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In the footsteps of Orpheus (Rhodopes)

€540 per person

A memorable transit through some of the least-known and most authentic parts of the Rhodopes: Bulgaria’s most lyrical mountain famed as the birthplace of the legendary musician Orpheus. Along with its wonderful climate, the mountain offers the perfect setting for gentle hiking amid pastoral landscapes, valleys dotted with picturesque villages, verdant meadows with grazing flocks of goats and sheep, ancient deciduous forests, Roman roads and bridges, and an enormous diversity of natural phenomena like the Trigradsko Zhdrelo Gorge, the Yagodinska Peshtera and Dyavolsko Garlo (The Devil’s Throat) caves, and the Chudni Mostove rock bridges (Wonderful Bridges).
A visit to the Eagle’s Eye viewing platform, Bachkovo Monastery (the second largest in Bulgaria) and options to join free walking tours of Sofia and Plovdiv cities are also included in the program.

This hiking tour includes all transfers, including those to and from Sofia Airport (contact us for details in case you land on the different airport). Walking treks are moderately arduous. Paths are well marked and in addition, each client receives a map and route highlights in English. You walk every day with just a daypack! The rest/unnecessary luggage either remains inside the transfer vehicle or in your accommodation.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Difficulty: 3 (of 5)
  • What is included
    Transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; 3* hotels (Sofia, Devin) and rural family pensions / guesthouses (Trigrad, Lyaskovo, Kossovo); en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper (except Day 7, when supper is not included); luggage transfers; detailed route descriptions in English; a Rhodopes tourist map; GPS tracks; Emergency hotline.
  • What is not included
    Cave entry charges; extra food and drink; travel/medical insurance; SPA procedures.
  • Best period
    May, June, July, August, September, October
1
Day 1: Sofia Airport - Devin (or Plovdiv Airport for a small fee)
We meet you at Sofia Airport (or against a small fee we can pick you up from Plovdiv too) and transfer you to overnight in Devin (3hrs drive from Sofia). If you arrive early enough you can use the afternoon to visit the picturesque nature trail along Devinska River, or jump in the thermal pools near your accommodation.
2
Day 2: Devin - Yagodina/Yagodina Cave/Eagle's Eye viewpoint - Trigrad (3-5,30-6,45hrs; 9,50-16-21km)
Today you can choose between two main treks (incl. options to extend them additionally): Shorter (9,50km; +565m/-355m): A 40min transfer takes you to the entry of the Yagodinska Peshtera Cave: one of Bulgaria’s longest caves, which you can opt to view. Once finished with the cave tour, proceed for Trigrad village through a colorful kaleidoscope of landscapes that immerse you in the idyll of rolling crests, forests, and valleys. Longer (16km (+1070m/-750m) or 21km (+1385m/-1065m): A 30min transfer takes you to the trailhead where a moderate but nice ascent through gardens and woods brings you up at the crest of the mountain. Enjoy the breath-taking views from the famous Eagles’ Eye observation platform. Then you descend down to Yagodina village, from where you can make a detour to visit Yagodinska Peshtera Cave or head straight for Trigrad village. *Those who chose the shorter option, can extend their hike with a visit to the Trigradsko Zhdrelo Gorge (with its 350m high vertical cliffs) and the Dyavolskoto Gyrlo (The Devil’s Throat) Cave (housing the highest underground waterfall on the Balkans, 42m high), both near Trigrad. Visiting these sights is a must, and can be done also in the afternoon of Day 3 or Day 4 by those, who opted for the longer treks on Day 2.
3
Day 3: Trigrad - Zhrebevo - Trigrad (18,3km, 5-6hrs, +700m/-700m)
Magnetic sights follow each other on a circular hiking tour around Trigrad, with the authentic village of Zhrebevo at its distant end. Legend has it, the village was named after a stallion which shielded it from trouble and strife. Along the route, you observe the entry to the Trigradsko Zhdrelo Gorge and enjoy the wonderful panorama to surrounding parts.
4
Day 4: Trigrad – Kesten/Vodni Pad – Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Today, starting with a 10min transfer to the trailhead, you enjoy a particularly pleasant walking trek to the bordering with Greece villages of Kesten and Vodni Pad (until recently within a closely guarded strip proscribed even for those living down the road; you will see remains of the barbed wire border fences, meant to prevent people from escaping to Greece in the years during the 45yrs long communist rule in Bulgaria after WWII). A circular trail takes you up panoramic crests, through pine and beech forests dotted with green meadows and smallholdings, sheltered valleys, and traditional stone houses. The valley of the Trigradska River takes you back to Trigrad.
5
Day 5: Trigrad - Beden - Lyaskovo (20,8km, 6hrs, +823m/-859m)
With a transfer to the village of Beden begins today’s particularly panoramic trek. The views of the Rhodopes’ green crests change at each turn. The day ends at the village of Lyaskovo, one of the most distinctive local communities, with unforgettable charm and unique atmosphere. Your stay in the guesthouse of a local family will leave you wonderful memories of Rhodope hospitality.
6
Day 6: Lyaskovo - The Wonderful Bridges - Kossovo (17,2km, 5-6hrs, +1160m/-780m)
A picturesque hiking route through one of the Rhodopes’ most beautiful forests (yet one little known among tourists) takes you to the amazing rock formations of the Chudni Mostove (The Wonderful Bridges): a natural rocky phenomenon that will impress you. From here, you are transferred to the village of Kosovo: a unique mountain community where you overnight in a restored traditional stone house.
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Day 7: Kossovo - Bachkovo Monastery - Plovdiv - Sofia
After breakfast, you are transferred to Bulgaria’s second‐largest monastery at Bachkovo where you may view the miracle‐working icon of Virgin Marry. A transfer then takes you to Plovdiv to the starting point of the Free Plovdiv Tour (for 11:00), which will show you the main sites of interest of the Old Town, the center and the pedestrian area of the city. Time on your own until early afternoon in Plovdiv (time permitting) and transfer to Sofia in order to make it on time for the Free Sofia Tour, starting at 18:00 (similar service, meant to show you the most famous tourist attractions in the center of Sofia). *N.B.: Between October & April the free tour in Plovdiv runs at 14:00. If you booked a tour during this period of time you will have to explore the Old Town using our own navigation materials, and not as a part of the free guided walking tour.
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Day 8: Transfer to Sofia Airport

TOUR LOCATION

Price
540 Euro per person in twin/dbl room
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 90 Euro
Solo traveler supplement: 270 Euro (incl. sgl. room supplement)
Tips
Daily departures between the beginning of May and the end of October. Advance booking is required as some accommodations are small and get fully booked months in advance.
Accommodation
3* hotels (Sofia, Devin) and rural family pensions / guesthouses (Trigrad, Lyaskovo, Kossovo); en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper included except on days 1 & 7 (Devin and Sofia), when supper is not included (many options to dine outside).

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