The Villages of Rhodopes

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.


The village of Yagodina


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.


A lake at Chairite Locality

A lake at Chairite Locality


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.


Mount Orpheus - 2188 m.

Mount Orpheus – 2188 m.


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.


The village of Gela and the Main Rhodopi Ridge

The village of Gela and the Main Rhodopi Ridge


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.


Comments 13

i am in devine. and i understand that the simplest way for me to travel the rodopi mountains will be with a guide. how can i find one?


Hello Lyuben
i am planning to do four days track like you describe here. where can i get a map with the paths marked in them?
what is the weather in the end of may?
thank you


Hello Lyuben,
we are planning to do a two-day trek from Shiroka Luka to Mugla (first day) and Mugla – Trigrad (second day), following a red-marked hiking trail. We will take it on the 20th of March or so.
What weather conditions can we expect there at this time? Will be there a deep snow or rather icy paths? Any advice on walking equipment? (crampons, nordic walking sticks, etc.)
Is it necessary to book accommodation in Mugla in advance or can we come “in blind” and stay over in locals’ house?
Thank you.

Cheers, Jan


    A lot of snow in the area now and will probably remain until your dates, even in the lower parts. The trails are difficult to find in snowy conditions, especially Shiroka Luka-Gela,so better take a ride up to Gela. Crampons not needed, snowshoes will be very helpful. In Mugla there is only one lady that will accommodate you now during winter – Veselina Guest House.


We are planning to do this rout soon, but some Bulgarian Warned us that the people in Mugla are not so hospitable. Should it concern us?

Darryl Anderson

Hello, would this trek be suitable to do in mid-April? How is the weather then? My friend and I might be interested in doing this April 10-14th.


    Hello, would say some of the walks are quite long to carry a small kid, may offer you another itinerary with shorter options. Would you write to me via the contact form?



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