The Thrilling Caves of the Rhodopes

About

An excursion designed for those who love adventure and the wilderness! With the help of experienced guides, explore the depths of three of the most famous caves in the Rhodope mountains – the wild Haramiiska pit cave, with its narrow corridors and the 43-meter descent via rope to the bottom of its largest chamber; the Devil’s Throat cave, a place of legend; and Yagodina cave, with its distinctive mineral formations.

Highlights

• Visit the Devil’s Throat cave and see the inspiration behind several legends that have been passed down from ancient times

• Explore Yagodina cave, famous for its mineral “pearls”

• Go spelunking in the Haramiiska cave – an adventure that includes a 43-meter descend via rope to its largest chamber

Description

The area of Trigrad is one of the most breathtaking in the Rhodope mountains, with several major natural landmarks and stunning scenery. This two-day trip invites you to explore three of its emblematic caves, one of which is a popular destination for the exciting sport of spelunking.

The first day is focused on enjoying the beauty of the less-extreme caves. Both are well lit and perfectly secured, and can be walked through with ease.

The Devil’s Throat cave is one of the Trigrad Gorge’s most notable features. It is 150 years old and home to a colony of over 35000 bats. According to a local legend, Orpheus entered the Underworld in search of his beloved Eurydice through this very cave. The devil’s Throat’s so called Rumbling Chamber is the second largest cave chamber in Bulgaria – it is large enough that the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral can fit comfortably inside it. In this chamber is the tallest subterranean waterfall in the Balkans (60 m). The underground river goes into a syphon-tunnel, and where the water flows is yet unknown. At first glance, the river emerges from the depths of the mountain with ease, only 100 m from the entrance, but an experiment in which a large section of the river was dyed showed that it takes over 2 hours for the water to run its full course and come out through the other side. Judging by the speed of the flow and the time it took for it to reach the other side, the subterranean section of the river is 40 km long. The Devil’s Throat truly lives up to its name, and it is considered one of the most mysterious places in the world.

Yagodina cave is 250 million years old, notable for its intricate stalactites, stalagmites, stalagnates and its so called “pearls” – lime beads formed out of the minerals contained within drops of water that fall on the small rocks paving the cave floor. Its beauty and romantic atmosphere make it a popular attraction for couples, and wedding ceremonies are often performed in one of its chambers. It is said that couples that get married in this cave never separate.

From there we’ll take a drive to the Eagle Eye viewing platform located an hour and a half away from Yagodina cave. Breathtaking landscapes as far as the eye can see, a view of the Buynovsko gorge from above, the mountain Rila and Pirin in the distance, and even a glimpse of the mountains of Greece – this platform at the edge of a cliff is where you can feel what it's like to soar through the sky like an eagle.

The next day takes a sharp turn for the extreme.

The Haramiiska cave is completely wild, and the only lighting inside is the natural light that comes through the entrance and the exit. The excitement starts at the entrance, as it can only be reached by climbing a 20-meter-tall vertical cliff, followed by a steep section that leads to the entrance itself. This section is secured with a metal rope. Signs of life from the late Chalcolithic Age have been found in the Haramiiska cave, such as campfire remains, pottery and tools. Today, models depicting the life of the pre-historic people who left these findings have been arranged just inside the naturally-lit entrance of the cave. There are several smaller chambers, and the entrance to one of them is so tight it can only be crawled through. The main attraction is the 43-meter drop down to its largest chamber. You’ll be descending via rope, with the aid of the instructors in charge of getting spelunkers safely to the other side.

Another spelunking adventure awaits in the Golubovitsa cave.

Price per person

• For a group of 6 or more: 80 €

• For a group of 2-5: 100 €

• For a single person: 130 €

Inclusions/exclusions

The price includes

• Professional English-speaking tour guide

• Overnight at the Yagodina hotel on full board

The price does not include

• The cave entrance fees

Cave entrance fees

• Devil’s Throat cave: 2 €

• Yagodina cave: 2.60 €

• Haramiiska cave: 16 € (including the services of experienced instructors to guide you through the cave, and spelunking gear)

Notes

Full length of the Haramiiska cave: 510 m. It takes 3-5 hours to traverse it.

It is only suitable for physically fit people in good health, and requires composure, bravery and a love for extreme sports. There is no artificial lighting in the cave. Spelunkers must bring their own lighting.

Spelunkers must cooperate with and trust the instructors for their own safety and the safety of the entire group.

80 €

per person

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Extreme

Rhodope Mountains, 4716, Bulgaria

Starting point - Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2 days

Summer, Autumn, Spring

Live tour guide available in English

Maxiumum number of participants - 10 people

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