TRAVEL GUIDE: Pyramids of Stob | Traveling on tap
Stob’s Pyramids (Стобски пирамиди) or Stobski’s Pyramids are one of the most unique and least known and most visited attractions in Bulgaria. It is located about an hour and a half from Sofia and 45 minutes from the city of Blagoevgrad. It’s right on the way to Bulgaria’s most visited attraction – the Rila Monastery and absolutely worth a visit for a quick leg stretch if you’re in the area or planning a visit to the monastery.
We suggest putting the Stob pyramids in your GPS as your final destination, but once you enter Stob village, turn it off and follow the signs. If you choose to follow the GPS you will end up in an area from where you will overlook the pyramids from afar but not be able to hike for a better and closer view of the unique sand formations. See below:
It’s a great option if you want to enjoy scenic scenery without the effort of hiking, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and maybe enjoy a picnic with a view if you’ve chosen something. along the way or prepare a delicious meal in your picnic basket.
However, if you are looking for a good workout and a little heart rate follow the signs for the entrance to the pyramids trail. The parking lot is big enough and you can find a space without any problem. The road to it is relatively well paved with several speed bumps along the way and a few potholes, but it’s not going to be something you haven’t encountered at some point while driving in the country.
Although most hikes in Bulgaria are free here, you will be asked to pay the small fee of 2 leva (children are free) or 1 leva if you are a student. The lady at the little booth at the trailhead will collect your money and this is where you can also buy a souvenir if you want to take something home to remind you of this beautiful place.
The first part of the route is relatively easy. Just follow the wide, open road that winds through the forest. There are several benches along the way where visitors can sit for a short break while enjoying the view around them. Be sure to bring plenty of water for the hike. It takes one to two hours to complete the whole trek and there is not much shade along the way where you can hide from the rays, especially on a hot summer day. In case of bad weather and rain, there is a shelter halfway where you can hide and wait if need be.
You will see a small path that goes into the woods on your left on the main road. If you choose to take it, you will find this little church here. If that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to take the detour and check it out. If that’s not your thing, just follow the main trail and continue to where the earth pyramids are.
You’ll know you’ve reached the second part of the trail once you start climbing straight up and out of the woods into the open. Be sure to make frequent stops and turn around to take in the beautiful view behind you. Personally I like the way back from the top of the pyramids because all the way you have the chance to look at the beautiful valley and the mountains in the distance.
If you have kids and pets with you, be sure to keep them close once you enter the second part of the trail. There is hardly any railing and towards the last section there is actually none. As thrilling and adventurous as this trail is, it’s also extremely dangerous and a fall into the ravine won’t be fun. The very last section of the trail is the most dangerous. It’s basically a narrow little path with nothing but the cliff on both sides, so we wouldn’t recommend trying this part at all with kids. If you’re careful and willing to take the risk, all the views from the top are well worth it.
Locals have given these rock formations many different names, from Tent Rocks to Fairy Chimneys to the most well-known names – Earth Pyramids. Most of the formations look like mushrooms. They usually consist of relatively soft rock topped with a harder, less easily eroded stone (in this case – a flat hard stone), all for the sole purpose of protecting the column from the elements and all created by nature itself. same.
The tallest rock formation here is up to 40 feet and over 200 feet wide at the bottom, but almost all of them are of different sizes. They consist mainly of aleurolite, clay and sandstone and their colors are very similar to the colors of the pyramids in the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in the United States. It is believed that there was a shallow lake here which accumulated a large number of segments and a lot of clay. Erosion and precipitation played a big role in eroding the mountainside and creating the end result – this little canyon.
The way back from here is pretty much all downhill with the added bonus of beautiful views all the way down. If you have time, be sure to sit down and enjoy the view. Wildflowers abound here near the trail, rabbits run free, and you might be lucky enough to see a flock of sheep and goats grazing in the distance.
If you’ve worked up an appetite after the hike, there are several small restaurants in town where you can grab a bite to eat. If you are looking for something more special coming out of the Stob ton and heading towards the Rila Monastery you will find some really nice “mehanas” by the river which offer traditional Bulgarian meals and freshly caught fish prepared as you like.
If you visited the Stob pyramids early in the morning and there is time left in the day, be sure to visit the most visited attraction in Bulgaria – the Rila Monastery. If there is not enough daylight left but you would still like to explore the church, you have the option of spending the night there, but the only way to check if there are rooms available is to call and ask in Bulgarian (because they don’t). don’t speak English) or if you go to the monastery and ask in person. Either way, it’s definitely worth the trouble because it’s one of the largest and most famous Orthodox monasteries in the world.
If the monastery isn’t something you might be interested in, the town of Blagoevgrad is a short drive from the Stob pyramids and has plenty to offer. You will find many attractions, restaurants, bars, nightlife and shopping. We highly recommend stopping here as it is one of our favorite places to kill a day in Bulgaria.
For more ideas on where to go and what to do in and around this area, check out our other bouldering posts and follow is on INSTAGRAM for daily adventure suggestions.