From Plovdiv 86 to Asenovgrad, turn left on 58 to Cherven, at the end of the village turn right, through Gornloslav and Oreshets to Dobrostan.
APR to OCT Fri-Sun, Hol .
Adulst BGN 5, Children BGN 4, Students BGN 4, Seniors GBN 4, Family BGN 12.
Groups (8+): Adults BGN 4.
Guide BGN 10, Guide in English BGN 12.
|Dimension:||L=44 m, VR=14 m.|
|Guided tours:||D=15 min.|
|Address:||Dobrostanski biser, 4256 Dobrostan, Tel: +359-88-865-6455.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1963||cave explored, human skeleton discovered.|
|1975||first speleological exploration and survey by P. Tranteev, V. Stoitsev and A. Leonidov.|
|1990||cave opened to the public by the tourist company "Bezovo" from Asenovgrad.|
|1998||Martsiganitsa lodge and cave closed.|
|01-MAY-2018||cave reopened after renovation.|
Пещера Добростански Бисер (Pestera Dobrostanski Biser, Dobrostan Pearl Cave) is a small cave with many speleothems. This name is a result of the location close to the village Dobrostan and the cave pearls for which the cave is famous. It is located 5 km from the village of Dobrostan and 20 minutes walk from the хижа Марциганица (Martsiganitsa lodge) in the northern Rhodope Mountains. It was special for its cave lakes with cave pearls. The cave is also called Ахметьова дупка (Ahmetyova Dupka, Akhmet's Pothole) and also as Протклетата (The Cracked). The natural opening is a pothole or daylight shaft with a depth of 15 m, hence the name Dupka. The Ahmet part is explained by the following local legend from the time of the Osman occupation.
The local Turkish ruler, Ahmed Agha, collected taxes in the surrounding villages. In one of the villages he asked the people to prepare something delicious for him to eat and the villagers served him pork and cabbage, a traditional local meal. But the consumption of pork and products made from pork is strictly forbidden in Islam. When he went to the next village, the Agha asked them to prepare the same for him, but this way he found out that he had eaten pork. He was so angry that he decided to burn the village down. The villagers heard about his plan, and some local boys waited for the agha, killed him, and then dropped his body into the pothole.
If this is just a legend or a historical fact is unknown, but when the cave was first explored in 1963, a human skeleton was found inside. We could not find a publication which specifies the age of the bones, though.
The cave is small and has a single chamber 20 m long, 11 m wide and 4 m high. To access the cave it was originally necessary to abseil into the entrance shaft. The cave was developed with an entrance tunnel and a small entrance building in 1990, when the nearby Martsiganitsa lodge was operational, and many mountaineers were around and the cave was well visited. When the lodge was closed, the visitor number dropped and the cave was also abandoned. The cave was closed, but there was a grid on the natural entrance. After some time the electric light system corroded and did not work anymore. But unfortunately the building on the entrance was damaged and people climbed through one of the broken windows. As a result the cave was vandalized, part of the iron staircase and the cave pearls were stolen, the rimstone pools damaged. After 20 years the cave was renovated and reopened in 2018. It is now managed by the municipality of Asenovgrad through OP "Tourism".
The area around the village, which is protected by the Nature preserve "Chervena stena", is a karst area where some 200 caves are known. This is the only cave which is open for the public. From the end of the village Dobrostan it's a 5 km drive on a single lane gravel road to the Martsiganitsa lodge. The lodge is also reopened and offers food and rooms. It is now privately owned and according to the sign with "armed guard". From here it's a trail with nice views of about 20 to 30 minutes to the cave. As the cave is renovated and the broken window repaired, there is no possibility anymore to see it outside open hours, so you should probably check for the correct open hours before you go. On the other hand the walk and the views are nevertheless worthwhile. We suggest to also walk to Popa Peak (1,317.3 m asl).