Bulgarian Adventure Hikes
Yundola to Yagodina: a taste of the Rila and Rodopi mountains
Our TrailCoördinator of Bulgaria, Arjan Schuiling, has fallen in love with Bulgaria’s majestic mountains, colourful flower meadows, traditional food and hospitable people.
Some people may be slightly prejudiced about this country. Once you have been there though, you will want to return whenever you can.
Arjan has explored most corners of Bulgaria on numerous hikes, but his heart is in the Rodopi mountains. Join him on this so-called “Rodopi variation” of the SultansTrail and see the country through his eyes. After all: you cannot judge a country without having been there.
Bulgarian Adventure Hikes
On April 28 we will fly to the Bulgarian capital Sofia and continue by bus to the village of Yundola located on the eastern flanks of the Rila mountains, the highest mountain range in Bulgaria. Hopefully most of the snow will be gone in late April so we can make our descent into Velingrad, one of the most famous spa resorts in the country on our first hiking day.
The next day we will cross over from the Rila mountains to the Rhodopi passing through villages like Rakitovo with its large gypsy community and cross lake Batak by boat. The town of Batak was the place where a horrible genocide took place in 1876. At least 5000 Bulgarians were slaughtered by the Ottomans. Some historians claim that this genocide started the Russian-Turkish war that later resulted in the peace treaty of San Stefano and eventually (1908) in an independent Bulgarian state.
From this historically important town to the Romantika Forest Holiday Village on the borders of the peaceful lake Shiroka Polyana is quite a transition. Along the borders of the little stream Katrandjidere we continue our way to Borino with its famous local cheese, its mountain huts but more importantly it is the jump-off point for one of the most spectacular hikes in entire Bulgaria: the Devil’s Bridge Eco Trail. The trail takes us to the town of Yagodina that also boasts attractions like the Yagodina Cave and the Eagle Eye. The latter is a metal bridge that seems to be hanging in the air offering views all the way into Greece.
This trip ends with a transfer back to capital Sofia allowing enough time to enjoy some of the attractions of this city surrounded by mountains. Sofia is already mentioned in the fourth century BC as the living area of the Thracian tribe Serdi, that is why the Romans refer to the area as Serdika a few centuries later. The central square in Sofia is still called Serdika
Please contact Arjan for more information:
When Friends of the Sultans Trail travel with friends, every companion is co-responsible for the success of the trip. You book your own flights. You co-decide were to sleep, what and where to eat. You are free to participate in any common activity. Of course, you share in the costs of these mutual activities. All of this in good harmony.
You are provided with the Sultans Trail App for self-navigation and experienced companions will help you using it.
Please make sure you are properly insured!
Travel companions on this Tour agree to the following:
– to participate under their own responsibility;
– to arrange their own transportation to the rendezvous point and their return;
– to share in collective costs, pro rata;
– to solve their own problems. The Trail Coordinator will assist, but can not be held responsible
The travel plan may change due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
The tour must be cancelled if the Trail Coordinator is not available.