Rhodope Mountain with TrekkingBG
The chain of the Rhodope, also called the Мountain of Orpheus – is the longest mountain range in the whole Bulgaria. Its total area is 18 000 square km, of which 14 571 square km are in Bulgarian territory, the rest – in Greece. Overall the mountain is divided into two parts: the West Rhodope chain and the East Rhodope.
It is a mountain in which there are 3 Nature reserves, 11 dams, 4 cultivated caves; resorts with hot spring centers, 3 ski resorts and more than 2000 species of plants of which 90 endangered species, such as Haberlea (Haberlea rhodopensis). We also find pine (Abies), spruce (Picea), white pine (Pinus sylvestris), red juniper (J. oxycedrus L.) and others. From wildlife find the Royal Aquila (Aquila heliaca), little cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), wolves, grizzly bears and so on.
The relief of the Rhodope mountain is one of the most spectacular with its deep river valleys, its gorges, its vast prairies and natural rock bridges.
We are going to explore the West part where passes the international route- E8. Following it we will go through the most interesting places – dams, creeks and caves – as Yagodina Cave and Devil’s Throat Cave. The route will take us to the most recent archaeological objects dating from Antiquity.
Natural and wonderful views will follow us, we will get into the daily lives of the people inhabiting the territory now – like the ones from Shiroka laka, Trigrad, Gella, cities like Velingrad, Smolyan, Plovdiv, monasteries like Bachkovo Monastery. We will become familiar with the history of the Thracians, we can visit the archaeological complex Perpericon, where the altar of the god Dionysus was found, we will hear the famous bagpipe and try different dishes …
Arrival to Sofia airport. Transfer to the town of Devin (150 km) and accommodation at the hotel. Dinner. Brief presentation of the program and guides.
Accommodation: Hotel in Devin
Breakfast and we get in the van to reach the village of Yagodina. From there we start our trek passing trough attractive gorges, ravines and caves. We follow the Trigrad gorge which is one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria, up to the Devil’s Throat cave. Visit of the cave. Lunch. After lunch continue the trek to the refuge “Chairski ezera” / Lakes Chairski /.
Duration approx. of the trek: 6 hours.
Elevation: 750 m.
Accommodation: refuge “Chairski ezera” / Lakes Chairski /
Breakfast with homemade cakes. We start our hike up the mountain on the trail of the Thracians. The paths are passing through forests and dirt routes. Our goal is the village of Mugla. We refill our bottles with fresh water from the mountain and continue to the highest peak of the Rhodopes. From there we continue to the town of Gella, according to the legend that is the birthplace of Orpheus. From there we have short transfer to the village of Laka Shiroka.
Duration approx.: 8 hours.
Elevation: Positive Return: 1000 m. / Cumulative negative slope: 1000 m.
Accommodation: Hotel ** Shiroka Laka village
In the morning we will take a short walk through the village of Laka Shiroka. From there we’ll take the road straight into the heart of the Rhodopes massif. Passing through the authentic mountain village of Kukuvitsa we’ll go into the virgin coniferous forests of the Rhodopes. Through the refuge of “Izgrev” we’ll continue to the town of Chepelare. Chepelare is the highest city in Bulgaria is about 1120 m above sea level. It’s famous with its Mineral Museum and Ski Factory.
Duration approx.: 8 hours.
Elevation: 800 m.
Accommodation: Hotel *** town of Chepelare
This day we are having a nice walk, we pass among dense forests, meadows and ridges with spectacular views. Our goal this day are the Miraculous Bridges (Chudnite mostove) that are a natural result of the collapse of an ancient cave during an earthquake. They are a well known and protected area worldwide.
Duration approx.: 4-5 hours.
Elevation: 500 m
Accommodation: Shelter “Skalinite mostove” /Stone Bridges/
A day dedicated to a long but awesome hike that follows one of the most important ways of the Antiquity – a Thracian path expanded by the Romans. To go to this path we’ll start directly from the shelter of “Skalnite mostove”. Our way passes by the shelter of “Persenk”, deep forests and unspoiled, authentic sites filled with the magic of the Rhodopes to reach the incredible and secluded village Churen. Close to this village we’ll sleep in the cozy hotel in the town of “Varjovrah” – hotel “Rhodope”.
Accommodation: Hotel *** “Rhodope”
After ancient forests and lush meadows we get into the cultural life in the cities of Plovdiv, in the Monastery of Bachkovo and the capital – Sofia.
We wake up in the *** star hotel filled with the magic of the Rhodopes and we orient ourselves to the second largest monastery in Bulgaria after Rila Monastery – the Monastery of Bachkovo. Dedicated to the Assumption this monastery stands out with its frescoes that are of great artistic value, also what attracts tourists is the icon of the “Virgin with love” which is considered miraculous. On the road to the monastery we’ll pass through the Fortress “Asen” – one of the most important fortresses in Antiquity.
Option: we can do a short trek to refresh and soothe the muscles to the cave where legend says it appeared the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. The trek passes in a reserve area included in UNESCO.
Accommodation: Hotel *** Polovdiv
All day is dedicated to visiting the city dating from the 12th century B.C. Plovdiv is the second city after Sofia with nearly half a million inhabitants. The city attracts with its monuments of Antiquity – as the Ancient Тheater from 1st century A.C., the Roman Odeon, the Agora, the Roman Stadium, also with the monuments of Roman and Ottoman period, after the Bulgarian Renaissance until today, when Plovdiv is a center where are carried out the International Fair, the International Fair of theater and music.
Accommodation: Hotel *** Plovdiv
In the morning we make a transfer of 120 km by highway to get to the capital of Sofia, our last stop on this trip. We’ll stay at the hotel of **** stars and we’ll do a tour of the capital. Free time for shopping and strolling in the city center. Fiesta. In Sofia there are several discos and clubs, with a variety of music.
Accommodation: Hotel **** Sofia
Breakfast. Free time for sightseeing or last minute shopping.
Transfer to airport.