Bulgaria Madzharovo

Madzharovo is literally located in the center of volcano’s crater, erupted over 35 million years ago. As a result of the volcanic activity, in the rocks around the city are found precious and semiprecious stones.
Outlandish Notions

Madzharovo is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with approximately 500 inhabitants. The town is named after its protector from 1913 – Dimitar Madzharov. Back at these days around 20 thousands Bulgarian refugees from Aegian Thrace were expelled from their land. They were seeking path to their country, here in the then village of Yatadzhik, but they were ambushed by Turkish bashibazouk. Over 2000 women and children died. The salvation of the rest is due the unparalleled bravery of Dimitar Madzharov and Rusi Slavov, who lead hundreds other defenders of their kin and homeland.

As gratitude, the town is named after its savior and the memory of the dead is honored near the beautiful Pantheon, dedicated to this event. Near it stands a small but beautiful church.

Grab your binocular and birding book, and enter the land of rocks and vultures. So long, traditions; hello, Madzharovo.

Food & Drink

Not much is needed to make dinner decisions in this small mountainous town. Most restaurants here are supplied by local organic farms. Madzharovo set the standard for natural food, especially in the surrounding villages. The Wild Farm in Gorno pole village made it first – they succeeded to establish the whole chain for organic calf production – from the meadow and animals to the meat in the jar. So, this one is a must visit if you want to taste 100% locally produced food.

Madzharovo Arda
Arda river bed, Madzharovo, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand

 

Natural Highs

Madzharovo is literally located in the center of volcano’s crater, erupted over 35 million years ago. As a result of the volcanic activity, in the rocks around the city are found precious and semiprecious stones. It is this natural wealth that has determined the city’s development under socialism as a mining center. And even today, traces of the active work in the mines are still visible.

Madzharovo crater
Flight shots over the Arda river canyon, Madzharovo, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand

 

While in Madzhrovo don’t miss to visit:

The nature conservation center of BSPB in the town, after the bridge of Arda river. Here you will learn about the lives of birds of prey and conservation of the biodiversity in the region. You can even rent a canoe for adventure in the Arda River or bike to enjoy one of the nearby biking trails.

The nature area “Kovan kaya” is located on the bank of Arda river, east of the town of Madzharovo. The place is declared as nature area for protection of rare and endangered plants and animals. This is one of the few places in Bulgaria, where Griffon and Egyptian vultures are nesting and where Black vultures are coming for food from the Greek parts of the Rhodopes. Here can be seen Black Storks and many southern species like the Blue Rock-Thrush, Rock Nuthatch and many reptiles like the endangered tortoise. Different nature conservation organisations are involved in the protection of the impressive biodiversity – Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, Green Balkans, Rewilding Rhodopes, etc.

Griffon Vulture
Griffon vulture, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Didi Andreeva

Hiking trail “Okopa” – the area is known with the early Christian sanctuary discovered here. It was inhabited by Thracian people 2000 years ago. Later on the same place the first early Christian church in the Rhodope Mountains was built.

Interesting holes, carved in the rock are found near the village of Dolno cherkovishte. The site is protected and famous with the name Pchelen kamak (honey rock).

In the area of village Dolni Glavanak, stands the Stone Circle. This one is a cromlech type of structure – imagine large boulders surrounding oval area. The most popular monument of this kind is Stonehenge in Britain. The Bulgarian version is in the region of Madzharovo. A well marked trail about 500 meters long, leads to the hill’s top, where the ancient Thracians performed their rituals and sacrifices.

Madzharovo region is part of the Crossbill Guides “Eastern Rhodopes – Nestos, Evros and Dadia”. Routes 4, 5, 6 and 7 include parts of Madzharovo area.

 

Area:
20.17 km²
Elevation:
202 m
Population:
1725 (2016)
Part of:
Eastern Rhodopes Mountains
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Partners
Mihaela Lake Retreat
New Thracian Gold
Rewilding Rhodopes
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of birds
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