Protected territory of Kleptuza
Kleptuza is the largest karst spring in Bulgaria. It is located near the eponymous park with its two beautiful lakes. The spring is situated on the right bank of the Chepinska River in the Chepino district (one of the three thermal zones) of the town of Velingrad (one of the most popular spa and balneology resorts in the country) and is one of the symbols of the town. The 412-hectare locality that surrounds it has been a protected territory since 1966. The spring’s flow is 580-1180 L/s. Part of its water is used for the town’s water supplying while the rest makes possible the existence of the two lakes in the park. They flow in the Chepinska River and from there – in the Maritsa and in the Aegean Sea. Surrounded by beautiful green pine forest, the lakes are a preferred walking spot. The locality is home to various types of coniferous trees from the Pinaceae family such as black pine, some of them more than a hundred years old.
According to a popular legend, Kleptuza Lake is named after a beautiful and clever girl called Klepna from the Uza kin. The girl tried to escape from the Ottomans and right before they were about to catch her she begged the earth to swallow her. So it happened. Water sprang from the spot and killed her chasers. Above Kleptuza there is the locality of Markovi skali (Markov Rocks) – Bulgaria’s only crossing point of a meridian and a parallel. Various marked trails start from Kleptuza, leading to the localities of Harmanite, Brezi (Birches), Sivata voda (The Grey Water) and others.