Hiking in the Area of Belintash

About

This 3-day program takes us to the Rhodope mountains’ area of Belintash, famous for its Belintash Rock Formation. In terms of hiking in Bulgaria, the terrain is not difficult, and our route follows the established tourist trails – the hike is around 6 hours long and includes a couple of relatively steep sections. No prior hiking experience is required, but a decent physical condition is recommended for this trek. The best time to take this trip is from April to November.

Highlights

• 2 full days of walking in the beautiful and green Rhodope Mountains

• Visit the old Thracian sanctuaries of Belintash and Karadzov Kamuk

• Explore the Red Wall Reserve and the second biggest monastery in Bulgaria – Bachkovo Monastery

Description

Day 1

We head to the city of Assenovgrad, located at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains, about 2 hours away from Sofia and only 20 km away from Bulgaria’s second largest city – Plovdiv. Assenovgrad is relatively small, but with a rich history – it is famous for its beautiful churches and the medieval Asen's Fortress. Bus transfer to the small village of Vrata in the afternoon. The next step of our tour - the ancient cult site of Belintash - is only a 40-minute drive away.

We’ll be taking a tour around this 300-meter long rock formation, used in ancient times by the Tracian people for religious rituals and sacrificial gifts to their gods. Accommodation in the area, in a hotel or a guest house.

Day 2

This day starts with a hike up to the Karadzhov Rock, the second rocky plateau used as a place for worship in the past., located across the valley from Belintash. While Belintash is relatively easy to access, the same cannot be said about Karadzhov. From there we descend down to Sushitsa River (Dry River) and through the Ryakata neighbourhood, only accessible by a 4 km dirt road.

We go up to the ridge via a relatively steep trail, past Haidushki Kamuk, to Karadzhov Kamuk, located at an altitude of 1448 m. The path up to the top is made up of steps cut into the rock thousands of years ago by the Thracians. Nowadays this section is secured by railings, and reaching the top using the steps, with the view of the valley beneath us, makes for an exciting experience. We follow the mountain ridge from there to the Krastova Gora Monastery – a monastery that is not very old, but is popular among the local population.

Our next stop is the village of Mostovo. Overnight in a guest house. Total amount of walking for the day: 6 hours; +600/750 m.

Day 3

This day takes us hiking in Bulgaria's Chervenata Stena (Red Wall) Reserve and down to the Bachkovo Monastery. The hike begins with a gradual ascent to Martsiganitsa Hut. From there we enter the Chervenata Stena Reserve – an area rich in rare and endangered plant species. It is named after the Chervenata Stena Summit, particularly its impressive west wall, which appears a bright red at sunset. Descent to the Bachkovo Monastery via small gorge with a few narrow sections. Visit to the Bachkovo Monastery – the second biggest in the country after the Rila Monastery. We can take a bus to Plovdiv or Sofia from there in the afternoon. Total amount of walking: 6 hours; +500/-900 m. The other possible option within the area is to drive past the Bachkovo Monastery and visit the biggest waterfall in the Rhodope mountains on foot – the Slivodolsko Padalo Waterfall. Total amount of walking: 2 hours.

Inclusions/ exclusions

The price includes

• The services of a qualified and experienced mountain guide

• Two overnights at hotels or guest houses along the way

• Transfers to and from Plovdiv

• Breakfast and a packed lunch

Notes

This hiking excursion is suitable for groups of 6-12 people.

Required equipment: hiking boots, rucksack (35-45 l), trekking poles, water and windproof jacket, rain cover, sun hat, sun lotion, sunglasses, water bottle (1 liter), torch, personal first aid kit.

Hiking time: 3 days

Pick up from Plovdiv

180 €

per person

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Hiking

Starting point - Plovdiv, Bulgaria

3 days

Summer

Live tour guide availabel in English

Maxiumum number of participants - 12 people

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