Rhodope Mountains walking holiday in Bulgaria
Description of Rhodope Mountains walking holiday in Bulgaria
Lose yourself, figuratively, in the natural beauty of Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains as you embark on a week of self guided walking within some of the region’s most impressive gorges and canyons.
Some of the panoramic views from the Eagle’s Eye platform close to the village of Lagodina are simply breathtaking with Buinovo Gorge, Tirgrad Gorge and the Canyon of Waterfalls also offering ample excuses to pause for awhile and soak up the scenery.
This region of Bulgaria abounds with myths and folklore tales which always make for an enthralling accompaniment to a day’s walk especially for any travellers interested in the legendary Greek, Orpheus.
Throughout this moderate week of walking in Bulgaria you’ll be travelling from one hotel to the next where luggage is transferred ahead and spa facilities, in some accommodation, eases you into an evening of relaxation.
1 Reviews of Rhodope Mountains walking holiday in Bulgaria
Reviewed on 02 Jul 2018 by Ruth Kinsella
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The totally stunning views, the wild flower meadows and the lovely people. We stayed in some beautiful hotels, only one was a little too corporate for us (Mountain Lake Hotel - we were the only visitors and it was very lonely after all the bustle of the smaller family hotels), - our most favourite ones were the family owned and run hotels that were simply charming and the people could not do enough for us and made us feel really welcome despite the language barrier. Particularly loved the spa in our hotel on the second night, sitting outside in the hot tub looking at the mountains was perfect.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Try to swap the last two walks around, do the waterfall walk on the final full day and then do the lake walk on the last day. We were slightly underwhelmed by the lakes but completely blown away by the waterfall walk and would have loved to have spent more time completing that work properly. Also, try to learn a few useful Bulgarian words, such as tap water, vegetables, hot water, tea.... there is access to some of the best water in the mountains but we had to keep drinking water from a plastic bottle because I could not get them to understand that tap water would be perfect. Also, although not important, it would have been lovely to experience the local yoghurt for breakfast and that was a little to challenging with the language barrier. Such a shame but in no way was this a spoiler - the whole experience was just perfect. Oh and do download the walks, it makes things so much easier to have the walk on your phone.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, I did. Need to do something about the plastic bottles though before it becomes an unfortunate habit or expectation. What a stunningly beautiful country and I just hope that we left a positive footprint while we were there too. A special mention to our driver, Kotse - what a perfect gentleman, great driver, very safe and he made our daily transfers very enjoyable - even getting us to the local shop so we could get our bit for our lunch. We had a couple of little problems on our last day and Alex sorted everything out really quickly and efficiently so a big thank you to Alex too.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Brilliant, on my next visit I would love to make the most of some of the other walks, it all comes with confidence, but with the benefit of hindsight, we could have used the walking app better and maybe been a little more adventurous.
PlanetTo minimize environmental footprint, we limit the size of our parties for this trip to maximum 6 people. Our detailed tour information packs include a section on environmental responsibility and detailed instructions related to the ‘leave no trace’ policy, protected animals and plants in the area, etc. We encourage our clients to use the info packs and maps in electronic format.
In the Rhodope mountains, we are cooperating with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and we have successfully completed joint projects related to bird protection in the area. In the Trigrad region we are cooperating with local non-profits and communities and have successfully stopped the construction of dams and water power plants on the rivers in the area. While many of our peers in the Eagle’s Eye area offer 4x4 tours to the viewing point, we recommend to our clients to reach the top by walking, and never include motor vehicle tours as options to our itineraries.
PeopleIn the Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria, we typically hire local drivers (not the hotel transfer services or big taxi companies) to transport luggage and people on walking days. By using local transport services and locally owned and operated guesthouses and small hotels, we are giving back to local people.
We are supporting the local NGO Rekichka, which has been implementing a number of projects related to the development of sustainable tourism in the region in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union. This itinerary is designed to contribute to the local and rural communities in the Rhodope mountains, which is one of the poorest regions of Bulgaria. We encourage our guests to taste the local food and wines, buy locally hand-made souvenirs, participate in local events during their trips.
We also work closely with our accommodation providers so that we can provide unforgettable experiences to our clients whilst contributing to sustaining and promoting the local traditions to the benefit of the local economy.