Bulgaria

The Orpheus Trail: A Multi Activity Adventure in Western Rhodopes

Level

Easy/Moderate

Duration

8 days

Route

Sofia, Goliam Beglik; Trigrad; Yagodina; Plovdiv; Sofia

Time to travel

June to October ( July and August are considered best months)

You will see some of the most beautiful and picturesque sights at Rhodope Mountain- lush meadows, dark coniferous forests, steep cliffs and scenic canyons. The Rhodope are a remote refuge for many exceptionally rare plants, as well as brown bears, wolves, wild cats and prolific bird life.

This adrenalin inducing, multi-activity adventure trip offers adventure seekers and nature lovers the best possible way to enjoy the natural beauty and culture of Western Rhodope- through adventure! We’re talking kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, caving, trekking and more.

Facts:

  • The Rhodopes are a mountain range in Southeastern Europe. Its highest peak, Golyam Perelik (2,191 meters) is the seventh highest Bulgarian mountain. The region is particularly notable for the Karst areas with deep river gorges, caves and specific sculptured forms, such as the Trigrad Gorge.
  • The famous Trigrad gorge is situated in the Western Rhodopes Mountain in Bulgaria, near to the Greek border. It is an area of true and outstanding nature – deep gorges, century old spruce forests and wild mountain meadows.
  • Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria. As the cultural capital of the country, it is filled with old houses from Bulgarian Renaissance, art galleries and a well preserved Roman amphitheatre that is still in use.

ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival (D)

A local Rahhalah guide will meet you at Sofia airport and transfer you to Golyam Beglik dam in Western Rodopi mountain.

The accommodation is located on the shore of the dam, so it’s a very short drive.

Transfer: 170km, 2,30 hours

Overnight: Golyam Beglik, complex Romantika forest or similar

Day 02: Canoeing (B, L, D)

We begin our day with a hearty breakfast, and then start the adventure with canoeing in one of the most beautiful water reservoirs of Bulgaria, Golyam Beglik Dam.

Our qualified instructors will choose our route based on the daily weather conditions and teach us the techniques of kayaking as we manoeuvre our way around the lake shores.

The lake is easy to access from the water and there are several islands to visit.

Duration: 3hrs canoeing

Overnight: Golyam Beglik, complex Romantika forest or similar.

Day 03: Mountain biking (B, L, D)

There are plenty of options to choose from, but we recommend beginners take a round trip around the dams of Golyam Beglik and Shiroka polyana. The more experienced bikers can try a descent from the peak of “Malka Suitka” and ascend on a single track.

Beginners ride: 2 – 3 hours

Experienced ride: 4- 6 hours

Overnight: Golyam Beglik, complex Romantika forest or similar

Day 04: Treasure hunt (B, L, D)

Today’s activities will give us a history lesson of the region because we will search for signs, read manuscripts, and in hopes of finding the next clue that will lead us to the hidden treasure. All of this will be done with the help of bikes, kayaks, buses and interacting with the locals.

After the treasure hunt, we will make our way to Trigrad, a place famous for the biggest Bulgarian canyon. The remains found in the cave dwellings from the copper-stone age and Thracin period is a testament to the old origin of the village.

In Trigrad , we will see a Christian Church and a Muslim Mosque built side by side. The Christian and Muslim culture and traditions have become interwoven within the village, insuring that visitors will have a unique experience.

Transfer: 65km, 1,15 hours

Overnight: Trigrad, family – run hotel Arkan Han or similar.

Day 05: Caves and trekking (B, L, D)

Our adventure for today involves exploring two caves, it is completely safe as they are equipped with lighting, stairs and parapets.

Our first stop is the “Haramiiska cave”, its tricky entrance requires some basic climbing and but our qualified instructors will be there to help you out.

Later, we will visit the “Devil’s throat cave”, which according to local legend, was the place where Orpheus entered the underworld to search for his love Eurydice. The Devil’s Throat Cave is also home to one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe.

We will then enjoy a few hours of trekking through the spectacular gorge of Trigrad, making our way to the village of Yagodina and the “St. Ilia’s peak”.

Overnight: Trigrad, family run hotel Arkan Han or similar.

Day 06: Horseback– riding (B, L, D)

Horseback riding on an old roman road through pine forests above the Trigrad gorge with beautiful views of peak Persenk- sounds magical, doesn’t it? We will see Chairskite livadi and the Chairi’s gorge, and our final destination will be the village of Yagodina. We will return via the same route to Trigrad.

Ride: 6 hours

Overnight: Trigrad, family run hotel Arkan Han or similar

Day 07: Sightseeing in Plovdiv (B, L,D)

We will drive out to the second largest city Plovdiv. On our way there, we will visit the Bachkovo monastery, an historical monument dating back to the 11th century.

  • TheBachkovo Monastery  is an important monument of Christian architecture and one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world.  The monastery is known  for its unique combination of Byzantine,Georgian and Bulgarian culture, united by the common faith. The monastery was founded in 1083.

Plovdiv is a very important historical landmark in Bulgaria. Thracians Romans, Byzantines, ancient Bulgarians and Ottomans have left their footprint over the culture and architecture of this city. Its centre is an open air museum, where you can visit:

  • Roman amphitheater
  • Roman Stadium
  • Bulgarian Revival architecture
  • Dervish monastery
  • Ethnographic Museum
  • Balabanova house
  • “Djumaya Djamia” mosk
  • Church of the Holy Mother of God
  • Church of St. Constantine and Helena

Overnight: Plovdiv, boutique hotel “Hebros” or similar.

Day 08: Departure (B)

Transfer from Plovdiv to Sofia’s airport.

Transfer: 2 hours

1,756 USD

per person in a group of 4, Double Occupancy.

Trip Dates

24th June 2016,  22nd July 2016,  26th August 2016

NOTES

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • This cost is valid till 15th December, 2015.
  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior to departure date.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

THIS INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights in Golyam Beglik, tourist complex “Romantika” or similar
  • 3 nights in Trigrad, family – run hotel “Arkan han” or similar
  • 1 nights in Plovdiv, 5* boutique hotel “Hebros” or similar
  • 8 breakfast, 6 lunches(picnic), 7 Dinners
  • Licensed Guide
  • Licensed specialized guides for: kayking, climbing, biking, horse – riding

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Single Supplement
  • High Season Supplement
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Beverages
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Personal expenses

Important: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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