Today’s train of tour Bulgaria is leaving the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia (private tour Sofia), to travel to the Rhodope Mountains. It stops at stations that tell legends for the mountain. These are interesting just like everything else in the area. In all of them Rhodope is a young girl who everybody loved and wanted for themselves.
According to a Thracian legend, Rhodope was a mythological queen and Hemus – her brother. Their father was a sea god. The brother and the sister were very happy. They used to play a lot in the vast fields until one day when they decided to pretend being the oldest gods. In their game Rhodope and Hemus became husband and wife. Hemus made himself a big, white beard while Rhodope let her beautiful blonde hair down.
That made the gods, and especially the main god Zeus, angry. He was that annoyed that he turned Rhodope into a mountain. Seeing this, her brother, Hemus, got so scared that he calcified and became a mountain as well. Since then the brother and the sister became mountains. Hemus is the Thracian name of Stara Planina, while his sister is Rhodope Mountains. The two mountains are away from each other and there is the spacious Thracian Plain between them.
Or, another legend says that Rhodope and Hemus were young and in love with each other. That annoyed gods a lot and they turned them into rocks.
Tour Bulgaria – mystical reality
However, according to some sources, the name Rhodope has a Slavic origin. It has the Slav words ‘ruda’ and ‘ropa’ in it. That is, ‘ruda’ (meaning ‘ore’) and ‘pit’. They characterize the ancient activities which were done in the past – ore output and casting.
Another legend, the most famous one, says that the mythical singer Orpheus was born in the Rhodope mountain. He was enchanting not only people but animals as well with his magical music. When on tour Bulgaria train, one can visit many places in the mountains. Among the most interesting ones are the caves – the Yagodinska cave and the Devil’s Throat cave. Yagodinska cave is the third longest cave in the country and also the longest in the Rhodopes. It is the most beautiful one in the mountain as well.
Hidden deep in the Trigrad Gorge in the Rhodopi Mountains, the Devil’s throat cave is one of the most mysterious caves in Bulgaria. It does not impress with exquisite rock formations but it hides secrets. The Devil’s throat cave is the home of the highest underground waterfall of the Balkan Peninsula. It is 42 metres high and is the main reason for the formation of the cave. There, in this cave, people can hear the story of Orpheus and his beloved Euridice.
Tour Bulgaria in the land of Orpheus
Whatever we say or write about the Rhodope Mountains will not be enough. Because this is a mystical place, famous for many things. Rhodope Mountains are Orpheus, the legendary, mythical singer. They are the unique architecture. The mountain is all the monuments, museums, heroes and cultural heritage. It is also the amazing nature. What is more, Rhodope Mountains are energy that gives you enormous strength. They are the energy that helps locals live long. The mountain is the delicious cuisine as well.
Shall I count more? Certainly. I haven’t mentioned the caves yet. Neither have I said anything about Momchil Voivoda (chieftain). Where have all the festivals gone? Of course, here again, in Rhodope Mountains… This can be an endless list. And all of that and more can be found on a 12,233-square-kilometre land.
Here are some of the most popular Bulgarian balneological and SPA resorts – Velingrad and Devin. With the natural mineral waters and the beautiful nature, they are a prerequisite for time spent great. (for different coastal Bulgaria holidays, we have different options)
The green heart of Europe
These ancient lands are ‘the green heart of Europe’. The people who live there care about their roots. They are known to live long and be really hospitable. Despite these, there are (unfortunately) desolate villages. The secret for people’s longevity is the food they eat. Healthy and delicious food. It is impossible to visit a place in the Rhodope Mountains and leave without tasting some of the mouth-watering dishes, such as ‘patatnik’, ‘cheverme’.
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” (Winnie the Poo) That quote describes the mystical Rhodope Mountains very well. That same Rhodope is famous for its small villages and towns huddled up in the mountain. The villages of Shiroka Laka, Leshten, Kovachevitsa. Also, Gela, Momchilovtsi, Trigrad, Yagodina and many other. Almost all of the places in the mountain are Architectural reserves because of the amazing architecture of the Revival Period (XVIII – XIX c.).
Tour Bulgaria cannot miss the famous winter resorts – Pamporovo and Chepelare. The mountain of Orpheus is a very pleasant place for hiking and biking during the summer season. The natural landmark called the Wonderful Bridges or the bridge with the scary name Devil’s Bridge can be a very good option for a day spent wonderfully.
Festive mood, tour Bulgaria
The promised festivals in Rhodope Mountains. To preserve and promote the authentic Rhodope folklore, to simply celebrate, play music, sing and dance, local families from the village of Gela, gather together. This is a centuries-old tradition held in the beginning of August every year. It is also an international bagpipe contest where the ‘gaida’ or bagpipe is the only ‘weapon’. The bagpipe is Bulgaria’s traditional and emblematic musical instrument and it is one of the most important elements of Bulgarian local folklore.
Surely, many places in the Rhodope Mountains were not mentioned, but the ‘mountainous’ diversity there is endless. All the lakes, mineral waters, caves. Not only these but also the small villages with lots of stories to tell, hospitable people, delicious food, songs, dances, landmarks, views.. They all mean one thing – Rhodope. They are all a small part of the big puzzle called the Rhodope mountains.
To start putting the puzzle together, do not hesitate to contact us.