5 Favorite Spots in the Rhodope Mountains
There’s no denying that Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, the mountain range in the country’s southeast, are stunning. But given the size of the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountain range—the beautiful landscape covers 5,689 square miles (that’s over 3.6 Million acres)—it can be hard to decide on exactly which landmarks to visit.
Here are five of our favorite spots in Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains:
1. Eagle’s Eye (Orlovo Oko)
Not far from Yagodinska, the most visited cave in Bulgaria, the sightseeing platform, Eagle’s Eye (Orlovo Oko), was built 1563 meters above sea level and offers stunning views of the Rhodope Mountains and nearby villages.
The Western part of the Rhodope Mountains is rich with natural wonder and many caves exist in this part of Bulgaria, making it a very popular tourist destination. The most popular are Yagodinska Cave, Uhlovitsa Cave, Devil’s Throat Cave and Snezhanka Cave.
While it’s easy to be distracted by the mythical and mysterious caves that are the birthplace of many stories and legends in Bulgarian history, don’t forget to finish the day and catch the sunset on the sight-seeing platform at Eagle’s Eye .
2. Canyon of Waterfalls
Before you head out for this not-so-little excursion, make sure you pack your parka and dust off those hiking boots!
Located near the town of Smolyan, the waterfalls are situated in the canyons stretching along the Elenska River and are interconnected via an easy-to-navigate eco-path.
The Canyon of Waterfalls is a blend of 46 isolated phenomenal waterfalls. The biggest and most popular is Orpheus, peaking at 68 m high. Orpheus, was the mythical Thracian musician and prophet who supposedly inhabited the Rhodope Mountains and made his home within the waterfalls.
To maximize your experience. It’s recommended to visit the Canyon of Waterfalls in early summer when the water levels are at there peak or mid autumn when fall foliage colors are vibrant and pristine. Besides the winter season, the rest of the year offers lovely conditions for hiking, fishing, biking and most outdoor activities.
3. Asen’s Fortress
Journey back in time to one of Bulgaria’s most celebrated and visited Medieval attractions. Located within the Asenovgrad region of the Rhodope Mountains, Asen’s Fortress is perched high above land on a temple of vertical cliffs.
Picture’s can hardly do this one justice.
Throughout different points in history, Asen’s Fortress was under control by the Thracians, Romans, Crusaders, Bulgarians, and the Ottomans. After modern day excavation of this site began, archaeologists have discovered the foundation of a feudal castle, including a living quarters, a church, two reservoirs, and a fortress watch tower.
Built true to the form of Medieval Christian architecture, Asen’s Fortress gives visitors the opportunity to experience the footprints of medieval history in Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains.
The massive Thracian city of Perperikon is considered to be the largest megalithic archaeological site in all of Bulgaria. Archaeologists have been calling it “The European Machu Picchu” and “Stone Pompeii.”
Perperikon neighbors the town of Gorna Krepost and is located in the eastern Rhodope mountains only 15 km north-east of Kardzhali.
By visiting this wonder, you can be sure that you will be captivated by this sacred ancient city that was once a medieval fortress. Perperikon sits on top of a jagged rocky land mass approximately 420m above sea level and dates back to 5000 B.C.