5 Magical Places in the Rhodope Mountain

When you ask someone about the Bulgarian nature, they will probably start with the amazing Lakes of Rila, the breathtaking views of Pirin and the proud and full of history peaks of Stara mountain. But then you will see a slight change in the look in their eyes when they tell you about the Rhodope Mountain. Magic is probably the best word for describing it. Magic and legends. In every part of the Rhodope you can hear stories about Thracian Tombs, ancient sacred places, big stones for worshipping long-forgotten gods. Every step will take you to a new adventure, leaving you with the feeling that every moment, behind a tree, some magical creature will appear. 

Let's dive in and explore some of the most amazing places you can visit.

Perpericon, Bulgaria

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Perpericon or Perpelec is an ancient place for worship and connection with the gods. Religious activity at the top of the cliff began in the 5th century BC. It is associated with the beliefs of the Copper Age people, who started the cult of the sun god. Here they established the first sanctuary and started leaving food containers for the gods. In the last millennium of the old era and the first centuries of the new one, the rock structures grew and became a town with fortified walls. The town was probably a royal residence for the Thracian tribe Bessie. 

You can reach Perpericon by car, there is a parking lot at the entrance and a small fee. Then you can walk and explore the area and dive into history. The place was built on a hill, there is a nice path that will lead you to the top. Take some water and something small to eat, because the walk will take you at least an hour and you can't buy anything before returning to the starting point. 

 Belintash, Bulgaria

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Belintash is a plateau rock formation -750 meters long, from 30 to 50 meters wide and about 50 meters high. It was formed from volcanic-sedimentary rocks (volcanic tuffs). The name of the place means White Stone. Picturesque shapes were formed as a result of the specific weathering of the rock. The site had been studied during the 1980s by a team of Bulgarian archaeo-astronomers that made Belintash and it has been a place of many theories ever since. According to the archaeo-astronomers the plateau was used as sanctuary used by ancient Thracians as well as a solar observatory – to satisfy the needs of certain agricultural and religious activities of society at the time. This magical place is a must-visit for everyone who is fascinated by both nature and ancient legends. The path to the plateau passes through a picturesque forest and, leaving it, you will see a strange rock formation in the shape of a human head. This is the Guard, also known as the Sphinx, the guardian of Belintash. From the top of the hill, there is an amazing view of the mountains. 

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The village was founded by refugees from different villages, who tried to escape the Ottoman assimilation in the 17th century. The isolated location and the fresh water supply were the most important factors in this process. The village has never had Ottoman administration, therefore it preserved the Bulgarian traditions. The village and the houses are preserved in the typical original style and the people carry the proud memory of their ancestors. You can literally feel and live the history there and this will be an unforgettable experience that we highly recommend. You can stay in one of the many guest houses and visit the areas around Kanina river or the near village of Leshten

Devil Bridge, Bulgaria

Devil's Bridge

The Devil's Bridge above the Arda River is impressive with its interesting architecture. It is located about 10 km from the town of Ardino. There was a Roman bridge on the site, which was part of the Via Ignatia road linking the Aegean and Thrace. In the 16th century, on the orders of Sultan Selim I, the bridge was rebuilt to make a commercial connection between the two regions. They called it Shaytan kyupria, which means the Devil Bridge. The name comes from the interesting reflection of the bridge in the water, from a certain angle, it looks like Devil's horns. 

Marvelous Bridges, Bulgaria 

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Marvelous Bridges

Marvelous bridges are an incredible rock phenomenon in the Western Rhodopes. They are located in the karst valley of the Erküpis River, at the foot of the Goliam Persenk peak, only 5km northwest of the village of Zaburdo. These wonders of nature were formed by the collapse of the cave thousands of years ago. Today, you can walk along the magnificent marble bridges and adhere to the tradition of writing down your name with a coal under the largest of them.

If you are interested in more places to visit in the Rhodope Mountains, and there is a lot to see there, we can offer you also to read our article about the Asen Fortress and Cross Forest.

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Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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