Trekking through the Rhodopes

About

Spend 10 days amidst the most beautiful Bulgarian nature and take in the breathtaking landscapes of the mountain. Visit the rural villages where time seems to have stopped and discover the ancient traditions handed down over time.

Highlights

• Explore the wonderful nature

• Discover mysterious and enchanting places

• Learn some of the oldest traditions of Bulgaria as you visit its small rural villages

Description

This tour will allow you to discover some of Bulgaria's most beautiful riches. You will explore the small rural villages hidden between the mountain hills where it's as if time has stopped advancing. See the most beautiful and fascinating scenery the Rhodopes have to offer.

Day 1

Individual arrival in Sofia and transfer by bus to one of the oldest European cities and the second largest in the country - Plovdiv. Situated on 7 unique hills, it's a big cultural and historic center, as well as a hotspot for tourists. Accommodation and sightseeing in the architectural reserve "The Old Plovdiv" and Ancient Amphitheatre. Dinner at a restaurant enhanced by the lively local atmosphere.

Day 2

Our next transfer takes us to Asen's Fortress and the Bachkovo monastery where we reach the natural phenomenon of the Wonderful Bridges. Two naturally formed openings unique in their size, shape and beauty. The natural rocky bridges, located above the Aidarsko dere lake just 1450m above sea level, are enveloped by an old evergreen forest. The upper bridge is impressive in its size - 96m in length and with an opening of 43m height, 45m width. The lower bridge is impassable and represents a canyon within a cave. As we move along an even bridge and through a spruce forest we reach the spacious meadows around Kabata lodge. This is a small saddle between the two peaks with a beautiful panorama to the North and South of it. We move along a forest path and begin a descent to the untouched old stone houses of Orehovo village. Before we reach the village we pass a small but picturesque waterfall - Skakaloto.

Day 3

We leave Orehovo and begin climbing the hills that overlook the village. Open fields and forests interchange as we travel to the structures of Persenk lodge. Starting from the lodge we trek through the small passage of Mezargidik and along a perfectly maintained area of roman roads. The century-old forest of Persenk opens up now and again to reveal the excellent panoramas facing West and North. We reach Mezargidik from where we begin a steady descent along a small stream and later follow a branching path of the ancient road. We continue traversing the southern hills of Persenk peak, through fields and forests, until we reach the bus for transfer.

Day 4

After leaving Gela we begin climbing along a dirt road leading Southwest. We follow a short but steep path and as it evens out into a forest trail we reach the beautiful area around lodge Lednitsata. As we walk through an old evergreen forest and wonderfully colorful fields we steadily climb towards the summit, the second highest and full of panoramic views - Karlak peak. Steadily we descend to the spacious meadows on the slopes of Karlak. On our trek we pass a spring, a small valley and a stream with several small waterfalls. Through glades and fields, we descend towards Mugla village, where it's as if time stopped long ago.

Day 5

From the 400-year-old wooden minaret in Mugla the path climbs up towards the peak. Past the summit the path descends into spacious fields surrounded by hills. We take a slight detour to the abandoned Chalma village. Walking back through the grass-covered soft dirt roads we reach the Chairski lakes. This is one of the most beautiful places in the Rhodopes - the small lakes with peat islands are situated on a plateau surrounded with a wreath of hills and slopes that give them a peculiar and pristine beauty.

Day 6

We leave Chairite along the forest path between the lakes and pass by a fallen bridge before we reach Probitiya Kamak - a small picturesque tunnel. The path mainly descends through the black pines of the gorge of Chairska lake. There are 11km to the beginning of the Trigrad gorge. From here the valley of the lake gets very narrow, the incline increases and the route enters the most picturesque part of the Trigrad gorge. The hanging rocks are 8-10 m apart and the road is carved into the rock itself. After a few heady turns in the narrowest and up to 400m deep part of the gorge we come out on a small parking lot in front of the entrance of the Devil's Throat cave. We get the opportunity to look around the spacious main room and the 60m high underground waterfall. After the cave 2km are left until we reach our destination where we stay for the night.

Day 7

Our daily hike begins from Trigrad village, with a nice walk through the forest path above the Trigrad gorge. Further along awaits a moderate climb along its left slope followed by a descent through the beautiful spruce forest and spacious fields leading to Yagodina village. Spectacular views and colorful meadows accompany the daily trek.

Day 8

The daily hike begins without an incline as we cross the hills of Saint Iliya peak speckled with flowers and herbs. We begin traversing the 700m wall at the peak and cross the river in the Buinovsko gorge at the beginning of the Devil's path. Our trek through the small gorge of Chatak dere begins, here the path is often on metal and wooden planks placed in the rocks. We leave the gorge at its upper end and with a slight climb we come up on the beautiful meadows with an overview of Chala village. From here we descend to the Yagodina Cave, where aside from the wondrous stalagmites and stalactites we can also see "pearls" formed by minerals contained within the drops of water falling on small rocks. After the cave we have less than an hour left to reach the village as we steadily continue to climb.

Day 9

We leave the village and begin the climb to St Iliya peak. We move along the path on the summit's Southern edge, weaving through a thin forest. The trail has a steady incline and is moderately steep. The wonderful views accompany us all the way to the top, where a panoramic landing awaits, hanging over a 700m wall above the Buinovsko gorge. The panoramic views are in all directions. We descend toward the village along a different path across clear, forested and flower-filled areas. After some time we reach the village where a transfer to Sofia awaits.

Day 10

Departure to Sofia airport

Inclusions / exclusions

The price includes

• Transfer to and from Sofia airport

• Overnight stay in lodges with double bedrooms

• Expert guide in English

The price does not include

• Flight to and from Bulgaria

Notes

• The price is per person for a group of minimum 6 people.

• Single room on request - 60€

984 €

per person

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Hiking

Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria

Starting point - Sofia, Bulgaria

10 days

Autumn, Summer, Spring

Live tour guide available in English

Maxiumum number of participants - 10 people

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