do not rely on the state and testify to an awakening and increased initiative in our society "- said in conclusion the Deputy Mayor of Belogradchik Rosen Mladenov.

Photos: Belogradchik Tourist Information Center, District Administration - Vidin, new.adventure-bg.com
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