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In The Footsteps Of Orpheus

Tour Details

Country:
Bulgaria  
Duration:
8 days
Best period:
May
June
July
August
September
October
Price from:
€ 440

This impressive trail explores some of the most unspoiled places off the beaten track in the Rhodope Mountains, reputed to be the birthplace of the legendary musician Orpheus. With their pleasant climate, these mountains are a perfect place for walking and exploring pastoral scenery with rolling landscapes, open valleys dotted with tiny villages, green meadows with grazing goats and sheep, dense centuries-old coniferous woods, ancient Roman roads and bridges and a large variety of natural phenomena, including the Trigrad Gorge with its 250 m vertical cliffs, Yagodina Cave (considered one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria, this cave is among the longest in the country with more than 10 km mapped so far), the Devil’s Throat Cave (boasting one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe at 42 m high), the Wonderful Bridges, etc. Unlike typical inn-to-inn walking tours where visitors have to arrange their own travel to the starting point and from the end point of the trek, this self-guided holiday package includes all personal and luggage transfers from airport to airport, so clients will not need to look elsewhere for public transport or transfers.
The Rhodope Mountains are probably the best place in Bulgaria for unguided walking tours, with their fine natural features and cultural wealth and with the hospitality and openness of the local hoteliers to foreigners travelling without a guide.

Highlights
The oldest land on the Balkan Peninsula – Rhodope Mountains; Diverse landscapes untouched by the modern way of life; Hidden mountain border villages that have been closed for the public until very recently; The famous Rhodopean hospitality of the locals; Traditional accommodations with organic food of very high ecological value; Trigrad Gorge with its 250m high cliffs; Cave tours in two of the most interesting Bulgarian caves; The rocky phenomenon “The Miraculous Bridges”; The second largest monastery in Bulgaria – Bachkovo Monastery; Possibility to explore Sofia - the capital of Bulgaria

unguided trekking holidays in bulgaria, rhodope mountainsself-guided walking holidays in the rhodopes, bulgaria













Itinerary

Day 1. We will welcome you at Sofia airport and transfer you to the town of Devin for an overnight stay (3-3:30hrs journey time).
Day 2. In the morning you can enjoy your first walk in the Rhodope Mountains: a delightful nature trail with a number of bridges along the Devinska River, taking about 2 hrs. You will then be picked up and transferred to the entrance of Yagodina Cave. Here you will be guided round the cave (be prepared: the temperature inside the cave is about 6C) and have lunch about 1 hr later at the restaurant by the river nearby. From the cave, a short ascent brings you through a fragrantly scented pine wood to the traditional tranquillity of Yagodina village. After the village, the walk takes you through potato fields, barns, old farms and a patchwork of cultivated fields to get a feel of local farming life. The trail then follows the upper rim of Trigrad Gorge before continuing through a shady coniferous forest to the village of Trigrad (1250m), where you will be accommodated for the next 3 nights. (15km; uphill/downhill walking: 700/350m)
Day 3. A trek to the tiny remote village of Vodni Pad, until recently closed to visitors due to its proximity to the Greek border. During the communist period in Bulgaria this village was used as a base by people trying to escape through the mountains to Greece. This circular trail along gentle gradients again passes through pine forests dotted with glades, beautifully revealing the rural way of life typical of this part of the mountains. The return hike is a real pleasure as you follow the bed of the Trigradska River back to the village of Trigrad. (20 km; uphill/downhill hiking: 400/400 m).
independent hiking mountains vacations in bulgariaDay 4. More charming landscapes await you today as you take a new circular walk, exploring another magnificent area around Trigrad. Once on top of the hill above the village you will have a great chance to enjoy vast meadows full of orchids in summer. Then you continue clockwise round the hill and through the village of Zhrebevo, ending up in Trigrad again from the same place as the previous day. From here you can either continue to The Devil’s Throat Cave or just relax in your hotel. (22km; uphill/downhill walking: 800/800m)
Day 5. An early morning transfer takes you to Beden village, the starting point for the day. While you walk, your luggage will be forwarded to your accommodation for the next night in the village of Liaskovo. This is probably the most panoramic day of your trip. As you walk up towards the Dry Peak ridge, the trail weaves through rolling hills and meadows where you will be spoilt for choice, either enjoying them or the superb views of the mountains and neighbouring ridges. The trek ends in Liaskovo. (24 km; uphill/downhill hiking: 350/315m)
Day 6. A dirt track takes you over a hill to the Wonderful Bridges, an amazing rock formation. On the way you are likely to spot a startled deer or two. The walk crosses ancient coniferous woods dotted with tiny green meadows where half-wild horses graze. From this wonder of nature you will be picked up and transferred to the village of Kosovo, where you will stay overnight in a cosy traditional stone house typical of the mountains. (13 km; uphill/downhill walking: 635/200m).
Day 7. In the morning you will have some free time after breakfast for a stroll along the charming cobbled streets and ancient houses of Kosovo village. Before noon you will be picked up again and transferred to Bachkovo Monastery for about 1hr of sightseeing before continuing to Sofia, arriving at about 15-16:00 p.m. The afternoon is free (evening meal is not included). Usually a sightseeing tour of the city center on foot takes some 2-3 hrs and we highly recommend this option (you will get a map of the city with short notes, directions and what to see first).
Day 8. Transfer to the airport for your departure (30min journey time).

Accommodation and luggage transportation
Days 1 and 7: 3-star hotels with en-suite facilities. Accommodation on the other days will be in family-run boarding houses and guest houses with en-suite rooms. Meals everywhere are based on a half-board package (breakfast and evening meal included) except for Day 7, when no evening is provided. We take care of you luggage throughout the tour.

self-guided walking and inn to inn hiking tours in bulgariaGroup size: Min. 2 persons

Single supplement: 85 Euro

The price includes: a trip, fully inclusive of all ground transfers from airport to airport (pick up/drop off at Sofia Airport); detailed roadbook in English with maps; luggage transportation; accommodation and boarding as mentioned above; VAT and all local taxes.

The price does not include: tips, lunchpacks and other meals, entrance fees, alcohol drinks, cigarettes and other personal expenses.

Tips: Low cost direct flights to Sofia from the UK - please check: Wizz Air http://www.wizzair.com, Ryan Air http://www.ryanair.com and Easy Jet http://www.easyjet.com. The supplier of this trip can book your flight ticket (ask for quotation). More details about guided walking and self-guided hiking tours in Bulgaria you can find at http://www.bulgariawalking.com


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