Uhlovitsa cave

Further information

The cave was discovered and studied in 1968-1969 by Dimitar and Georgi Raichevi from the Studenets cave club. The name of the cave derives from а wood owl which often comes to the entrance at night.

It is situated on a rock wreath on the left valley slope of Arda river between the villages of Mogilitsa and Koshnitsa. The entrance is located 2.3 km northeast of the village of Mogilitsa, on the southern slope of the Kainaydin Ridge. Uhlovitsa is a two-storey dialectic precipitous cave, developed along a north-south main crack.

It is one of the oldest caves in the region with many beautiful dendrite formations that resemble sea corals. For centuries, nature has created a real fairy of helices. The cave ends with 7 beautiful lakes, which are filled with water in the spring. A waterfall descends to the Great Lake. On the upper floor the Hall of the Gap is situated, from which the lower floor can be reached via deep abysses. Tourists can descend down via a metal ladder. This gallery is the most beautiful part of the cave.

During the different seasons, 8 bat species use Uhlovitsa cave as their shelter:

    1. Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)
    2. Lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
    3. Blasius’s horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus blasii)
    4. Geoffroy’s bat (Myotis emarginatus)
    5. Greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis)
    6. Serotine bat( Eptesicus serotinus)
    7. Grey long-eared bat(Plecotus austriacus)
    8. Plecotus bat (Plecotus pipistrellus)

Five of the species are prioritized for protection in the whole of Europe – the three Rhinolophus species as well as the two Myotis species. During the summer, the cave is occupied by a small colony of Blasius’s horseshoe bats. During the period of 15th of August until 30th September, the cave is an important roosting place. During this time, at least six bat species meet there to mate. Depending on the year, the cave is inhabited during the winter by 50 to 150 bats from at least three species – Greater horseshoe bat, Lesser horseshoe bat and Myotis myotis.

The cave was renovated in 1983 and  is managed by the tourist club “Karlak” – Smolyan. Access to tourists is only possible via a guided tour.