IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ORPHEUS (8 days + other durations)

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A memorable transit through some of the least-known and most authentic parts of the Rhodopes: Bulgaria’s most lyrical mountain famed as birthplace of the legendary musician Orpheus. Along with its wonderful climate, the mountain offers the perfect setting for gentle hiking amid pastoral landscapes, valleys dotted with picturesque villages, verdant meadows with grazing flocks of goats and sheep, ancient deciduous forests, Roman roads and bridges, and an enormous diversity of natural phenomena like the Trigradsko Zhdrelo Gorge, the Yagodinska Peshtera and Dyavolsko Garlo (The Devil’s Throat) caves, the Eagle’s Eye observation platform, and the Chudni Mostove (Wonderful Bridges) rock bridges. A visit to Bachkovo Monastery (the second largest in Bulgaria) and options to join free walking tours of Sofia and Plovdiv cities are also included in the program.

You walk every day with just a day pack! The rest/unnecessary luggage either remains inside the transfer vehicle, or in your accommodation.

This hiking tour includes all transfers, including those to and from Sofia Airport (contact us for details in case you land on different airport). Walking treks are moderately arduous. Paths are well marked and in addition each client receives a map and route highlights in English.

/The tour program can be shortened or extended to match your travel period – check the OPTIONS tab to find out more/

Day 1: Sofia – Devin
Meeting at Sofia or Plovdiv airport (the latter against a small fee). Transfer to the SPA city of Devin. Depending on where you land, the transfer could last 1,30hrs (from Plovdiv) or 3 hrs (from Sofia). If you arrive early enough you can use the afternoon to visit the picturesque nature trail along Devinska River, or jump in the thermal pools near your accommodation.
Day 2: Devin – Yagodina/Yagodina Cave/Eagle’s Eye viewpoint – Trigrad (3-5,30-6,45hrs; 9,50-16-21km)
Today you can choose between two main treks (incl. options to extend them additionally):
Shorter (9,50km; +565m/-355m): A 40min transfer takes you to the entry of the Yagodina Cave: one of Bulgaria’s longest caves, which you can opt to view. Once finished with the cave tour, proceed for Trigrad village through a colorful kaleidoscope of landscapes that immerse you in the idyll of rolling crests, forests, and valleys.
Longer (16km (+1070m/-750m) or 21km (+1385m/-1065m): A 30min transfer takes you to the trailhead where a moderate but nice ascent through gardens and woods brings you up at the crest of the mountain. Enjoy the breath-taking views from the famous Eagles’ Eye observation platform. Then you descend down to Yagodina village, from where you can make a detour to visit Yagodina Cave or head straight for Trigrad village.
*Those who chose the shorter option, can extend their hike with a visit to the Trigrad Gorge (with its 350m high vertical cliffs) and the The Devil’s Throat Cave (housing the highest underground waterfall on the Balkans, 42m high), both near Trigrad. Visiting these sights is a must, and can be done also in the afternoon of Day 3 or Day 4 by those, who opted for the longer treks on Day 2.
Day 3: Trigrad – Zhrebevo – Trigrad (5,30hrs; 18,50km; +700m/-700m)
Magnetic sights follow each other on a circular hiking tour around Trigrad, with the authentic village of Zhrebevo at its distant end. Legend has it, the village was named after a stallion which shielded it from trouble and strife. Along the route, you observe the entry to the Trigrad Gorge and enjoy the wonderful panorama to surrounding parts.
Day 4: Trigrad – Kesten/Vodni Pad – Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Today, starting with a 10min transfer to the trailhead, you enjoy a particularly pleasant walking trek to the bordering with Greece villages of Kesten and Vodni Pad (until recently within a closely guarded strip proscribed even for those living down the road; you will see remains of the barbed wire border fences, meant to prevent people from escaping to Greece in the years during the 45yrs long communist rule in Bulgaria after WWII). A circular trail takes you up panoramic crests, through pine and beech forests dotted with green meadows and smallholdings, sheltered valleys, and traditional stone houses. The valley of the Trigradska River takes you back to Trigrad.
Day 5: Trigrad – Beden – Lyaskovo (6-6,30hrs; 21km; +825m/-860m)
With a transfer to the village of Beden begins today’s particularly panoramic trek. The views of the Rhodopes’ green crests change at each turn. The day ends at the village of Lyaskovo, one of the most distinctive local communities, with unforgettable charm and unique atmosphere. Your stay in the guesthouse of a local family will leave you wonderful memories of Rhodope hospitality.
* Enjoy the hospitality of the hosts in the rustic pension in Lyaskovo and extend the tour with an extra night there, incl. a circular trek along the nearby mountain ridges. 
Day 6Lyaskovo – Wonderful Bridges – Kossovo (5,30hrs; 17,50km; +1160m/-780m)
A picturesque hiking route through one of the Rhodopes’ most beautiful forests (yet one little known among tourists) takes you to the amazing rock formations of the Chudni Mostove (The Wonderful Bridges): a natural rocky phenomenon that will impress you. From here, you are transferred to the village of Kossovo: a unique mountain community where you overnight in a restored traditional stone house.
Day 7Kossovo – Bachkovo Monastery – Plovdiv – Sofia
After breakfast, you are transferred to Bulgaria’s second largest monastery at Bachkovo where you may view the miracle-working icon of Virgin Marry. A transfer then takes you to Plovdiv to the starting point of the Free Plovdiv Tour (for 11:00*), which will show you the main sites of interest of the Old Town, the center and the pedestrian area of the city. Time on your own until early afternoon in Plovdiv (time permitting) and transfer to Sofia in order to make it on time for the Free Sofia Tour, starting at 18:00 (similar service, meant to show you the most famous tourist attractions in the center of Sofia).
*N.B.: Between October & April the free tour in Plovdiv runs at 14:00. If you booked a tour during this period of time you will have to explore the Old Town using our own navigation materials, and not as a part of the free guided walking tour.
Day 8: Transfer to Sofia Airport.

Hiking time: hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still this varies a lot on the terrain and hiking experience of each client.

A DETAILED ROUTE BOOK AND MAP WILL BE PROVIDED UPON ARRIVAL

Notes: you may book additional nights in Sofia or Plovdiv before or after the tour, and/or day trips with us to heritage sites like Koprivshtitsa or Veliko Tarnovo, or a mountain day trip to the Musala summit in the Rila Mountains (the Balkans’ highest at 2925m/9596ft) and the Seven Rila Lakes.

Accommodation and luggage transfers: three-star hotels (Sofia, Devin) and rural family pensions / guesthoues (Trigrad, Lyaskovo, Kossovo); en-suite rooms; breakfast and supper except days 1 and 7, when supper is not included. Luggage is transported between accommodations.

Limited time offer:
Price: 630 € per person in twin/dbl room
(Already saw a tour with similar program and price? Give us a chance to convince you why our offer is much better!)
Single room supplement: 100 € (obligatory for all individual clients)
Solo travelers supplement: 420 € (incl. also single room supplement)
(Traveling solo? Ask us to join you to an existing reservation in order to reduce the above price)

Rent of hiking poles
: 20 €/person
Best period: the tour can start every day during the period May – October (advance booking is required as some accommodations are small and get fully booked months in advance)
Price includes: transfers to and from Sofia Airport (on first/last tour date only) and all other transfers in the itinerary; accommodation and catering described below; luggage transfers; detailed route descriptions in English; a Rhodopes tourist map; GPS tracks; emergency hotline, and all local taxes.
Price does not include: cave entry charges; extra food and drink; travel/medical insurance; SPA procedures.

Suggested versions of the original 8-day tour (mind the possibility to add extra days and hikes in other mountains of Bulgaria (Pirin, Rila, Vitosha). We are flexible on making any combination, which would suit your travel plans.
For full description of each day check the original 8-day tour or get in touch with our travel agent for details. Detailed route notes, maps and other documents will be provided to you on Day 1 by the driver who will be doing your transfer.

Option 1: 9 days/8 nights (suitable if your flights are on Day 1 and Day 9)
Day 1. Sofia Airport -> Devin
Day 2. Devin -> Yagodina/Yagodina Cave/Eagle’s Eye viewpoint -> Trigrad (3-5,30-6,45hrs; 9,50-16-21km)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 18km, +/- 700m)
Day 4. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Day 5. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 6. Lyaskovo -> Wonderful Bridges -> Kossovo (5-6hrs; 18km, +950m/ -550m)
Day 7. Kossovo -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv
Day 8. Plovdiv -> Sofia
Day 9. Transfer to Sofia Airport.

Option 2: 7 days/6 nights (suitable if your flights are on Day 1 and Day 7)
Day 1. Sofia Airport -> Trigrad.
Day 2. Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 18km, +/- 700m)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Day 4. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 5. Lyaskovo -> Wonderful Bridges -> Kossovo (5-6hrs; 18km, +950m/-550m)
Day 6. Kossovo -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv -> Sofia
Day 7. Transfer to Sofia Airport.

Option 3: 7 days/6 nights (suitable if your flight is on Day 1 and you extend your stay in Bulgaria after the tour ends in Plovdiv)
Day 1. Sofia Airport -> Devin
Day 2. Devin -> Yagodina/Yagodina Cave/Eagle’s Eye viewpoint -> Trigrad (3-5,30-6,45hrs; 9,50-16-21km)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 18km, +/-700m)
Day 4. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Day 5. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 6. Lyaskovo -> Wonderful Bridges -> Kossovo (5-6hrs; 18km/, +950m/-550m)
Day 7. Kossovo -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv. Drop off at clients’ hotel in Plovdiv (own arrangements)

Option 4: 6 days/5 nights (suitable if your flights are on Day 1 and Day 6)
Day 1. Sofia Airport -> Trigrad.
Day 2. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad or Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 17-18km; +670-800m/-700-760m)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 4. Lyaskovo -> Wonderful Bridges -> Kossovo (5-6hrs; 18km, +950m/-550m)
Day 5. Kossovo -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv -> Sofia
Day 6. Transfer to Sofia Airport.

Option 5: 5 days/4 nights (suitable if your flight is on Day 1 and you extend your stay in Bulgaria after the tour ends in Plovdiv)
Day 1. Sofia Airport -> Trigrad.
Day 2. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad or Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 17-18km; +670-800m/-700-760m)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 4. Lyaskovo -> Wonderful Bridges -> Kossovo (5-6hrs; 18km, +950m/-550m)
Day 5. Kossovo -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv. Drop off at clients’ hotel in Plovdiv (own arrangements)

Option 6: 5 days/4 nights (suitable if you are already staying in Sofia before the tour starts and extend again your stay there after the tour ends on Day 5)

Day 1. Sofia (early morning pick up from your hotel) -> Yagodina Cave -> Trigrad (2,30hrs; 10km, +560m/-355m)
Day 2. Trigrad -> Zhrebevo -> Trigrad (5-6hrs; 18km, +/- 700m)
Day 3. Trigrad -> Kesten/Vodni Pad -> Trigrad (5,30hrs; 17km; +670m/-760m)
Day 4. Trigrad -> Beden -> Lyaskovo (6hrs; 21km, +800m/-850m)
Day 5. Lyaskovo -> Shiroka Laka -> Bachkovo Monastery -> Plovdiv -> Sofia (late afternoon drop off at clients’ hotel (own arrangements)

Hiking time:
hiking time only is mentioned on each day (not including stops for pictures, picnics, breaks etc.); these are based on an average hiker’s speed of 4-5km/hr on flat terrain, additional 30min for each 300m elevation gain, and a backpack weighing not more than 10-15% of your body weight. Still this varies a lot on the terrain and hiking experience of each client.
Where hiking specifics are not mentioned for a certain day, only transportation services are included (with time allowing sightseeing on your own in Shiroka Laka, Bachkovo Monastery and Plovdiv – contact us for details).

Best period:
the tour can start every day during the period May – October (advance booking is required as some accommodations are small and get fully booked months in advance)

Included:
– Pick up at Sofia/Airport
– All ground transfers as per program
– Accommodation in twin/dbl rooms with en-suite facilities, incl. breakfast (three-star hotels (Sofia, Devin, Plovdiv) and rural family pensions / guesthouses (Trigrad, Liaskovo, Kossovo)
– Dinner included in Trigrad, Liaskovo and Kossovo
– Luggage transfers
– Detailed route notes and maps
– GPS tracks
– 24/7 emergency hotline

Not included:

– Cave and museum entry fees
– Drinks and other meals
– Guiding services

PRICELIST:

Per person in twin/dbl room / Single room supplement / Solo travelers supplement (incl. also sgl. room supplement):
Option 1: 730 Euro / 115 Euro / 570 Euro
Option 2: 590 Euro / 90 Euro / 390 Euro
Option 3: 610 Euro / 90 Euro / 400 Euro
Option 4: 575 Euro / 85 Euro / 380 Euro
Option 5: 545 Euro / 75 Euro / 345 Euro
Option 6: 525 Euro / 75 Euro / 300 Euro


Customers’ reviews for this particular tour you can check on our dedicated website for hiking tours in Bulgaria
 >>> HERE <<<

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