Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains

Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains
Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains
Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains
Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains
Bike riding tour in the Western Rhodope Mountains

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Day #1:
Transfer to Velingrad and overnight

Day #2:
Our ride stаrts at Velingrad (755 m. above sea level). We will ride for 14 kilometres to the village of Dorkovo, where we will visit the Natural History Museum „Pliocene Park“. After the visit we will continue along the road climbing a little hill, on top of which is the mediеval fortress „Cepina“ (1062 m. above sea level). The ride finishes at the mountain resort of Tsigov Chark. Overnight in Tsigov Chark. Bike ride: total distance – 45 km., time – around 6 hours, displacement – 1775 m. (755 m. climb / 1020 m. decent).

Day #3:
We start the tour at Tsigov Chark to the city of Batak, where we will visit the History Museum. The ride continues with a climb to the highest point for the day – Fotinska Rock (1408m. Above sea level). Followed by a decent to the city of Devin, famous for its mineral springs. Overnight in Devin. Possibility to use a mineral water pool located at the area of „Struilitsa). Bike ride: total distance – 55 km., time – around 7 hours, displacement – 1735 m. (1020 m. climb / 715 m. decent).

Day #4:
Bike ride to center of Devin (715 m. above sea level) towards the village of Yagodina. Close by is the „Yagodinska cave“, which we may visit if you wish. The next point of our journey is the Eagle Eye observation platform, located at St. Ilia Peak (1560 m. above sea level), from the platform you can see the beautiful Rodopi, Rila and Pirin mountains all the way to Greece. Overnight in Yagodina. Bike ride: total distance – 40 km., time – around 5 hours, displacement – 1835 m. (715 m. climb / 1120 m. decent).

Day #5:
Our ride for this day starts with a climb from the village of Yagodina. After a short decent, we will reach the village of Buynovo, located at the Greece/Bulgaria border. From there we will continue through the village of Kozhari, climb the steep pick and decent to the village of Vodni pad. The final point of the bike ride for the day is the village of Trigrad. Overnight in Trigrad. Bike ride: total distance – 50 km., time – around 7 hours, displacement – 2120 m. (1120 m. climb / 1000 m. decent).

Day #6:
The day starts with a visit of the Bear Museum and the „Devil's Throat“ cave. The bike ride will start at Trigrad through the Chairski Lakes, followed by a decent to the village of Gyoven. Along the road, you will be able to enjoy all beautiful forms of nature, old forests with various kinds of trees: pine, oak, beech. We will end the day at the town of Devin. Overnight in Devin. Bike ride: total distance – 40 km., time – around 6 hours, displacement – 1715 m. (1000 m. climb / 715 m. decent).

Day #7:
Departure to Sofia.

Attractions:

Natural History Museum "Pliocene Park", located in the village of Dorkovo. It presents findings from the Pliocene epoch found in the deposit "Kokalite" ("The Bones") around the village. The deposit is the largest, known to the paleontologists, cluster of bones from over 30 species of animals in one place. There were found more than 600 bones at area of 15 m2 only. This is the largest paleontological deposit on the Balkans and the second most significant exposure in Europe.

Medeaval Fortress "Cepina" is situated 6 km. from the village of Dorkovo, in the north-eastern part of the Chepinska hollow. It was built up on a high and sheer top at 1136 m. above sea-level. The citadel is an archaeological monument of a national significance. During the Middle Ages the Cepina fortress is one of the most famous strongholds in the Rodopi range.It entered the territory of the Bulgarian country in the middle of the IX century.

The History Museum in Batak was established in 1956. The museum complex covers the museum building, the historical ossuary church “St. Nedelya” and the Balinova and Sharova houses. It keeps many authentic items and documentary materials from the April Uprising and the war between Russia and Turkey (1877 - 1878). Finds from archaeological excavations in the area are also exhibited in the museum.

The Yagodinska Cave is the “pearl in the crown” of the Rhodope Mountains. It is situated near Buynovska River, 3 km from the village of Yagodina. The cave is a part of the unique Karst of Buynovsko Gorge. It is 10 km long, and 5 stories tall, with many labyrinths and abysses inside. Visitors enter the cave through an artificially dug opening, while the natural entrance is 30 m above.

Eagle eye observation platform - Located on top of the St. Ilia peak at 1560 meters above sea level, and with a 670-meter chasm underneath your feet, the Eagle Eye observation platform offers great views towards the Rhodopes, Pirin and Rila mountains on Bulgarian and Greek land.

The Strilica area is located 3 k. from Devin, where you can find a complex with outdoor mineral water pools, volleyball court, a restaurant, cafe and a BBQ. A well known eco road strats from this area.

The Bear museum is located on the road connecting Trigrad village and Dyavolsko garlo cave. It presents interesting facts about the brown bear which is protected species in the whole of Europe. An interactive exhibition is at place which acquaints the visitors with information about the behavior of the large carnivores, their habitats, threats for their population and advice on how to act in case of unexpected meetings with bears. The available records of authentic bear, wolf and fox roars are quite impressive as are the plaster casts of wild animal paws.

The Devil's Throat Cave is located in the Western Rhodopes, 17 km from the city of Devin. It is among those caves that do not offer dazzlingly exquisite rock formations. What entrances visitors is the possibility of embarking on a real journey of discovery, partaking of a mysterious and awe-inspiring underground kingdom. The cave’s entrance resembles a devil’s head, and down its throat rushes a massive waterfall that from ancient times has captivated imaginations and given birth to numerous legends.

Chairski Lakes are a group of nine glacial lakes in the Pirin mountain, south-western Bulgaria. They are located in a large cirque called Chaira in the valley of the river Sandanska Bistritsa. They are situated between the peaks Mozgovishki and Prevalski Chukar at an altitude between 2,200 and 2,450 m. Their total area is around 92 decares which is with 30 decares less than the largest lake in Ririn, the Popovo Lake. Their total volume is 160,000 m³ which is eight time less than the Popovo lake.

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