Ledenika Cave is located in the Stresher part of Vrachanska Mountain in Western Stara Planina. It lies 16 km from the town of Vratsa.
The cave was formed from Malm limestone. It is a labyrinth of galleries with a great variety of millennia-old karst formations: stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is 300m long and has ten halls. Its air temperature varies from minus 7 to minus 15 degrees C. In the interior it is 8 degrees C. The air humidity is 92%.
Earlier on the cave was filled with water which gradually receded. Today only a small and shallow (50cm deep) lake has remained, known as the Lake of Wishes. Legend has it that if you dip your hand in the water and make a wish, it will come true.
During the Ottoman domination shepherds used the cave to preserve sheep’s milk yoghurt.
The cave became accessible to visitors in 1961 and in 1962 was declared a natural sight.
The cave entrance is located at 830 m above sea level.
The Entrance Hall is located in the lowest part of the cave. In it is a huge ice column with a diameter of about 21m. The ice stalactites are 4m high. A narrow passage named Pluznyata links the first hall to thesecond one, the so called Small Hall. It has a circular shape. Next to it is the largest hall, known as the Concert Hall. Beneath is another one – the so called Fridge. It is accessible via the Sinners’ passage. Only good people can slip through it. In the Fridge are the figures of the Crocodile, The Giant’s Head, the Hawk, Santa Claus, and Baba Yaga’s house.
Iron bridges span the small and the big precipices. A passage named the Curtain leads to the White Hall which has several interesting formations: the Mother in Law’s Tongue, the Giant’s Wife, the Elephant, and the Bathing Girl.
The highest point of the cave is known as the Seventh Sky. Only trained hikers can get to it. The cave is not rich in fauna. Its inhabitants are bats, beetles, spiders and some other insects. However, it is the only place where the visitor can see the rare insect called Ledenicus or light-hater. The cave’s flora consists mainly of lichen and moss.
The Ledenika Cave is on the list of the 100 Tourist Sites in Bulgaria selected by the Bulgarian Tourists’ Union.
Open daily in summer: 8:30am -12:30 pm; 1:30 pm – 6:00pm
Winter: 8: 30pm -4:00 pm
Visitors with cards of the 100 tourist sites can have them sealed at the Ledenika ticket office.