- Tour Plan
- Additional Info
- Similar Tours
- Accommodation in twin room
- Daily luggage transfers
- Half board meals
- Lunches/picnics as described
- Specialist English speaking tour guide
- Transport to start and departure point
- Flights to Bulgaria and back
- Medical insurance and emergency insurance
- Personal expenses
- Tips to guide and driver
Walking along scenic lakes in the Rhodope Mountains, the magnificent Arda river, dramatic mountain slopes, and green deciduous forests. Griffon Vultures and other interesting birds make this hiking adventure emotional.
Traditions & Culture
A tireless guardian of traditions and culture, the Eastern Rhodopes are an area of spiritual and religious abundance. The Rhodopean people have been fiercely oppressed for a long time (during the Ottoman empire, then by Communist regime), but they started to create a new nature-based economy, using Dutch experience and training from professional experts, not so long ago.
The stranglehold is in the past now, although still in the oldest people’s heads, and the region’s creative milieu is streaked by traditions, whether it’s folklore entertainment, contemporary art, culinary festival, or house architecture. Food is another creative arena that has become a nice obsession in certain villages. And spiritual sites like Thracian sanctuaries and temples bring some mysterious touch into this beautiful area.
A Tale of Few Cultures
The Eastern Rhodope mountains are deeply multicultural, with one in three Rhodopean people being muslim, many Pomaks (Thracian origin), some Catholic-Orthodox and all others – Slavic-Orthodox. This multiplicity penetrates intrinsically Rhodopean guest houses; the regional Museums of Kardzhali and Ivaylovgrad have collections as varied as they are magnificent, while the flavours at centuries-old local outdoor markets run the full agricultural spectrum.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
Transfer to Kardzhali
Transfer from Sofia Airport to the bank of the lake Studen kladenets, region of Kardzhali. Accommodation is at a beautiful cottage in a lovely rural setting.
Hiking Studen kladenets
Motor boat will transfer the group to the nature reserve where this walking day begins. Lake Studen kladenets is absolutely stunning and boat tour is a must do when visiting the area. Scenery lake views, abundant deciduous forest and smiley local people feature today's hike adventure. Highlight is the great wall of the lake and the Abrasive canyon - abrasive mineral rocks on Arda river is a place likened to the moon surface. A deep canyon was formed in the rocks by the river flow. The sharp abrasive minerals brought by the the frantic water pace, furrowed the rock surface into tiny sharp fragments. This is where the second day accommodation is settled - nice guest house in the nearby village.
Hiking along Arda river
The hike trip goes ahead to discover the great area of the ancient volcano of Madzharovo. The river Arda meanders through green forests and rich wildlife territories reaching the dramatically sculpted volcanic rocks. Vultures and eagles will escort you all along on this epic walking adventure. Madzharovo area is a famous birding area where you will stay overnight in the lovely hotel rooms of the BirdLife nature conservation center.
The impressive start of the forth day will load you up with energy for all day long. The itinerary follows the edge of the former volcano with exceptional mountain views. Great oak forest, fresh springs, view points and culture monuments on the way. On this evening you will dive into the natural hospitality of the local people because accommodation is organized in private rental houses of people from the village of Gornoseltsi. There is no other adventure like this one where taste of the food and freshness of the air are simply unforgettable.
Heading to Greek border
Last hiking day in the area between village of Gornoseltsi and Ivaylovgrad highlights a catholic village with interesting old church, game reserve area and panoramic point over the town of Ivaylovgrad. Besides the lovely countryside the area is rich in nature making this walking day an intriguing visit full of pleasant surprises. Last accommodation is at a nice family hotel in the border town of Ivaylovgrad - 6 km from Greece.
Sightseeing and transfer back to Sofia
Before heading to Sofia, you will visit the Ancient Roman villa to discover more hidden secrets of past and present in this incredibly diverse mountain. Expected time arrival in Sofia is 16:00 o'clock.
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More about Eastern Rhodope Discover Eastern Rhodope
More about Ivaylovgrad Discover Ivaylovgrad
More about Madzharovo Discover Madzharovo
More about Studen kladenets Discover Studen kladenets
More about this tour
Tour type: Guided hiking tour. Small groups, up to 10 pax.
Period: May to October
Distance: average 18-20 km, approximately 6-8 hours per day
Start & end city: Sofia, Bulgaria
- Accommodation in this hike tour is in cottages/guest houses/family hotels. Some place have shared bathrooms.
- Food is included and presents the great variety of tasty ingredients and recipes of Bulgarian traditional cuisine. Lunches are packed. Small shops are available in most of the villages along the itinerary.
- Vegetarian and other menu available upon request.
NOTE: This hike tour could be tailor made according to your preferences.
Difficulty grade: Relaxed walking, leisure, suitable for all levels.
Level of comfort: Generally comfortable. Some accommodations have shared bathroom facilities. Lunch is package. Transfer of main luggage is included.
Hiking experience: Not necessary