The Eastern Rhodopes are a truly mosaic of various landscapes – grasslands, waterlands, deciduous woods, coniferous forest and rocky cliffs. Our nature areas have particular habitats for plants, birds and animals offering unique opportunities for wildlife observation.
Big parts of the Eastern Rhodopes are covered by a Natura 2000 site or protected area. Nevertheless most of these areas are freely accessible for people, so for tourism as well. The protected sites host many spectacular plant and wildlife species which will attract the eco tourist. The Eastern Rhodopes cover the highest biodiversity of Europe. An impressive scenery for tourists who can enter the nature areas with the guidance of our local professional English speaking guides.
In the nature areas several picnic places can be found. Mostly in the neighbourhood of parking places and interesting historical sites. Those picnic places exist of an open wooden building with roof and wooden table. For tourists these are good places for a rest and to escape the burning sun for a moment.
Of high value is the enormous amount of water fountains in the Eastern Rhodopes. The local people will tell you that when someone in the family dies, the family builds a fountain at a memorial place. The number of these fountains is high and during most of the hikes in nature, you will pass by at least one fountain. Especially during the hot season this is very pleasant.
The TransRhodope Long Distance Biking Route is a mainly off-road marked trail. The trail is crossing mountains, forests and small villages. The length of this trail is approximately 500 kilometres. The trail is interesting for mountain bikers, but for hikers as well. The route can be followed in total, but tourists can also walk or bike parts of it. A detailed TransRhodope map shows the trail in details which is of added value. The trail is of high value for hikers and bikers to explore the whole Eastern Rhodopes!
Besides the Trans Rhodope Long Distance Biking Route, there are other short trails marked in the area. For tourists it is be interesting to make shorter hikes from 5 up to 15 kilometres. Ask the locals in the guesthouses or villages for the starting point of the trails. Some of the trails enter in protected places. We strongly advise you go on a nature tour in those protected sites only with our local guides. They know the good spots for tourists and they can prevent disturbance on nature and wildlife.
For the ultimate nature experience without disturbing the wildlife, several wildlife hides are built in the Eastern Rhodopes. They are situated around Madzharovo, Studen Kladenets lake and Ivaylovgrad. For tourists and photographers this is a wonderful way to get in touch with the "flying doors" of the Rhodopes, without disturbing them. The type of the construction of the buildings differs from hide to hide. Some offer the possibility to stay overnight, there is a little toilet available and good camera holes are provided which may be of great value for (professional) photographers.