Rhodopes HeightsRide in the magical mountain
Date: On Request
Best time: May-September
Location: Rhodope Mountains
Distance: 240 km, ↑ 8300 m, ↓ 9600 m
Physical fitness: ★★★☆☆
Riding skills: ★★★☆☆
Duration: 10 days
Services: 7 guided biking days, 9 nights in family hotels (4 ÜF, 5 HP), 1 day in hot springs or cave sightseeing, shuttle and luggage transport
Price: On Request
Airport pick-up and transfer to Kosovo village. Check in at traditional guest house, bike check, get-together, dinner and tour discussion.
30-35 km, ↑ 1000 m, ↓ 1500 m
The first ride leads us on the hills next to the village. After a climb up to 1500 m we follow the paths to Asen’s Fortress, enjoying the beautiful views over the Upper Thracian Plain – marking the Northern region of the Rhodopes. After lunch time we visit the historical site of the fortress. On the way back home we can visit Bachkovo monastery.
Highlights: Asen’s Fortress – city of Asenovgrad, medieval fortress from the 9th century, Bachkovo monastery – 2nd biggest monastery in Bulgaria from the 11th century
35 km, ↑ 1250 m, ↓ 1200 m
After a climb we head south-west. Passing by the small monastery we ride through centuries old forests and alpine meadows. Depending on the weather we stop for picnic or continue to the hut of Persenk. Hidden in the woods we find the remains of an ancient Roman road – connecting the Thrace with the Aegean see. We descend on a trail to the village of Orehovo. Check in at traditional Rhodopean guesthouse.
Highlights: The remains of the highest monastery in Bulgaria, ancient Roman road
38 km, ↑ 1600 m, ↓ 1450 m
Our adventures go further south, to the hut of Kabata. Forest roads and trails bring us to a rock formation called “The Marvelous bridges”. In the afternoon we climb to 1900 m height with fantastic panorama over the “endless” mountain. We rush on gravel roads and teasing tails to the village of Shiroka Laka – architectural and folklore reserve, known for its authentic buildings, culture and history.
Highlights: Karst formation “The Marvelous bridges”, village of Shiroka Laka
A rest day with few possible activities:
- short bike ride near the highest Rhodopean peak – Perelik (2191 m), peak of Orpheus and trails back to the village
- day trip by car or bike to the city of Devin, well known for its mineral water and healing hot springs
- sightseeing in the Trigrad Gorge, Yagodinska karst cave, hike on the artificial canyon path “Devils Bridge”
Highlights: Trigrad Gorge, Yagodinska cave (with 10.500 m is it the 3rd longest cave in Bulgaria and the longest in the Rhodopes), healing hot springs in spa resort Devin
41 km, ↑ 1300 m, ↓ 1800 m
After a short transfer we start our bike ride up to the peak of Snezhanka (meaning Snow White -1925 m) in the area of skiing and holiday resort Pamporovo. From the top of the TV tower on the peak we have an exceptional 360° panorama. On newly built bike trails we ride down to Smolyan – the biggest town in the Western Rhodopes. Lunch break and sightseeing. In the afternoon we pedal up to the village of Momchilovtzi, where we stay overnight.
Highlights: TV tower of Snezhanka , architectural reserve “Dolno Raykovo” in Smolyan
38 km, ↑ 1300 m, ↓ 1400 m
Exciting day on forest roads and trails, passing by mountain huts, 2000 m high peaks, ancient spiritual places, surrounded by gorgeous views over the Eastern Rhodopes. Our next stop is the village of Zagrazhden.
Highlights: Peak of Enihan Baba – an ancient Thracian sanctuary, nowadays Muslim spiritual place.
40 km, ↑ 1350 m, ↓ 1150 m
We reach the geographical boarder between the Western and Eastern Rhodopes, an area of wild landscapes, colorful trails, fantastic views and ancient Thracian sanctuaries. We ride down to our last accommodation “Sabazius”, a beautifully located guesthouse with splendid views over the green hills.
Highlights: One of the most famous Thracian sanctuaries – Belintash.
15-20 km, ↑ 500 m, ↓ 1100 m
Last day on the bikes, mainly on trails. Transfer to Plovdiv – the 2nd biggest city in Bulgaria and European Capital of Culture in 2019. At the afternoon we do city sightseeing and shopping.
Highlights: Ancient Plovdiv Architectural Reserve and the old town of Plovdiv.
Transfer to Sofia and departure.
In this packing list you will find what you should definitely have.
We recommend for this tour a 120-140 mm full suspension Bike and tires with good puncture protection.
We expect from each participant a solid preparation and a good workout as well as mastering the basics of mountain biking (central position, braking, turning, small obstacles, etc.).