The Rodope Mountain

The Rodope Mountain

The Rodope Mountain has played an important role in people’s lives during the Ottoman Rule. They seek protection in the mountains thick forests and caves. The local folklore is also deeply influenced by the mountain. There is nothing in the world, which can be compared to the beautiful sound of the Rodopian Caba Gaida (back pipe). Numerous folklore fairs and events present the beautiful spirit of the mountain and the sounds and movements of the performers somehow enliven the nature.

The Rhodope Mountain is the oldest mountain massif in Bulgaria. As a whole, this big mountain massif has a slight southeast inclination. It is cut by a complicated network of valleys, shaping numerous, multidirectional mountain parts. Bessapar Elevations and Haskovo Hilly Land are also referred to the Rhodopes.

Two main parts have been differentiated:

• Western Rhodopes (with an emphatically mountainous character: high ridges, deeply cut, excavated and separated valleys, spacious inner mountain valleys), and
Eastern Rhodopes (hilly relief, cut by valleys separated by gorges and steep slopes) with numerous sub-parts. The combination between the mild climate and the great number of warm mineral springs, which have turned numerous settlements into climatic resorts, has been a good prerequisite for the mountains to be visited all year round. The Rhodopes are rich with their wildlife. More than 2,000 flora species have been known to grow here, more of 90 of them endemic Balkan plants. Predominant in the Eastern Rhodopes are the forests of hairy oak, Venerable oak, durmast, black fir, Moesian beech, hornbeam, sycamore and others. The green masses of coniferous species - spruce, pine spruce, black spruce and others, growing mostly in the Western Rhodopes, are the mountains' greatest wealth.

Both mountain parts are extremely rich in their network of rivers and a great number of dams. Some 17 nature reserves, some of them under UNESCO protection, have been established for the protection of the plant and animal world and for the preservation of the valuable coniferous species. The incredible beauty of the mountains, combined with the fragrance of oleo-resin, the curative Rhodopean air, the freshness and aroma of the flowers amidst the spacious meadows, the cold and transparent spring water, the harsh beauty of the dizzying karst gorges, the fairy-tale world of the caves and the small hamlets, picturesquely perching on the elevations or concealed amidst the flowery little valleys, have made quite a few Bulgarians or strangers come back again and again.

The Western Rhodope occupies more than 66% of the mountains' area on Bulgarian territory part and is more scenic and visited. Rising here is the highest peak of the Rhodopes - Golyam Perelik (2,191 m) and m than 10 other peaks over 2000 metres. In this part there are also karst gorges, breathtaking by their dizzying rock wreaths - Bouinovsko, Trigrad, the gorges Chaira, Gerzovitsa, and Mostova Soushitsa Rivers. Beautiful caves like: Yagodinska (in Bouinovsko Gorge, mi the river of the same name), Dyavolskoto Gurlo (the Devil's Throat) and Haidoushka (in Trigrad Gorge), Snezhanka (Snowhite) (on the left slope of Novomahalenska River, above the 1 Peshtera), Lednitsata (Ice House, Chelveshtnitsa, Lopa Western Rhodopes are also: Dyavoskiyat Most (the Devil's Bridge) nature phenomenon (in Bouinovsko Gorge); (the Elephant) rock formation, a part of the Caravan rock formation (by Nastan District of the town of Devin); Orpheevata Skala (Orpheus'Rock) on Mt Ouspa (above the town of Smolyan).

Numerous old-time monasteries have been built next to Old Bulgarian settlements in the depths of the mountains. Standing out among them an Bachkovo Monastery of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, Batoun Monastery of St. St Peter and Paul, The Shroud of the Holy Mother of God Monastery (above the Krustova Gora locality), Belashtitsa Monastery of St George the Victorious, Byala Cherkva Monastery of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Gomi Voden Monastery of St Kozma and Damyan, Krichim Monastery of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin.

Famous towns and resorts in the Rodope mountains are:

- Batak a mountain climatic resort, located in proximity to the big Batak Dam. - The town of Bratsigovo is a balneology centre and mountain resort town. It is easy accessible from Plovdiv, Septemvri and Pazardzhik.

- Bedenski Mineralni Bani(Beden Mineral Baths) is a balneology centre and a mountain resort.
- Byala Cherkva is a mountain climatic resort centre.
- Velingrad a balneology and mountain resort centre. The town is a notable spa resort, offering a variety of spa procedures. The mineral springs are more than 70, with temperatures, ranging from 22 to 90 degrees Centigrade. Climatic treatment, as well as mud treatment is also practiced.
- The town of Devin is a famous balneology resort centre. The resort is also known as the best SPA resort in the Rodhopi Mountains. The water in the resort is slightly mineralized / 37- 44 C/, fluoric and has a pleasant taste. It ensures year round conditions for recreation and treatment amongst beautiful nature and fresh Bulgarian Mountain air.
- The village of Mihalkovo is a mountain climatic resort centre. It has bus communications with Devin, Plovdiv and Pazardzhik.
- The town of Luki is an architectural reserve. It has bus communications with Assenovgrad, Plovdiv, Smolyan and Chepelare. Nearby sites: numerous caves along Gradishte Ridge, Lovna and Zarenitsa Chalets, the cave north of Mt Zarenitsa (1,642 m).
- Chepelare is a well known mountain resort and a skiing centre providing excellent conditions for winter sports. Chepelare is a beautiful mountain town and the nature that surrounds it – venerable fir trees, mountain springs, green meadows (in the spring) and deep snow slopes in the winter makes it a place for complete and thorough relax. The longest ski run in Bulgaria is in Chepelare.
- Pamporovo is a mountain climatic resort and one of the leading winter resorts in Bulgaria, with excellent conditions for skiing and holiday making.
- The town of Smolyan provides regular bus communications with Sofia, Plovdiv, Pazardzhik, Dospat and Devin. Very good conditions for mountaineering, entertainment and adequate sleeping accommodation have been created in the town. An extraordinary experience is a visit to the astronomical observatory in the town. 

  • Liz From England
    Sent on 19 November 2017
    I went with my daughter January 2018. I was a cheap half board flights included and we wasn’t expecting much.... but what a fantastic week we had!! Stayed at the Lion hotel which is about a 10-15 minute walk to the slopes/town. A free shuttle is provide by the hotel. The hotel and staff are lovely. The food was always varied and hot. My daughter and I are vegetarians and in only two nights were we disappointed with the choice - but we heaped up on pudding so didn’t go hungry. Am lucky enough to be going back in 2018.
  • val From United Kingdom
    Sent on 15 February 2017
    group of us just back from borovets.we arrived 4th feb 2017 and departed 11th feb.had a great time.hotel rila was fab.great gym and was school was great.we had a really good instructor Martin Hristov.he was really good with everyone took time to try and learn everyone.we all had a great time thankyou.will be back next yearx
  • Alison From England
    Sent on 15 January 2017
    I wonder if the poor review is really about the Winslow Elegance. We have been going for years. It does not serve food and never has done. However, the spacious accommodation is for self-catering. We have always found it to be clean and we have always found that the reception staff can not do enough for you. We are looking forward to our next visit in February, 2017, Bring it on!!
  • RobJ From UK
    Sent on 01 January 2017
    Had a great week over xmas there - Hotel Lion was great, didn't see any lift queues but I did get there early. Easy blues for the most part, not loads for the advanced skier but great for beginners and families. I had more fun here than Chamonix last year at the same time. Bottom line ...manage your expectations... it is more than value for money but don't expect Whistler.
  • Pepa From Madrid
    Sent on 24 August 2016
    Un citio presioso pero todo lo demas comida,el personal muy mal.No lo recomiendo a nadie.Es una publicidad engañosa.Y de All inclusive nada.No se dejen engañar por las paginas web.Por desgracia en Bulgaria todavia el consumidor no es nadie.
  • Juglena Bankova From Bulgaria
    Sent on 13 May 2016
    Nie byakhme tam na Velikden i pisha malko kŭsno. No vpechatleniata sa ni poveche ot prekrasni! Velikolepna kuhnia (ne savetvat jenite na dieta, da hodiat za poveche ot tri dni, zashtoto yastiyata sa neustoimi, vkusni i ogromni)! Great stil! I mnogo priaten personal!(osobeno damata v restoranta) Pozdravleniya !
  • ger99 From turkey
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    We loved it. Had a perfect 2 bedroom apartment modern, clean new renovated With view to slope. Perfect location in pamporovo as central ski in ski out. Friendly staff, not ovr crowded relaxed athmosphere. our friends (group with total of 7 rooms) all very happy! It is away from city center but close to bowling and 2 nice reaturans.
  • ashley hensman From uk
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    Flora is a lovely hotel clean in a great location and the food was good just make sure you use the safes.
  • Enjoy ski From UK
    Sent on 27 February 2015
    Just came back from Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Drove up to Hotel Impulse in Uzana where I hired skis, boots and poles for myself and two children for just 17 levs for adult and 10 levs each child and used the hotel ski slope 5 levs each. Perfect for the kids first time as parking right at entrance to hotel and slope is 20m walk! Food in restaurant tasty and cheap. Perfect for beginners!
  • Charlotte Hennessy From england
    Sent on 23 February 2015
    WOW, thats all i can say about the previous week of my life. The snow conditions were amazing and the people were so friendly. The night life was always active and the rila hotel was especially fantastic. I loved the accommodation at the rila and i loved the way it is right on the slope. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the holiday and i would recommend this resort to everyone including beginners and experts. Overall, i had an amazing time!!!