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Bulgaria: Rodopi Mountains Trek

From £899 for 8 days
Trip Overview
The Rodopi Mountains are a hauntingly beautiful and mysterious region which, according to legend were the home of Orpheus. Today they offer a refuge for many exceptionally rare plants, as well as brown bears, wolves, wild cats and a prolific number of butterflies and birds. This holiday provides the opportunity to discover the amazingly rich cultural and natural heritage of these remote mountains as we walk through a variety of landscapes including ancient coniferous forests and rugged limestone gorges, we also visit two impressive caves, and engage with the local people who maintain their traditional rural existence, working the fields by hand and tending their livestock on the surrounding meadows and pastures.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Sofia Airport; transfer to Yagodina.
Ends: End Sofia.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Walking
Trip Code: ETDB
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Bulgaria
What's Included

Meals

*Typical Meals* *Breakfast:* Will usually include tea or coffee, bread, jam, honey and cheese, supplemented in Yagodina by fresh home-made yoghurt and traditional local specialities such as thick pancakes known as 'katmi' and a rice-based dish called 'rodopski klin'

Transport

6 nights in a traditional rural settlement in Yagodina Village, 1 night in a comfortable hotel in Sofia. All rooms en suite 6 days centre-based walking

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Stunning mountain landscapes with deep gorges, spectacular caves, ancient forests and flowering meadows

•    Unique flora rich in orchids and endemic species

•    Outstanding fauna, including brown bear, wallcreeper and an exceptional variety of rare butterflies

•    Unique opportunities to experience daily life in a traditional Bulgarian village

•    Delicious home-produced local cuisine

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 16th May 2020
Returning: 23rd May 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 30th May 2020
Returning: 6th Jun 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 13th Jun 2020
Returning: 20th Jun 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 4th Jul 2020
Returning: 11th Jul 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 18th Jul 2020
Returning: 25th Jul 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 8th Aug 2020
Returning: 15th Aug 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Departing: 5th Sep 2020
Returning: 12th Sep 2020
£899pp
Availability: Good
Itinerary & Notes
Start at Sofia airport (Terminal 2), where we will be met by the leader and transferred to the remote village of Yagodina, our base for the next 6 nights.   *Yagodina Family Hotel or similar*
   Print Trip Notes
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Reviews
       
This trip provides a great introduction to a very special, unspoilt part of Europe which maintains traditional practices in agriculture and food production. Yagodina is a real find and I hope its uniqueness can be retained; the local people were friendly and the Yagodina Family Hotel offers a genuinely homely atmosphere, including comfortable accommodation and plenty of interesting and well presented food. Maria, the proprietor, runs an impressive operation and is always available to ensure that guests' needs are met. The walks were well chosen and the week's itinerary gave an excellent overview of the Rodopi mountains, including insights into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the area.
       
A superb holiday in beautiful countryside, staying in an excellent local hotel with walks that make the most of what the region has to offer.
       
It was a very enjoyable trip in a remote part of the country. I didn't hear about Rodopi mountains before so didn't know what to expect. The scenery is absolutely stunning - mountains, forests, gorges, caves - all so untouched and beautiful! I enjoyed all the walks and we never saw any other walkers - it was amazing to have it all just to ourselves. We also had a chance to see how local people live. It was a nice, relaxing week and the group bonded pretty quickly!
       
This trip was delightfully different from other European trips that we have enjoyed. The local people were warm and friendly and appeared content to work in the fields or sit with the cows in a high pasture all day. The difference between our fast paced life style and their post communist lives was marked. The scenery was beautiful, very 'vertical', with rare pre-ice age flowers. Even the long drive from and too Sofia was interesting and our driver surely the most competent in Bulgaria.
       
Excellent trip walking in the mountains and meadows of the Rodopi mountains. Lovely family run hotel with exellent food - very welcoming. We had a very peaceful and relaxing time in Yagodina and the walks were lovely - especially the time spent in the beautiful wildflower meadows.
       
A good week's walking in a rural location hosted in a great locally run hotel. This week was everything that I expected based on the detailed trip notes, the walks and the hotel were as described and ticked all the boxes for me. I spent a couple of additional days in Sofia which was a good balance.
       
A very good holiday with good mix of people
       
A very good holiday ,good mix in group. Good hotel food and service.
       
A very enjoyable holiday with a good mix of people. Good hotel and food ,service was excellent.
       
Lovely part of the world with stunning scenery. The wild flowers were at their best when I visited in May. A very different pace of life to home but interestingly even the cow herds on the upper meadows had their smartphones. My son loved the first and last days best with climbing under/over all the fallen trees and fording the fast running river - such a contrast to the ridge walks and alpine meadows. Our guide Neli was very knowledgeable about the area, flowers and birdlife, and very patient with all our questions. It would have been very difficult to find some of the paths on our own. The walking pace was accurately described as leisurely. The accommodation was comfortable, the wifi better than at home, the food excellent and the beer just so cheap!
       
We had five strenuous but not exhausting days walking through really beautiful gorges, meadows and mountains and came back to a welcoming and comfortable simple hotel each evening. Our guide was exemplary in her local knowledge of flora and fauna so there was much to learn as well as to enjoy. Highly recommended if you want to be out all day amidst a fascinating landscape.
       
This was an excellent trip in a relatively unspoilt and bucolic part of the world. The Rodopi mountains in southern Bulgaria, near the Greek border, make for relatively gentle but sublime walking. We ambled along easy trails through deep gorges, natural forest and woodland, and, best of all, high alpine meadows, with carpets of wild flowers. The hotel in Yagodina was excellent - clean, with plenty of hot water after a day out. The food, even as a vegetarian, was varied, using a lot of local produce, and generally excellent. At the hotel, local beers were cheap, about £1.25 a bottle, though the wines were less so - think UK supermarket prices. It even had fairly good wifi!
       
Having travelled extensively but not to Bulgaria previously I was very interested to see what I would think of the country and I wasn't disappointed. I flew direct from Ireland on Thursday and spent two days in Sofia before I joined a group of 15 others on the Saturday. I am not surprised that our trip was full/sold out. We spent a great week enjoying all aspects of rural Bulgaria. The walks averaged out at ten miles a day based in Hotel Yagodina that is ideally situated and very well run. The weather was perfect, despite many forecasts that predicted otherwise.
       
A memorable walking holiday. The walks were through forests, gorges and beautiful wildflower meadows. Lovely views! A very pastoral feel to the whole holiday - and very relaxing. Yagodina is a small friendly village in a peaceful location. The hotel was clean and comfortable. Food was good - lots of local produce was used.
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