Devil’s Throat Cave

The scary road to Devil’s Throat Cave

Located in the Rhodope Mountains of Smolyan Province in the far south of Bulgaria, the Devil’s Throat Cave (Dyavolsko garlo Cave) is a spectacular cave resembling a devil's head with a waterfall rushing down its throat. Oncoming traffic is a nightmare. The road is cut into the rocky side of the gorge.

The road to the cave is extreme. It’s asphalted but very narrow (impassable for 2 cars at the same time), following the Trigradska river in the marvellous Trigrad Gorge. This road has humbled many egos. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. This road is also a starting point for trails leading to other tourist sites in the area. The road creeps among the rocks and the sky remains bright as a stripe. Rocky shores rise like vertical walls, over a hundred meters high and their upper opening is no more than 20-30 m.
The road is dangerous. The speed limit is 20km/h. There are cliffs either side of the road as you drive up with several unlit tunnels. Devil’s Throat is famous with the 42 meters high underground waterfall inside it and one of the most amazing caves in Bulgaria. The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. To drive this narrow, winding road requires considerable attention and tolerance, since cars traveling in opposite directions can’t pass each other.

The drive is definitely worth it. A drive not to be missed! There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card! Hidden deep in the Trigrad Gorge in the Rhodope Mountains, through the imposant walls of the Trigrad canyon, the tiny road is climbing and weaving, entering the rocks through a tunnel at times.
It’s a single track road along the mountainside for some distance with nowhere to pass another vehicle. Here one says a prayer that nobody is coming towards you until the road widens some kilometres further. The gorge is a 7-kilometer defile north of the village Trigrad, beneath towering marble cliffs cut over millions of years by the Trigrad River. The impressive gorge is a popular tourist destination. It’s never too hot here is summer because of the elevation – about 1200 meters above sea level. In winter sometimes there is heavy snow cover, but in general the area is accessible and visited all the year round, with peak tourist season in July and August.

The gorge is a phenomenal natural karst formation with 250- meters high walls on both sides of the road. The Devil’s Throat Cave, in southern Bulgaria, is, according to legend, the route used by Orpheus - the legendary Thracian musician and poet - to reach the Hades Underworld, where he sought to retrieve his beloved Eurydice.


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