Central Rhodope Mountains (Smolyan, Pamporovo, Chepelare)

The Land of Orpheus

The central parts of the Rhodope Mountains are literally flooded with hiking opportunities. Caving fans, bike touring aficionados, mountain hiking addicts, history buffs – everyone can indulge their curiosity. That's not all - some of the best mountain resorts in Bulgaria with excellent skiing conditions are in the central part of the mountain. The area abounds in natural and cultural landmarks and sites. So developing an "action plan" prior to visiting is definitely a must.


Towered by the imposing silhouettes of old pines, the mountain resorts of Pamporovo and Chepelare could offer everything needed for an awesome holiday to every tourist keen on winter sports. Pamporovo is characterized by mild winters and plenty of sunny days and on this indicator it ranks first among all the resorts in Bulgaria. Located at an altitude of 1650m., at the foot of Mount Snezhanka ( lit. “Snow white”) thanks to the beautiful scenery, the resort attracts visitors not only in winter but in other seasons as well.


The town of Chepelare, a famous winter resort is 10 km north of Pamporovo . With its altitude of 1232 m. the town is the second highest in Bulgaria after Dospat. The longest skiing area in the country - Mechi Chal is nearby. The city has a “Speleology and Bulgarian Karst Museum" and the unique “Museum of skiing”. The list of tourism opportunities in this part of the Rhodope Mountains continues with a number of natural landmarks, historical and cultural sites. Caves here are truly popular- "Jagodina” and "Devil's Throat" caves are both well developed. Lovers of extreme experiences can enter the "Devil's Throat" by boat. Partially developed and opened for visits is the "Uhlovitsa” cave as well - often called „the most beautiful cave in Bulgaria” and compared with an underground palace. Situated on several levels, it ends with seven beautiful lakes that in spring are filled with water. The large stone waterfall, sparkling in white, is the most attractive of them. The "Golubovitsa" cave-system is near the village of Koshnitsa, the primary cave "Kaleto", "Radina cave" and "Lednitsata" complement the opportunities for extreme adventures.


To the north, the Smolyan Lakes are scattered throughout the valley of the River Cherna (lit.  Black River".) Today, seven of the former 20 lakes remain well defined and some are fine camping locations. “Nevyastata” or the Bride Cliff (a.k.a. Turluka) has many myths and legends. It is located west of Smolyan and the locals consider it a symbol of the city. Once, it housed an ancient Thracian sanctuary. An eco trail of the same name leads to the place.


Nature is a talented sculptor - dozens of its works govern (can be seen in) the region - the Trigrad gorge, the rock phenomena "Momata"(lit. “The Maiden”), “Glavata”( “The Head”), the natural phenomenon "The Wonderful Bridges" – the village of  Zabardo, Momin kamak( “Maiden’s stone”), Karvavata stena (“The Bloody wall”) Delistoilova rock,  Kralyuv kamak, Dupchov kamak,  Kardzhalii kamak.


Numerous architectural objects still keep the rich heritage of ancient times – The Momchilova Fortress, the ancient road - Amzovo,  Kaleto (“the Calais”) near the village of Koshnitsa, one of the largest still preserved Konaks (from tur. konak “A palace, mansion or other large official residence in Turkey or the Ottoman Empire.”) Alibeev Konak ( lit. “The Konak of Ali Bey”), Kaleto (“the Calais”) in Smolyan, the early Byzantine basilica in the village of Gela, the Architectural reserve in Shiroka laka, the "St. Vissarion of Smolyan" Church.


Against the supreme backdrop, Smolyan’s Planetarium provides the ultimate subject to reflect upon - the origin of Universe. Our bow to the almighty nature should be even deeper and much more grateful.

View the Sites

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    Bachkovo Monastery "Assumption of the Virgin"

    Nestled in the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, Bachkovo monastery "Assumption of the Virgin" is among the most important Bulgarian spiritual and religious centers.

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    Архитектурен резерват „Село Широка лъка“

    Широколъшката река, традиционните и добре запазени двуетажни къщи аркери, китните каменни мостове и тесните калдъръмени улички пренасят в друго време.

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    Крепост „Калето“

    Средновековната и късно антична крепост „Калето“ се намира в местност Турлука до Смолян и на 5 километра от Пампорово.