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With its raw, yet soft nature – alternating sharp rocks, cliffs and canyons, and rounded ridges and pastures, lush and calm waters, ancient green forests and lush meadows – Western Rhodopes tourist region captivates the hearts of the tourists. The fresh mountain air charms with the scent of Bratzigovo roses, wildflowers and herbs. Forest berries on the mountain meadows are like tiny hearts that quietly persuade you to agree to return again and again and again! It is impossible to see everything remarkable and interesting when travelling for a few days but undoubtedly one of the most amazing sights in the tourist region of Western Rhodopes are as follow:

Ravnogor Thracian Mounds

In November 1986 in Chemerikata area near the village of Ravnogor, during a potato sowing, villagers came upon a stone facility that later became known as the biggest domed Thracian tomb in Bulgaria. The discovery of the Ravnogor tomb urged the senior research scientist Georgi Kitov to excavate the site with a team of archeologists in 1987. The tombs date back to the 4th-6th C BC and are 20 in number. An extraordinary discovery was made in the 9th mound – ornamented horse trappings – bridle forehead plate seven round applications. Six of them grouped in pairs (used for cheek plates on both sides of the horse’s head) are depicted busts of the goddesses Athena, Artemis and Nike. Goddess Athena is depicted with helmet, shield and spear. The seventh application (placed on the chest of the horse) is depicted winged Thracian God with a wreath on his head. The objects are of great artistic value, made of silver and covered with gold leaf. The Ravnogor Thracian Mounds’ Treasure is stored in the Regional Historical Museum of the town of Pazardzhik, (when it’s not on a tour around the world – the treasure is represented in Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, USA and Japan). More pictures of the Western Rhodopes you can find  here.Read more

Karadzha Dere

The protected area Karadzha dere is located near the town of Dospat and the village of Kusak, with a surface of about 1,000 hectares. It is established in 2008 to protect the habitats of rare and endangered plants and animal species along the Sarnena river /the Karadzha dere River/  and its adjacent areas.  Among the protected species are: /herbs/: Balkan thistle (Doronicum austriacum Jack), Zelenotsveten foxglove (Digitalis viridiflora Lind), Rhodope mountain mother (Lathrea rhodopea Dingler), Mountain valeriana (Valeriana Montana L.); /birds/: Jay (Garrulus glandarius), black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), tit (Parus ater), great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopus major), capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra); /mammals/: otter (Lutra lutra); /reptiles/: European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis); /amphibians/: Tree Frog (Hylla arborea).  Through the Small Grants Program of the Global Environment Fond in the protected Karadza dere area a project for the conservation of globally significant species – Otter (Lutra lutra) is funded .   А dendrology route for ecotourism is also created. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Eco path Struilitsa-Kaleto-Lakata

Along The Devinska River in the Western Rhodopes an atractive ecopath is build.  The path impresses with its metal bridges, staircases and rest areas, and is a favourite place for walks for tourists and local people.  The ecopath  starts from the recreation area Struilitsa which is known for its outdoor swimming pools. There are therapeutic pools, a steam bath, sauna, Jacuzzi. The well-maintained eco path takes the visitors to the to the chapels St. George, The Holy Spirit, and St. Elijah. The recently renovated fourth chapel St. Pantaleon completes the spiritual integrity of the village resort.  Actually, The Devin River Valley is the newest protected area in the region. It is forbidden to kindle fire here, except for the spots designed for this purpose. A 3-kilometer long fishing zone is also created in the area that offers excellent conditions for Balkan trout fishing. The protected area The Devin River Valley is particularly appealing to tourists. This picturesque gorge boasts an unusual landscape and remarkable rock shapes and formations and is home to rare and protected animal and plant species, including the renowned endemic Haberlea Rhodopensis and the chamois. The area is also one of the best natural habitats for the otter, the red deer and the bear. The river has carved many beautiful ponds and meanders that reach a depth of up to 2-3 meters.  From here it will take you only 30 minutes by foot to get to the Samodivsko Praskalo Waterfall. The waterfall is exeptional and deserves seeing. The total lenght of the main trail Struilitsa-Kaleto-Lakata is aproximately 4 km. It takes about 2-3 hours to travel the path in both directions. More pictures of the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

The Elefant

The whimsical rock formation The Elefant is a natural rock formation that resembles an elephant and is located in the Nastanska mogila area, on the banks of the Shirokalashka River, along the Smolyan-Devin road.  The Elefant is situated in Shirokolashka fault zone, which has a leading role in the formation of the Trigrad karst and the Trigrad cave region, which is the second largest in the Rhodopes. Nearby are formed the largest karst springs in the area – in Devin’s district Nastan  and in the village of Beden. In 2013 nearby this interesting rock formation a rest area for fishing and observation was built. It was financed under EU project, developed by FLAG High Rhodopes – Batak, Devin and Dospat. The site includes parking and a gazebo with a fireplace. At the parking lot bins are placed where visitors can collect their waste in order not to pollute the environment. To facilitate access to the river for tourists and fishermen several stairs from natural materials are built. Riverside promenade is shaped and benches for fishermen are placed.   More pictures from the region can be found here.Read more

Eagle Eye

The panoramic platform Eagle Eye is favourite attraction оf the tourists in the region of Western Rhodopes. The facility was built to enable tourists to enjoy the magnificent views of Buinovo Gorge, the hills of the Rhodope Mountains and even Rila and Pirin.The panoramic site Eagle Eye is built on the top of Mount St. Eliah  at a height of 1563 m. and is unique for Bulgaria. The picturesque Buynovo Gorge weaves underneath the platform. You can reach the platform by terrain vehicles or on foot. The platform is built in 2009 by the Tourist Association Rodopeya. More pictures from the region can be found here.Read more

The Dospat Dam

Located at an altitude of 1200 meters, the Dospat dam reservoir is among the highest in Bulgaria, and with its water area of 22 000 decares it ranks second in volume. The lake is 18 km long, its average width – 3 km and its average depth – 40 m. Its waters are used for sports fishing as well as for water tourism. The locals call the lake The diamond eye of the Rhodopes. It’s a favorite spot for relaxation for both the town’s residents and guests. Centuries-old forests of spruce and white pine encircle like a ring the lake and fill the air with the intoxicating aroma of resin. While relaxing on one of the nearby meadows, you discover how the Rhodopes songs came into existence – they are meant to be sung in the open so that the mountain echo could carry them far away. Various private and municipal facilities for recreation are built along its banks. Near the Dospat Dam you can camp in tents and experience exciting adventures, that will allow you to truly feel the magic of the tourist region of Western Rhodopes. More pictures from the region can be seen here.Read more

The Tsankov Kamak Dam

The largest dam built in Bulgaria since the mid 80s onwards, is The Tsankov Kamak Dam. Located near the village of Mihalkovo, the dam is part of the Dospat-Vacha Water Cascade. The dam collects water by rivers Vacha and Gashnya, and its volume is 111 thousand cubic meters of water. The shores of the lake are very steep and inaccessible, its altitude is about 680 m. The water mirror of the reservoir reaches Devin and its length is about 15 kilometers. Besides large-scale hydro facility, it is also a favorite tourist attraction in the Western Rhodopes, mainly due to the wonderful fishing opportunities and attractive boat trips that can be organized in the lake. Boats and water wheels are equipped with life jackets and meet all safety standards. Boating or water wheel trip is requested in advance by phone for reservations: 0885 25 27 37. More pictures of the Western Rhodopes you can see here.Read more

Reserve Kastrakli

The reserve is an exceptionally beautiful landscape with vertical rocks, centuries-old forests of white pine, fir, beech, sycamore, hop hornbeam and aspen (age 200 years). 25 protected plant species have been identified. Reserve Kastrakli is a kind of a paradise for butterflies, wild orchids, mountain flowers in general, etc. A small 18-meter deep reservoir (artificial lake) has been created with a water area of 35 decares which is filled by a small underground spring and is a tourist attraction in itself. In the reserve are strictly forbidden the following activities: lifestock grazing, cutting of woods, picking of flowers and herbs, lighting fires, hunting, fishing, making noises – singing, crying and listenig to loud music. Over 450 species of butterflies have been identified here, and a special natural center is being built that will house in a separate area the Museum of the butterfly.  The area of the reserve is approximately 130 hectares, it is popular among tourist, fond of walking, with the beautiful meadow Kastrakli and from there on mountain paths the tourists can continue to the hut Orpheus and The Kemera bridge. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

The Red Rock

The view to the Rhodope Mountains from the Red Rock area is delightful, so it takes a worthy place among the sights of the Western Rhodopes.  The Red Rock is located above the village Ravnogor near another local landmark – Bekovi rocks. Besides the unforgettable view, Red Rock is also known for the legend that comes from centuries of Ottoman rule – two young girls threw themselves from this place to keep their faith. They entangled their long hair in a single braid and jumped into the abyss. The courage and faith of those young girls induces admiration and reverence until today. For the convenience of tourists in the Red rock area several benches are placed, so as to allow the tourists to indulge in silence, fresh air and beauty of the mountain. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes can be seen here.Read more

Trigrad Gorge

Along the river Trigradska and the Devin-Trigrad road, 1.5 km away from the village, is located the majestic and strikingly beautiful Trigrad Gorge, also declared a protected area. The Trigrad Gorge is a deep gorge along the Trigradska River. This majestic view of vertical rocks partly covered by spruce and pine add special value to the natural reserve. The limestone cliffs of the gorge form one of the richest habitats of endemic, rare or relict plant species in Bulgaria. Many rare bird species such as the rock nuthatch, various birds of prey, woodpeckers and others nest here which attracts many birdwatchers. The road leading to the village of Trigrad passes through the gorge, curving along the river and at some places is very narrow, sometimes even carved into the rocks. Part of unusual Trigrad Karst Region is the Devil’s Throat Cave. More photos from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more


The rock formation Skaleto is located approximately 1.5 km to the west of the village Tsrancha (Dospat municipality). It is interesting that it was used as a sanctuary back in the late Bronze Age and in the Iron Age. The area around the village is dotted with Thracian and Roman tombs. An ancient Thracian and Roman road is preserved which connected the settlement with the Aegean sea. After amateur archaeological studies performed by local teachers in the 50s skeletal burials with inventory mainly of pottery were discovered. Crawling the site materials from the Middle Ages were also found. The area can be reached on foot or by terrain vehicle on the road that leads from village of Tsrancha to the village of Vaklinovo. The view of the green sea of the Rhodopes that reveals from the cliffs is fascinating. More pictures from the region you can find here.Read more

Bekovi Rocks

When you climb to the Bekovi rocks in front of you reveals the fascinating views of the beautiful hills of The Western Rhodopes, covered with ancient forests and among them the sparkling waters of Vacha Dam. The air is clean and fresh and on the rocks several benches are placed for the benefit of tourists. There is a comfortable road from the village of Ravnogor that leads to Bekovi Rocks. The villagers are friendly and helpful and will gladly help you to find the way. Ravnogor village is located 1340 meters above sea level, the area is inhabited since the time of the Thracians, as evidenced by the numerous Thracian mounds around the village. More pictures from The Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Samodivsko Praskalo Waterfall

The beautiful waterfall Samodivsko praskalo is located in Struilitsa area, which is a favorite place for recreation and promenades both for residents and visitors of the town of Devin.  The waterfall is among the highest in the Rhodope Mountains, the water falls from about 40-50 meters along vertical rocks and flows into the Devin river. Samodivsko praskalo waterfall is reached by a specially constructed trail made by the Tourist association Orpheus – 1970, with revenue from the Devil’s Throat cave. The path deviates to the right of the main trail Strulitsa-Kaleto-Lakata which is in turn built to facilitate access to the protected area The Devin River Valley. The eco path Strulitsa-Kaleto-Lukata is very attractive and includes metal bridges, staircases and recreation areas. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Mount Videnitsa/Gyoztepe

The name comes from the Turkish words gyoz – eyes and tepe– mount and in clear weather the Aegean Sea can be viewed from here. Mount Videnitsa is the regional highest peak with its 1652 m. An ancient legend says that a sanctuary to the God Dionysius like the one in Delphi was built here. It is also believed that Alexander the Great visited the sanctuary. It is considered that the Thracian tribe Satrae who were proud and freedom-loving people lived in the region of Mount Videnitsa and also the priestly clan of the tribe Besi was performing rituals precisely on this peak. Clear evidence of whether this is the Rhodope sanctuary, second in importance after the Delphic are not found yet, and many places in The Rhodopes claim to fame just this sanctuary of Dionysius. One thing is certain – it is worth climbing to the top and look from the peak. Amazing sights that will delight any traveler reveals from there. To the South a view of Buynovo village can be seen. On the way to the top you pass through wonderful forests and meadows full of flowers. The air vibrates with purity and freshness. And if the weather is clear, you can even see the Aegean Sea. During excavations in the Western Rhodopes a marble head of the Roman empress Julia Paula, wife of Emperor Elagabalus, was found in the sanctuary. The find was made by the archeologists from The Rhodopes 2002 – Dionysius Temple expedition headed by PhD Kostadin Kostov, director of the Archeological museum in Plovdiv. More pictures of The Western Rhodopes can be seen here.Read more

Buynovo Gorge

The longest gorge in Bulgaria The gorge is a beautiful 10-kilometer long defile in the upper part of the Buynovo River. The road to the Yagodina village passes by it and in certain places the opposing vertical rocks almost touch each other over the road. Part of the unique karst of Buinovo Gorge is the famous Yagodina Cave and besides it in the region exist more than 35 caves. The gorge is known for its diversity of animal and plant species. It is declared a natural landmark and enlisted in the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria. Magnificent views over the Buynovo Gorge opens from the panoramic site Eagle Eye. The metal playground was built on Mount St. Elias at height of 1563 m. This site is the only of its kind in Bulgaria and 600 m below it the Buynovska River forms picturesque turns. From the top, in good weather, you can see the entire Rhodopes and the neighboring mountains. More photos from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Yagodina Cave

Located on the right bank of The Buynovska River, 3 km from the village of Yagodina, the cave is part of the unique karst formation Buynovsko Gorge. It has three levels, and it is a labyrinth-like abyssal cave. With its 10 km maze it is one of the longest caves in the Rhodopes. In its most accessible part the temperature is constant and it is 6 °С. At the cave entrance a memorial plaque of the founder of Speleology in The Middle Rhodopes – Dimitar Raytchev is placed. Yagodina Cave is part of the 100 national tourist sites. Some of her rooms host many solemn ceremonies, for example, in the hall, furnished with an altar, many young people with adventurous spirit get married. For some years now in the so-called New Year’s hall, local cavers welcome the New Year. From this room a tourist tour of the cave starts with a route length of about a kilometer. It reveals a wonderful underground world formed over millions of years – draperies, pipe-like stalactites, cave pearls, the leopard skin, stalagmites and many others. Only 4 meters after the natural entrance of the cave (on the first level) was discovered eneolithic dwelling – a local ceramics center, which is the only one preserved in its natural form in Europe. Ceramic pots, tools, charred corn, ceramic oven, manual grinders and other artifacts were found there. The remains date from the Copper Age (IV-th millennium BC.). There are paid guided tours in this part of the cave that take 20 minutes. Yagodinа Cave is one of the important areas for the conservation of bat populations in Bulgaria. During the different seasons in the cave are registered 11 species, 6 of which are priorities for conservation throughout Europe: Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rhinolophus hipposideros,  Myotis emarginatus, Myotis blythii and Myotis myotis. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Devil’s Throat Cave

The highest underground waterfall on the Balkans – 42 m. The abyssal cave the Devil’s Throat is one of the phenomena of the Trigrad Gorge. It has inspired many legends, keeps ancient secrets and is home to one of the biggest underground waterfalls in Europe – 42 m. It is one of the 12 waterfalls that outline the route of the Trigradska River inside the cave. It is named the Devil’s Throat because, as locals explain, nothing and no one that has ventured inside the underground labyrinth has come out of it. Legend has it that Orpheus entered the Devil’s Throat to reach the Underworld, ruled by Hades, and save his beloved Eurydice. His love do touched the cold heart of Hades and he permitted them to go out of the underworld, on condition that Orpheus was not allowed to look back. But passing through a huge hall with a waterfall, where nothing could be heard because of the deafening roar of falling water, he no longer heard the footsteps of Eurydice, frightened and turned around. Therein the body of Eurydice turned into stone and her soul returned to the underworld. The cave is entered only with a guide; it is part of the 100 national tourist sites of Bulgaria. The tourist route starts from a special gallery, leading to the Roaring hall where as the legend says the body of Eurydice had remained. It is amazing that tourists can go down past the waterfall on specially constructed steps secured with railings and watch ferment turbulent water. Another interesting fact is that after about 400 meters from the entrance of the Devil’s Throat, the Trigradska River suddenly disappears within the siphon with a length of about 150 meters and after passing through a new gallery the underground river leaves the cave, passing through another cave and then appears on the surface. One of the favorite attractions for tourists is the devil on the wall in the cave with whom the tourists love to be photographed. More pictures from the Western Rhodopes you can find here.Read more

Haramiyska Cave

The Haramiyska cave is located near the village of Trigrad – it is an abyssal cave that offers conditions for more extreme rather than classical-type cave tourism. It is one of seven caves in the region that were inhabited during antiquity. The cave is part of the Trigrad Cave Region covering thick Proterozoic marbles in the upper reaches of the rivers Vacha, Buynovska, Trigradska, Muglenska and Shirokalashka. The cave entrance is reached by a narrow path that starts from the parking lot in front of the Devil’s Throat cave and passes through a beautiful pine forest. Haramiyska cave is composed of two different caves that are united by a vast chasm. The entrance is reached after climbing a 20-meter vertical wall with the necessary equipment. After that the path passes through the ascending inclined section, secured with a metal rope. In the Eneolithic era the primitive man considered the cave a safe shelter. The entrance of one of them is very narrow – you can pass throug it by crawling – that is why it is better to wear appropriate clothing that you would not be beddered if smeared with mud. The most interesting and exciting part of the passage through the cave is descent downhill 43-foot gap to a vast hall whose bottom is covered with stone blocks. This room is naturally lit from the cave entrance. From there the trail goes back to the parking lot of the Devil’s Throat cave. Entering the Haramiyska cave is to be arranged in advance. More information can be obtained from mountain guides: Emil Brazgov – tel. +359 888 314 658 Mladen Hadjiyski – tel. +359 899 982 511 More pictures from the region can be found here.Read more

Wolf Stone

Wolf Stone is a popular area in the Western Rhodopes, loved by tourists who are fond of adventures. The area is located Northeast of the village of Gyovren, about 1600 m. above sea level in karst marbles and gneisses of the Chamla Hill, surrounded by The Muglenska (Tenesdere) River and The Chairdere River, near the reserve Kazanite that was created for the preservation of mixed forest of fir (Abies alba), black pine (Pinus nigra), white pine (Pinus sylvestris), beech (Fagus), spruce (Picea) and other species. The name Wolf Stone comes from the legend of wolves gathered over the village and howled persistently to warn the villagers of the impending earthquake. From Wolf Stone a magnificent view towards the tail of the Trigrad Gorge is revieled. The gorge itself starts 1.5 km. to the North of the village of Trigrad and continues to the North to the village of Gyovren for about 7 km along The Trigradska River. Around the village of Gyovren the gorge is already quite wide, marble slopes are dotted with various karst forms, and in some places are covered with spruce and fir forests. Wolf Stone is to be reached by terrain vehicle on dirt roads through beautiful forests and meadows. The starting point for the trip is from the junction for the village of Gyovren on the road between the town of Devin and the village of Trigrad. Gyovren village is known for its stable economy and low unemployment. There are several tailoring workshops, which together with potato farming, logging and woodworking secure the livelihoods of local people. In recent years, young entrepreneurs from the village realize its tourism potential, and actively work for the development of tourism. More pictures from the region of Western Rhodopes you can see here.Read more