This four day program will take us through some of the most interesting areas in Western Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria. This is the largest mountain range of the country, located mainly in southern Bulgaria and partially in Greece. Walking in Rhodopes is always a combination of nature sights and exploration of the local culture, as there is a number of remote villages in the area. Terrain is not difficult but we’ll do a couple of good 6-7 hours long hikes that require a decent physical condition.
Note: International flights to fit to this itinerary – please check the Ryanair flights from London to Plovdiv (the second biggest city in Bulgaria and one of historical and cultural sights of the country). They are cheap, convenient to our itinerary, save time from driving from Sofia to the Rhodopes and allow tho visit the city of Plovdiv at the start/end of the program.
You can check the self-guided version of the route here: The Villages of Rhodopes in 4 days
- Four days of hiking through the green pastures and forests, exploring the lush nature of Western Rhodopes.
- Visit to the Trigrad Gorge, Devil’s Throat and Yagodina caves, the architectural reserve of Shiroka Luka, The highest ridge of Rhodopes – Perelik Ridge.
- Stay in local villages where we’ll explore the culture, traditions and cuisine of the inhabitants of the Rhodopes.
Day 1: In the morning of the first day we meet in Devin – a town in Western Rhodopes, reachable for about 2 hours by bus from Plovdiv, 3,5 hours from Sofia. Devin is famous with its thermal pools, so its best to arrive on the previous day and spend an evening there.
We take a 30 min. transfer to Yagodina Cave, crossing the gorge of Yagodina. After visiting the cave we start walking towards Yagodina village (about an hour) where we’ll have lunch in a local restaurant or in some local family. Another two-hours hike takes us to the area of Trigrad. First we visit the famous Trigrad Gorge and we enter the big cave at its bottom – Devil’s Throat Cave, than we accommodate in the village. There is a choice between a number of guest houses and small hotels in the village. Total about 3 hours walking for the day, 9.5 km, +470/-280m.
Day 2: Today we’ll do one of the most beautiful walks in Western Rhodopes – from the village of Trigrad to the area of Perelik ridge. On the way we pass near Chairite Lakes, many green pastures and forests. Accommodation in the remote village of Mugla – rustic accommodation in a local guest houses. About 6 hours total, 17km, +850/-680 meters.
Day 3: Today we climb the highest ridge in Rhodope Mountains – Perelik ridge. We’ll climb the second highest summit – Mount Karluk, because the highest point is not accessible for tourists due to the military base on the top. Than we descent to the village of Gela at 1500 meters on the other side of the mountain. About 6,5 hours total, 14 km, +900/-800 m. Accommodation in a hotel in the village.
Day 4: Short walk today – we cross Gela village and for about 2,5 hours descend to the village of Shiroka Luka – an architectural reserve with many old stone houses and a beautiful church. We also pass near Gela monastery on the way. From here we can take a bus either to Devin and visit the mineral pools there, either to Smolyan – the biggest town in Rhodopes, with connections to Plovdiv and Sofia. End of the program.
A second option for this day is to visit the famous Miraculous Bridges, to walk up to the biggest waterfall in the Rhodopes – Slivovdolsko Padalo Waterfall – 2 hours of walking, to stop at Bachkovo Monastery and to arrive in Plovdiv by the end of the day.
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.
Contact us for any questions and prices.