The Orpheus Mountains - Bulgaria Walking Holiday

Enjoy a self guided walking tour in The Orpheus Mountains in Bulgaria. This walking trail follows breath-taking views over high rocky cliffs, dense woods and luscious alpine meadows. On this walking tour you will pass through some of the most spectacular parts of the Rodopi Mountains and enjoy pleasures such as unrestricted walks through the wilderness of the native place of the mythical Orpheus.

  • Grade:
  • Comfort: Mixed
  • Start/Finish: Plovdiv
  • Distance: 55.5 miles (89.7km)
  • Duration: 7 nights - 8 Days
  • Availability: From May until October
  • Altitude: ↑13385 ft (4730m) ↓15419ft (4700m)

This holiday has an eight day, seven night itinerary.

Minimum number:2

Day 1: Sofia 
Arrive Sofia and transfer to to your hotel and after checking in, its time to explore the local area.

Day 2: From Shiroka Luka to Gela

Transfer to the village Shiroka Luka and enjoy about an hour walking along its cobbled streets before continuing for another 20 minutes drive to Gela, Rodopis highest village at 4921 ft (1500m).  In August, Gela hosts its annual Bagpipe Festival. The afternoon offers a delightful introduction to the Rodopi Mountains by taking a circular walk from the guest house to the nearby villages of Stikul and Solishta.
Walking time: 5 hrs - Walking distance: 10 miles (16km) -  ↑2526 ft (770m) ↓2526 ft (770m)

Day 3: From Gela to Chairski Lakes via Mugla

A long and rewarding day, walking through the heart of the Rodopi, mostly above the tree line and enjoying magnificent views over Mt Turlata and Mt Perelik. The walk combines forest tracks with old mule trails with no steep changes in altitude. After a short rest in the tiny village of Mugla, you reach your destination, the Chairski Lakes Hut for an overnight stop. The hut is named after the seven lakes nearby formed by melting glaciers during the Ice Age. The origin of the name of the lakes is Turkish. It comes from the word “chair”, meaning “meadow”.
Walking time: 6 hrs - Walking distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km ) - ↑3117 ft (950m) ↓3150ft (960m)

Day 4: From Chairski Lakes to Trigrad via the Trigrad Cave

An easy day's walking today with two hours following a dirt road next to the Chairska River.  On reaching the main Devin to Trigrad road there is a short walk to the Devil Throat cave of Trigrad. At 42 m the caves waterfall is one of the highest in Europe and is a spectacular underground experience.
Walking time: 4 hrs - Walking distance: 5 miles (8.5km) - ↑1000 ft (305m)  ↓1640 ft (500m)

Day 5: Trigrad to Lyaskovo via Yagodina Cave and Yagodina

A gentle start with an ascent from the village to a forest trail leading into alpine meadows with views over Trigrad Gorge. The spectacular, 8 km Yagodina Cave is the longest known in the region and with its many abysses and labyrinthine tunnels, also one of Bulgaria’s deepest. A 45-minute tour highlights the remarkable stalagmites and stalactites, which resemble curtains, and mentions the Neolithic settlers who lived here 8000 years ago.
Walking time: approx 4 hrs - Walking distance: 5 miles (8.2 km) - ↑935 ft (285m)  ↓1624 ft (495m)

Day 6: From Lyaskovo to Zaburdo
Leave the village and ascend, following ancient trails, criss-crossing streams before a steep climb to the highest point in the trek at 4823 ft (1470 m) with panoramic views of the area. Then descend to the village of Zaburdo, through thick pine forests, for an overnight stop.
Walking time: approx 6 hrs - Walking distance: 11 miles (17.5km) - ↑3018 ft (920m)  ↓2608 ft (795m)

Day ​7​: Miraculous Bridges – Kabata Hut – Orehovo​ - Bachkovo Monastery - Plovdiv​

After breakfast there is a transfer to the ​Miraculous​ Bridges, two natural bridges of solid rock rising up to 45 m (148 ft), set among peaceful pinewoods. From here, climb to Kabata​ Hut and then onto the Tsirikova Church, a small chapel at 1740m (5709). Here, take in the breathtaking views over Chaya Valley and Chernatitsa Ridge before descending to Orehovo ​where a ​guide will be waiting to take ​you ​to the Bachkovo Monastery, one of southern Bulgaria’s architectural gems, ​and ​then it's onto Plovdiv​ for the night.​​
Walking time: approx 7 hrs - Walking distance: 13 miles (21km) - ↑2789 ft (850m) ↓3871 ft (1180m)

Day 8: Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure (1.5 hours drive).

All times, distance and altitude are approximate.

Key Details:

  • Eight day, seven night itinerary.
  • The minimum group size is 2
  • This tour will start in Sofia and end in Plovdiv.
  • The total distance of this walking holiday is approximately 88km / 54 miles.

There are lots of attractions and places to explore during your walking holiday in Bulgaria including:

  • Shiroka Luka - An architectural reserve hosting a bagpipe music school
  • Gela - A small village at the foot of Rodopi highest peak: Golyam Perelik (2191m a.s.l.), considered the birth place of Orpheus.
  •  Yagodina Cave is among the longest caves in Bulgaria (more than 10 000 m mapped so far), one of the most spectacular.
  • The Devil's Throat Cave has its name from a legend. It tells that if you let something flow in the cave river it will never come out again. And there is one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe, 42 m high.
  • The Miraculous bridges - unique rock formation (about 40 m. high) covering an area of 40,3 hectares.
  • Lyaskovo - stay with a local family, enjoy its hospitality and taste the local specialties.
  • Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery.
  • The old town of Plovdiv - Europe's oldest inhabited city.

Getting to Bulgaria:

By Rail – It is possible to get between the UK and Sofia in Bulgaria using Eurostar, local and sleeper trains.  Here is a useful website.  https://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm#London%20to%20Sofia

By Bus – Getting to Sofia by coach is possible but the journey takes over 1 day. Here is a useful website. https://www.busbud.com/en-gb/bus-london-sofia/r/gcpvj0-sx8dfu

By Car – Bulgaria can be reached by car through the well-maintained motorways.

By Air – There are a number of flights available from UK airports to Sofia Airport.  Here is a useful website. https://www.opodo.co.uk/flights/

For more information on getting to Bulgaria please visit the Bulgaria Tourism website.

Included
  • 6 nights in hotels and B&B's with en-suite facilities
  • 1 night in Accommodation with shared facilities (day 3)
  • Breakfast every day
  • 5 dinners (days 2-6) 
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (Day 1 and Day 8)
  • Fully comprehensive tour pack
  • Emergency Telephone Assistance
  • VAT and all local taxes
Excluded
  • Dinner in Plovdiv (days 1 & 7)

     

  • Transport to and from Bulgaria
  • Entrance fees for the caves and other landmarks
  • Dinners in Plovdiv on day 1 and 7
  • Lunches
  • Insurance
  • Anything not in included

This holiday has an eight day, seven night itinerary.

Minimum number:2

Day 1: Sofia 
Arrive Sofia and transfer to to your hotel and after checking in, its time to explore the local area.

Day 2: From Shiroka Luka to Gela

Transfer to the village Shiroka Luka and enjoy about an hour walking along its cobbled streets before continuing for another 20 minutes drive to Gela, Rodopis highest village at 4921 ft (1500m).  In August, Gela hosts its annual Bagpipe Festival. The afternoon offers a delightful introduction to the Rodopi Mountains by taking a circular walk from the guest house to the nearby villages of Stikul and Solishta.
Walking time: 5 hrs - Walking distance: 10 miles (16km) -  ↑2526 ft (770m) ↓2526 ft (770m)

Day 3: From Gela to Chairski Lakes via Mugla

A long and rewarding day, walking through the heart of the Rodopi, mostly above the tree line and enjoying magnificent views over Mt Turlata and Mt Perelik. The walk combines forest tracks with old mule trails with no steep changes in altitude. After a short rest in the tiny village of Mugla, you reach your destination, the Chairski Lakes Hut for an overnight stop. The hut is named after the seven lakes nearby formed by melting glaciers during the Ice Age. The origin of the name of the lakes is Turkish. It comes from the word “chair”, meaning “meadow”.
Walking time: 6 hrs - Walking distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km ) - ↑3117 ft (950m) ↓3150ft (960m)

Day 4: From Chairski Lakes to Trigrad via the Trigrad Cave

An easy day's walking today with two hours following a dirt road next to the Chairska River.  On reaching the main Devin to Trigrad road there is a short walk to the Devil Throat cave of Trigrad. At 42 m the caves waterfall is one of the highest in Europe and is a spectacular underground experience.
Walking time: 4 hrs - Walking distance: 5 miles (8.5km) - ↑1000 ft (305m)  ↓1640 ft (500m)

Day 5: Trigrad to Lyaskovo via Yagodina Cave and Yagodina

A gentle start with an ascent from the village to a forest trail leading into alpine meadows with views over Trigrad Gorge. The spectacular, 8 km Yagodina Cave is the longest known in the region and with its many abysses and labyrinthine tunnels, also one of Bulgaria’s deepest. A 45-minute tour highlights the remarkable stalagmites and stalactites, which resemble curtains, and mentions the Neolithic settlers who lived here 8000 years ago.
Walking time: approx 4 hrs - Walking distance: 5 miles (8.2 km) - ↑935 ft (285m)  ↓1624 ft (495m)

Day 6: From Lyaskovo to Zaburdo
Leave the village and ascend, following ancient trails, criss-crossing streams before a steep climb to the highest point in the trek at 4823 ft (1470 m) with panoramic views of the area. Then descend to the village of Zaburdo, through thick pine forests, for an overnight stop.
Walking time: approx 6 hrs - Walking distance: 11 miles (17.5km) - ↑3018 ft (920m)  ↓2608 ft (795m)

Day ​7​: Miraculous Bridges – Kabata Hut – Orehovo​ - Bachkovo Monastery - Plovdiv​

After breakfast there is a transfer to the ​Miraculous​ Bridges, two natural bridges of solid rock rising up to 45 m (148 ft), set among peaceful pinewoods. From here, climb to Kabata​ Hut and then onto the Tsirikova Church, a small chapel at 1740m (5709). Here, take in the breathtaking views over Chaya Valley and Chernatitsa Ridge before descending to Orehovo ​where a ​guide will be waiting to take ​you ​to the Bachkovo Monastery, one of southern Bulgaria’s architectural gems, ​and ​then it's onto Plovdiv​ for the night.​​
Walking time: approx 7 hrs - Walking distance: 13 miles (21km) - ↑2789 ft (850m) ↓3871 ft (1180m)

Day 8: Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure (1.5 hours drive).

All times, distance and altitude are approximate.

Key Details:

  • Eight day, seven night itinerary.
  • The minimum group size is 2
  • This tour will start in Sofia and end in Plovdiv.
  • The total distance of this walking holiday is approximately 88km / 54 miles.

There are lots of attractions and places to explore during your walking holiday in Bulgaria including:

  • Shiroka Luka - An architectural reserve hosting a bagpipe music school
  • Gela - A small village at the foot of Rodopi highest peak: Golyam Perelik (2191m a.s.l.), considered the birth place of Orpheus.
  •  Yagodina Cave is among the longest caves in Bulgaria (more than 10 000 m mapped so far), one of the most spectacular.
  • The Devil's Throat Cave has its name from a legend. It tells that if you let something flow in the cave river it will never come out again. And there is one of the highest underground waterfalls in Europe, 42 m high.
  • The Miraculous bridges - unique rock formation (about 40 m. high) covering an area of 40,3 hectares.
  • Lyaskovo - stay with a local family, enjoy its hospitality and taste the local specialties.
  • Bachkovo Monastery is the second largest Bulgarian monastery.
  • The old town of Plovdiv - Europe's oldest inhabited city.

Getting to Bulgaria:

By Rail – It is possible to get between the UK and Sofia in Bulgaria using Eurostar, local and sleeper trains.  Here is a useful website.  https://www.seat61.com/Bulgaria.htm#London%20to%20Sofia

By Bus – Getting to Sofia by coach is possible but the journey takes over 1 day. Here is a useful website. https://www.busbud.com/en-gb/bus-london-sofia/r/gcpvj0-sx8dfu

By Car – Bulgaria can be reached by car through the well-maintained motorways.

By Air – There are a number of flights available from UK airports to Sofia Airport.  Here is a useful website. https://www.opodo.co.uk/flights/

For more information on getting to Bulgaria please visit the Bulgaria Tourism website.

Included
  • 6 nights in hotels and B&B's with en-suite facilities
  • 1 night in Accommodation with shared facilities (day 3)
  • Breakfast every day
  • 5 dinners (days 2-6) 
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure days (Day 1 and Day 8)
  • Fully comprehensive tour pack
  • Emergency Telephone Assistance
  • VAT and all local taxes
Excluded
  • Dinner in Plovdiv (days 1 & 7)

     

  • Transport to and from Bulgaria
  • Entrance fees for the caves and other landmarks
  • Dinners in Plovdiv on day 1 and 7
  • Lunches
  • Insurance
  • Anything not in included
Book now, call us on
+44 (0)1242 250 642