The pleasant autumn temperatures this week awakened our desire for walks and short trips. That is why the team of the only digital guide under the hills has gathered for you 3 easy tourist routes to visit during the coming weekend.
The Rhodopes have always been an attractive place for everyone in the region, and right now they are a true fairy tale. The slopes are variegated in all shades of green, yellow and red, and on the paths, we step on a soft carpet of fallen leaves. It is worth taking a break from city life for at least one afternoon and immersing yourself in nature.
Eco-trail in the village of Ustina
Situated at the foot of the Northern Rhodopes, near the Roman road connecting ancient Philippopolis and the Aegean, the village of Ustina is the heir to the Thracian settlement of Besapara, which existed in the 2nd century BC and was known in ancient times as a large administrative center, which covered the territories from Pastusha to Krichim and Isperihovo. The village is about 25 km from Plovdiv, near Perushtitsa.
In our text about the waterfalls around Plovdiv we told how to get to the near waterfall, but today we will tell more about the eco-trail that leads to it and to the chapel of St. George. It continues up after the waterfall and in this part is a little steeper. Next to the holy monastery there is a small gazebo where visitors can relax. In addition, this point reveals unique panoramic views - back to the waterfall, on one side, and on the other - to the whole village and the opposite hills, painted in colors. In 20 minutes in a southerly direction, you will reach the Kulata peak, which impresses with its monolithic posture.
Eco-trail in the village of Izvor
The history of the village of Izvor with its spiritual and historical heritage dates back to ancient times, as it was known by various names, some of which are Gradets and Gradishte. The first sources of settlement in the place date back to the Neolithic era. Located in the center of Izvor, St.St. Peter and Pavel church is one of the oldest Bulgarian churches in the Plovdiv district from the Revival era and has great architectural and artistic value.
It is located 17 km from the city and in its area you can see over 20 chapels and two Roman bridges. The eco-trail that starts from it will take tourists to two wonderful natural phenomena - Momina Skala and Dimitrinino Kale. In essence, Dimitrinino Kale is a picturesque canyon of one of the rivers - Gradechka, passing through Hrabrino. In its lower valley, near the Momina Skala area, the river forms the beautiful canyon in question. Great views are revealed along it. The road is neither difficult nor dangerous. Dimitrinino Kale itself has a history - it is an ancient Thracian rock sanctuary and was probably a fortification. There are many ceramic fragments on top of it, and the surrounding rocks are filled with artificially dug niches and shallow caves.
The name of Momina Skala is associated with the stories of Bulgarian girls who were thrown into the abyss so as not to fall into the hands of the Ottoman enslavers.
The canyon of the waterfalls eco-trail in the town of Smolyan
In the summer we took you virtually through one of the popular eco-trails in the area of the Rhodope town - the one that leads to the Smolyan Lakes. Today we will go in a slightly different direction, but our starting point will again be Smolyan.
The canyon of the waterfalls starts from the sign for the Soskovcheto reserve and at the very beginning you will come across a preserved Roman bridge and an information center.
The path winds through the forest like small wooden bridges, crossing it to the left, then to the right of the Elena River. In several places there are places for relaxation, where you can catch your breath, eat, quench your thirst, or just admire the incredible peace and quiet, disturbed only by the song of birds and the roaring water around.
Along the route you can come across about 40 waterfalls, and at the beginning they are much smaller, but as you go deeper into the forest - they become more impressive. The largest water cascade is Orpheus - with a drop of 68 meters.
The route is circular, so at its full circle, which takes up to 4-5 hours depending on the pace, you have to go back to the beginning. At its highest point you will be able to see the town of Smolyan in the distance.