'No one can completely grasp the Rhodopes'

Anton Donchev, Bulgarian writer

If there is a destination, which is worth visiting during all seasons, it is for sure the Rhodope Mountains. The mountain spans over a vast territory, occupying a major part of Central Southern Bulgaria. It is conventionally divided into Western and Eastern Rhodopes.

The Western Rhodopes are higher and consist of high peaks, gorges and caves, while the Eastern parts are smooth-surfaced with beautiful meadows and hills - one of the reasons being the fact, that the mountain was not glacially eroded, as the last glacial period did not had impact on it. The higher Western part of the mountain has typical alpine climate, while the Southern parts are more sub-Mediterranean, defined by mild climate, due to the hot air-masses coming through the river basins.

Legends say, the Rhodopes are the birthplace of the mythological musician Orpheus, who’s enchanting singing fascinated people and animals. Another ancient saying mentions the Thracian king Hem and his queen Rhodope, loving each other so much, that they called themselves with God’s names Zeus and Hera. The Greek gods got angry and cursed them, splitting their union into two different mountains: Stara Planina (The Old Mountain) and the Rhodopes Mountain. The myths and legends are part of the mystical ambiance the Rhodopes hold.

Many historical artifacts, ancient castles and Middle aged fortresses are built within the Rhodopes and their ruins are major touristic sports. The most popular are Monyak, near Kurdzhali, Ustra, close to the city of Dzebel, Tsepina, near Dorkovo village, The Asen fortress, the fortress of Momchil and others.

The Rhodopes are a preferable destination for winter and summer tourism.

The mountain resorts Pamporovo and Chepelare, along with the thermal spring resorts of Velingrad and Devin, offer great conditions for holidays and relax during both the summer and the winter. The combination of thermal spring water, rich in minerals and with proved healing effect, along with the clear mountain air has attracted many visitors for centuries. The vast Rhodopes territory offers variety of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors beauty of the mountains, from skiing and winter sports, to summer outdoor hikes, tours and trips. The historical attractions and many opportunities for fun and recreation; the good local food and traditions, turn the Rhodopes into a major travel destination.

Visit the area during the many festivals and events organized during the summer, when you can taste and try firsthand the local culture, well-preserved in traditions and holidays - or during the busy ski season, when the resort hosts many major championships and competitions. You can always find something just for your taste.

Discover the riches of the Rhodopes!

‘Who has not seen the Rhodopes during his lifetime, he has not seen Bulgaria’ - says the most popular Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov