Introduction

This 32.6 sq km nature park, sprawling south of Ruse around the Rusenski Lom, Beli Lom and Malki Lom Rivers, is a superb spot for birdwatching; 172 species are recorded here, including Egyptian vultures, lesser kestrels and eagle owls. It’s also home to 67 species of mammals and 24 types of bats.

Most visitors, however, are drawn first to the park’s cliff churches. Around 40 medieval rock churches exist in and around some 300 local caves. A handful are accessible, the most famous of which are Basarbovo and Ivanovo. The park also contains the second-longest cave in Bulgaria, the Orlova Chuka Cave, between Tabachka and Pepelina villages. Thracian and Roman ruins are also found here.