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The Rhodope Mountains are the greenest and most picturesque Bulgarian mountain range, known as the homeland of the mythological singer Orpheus. It occupies one seventh of the country’s territory (240 km long and 120 km wide, covering an area of about 15,000 m2) and forms the most part of its southern border. The name of the mountain comes from the Greek name Rhodope (rosy-cheeked), the name of Queen Rhodope of Thrace (Greek mythology). Its highest peak is Golyam Perelik – 2,191 meters. Being the oldest on the Balkans Peninsula, the Rhodope mountains combine physical beauty with pure spirit and soul. Its exquisite appearance is manifested by breathtaking geological phenomena and natural sights while inside, under this divine skin, it keeps centuries of traditions, culture and history.
  • “Uhlovitsa” cave / Agushevite konatsi / The spring of Arda / Smilyan 
  • Monyak fortress / Lisitsite village / Chit Kaya / Studen Kladenets dam / The Petrified Wedding
  • Wonderful bridges / Malak Persenk peak/ the Roman road / Gluhite kamani
  • Soskovcheto Reserve / Waterfall Canyon / Neviastata Eco-Trail / Turluka
  • ”Devil’s Throat” cave / “Yagodina” cave / St. Ilia peak / Shiroka Laka
  • Vishnevo village / Galabovo village / Devil’s Bridge / Orlovi skali (Eagle rocks) 
  • and many more ....
“Uhlovitsa” cave / Agushevite konatsi / The spring of Arda / Smilyan 
We start our day with a visit to the Museum of Beans in Smilyan, where you are invited to stick a bean to a wall mural and participate in the museum’s goal to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest bean mural. There are nearly 9,500 beans in the mural and it hasn’t been finished yet. 
Next we visit the cave "Uhlovitsa" - one of the oldest caves in the region (over 3.5 million years), with many dendritic formations resembling sea coral. Its name comes from the word owl - nocturnal bird of prey species. The cave has two floors with a total length of 330 meters, the altitude is 1040 m. The temperature year round is 10 -11 degrees. It is famous for its rock waterfalls and stunts, the cave finishes with seven incredibly beautiful lakes. The cave entrance is reached via a steep trail with a length of 800 meters, followed by 190 metal steps (30 min). 
We head to Agushevite konatsi in Mogilitsa village - a summer residence of a rich Turkish feudal from 19th century. The architectural ensemble is one of the few preserved buildings from the Ottoman times that has status of an architectural and artistic monument of national importance. The building complex was built over 20 years (1820 to 1840) and it has 221 windows, 86 doors and 24 chimneys.
We continue to Gorna Arda village from where we start our walking tour: Gorna Arda village - Bilyantsi village- Diadova riaka barbecue – the spring of Arda  Geranitsa complex - Gorna Arda village. 
Estimated hike travel time: 4 hours; Distance: 8 km; Altitude difference: 400 m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)
Monyak fortress / Lisitsite village / Chit Kaya / Studen Kladenets dam
Our day starts with a trip to the village of Shiroko Pole. From here we take a walk to Monyak fortress (586 meters above sea level) via a not very steep road. The fortress played an important historical role due to its strategic location and is one of the highest and larges Medieval fortresses in the Rhodopes, with a protected walled area of 50 hectares. The ruins are impressive but even more amazing is the gorgeous view of the dam below, as well as the village of Studen Kladenets and the town of Kardzhali. 
We head down towards the longest cable bridge in Bulgaria (260 m), connecting the village Lisitsite (the Foxes) with the rest of the world. Pass the village we will come across the mysterious silhouettes of the rock formations, which locals call Chit Kaya. 
On the way back we visit the Petrified Wedding - rock formations that reach 10 meters in height and lie on an area of 50 dca. They are made of rhyolite volcanic tuffs, which are the result of intensive underwater volcanic activity, dating back to the Paleocene.
Estimated hike travel time: 5 h 30 min; Distance: 15.5 km; Altitude difference: 400 m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)
Wonderful bridges / Malak Persenk peak / Roman road / Gluhite kamani
We will explore one of the most spectacular natural rock phenomena - the Wonderful Bridges (1 hour). It is assumed that the formation was once a cave which probably collapsed as a result of an earthquake. The river waters treated the fallen rocks, forming the current two beautiful marble bridges. 
Afterwards we continue our walk to the heart of Chernatitsa - Malak (Little) Persenk Peak (2,074m), one of the most beautiful peaks in the Rhodopes, offering spectacular panoramic views.
On the way back we will return via the exceptionally well-preserved Roman road (4 km long and 1.5 meters wide). It was built in the first century B.C. and connected Thrace with the Aegean Sea - evidence of construction skills of the ancient inhabitants of the mountain.
Estimated hike travel time: 7 h 30 min; Distance: 15 km; Altitude difference: 600 m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)

Soskovcheto Reserve / Waterfall Canyon / Neviastata Eco-Trail / Turluka
We transfer to Soskovcheto Reserve, known more as the Waterfall Canyon, situated just outside the town of Smolyan. We will follow an Eco-Trail up the Elenska River. The highest point of the trail is at about 1,800 m above mean sea level and has a vertical drop of approximately 700 m.The area is enchanting with its great number of water cascades forming a system of small and medium waterfalls. We will see almost 20 waterfalls, the highest of them is 68 m, called "Orpheus". The trail crosses metal and beautiful wooden bridges built over the river. We will have our picnic lunch at one of the many places for rest around the canyon. 
Next we make our way to the 750 m-long Nevyastata Eco-Trail (the Bride Eco-Trail) which leads to Nevyastata Rock (Sokolitsa, Turluka) – one of the symbols of Smolyan. The starting point of the route is to the right of the entrance arch of St. Pantaleimon Monastery. The trail wands its way through many picturesque spots – bizarre-shaped rocks overgrown with wild geraniums, moss, and fern. 
Estimated hike travel time: 5-6 hours; Distance: 8 km; Altitude difference: 500m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)
“Devil’s Throat” cave / “Yagodina” cave / St. Ilia peak / Shiroka Laka 
Today we will travel to the spectacular “Devil’s throat” cave situated near the town of Trigrad in the breathtaking Trigrad gorge. After exploring the cave with its enormous gallery on the stone walls of which they say you can see the carved Devil’s face, we will go on a scenic hike towards the village of Yagodina, through lush mountain meadows spotted with crystal-water mountain streaks. 
Next we will visit the “Pearl” of the Bulgarian caves – Yagodinska, with permanent year-round temperature of 6°C. Its galleries extend to a length of 8,501 meters, which makes it the 4th longest cave in Bulgaria and the longest in the Rhodopes. 
Last on our agenda today is Orlovo Oko (Eagle’s Eye) - a sightseeing platform built at 1,563 m above sea level, next to the St. Ilia peak. The steel construction that raises 670 m above the picturesque Buynosvko gorge with its winding river and a roar that runs along it. The platform reveals mesmerizing view of the gorge and the nearby villages, as well as the Bulgarian and Greek mountains and peaks in the distance. There is an option of an off-road ride by 4x4 jeep to Orlovo Oko for an additional price.  
On the way back we will visit the town of Shiroka Laka, famous for its beautiful, authentic Rhodope houses.  
Estimated hike travel time: 5 hours; Distance: 12 km; Altitude difference: 500 m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)
Vishnevo village / Galabovo village / Devil’s Bridge / Orlovi skali (Eagle rocks)
Today we will visit one of the most impressive architectural masterpieces from the Middle Ages in the Rhodopes: the Devil's Bridge. It was built in 1515 - 1518 upon the remains of an ancient Roman bridge on the road, linking the Aegean region with Northern Thracian valley through the Makaza pass. The bridge is situated 420 meters above sea level and is surrounded on both sides by steep slopes. Its length is 56 meters, and its width is 3.5. The bridge has three vaults; it has holes with small arches in its side vaults, made for drainage. The height of the middle vault is 11.5 - 12 meters, with a stone parapet on the edge, 12 cm high. We will reach this landmark via the Eco-Trail Vishevo - Galabovo - Devil’s bridge. 
We will finish the day with a visit to the rock niches “Eagle rocks” - a Thracian sanctuary from the V – IV millennium B.C., approximately 2 km south of Ardino. More than hundred niches in a high inaccessible place were chiseled in the rocks by human hand and used for burial rituals and for religious ceremonies – for presenting offerings to the Gods. They have a trapezium shape and an average depth reaching to 8-12 cm.
Estimated hike travel time: 4 hours; Distance: 12 km; Altitude difference: 400 m
Overnight in Banite village (B,L,D)

Tour price*:  €85,- / person  / day
Price per person after the 2nd participant: €70,- / person / day
* Number of participants: min 2   /   Stay duration: min 2 nights
Included in the price:
  • Transfer to/from Banite
  • All other group transfers as per planned itinerary
  • 3 meals a day on the walking days / 1st day including dinner and last day including breakfast /
  • Accommodation at guesthouse “Kadishevi” in Banite village
  • English speaking guide
  • All entrance fees in the customized program 

Not included in the price:
  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, souvenirs, etc. 
  • Excursions not described or indicated as optional
  • Surcharge 1-person room: Euro 35, -
  • An off-road ride by 4x4 jeep (to Orlovo oko)
Departure dates 2017:
Every day, starting May 1st till September 30th
Customized itinerary:
Please contact us and we will be happy to work out a spectacular program for you.