5 Favorite Spots in the Rhodope Mountains

5 Favorite Spots in the Rhodope Mountains
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There’s no denying that Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, the mountain range in the country’s southeast, are stunning. But given the size of the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountain range—the beautiful landscape covers 5,689 square miles (that’s over 3.6 Million acres)—it can be hard to decide on exactly which landmarks to visit.

Here are five of our favorite spots in Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains:




1. Eagle’s Eye (Orlovo Oko)

Rhodope, Bulgaria - July 29, 2015: People at panoramic mountain viewpoint Eagle eye, Orlovo Oko in Rhodope or Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria. The platform is mounted on the edge of the cliffs.

Rhodope, Bulgaria – July 29, 2015: People at panoramic mountain viewpoint Eagle eye, Orlovo Oko in Rhodope or Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria. The platform is mounted on the edge of the cliffs.

Not far from Yagodinska, the most visited cave in Bulgaria, the sightseeing platform, Eagle’s Eye (Orlovo Oko), was built 1563 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of the Rhodope Mountains and nearby villages.

The Western part of the Rhodope Mountains is rich with natural wonder and many caves exist in this part of Bulgaria, making it a very popular tourist destination. The most popular  are Yagodinska Cave, Uhlovitsa Cave, Devil’s Throat Cave and Snezhanka Cave.

Background with the rocks and trees at Rhodope or Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria and Eagle Eye viewpoint up on the rock.

Background with the rocks and trees at Rhodope or Rodopi mountains in Bulgaria and Eagle Eye viewpoint up on the rock.

Not far from Yagodinska, the most visited cave in Bulgaria, the sightseeing platform, Eagle's Eye (Orlovo Oko), was built 1563 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of the Rhodope Mountains and nearby villages.

The sightseeing platform, Eagle’s Eye (Orlovo Oko).

Looking out into the Rhodope Mountains from Eagle Eye, just outside Yagodina.




While it’s easy to be distracted by the mythical and mysterious caves that are the birthplace of many stories and legends in Bulgarian history, don’t forget to finish the day and catch the sunset on the sight-seeing platform at Eagle’s Eye .

 

2. Canyon of Waterfalls

Canyon of Waterfalls eco path near Devin Bulgaria Rhodope Mountains

The Canyon of Waterfalls in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains

Before you head out for this not-so-little excursion, make sure you pack your parka and dust off those hiking boots!

Located near the town of Smolyan, the waterfalls are situated in the canyons stretching along the Elenska River and are interconnected via an easy-to-navigate eco-path.

The Canyon of Waterfalls is a blend of 46 isolated phenomenal waterfalls. The biggest and most popular is Orpheus, peaking at 68 m high. Orpheus, was the mythical Thracian musician and prophet who supposedly inhabited the Rhodope Mountains and made his home within the waterfalls.

To maximize your experience. It’s recommended to visit the Canyon of Waterfalls in early summer when the water levels are at there peak or mid autumn when fall foliage colors are vibrant and pristine. Besides the winter season, the rest of the year offers lovely conditions for hiking, fishing, biking and most outdoor activities.

Waterfall cascading down hill in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.

Waterfall cascading down hill in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.

At the top of a waterfall in the Canyon of Waterfalls near Smolyan, Bulgaria.

At the top of a waterfall in the Canyon of Waterfalls near Smolyan, Bulgaria.

 

3. Asen’s Fortress

Saint Mary of Petrich church at Asen's Fortress near Asenovgrad, Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains

Saint Mary of Petrich church at Asen’s Fortress near Asenovgrad, Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains

Journey back in time to one of Bulgaria’s most celebrated and visited Medieval attractions. Located within the Asenovgrad region of the Rhodope Mountains, Asen’s Fortress is perched high above land on a temple of vertical cliffs.

Picture’s can hardly do this one justice.

Aerial view of Asen's Fortress with Asenovgrad city in the background.

Aerial view of Asen’s Fortress with Asenovgrad city in the background.

Aerial view of Asen's Fortress and Asenovgrad city in Bulgaria.

Aerial view of Asen’s Fortress and Asenovgrad city in Bulgaria.

Asen’s Fortress sits high on a rocky cliff in the Rhodope Mountains.

Throughout different points in history, Asen’s Fortress was under control by the Thracians, Romans, Crusaders, Bulgarians, and the Ottomans. After modern day excavation of this site began, archaeologists have discovered the foundation of a feudal castle, including a living quarters, a church, two reservoirs, and a fortress watch tower.

Built true to the form of Medieval Christian architecture, Asen’s Fortress gives visitors the opportunity to experience the footprints of medieval history in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains.

Asen's Fortress at night near Asenovgrad, Bulgaria.

Asen’s Fortress at night near Asenovgrad, Bulgaria.

 

4. Perperikon

Sunrise at Perperikon Ancient Thrace Bulgaria

Sunrise at Perperikon Ancient Thrace Bulgaria

The massive Thracian city of Perperikon is considered to be the largest megalithic archaeological site in all of Bulgaria. Archaeologists have been calling it “The European Machu Picchu” and “Stone Pompeii.”

Ancient Perperikon Thracian Staircase

Ancient Perperikon Thracian Staircase

Perperikon Ruins

Perperikon Ruins

Perperikon neighbors the town of Gorna Krepost and is located in the eastern Rhodope mountains only 15 km north-east of Kardzhali.

By visiting this wonder, you can be sure that you will be captivated by this sacred ancient city that was once a medieval fortress. Perperikon sits on top of a jagged rocky land mass approximately 420m above sea level and dates back to 5000 B.C.

View of Perperikon Ruins from the top of the ancient city.

View of Perperikon Ruins from the top of the ancient Thracian city.

Ancient Thracian City of Perperikon

Ancient Thracian City of Perperikon

 

5. Wonderful Bridges (Chudnite Mostove)

Bulgaria's Wonderful Bridges

Bulgaria’s Wonderful Bridges

Discover the natural phenomenon of Chudnite Mostove (“The Wonderful Bridges”), tucked away in the western region of the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.

Centuries ago, these natural bridges were once one connected cave. However, after years of weathering, the process of erosion has created these unique rock formations.

The Wonderful Bridges in Bulgaria, or as the locals call them, "Chudnite Mostove".

The Wonderful Bridges in Bulgaria, or as the locals call them, “Chudnite Mostove”.

Located new the Erryupriya River, the Wonderful Bridges are 80 km south of Plovdiv but are definitely worth the drive if you are staying in the city. It would be a solid day-trip, but you will realize it was worth your while as soon as you arrive.
A large variety of animal species can also be discovered in this section of the Rhodope Mountains. It is especially enjoyed by avid birdwatchers who have 270 birds to look for in this region. Brown bears, timber wolves, and wild boars are also often spotted in these parts, as well as many other parts of the Rhodope Mountains.

Wonderful Bridges Bulgaria

Wonderful Bridges Bulgaria (Chudnite Mostove)

Bonus

village of Gela

Gela village is located at the foot of the most magnificent mountain peaks in the Rhodopi mountain – Goliam Perelik, Orpheus peak and peak Turlata, as the village is 18 kilometers away from Pamporovo and 30 kilometers away from Smolian town. It is situated in the heart of the mountain and the population of this small village is 98 inhabitants. This village has century-old history and has preserved beautiful legends.

More information: rhodopemountain

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