Mursalica, Rodopi (Western Rhodopes).
Near the border to Greece.
From Pazardžik follow road 37 south 84 km to Dospat. Turn east to Tešel 12 km. Turn south to Jagodina 5 km. South-west of Jagodina, on the right valley slope of Buynovska river. At the village Dospat.
MAY to OCT daily 9-17, last tour 16:15, minimum 10 Persons.
NOV to APR daily 10-17, last tour 16:15, minimum 6 Persons.
Tours every hour on the hour, depending on demand
Eneolithic dwelling: MAY to OCT daily 10-17, tours every hour 10 min after full hour, minimum 5 Persons.
Adults BGL 8, Children (7-18) BGL 4, Children (0-6) free, Students BGL 5.
English Guide BGL 20.
Eneolithic dwelling: Adults BGL 2, Children (7-18) BGL 1, Children (0-6) free.
L=10,500 m, T=6 °C, A=930 m asl.
Eneolithic dwelling: Ar=200 m², T=18 °C.
|Guided tours:||L=1,250 m, D=45 min. V=51.000/a|
|Accessibility:||360 m of the cave are wheelchair accessible|
Yagodinska cave, Sergei Genchev, Tel: +359-889-903-642, Tel: +359-895-658-658.
Eneolithic dwelling, Snezhana Kukundzhieva, Tel: +359-895-658-549.
|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||explored by the Speleological Club of Chepelare led by Dimitar Raychev, survey of 8,500 m.|
|1982-1986||second survey of the cave, total length 10,500 m.|
|1971||begin of cave development.|
|1982||opened to the public.|
|2002||Rhodopea Tourist Company founded which now operates the cave and several other related sights.|
Iagoda is the Bulgarian word for strawberry, so this cave, although named after the nearby town Iagodina, may also be called Strawberry cave. Ягодинска пещера (Iagodinska Peštera) has seven levels and is the third longest cave of Bulgaria and the longest in the Rhodopes. With a temperature of only 6 °C it is also rather cold.
This is a real show cave, with well built paths, electric light and an artificial 150 m long tunnel into the cave, and an 80 m long exit tunnel. The cave is famous for various extraordinary speleothems, but unfortunately only the names of the speleothems are mentioned. They are called Santa Claus, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Virgin Mary and her newborn child, the Elephant, and the Crocodiles. Pizho and Penda are named after two characters from a famous Bulgarian legend. The speleothems are stalactites, stalagmites, draperies but also quite impressive cave pearls and helictites. Quite funny is the fact that the cave contains 22 of the world-known 28 cave formations. There are actually hundreds of speleothems and every year new ones are discovered, so this claim is quite hilarious.
One hall is called the New Year's hall, as the local caving club has a party here every year at New Years Day.
Iagodinska Peštera is an important site for bats with 11 species of bats. The greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), Bechstein's bat (Myotis bechsteinii), Geoffroy's bat (Myotis emarginatus), greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), and the lesser mouse-eared bat (Myotis blythii) are of conservation importance in Europe. The others are whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus), Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii), serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus), brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus), and grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus).
Ten minutes walk from the cave entrance is a natural entrance portal of the cave system, where Paleolithic remains were discovered. The natural entrance is located 30 m above the entrance tunnel and is guided on a separate tour which is named Eneolithic dwelling. The findings were dated to the 4th millennium BC. The cave entrance was an important ceramics producing workshop. Clay from the interior of the cave and from the bed of the Boynovska River was baked in clay furnaces. The place was finally abandoned after a collapse caused by an earthquake. The tour shows the natural entrance with a small exhibition of ceramics created by experimental archaeology.
The road from Jagodina to Iagodinska Peštera goes through the picturesque Буйновско ждрело (Buynovsko gorge). A famous sight are the Iagodina Rock Bridges, natural bridges formed by cave collapse. There is a cave nearby, which is used for cave trekking tours, called Haramijska Dupka cave.