Photo Credit: Aljaž Čad

Taking passengers to Balkan’s highest train station

In 1920, the design for the iconic narrow-gauge train was created, thus marking a significant milestone for the region’s development. Above all, the railway contributed to rapid industrialisation and helped boost the transportation of timber. The picturesque veduta whilst travelling from Velingrad to Balkan’s highest rail station at 1267m, Avramovo, attracts tourists from far and near, who comprise around 60% of all passengers.

The train ride connects the village of Septemvri with the spa capital of the Balkans, Velingrad, and continues its tracks toward Dobrinishte. Innovative in its design and avant-garde upon its completion, the railway is considered a case of spectacular engineering. The workers who built the tracks used only pickaxes and shovels, making their feat invaluable and a piece of Bulgarian heritage. The entire railway track from Septemvri to Dobrinishte stretches 125 kilometres.

Photo Credit: Aljaž Čad

Velingrad’s narrow-gauge train, the last operating train of its kind in Bulgaria, is an artefact of past times. As it speeds by endless pine forests, scattered houses and a few abandoned train stations, its passengers can experience the glitz and glamour of riding in a coupe. The train ride from Velingrad to Avramovo takes an hour, bringing passengers to a station perched on rocky grounds at an altitude of 1,267m. It is no surprise that the highest train station in the Balkans has become a tourist attraction, albeit often overlooked because of its remote location.

An exhilarating train ride will take visitors on a trip back in time. They will be welcomed by a bumpy track and hospitable train conductors. There is a chance they get to meet the train’s saviour, Kristjan, who dedicated himself to reviving the unique railway. He is part of the civil association “Za tesnolineikata” that helped put the train back on track. The railway connects several religions and cultures, and aboard the train, visitors can meet Pomaks, renowned for their hospitality and local products, including fresh milk, which they may sell even on the train.

Photo Credit: Aljaž Čad

The natural beauty of Thrace, the Rhodopes, Rila and Pirin, combined with the rich ethnocultural diversity embodied by the natural and historic landmarks make the train ride an unmatched experience.

Wow factorA ride towards Balkan’s highest train station
Incentive type  Active experience
Number of participants  1 – 50
Best time of the yearAll year round
Duration1 hour
Location Velingrad – Avramovo
Photo Credit: Aljaž Čad

Get in touch

Narrow-gauge Train Velingrad
Velingrad Train Station
Velingrad, Bulgaria

W: https://tesnolineikata.wixsite.com/home/en

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