Hiking in Bulgaria: Enter the magic of the Rhodopes

If you love to explore the mountains for days, hiking in Bulgaria represents a great variety of opportunities. More than one-third of the country’s territory is mountainous, and among the 30-something ranges the Rhodopes stand out as a favorite choice for local people and in recent years – for hikers from abroad. It’s not the highest – Rila stands atop not only state-wise but on a regional level. Nevertheless, this mountain has its magic, and the people living there would tell that the Rhodopes have a soul.

Where to start?

Plovdiv is the biggest nearest city to the most extensive Bulgarian range. Unfortunately, the airport functions at a low volume, and if you come from Western Europe, you need more luck to find a direct flight. The alternative is to book a seat on a plane to Sofia, the capital’s airport has a metro connection to the Central bus station, and it takes roughly 2 hours to reach Plovdiv. There are several options for the expedition starting from the oldest living city in Europe. It depends on how much time for hiking in Bulgaria does the traveler has to draw the best plan for the purpose.

One week is not enough to discover all the beauties

Actually, one year or even one decade might not be enough to explore every precious piece of magic hidden within the Rhodopes embrace. So, choosing this mountain for hiking in Bulgaria you need to make sure to have at least 5 to 7 days to enjoy the trip. There are several possible directions to launch the adventure from Plovdiv. Heading to Asenovgrad is among the most popular – the road goes to Smolyan, the main town located in the heart of the mountain. You can attempt to reach it by foot starting from the famous Asen’s Fortress. A drive to the core of the mountain to begin the hiking from the area around Smolyan is also a good option.

The alternative routes starting from small towns in the footsteps of the Rhodopes like Perushtitza, Krichim, or Peshtera are among the favorites of the Bulgarian hikers. The first leads the way to the highest peak in the range – Golyam Perelik (2191 m above the sea level). A little bit of drive from Krichim is needed to reach a glorious place where houses float on the surface of the lake in Vacha river but getting to Devin, and the famous cave Dyavolsko Garlo (Devil’s Throat) requires more time and effort. Hiking in Bulgaria for a day or two will only give you a quick and fast glimpse of the Rhodopes’ magic.

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