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- Good things to know
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- Personal expenses
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This trek takes you to the jagged alpine peaks of The Pirin Mountains and the peaceful green meadows and thick forests of The Rhodope Mountains – the home of Orpheus.
This tour is a lighter edition of the Pirin-Rila trek, which combines the high and challenging Pirin Mountain’s beauty with the serenity of the Rhodope Mountains. During the trek, you explore some of Bulgaria’s remote and forgotten regions. Mountain border villages, which in the near past had been closed for foreign visitors, enable the tourists to experience a part of the original Bulgarian culture and life in the countryside. Throughout the tour we also visit caves and the 2nd biggest Bulgarian Monastery.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8
Sofia - Devin
Meeting at Sofia or Plovdiv airport (the latter against a small fee). Transfer to the SPA city of Devin. Depending on where you land, the transfer could last 1,30hrs (from Plovdiv) or 3 hrs (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.
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 Yagodina 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 Yagodina Cave or head straight for Trigrad village.
*Those who chose the shorter option, can extend their hike with a visit to the Trigrad Gorge (with its 350m high vertical cliffs) and the 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.
Trigrad – Zhrebevo – Trigrad (5,30hrs; 18,50km; +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 Trigrad Gorge and enjoy the wonderful panorama to surrounding parts.
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.
Trigrad – Beden – Lyaskovo (6-6,30hrs; 21km; +825m/-860m)
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.
* There is an option to extend the tour with extra night in Lyaskovo village, incl. a circular trek along the nearby mountain ridges.
Lyaskovo – Wonderful Bridges – Kossovo (5,30hrs; 17,50km; +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 Kossovo: a unique mountain community where you overnight in a restored traditional stone house.
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.
Transfer to Sofia Airport
Notes: you may book additional nights in Sofia or Plovdiv before or after the tour, and/or day trips with us to heritage sites like Koprivshtitsa or Veliko Tarnovo, or a mountain day trip to the Musala summit in the Rila Mountains (the Balkans’ highest at 2925m/9596ft) and the Seven Rila Lakes.
Accommodation and luggage transfers: three-star hotels (Sofia, Devin) and rural family pensions / guesthoues (Trigrad, Lyaskovo, Kossovo); en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper except Day 7, when supper is not included. Luggage is transported between accommodations.
- You walk every day with just a day pack! The rest/unnecessary luggage either remains inside the transfer vehicle, or in your accommodation.
- This hiking tour includes all transfers, including those to and from Sofia Airport (contact us for details in case you land on 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 can use your own insurance or we can arrange it for you through our partners.
- May-October (other months also possible)
- €599 per person in a double/twin room
- €99 - single room supplement
- €870 - solo travelers
- 7 nights accommodation on half board basis (7 breakfasts and 6 dinners)
- group transfers from/to Sofia or Plovdiv airport (09.00 - 19.00)
- all transport according itinerary
- lift tickets and entrance fees
- English-speaking guide
- Accommodation: Excellent family-run hotels; rooms with private facilities (days 1;2;4;6 & 7)
- guesthouse in Kovachevitsa (Day 3) rooms with shared facilities
- English speaking tour guide
- Transfers from/to Sofia airport and private transportation with convenient car or Minivan throughout the tour;
- The price includes a breakfast in your hotel
- Price: 525 € per person in twin/dbl room
- Single room supplement: 90 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
- Solo travelers: 890 € (incl. also single room supplement)
(Traveling solo? Ask us to join you to an existing reservation in order to reduce the above price)
- Accommodation and boarding as mentioned
- Entrance fees, VAT and all local taxes.
Price does not include:
- Rent of hiking poles: 15 €/person
- Other food and beverages
- dinner on day 7
- lunches/lunch packs
- Private transfers: Sofia APT - Sofia center: 15 EUR (per vehicle); Plovdiv APT - Plovdiv center: 15
- EUR (per vehicle); Sofia-Plovdiv or vv. 60 EUR (per vehicle)
- alcohol drinks
- other personal expenses
GOOD THINGS TO KNOW:
Covid19 Update: Some restaurants are with limited capacity until further notice, due to the state of emergency in Bulgaria.
It’s recommended that you check with us prior to your trip or go to this link for up to date information.
Attire: We recommend to dress according to the season as it is always a good idea to have and umbrella and comfortable hiking shoes. Trekking sticks are also recommended. A warm piece of clothing is also a good idea as it can get chilly during the nights.
Photos are allowed on most places with the exception of some churches and monasteries.
The admissions are included in the pricing.
Cash is important
Please have cash with you as not all places accept debit / credit cards and ATMs!