Day Tours From Plovdiv >Panoramic Tour Of The Rhodope Mountains
Panoramic Tour Of The Rhodope Mountains Day Tour From Plovdiv
Enjoy the best views of the Rhodope Mountains from the iconic Snezhanka tower located on Snezhanka Peak, at 1928 m above sea level and visit some of the most picturesque stone roof mountain villages during this full of nature, history and culture sightseeing day tour from Plovdiv.
Some 88 km south of Plovdiv, the 156-metre-high television tower wows it visitors with stunning panoramic views over the Rhodope, Rila and Pirin Mountains from its open air terrace at 2082 m. a.s.l. . Even the Aegean Sea can be seen on a clear day!
Visiting the tower is the easiest way to conquer a peak. It is perfect for nature lovers who would not like to hike long and for those who appreciate great views. In the summer the tower is accessible by road or chairlift from one of the four lift stations in the area.
A short 15 minute walk near the tower takes us to another panoramic spot: Orpheus Rocks. According to the legend, the mystical singer Orpheus, considered the best musician and poet of all, derived his inspiration from the beauty of the Rhodope Mountains sitting on these rocks. From here you can see the Smolyan Lakes scattered throughout the valley of Cherna River. In the past, the lakes were about 20, but today only 7 are well formed, the others have turned into swamps. During the spring and fall, in the place of some of these marshes, small lakes reappear. Others are transformed into fishponds.
Orpheus Rocks are perfect for a picnic and bringing a sandwich or a snack along is never a bad idea.
From there we continue our mountain adventure to Shiroka Laka village, famous for its authentic Rhodopean houses set in tiers on both banks of the local river. Shiroka Laka is an architectural and folklore reserve, and a cultural centre. The National School of Folklore Art which continues the unique Bulgarian singing and music traditions is located in the village.
Did you know that the Bulgarian folklore song "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska is included in the NASA Golden Record on board of the Voyagers 1 & 2 carrying message intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials? The Voyagers space journey continues for more than 40 years and so is the Bulgarian song by the famous Rhodopean singer Valya Balkanska (listen to YouTube video below).
Another very interesting cultural fact about Shiroka Laka is that each year on the first Sunday of March the village hosts one of the most spectacular kukery celebrations (traditional ritual intended to scare away evil spirits) in Bulgaria. Dressed in costumes that cover most of the body and include decorated wooden masks of animals and large bells attached to the belt, the kukeri (traditionally men, but now women and children also join the parade) walk and dance through villages to scare away evil spirits with their costumes and the sound of their bells. They are also believed to provide a good harvest, health, and happiness to the village during the year. This truly spectacular tradition is thought to be related to the Thracian Dionysos cult in the wider area of Thracia some 5,000 - 6,000 years ago.
On the way back to Plovdiv we stop at another incredible village in the Rhodope Mountains: Kosovo.
Here you enter a completely different world. Transported back in time to a mountain village that is as authentic as it was 200 years ago, you go on a leisurely stroll through little passages connecting stone-roofed houses, zigzagging up and down the hills of the village and if lucky you may even meet some of the 7 permanent residents of the village. The local pub "Carefree Life" is not always open, but if it is, we will certainly make a stop there!
Plovdiv is 40 km away.
Panoramic Tour of the Rhodope Mountains, Snezhanka Tower, Orpheus Rocks, Shiroka Laka and Kosovo Villages.
All year around (depending on the weather during winter months)
Departure and Return Point:
Pick-up and drop-off at your location in Plovdiv.
What is Included?
All transportation cost including car/van, fuel, VAT, parking fees.
Local English/Spanish-speaking guide(s).
What is Not Included?
Admission fee to Snezhanka Tower (BGN 5/ EUR 2.5) and Shiroka Laka Ethnographic Museum (BGN 2/ EUR 1) per person. Food, drinks and other personal expenses.
Private passenger van.
Starting from 37 euros per person. Minimum group size 4 people.
Duration, Difficulty and Elevation plot:
Tour duration time: full day.
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate. There is some uphill walking on uneven surface in Shiroka Laka and Kosovo villages and hands-on rock climbing at Orpheus Rocks.
You may bring packed lunch (sandwich), a snack and 0.5 liter of water. We can stop at a traditional restaurant for lunch along the way.
What to Bring:
• Clothes and footwear suitable for walking and a jacket. In summertime, please consider wearing a hat and bringing along sunscreen.
• Water (0.5 liter)
• Packed snack for lunch/picnic outdoors
• Cash for personal use