The scary road to Trigrad Gorge and Devil’s Throat Cave, an entrance to the underworld
Located in the Smolyan Province of Bulgaria, the road through Trigrad Gorge leading to Devil’s Throat Cave is stunning. Oncoming traffic is a nightmare.
Where is Devil’s Throat Cave in Bulgaria?
Set high in the Rhodope Mountains, the cave is located in the southern part of the country, near its border with Greece, to the north of the village Trigrad.
Can you drive to Devil’s Throat Cave through Trigrad Gorge?
A paved yet curvy and narrow road runs through the gorge leading to the spectacular Devil’s Throat Cave, a cave resembling a devil's head with a waterfall rushing down its throat (considered an entrance to the underworld). The breathtaking road is very challenging due its curves and narrowness. It follows the Trigrad river through the Trigrad Gorge. The river disappears into the earth at the entrance to the Devil’s Throat Cave (Dyavolsko garlo Cave) and 530 metres (1,740 ft) further emerges as a large karst spring. Rocky shores rise like vertical walls, over a hundred meters high and their upper opening is no more than 20-30 m. The gorge is a phenomenal natural karst formation with 250- meters high walls on both sides of the road. According to legend, the route was used by Orpheus - the legendary Thracian musician and poet - to reach the Hades Underworld, where he sought to retrieve his beloved Eurydice.
How is the road to Devil’s Throat Cave?
The road is 10.6 km (6.58 miles) long running north-south from Teshel to Trigrad. The paved road creeps among the rocks and the sky remains bright as a stripe. The tiny road is climbing and weaving, entering the rocks through a tunnel at times with cliffs either side of the road. To drive this narrow and winding road with many tunnels requires considerable attention and tolerance, since cars traveling in opposite directions can’t pass each other. The road is cut into the rocky side of the gorge, a canyon of vertical marble rocks, and offers picturesque views of the river.
How long does it take to drive to Devil’s Throat Cave through Trigrad Gorge?
To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 20 and 30 minutes. Devil’s Throat is famous with the 42 meters high underground waterfall inside it and one of the most amazing caves in the country. Running 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 year round, with peak tourist season in July and August. Running parallel to the Trigrad Gorge is the equally impressive Buynovo Gorge.
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