THE RHODOPES - a mountain range in Southern Bulgaria covering an extensive area rolling on south into Greece. The greenest and most picturesque of Bulgarian mountain chains, it is actually the largest mountain chain in the country. The average height is 785 m: the highest peak Golyam Perelik soars to 2191 m above sea level.
The name Rhodope is of Thracian origin. According to a legend the lovers Heamus, a Thracian boy, and Rodopis a Thracian girl, flattered each other by calling themselves after the divine Zeus and Hera. This angered Zeus, who punished the couple by turning them into mountains, the Haemus (now the Balkan Range) and the Rhodopes, separated by the Plain of Thrace.
The plain of Thrace is a mysterious region linked to the legend of the mythical singer Orpheus, whose mastery of the lyre moved animals and trees to dance. His spirit still lives here in the music and the culture of the local people.
Snow and sun, clean air, mild climate with a Mediterranean influence. Enjoy original folklore and superb cuisine, cordial and hospitable people.
Day 1 – Arrive at Sofia airport , take a taxi to the bus station. Departure to Plovdiv by bus. Check - in at the hotel, and enjoy free leisure time.
Day 2 – Tour the old town of Plovdiv, visit the Roman Amphitheatre. Lunch in Plovdiv . Take a bus to Pamporovo, a mountain resort. Check into the hotel. Walk to peak Smejanka, visit the TV tower on the peak, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Rhodope Mountains. Free leisure time followed by dinner at a folkloric restaurant.
On the way to Pamporovo you can stop and visit the Bachkovo Monastery from the 10th century , the second largest monastery in Bulgaria
Possibility to stay one more day and visit the village of Trigrad ,or visit two caves “Devils Throat”( according to an ancient legend through this cave Orpheus descended down to heal and save his lover Evredika) and “Yagodinska cave” one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. An option to guests wanting a challenge is to go through to cave “Haramiyata” (first you climb by rope to the entrance of the cave. In the first gallery you can see archaeological relics from the 4th century. After you go through a narrow passage into the second gallery. There you are given a rope and you descend 47 meters down to the bottom of the cave. In this gallery you will visit a natural spring. Go out through the back exit of the cave. Hike back to the starting point where you will receive a diploma for your successful trip to the cave.)
Day 3 – Next point is village Shiroka Luka (Architecture and Ethnographic Reserve). 4 – 5 hours walk through this picturesque site. On the way you will pass by a famous rock named after the Thracian singer Orpheus, and then see the village Stoikite, ascending the peak St. Ellena to visit the chapel with the same name there.
Day 4 – Continue to the town Chepelare (the home town of Ekaterina Dafovska, Olympic Champion in Biathlon at Nagano, Japan), check into family hotel “Turist” Explore the town, visit the museum of speleology (cave exploring). Free time followed by dinner at a local tavern.
Possibility to stay one more day and visit Rock phenomena “Chudnite Mostove” (Wonderful Bridges)
Day 5 – Hike to village Momchilovcy, a 4 hour and 30 min hike through the beautiful countryside. On the way to the town you will visit many little chapels and the Rojen observatory.
Explore the town :
Cooking Rhodope specialties together with local people
Experience the local traditions and handicraft - woodcarving, embroidering, looming
Visit local history museum
Learn folk songs and dances, under the leadership of a specialist
Horse back riding
Day 6 – Continue to town of Smolyan
Explore the town :
Visit the Usunova's and Stoyo Shishkova's houses with unique Rhodope architecture
See St. Atanas church founded 170 years ago
The biggest planetarium in the Balkan peninsula
Day 7 - Take a bus to Sofia. Check – in at the hotel, sightseeing, shopping or visit the Boyana church (built in three stages - 11th , 13th and 19th century) .
Moderate walking Grade A(easy) and B (moderate)
4 - 5 hours per day
Well - marked routes
Price 295 EUR
Total 7 nights BB
First night in Plovdiv and last night in Sofia with accommodation at 4 stars hotels:
For other nights family hotels in Rhodope villages and towns, cozy atmosphere.
5 packed lunches included
Welcoming at Sofia Airport
Map & Instructions
Luggage transfers between hotels (except from Plovdiv and to Sofia.
Single Supplement 70 EUR
Further night(s) in Snejanka Hotel mountain lodge 25EUR (sgl.suppl. 20EUR)
Further night(s) in Sofia 40 EUR(sgl.suppl.20 EUR)
Taxi (Sofia Airport - Princes Hotel ) 5 EUR
Bus to Plovdiv – 5 EUR
Bus from Plovdiv to Pamporovo – 4 EUR
Bus from Smolyan to Sofia - 8 EUR
Taxi ( Pamporovo – Trigrad - Pamporovo) 30 EUR
Taxi (Chepelare - “Chudnite Mostove” - Chepelare) 30 EUR
Local Extras :
Devils Throat cave visit – 2 EUR
Yagodinska cave visit – 2 EUR
Haramyata cave adventure – 15 EUR
Old town Plovdiv – 2 EUR entrance per house
Roman Amphitheatre entrance – 2 EUR
Boyana Church entrance - 5 EUR
The spirit of the magnificent green Rhodope Mountains , culture , songs and hospitality of the local people.
Architecture and Ethnographic Reserve Siroka Luka village
Museums, churches and chapels
Planetarium in Smolyan
Old town of Plovdiv – Architecture and Ethnographic Reserve , Ancient (Roman) amphitheatre
Sofia – Bulgaria’s capital
Rock spectacle “Chudnite Mostove”
Trigrad Gorge and village Trigrad
Devils Throat Cave
Bachkovo Monastery from 10th century