Rhodope Mountains
mountain range in Southeastern Europe
Europe > Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodope Mountains, or the Rhodopes, are a mountain massif and a cultural region in southern Bulgaria (83%) and northern Greece (17%).
Autumn in the Rhodopes
Map of Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a preferred destination by many tourists because its unique nature and remoteness due to the limited number of roads and the steep hills and the deep forests. The highest peak is at 2191 m of Goljam Perelik in Bulgaria. The winter ski resort of Pamporovo and Bansko are in the Rhodopes. "The home of Orpheus" - the Greek mythological poet that went to hell to save his loved one - is a region with a distinct cultural influence. Rhodope music is world famous: many foreign musicians have been fascinated by the sounds of Rhodopes and even the song Izlel e Delyu Haydutin performed by Valya Balkanska is one of the few performances included in the Voyager Golden Record selection of music, part of the Voyager 2 space probe, that is expected to play across space for at least 60,000 years.
On the Greek side there is the Rodopi Mountain Range National Park, and on Bulgarian side the Pirin National Park.
The location of the Rhodope Mountains in the southeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula also determines the climate. It is characterized by a transitional climate as it is influenced by both the colder northern air masses and the warm breezes of the Mediterranean (Aegean). The average annual temperature of the Eastern Rhodopes is higher and more stable and is around 12- 13 °C. In the western Rhodopes - under the influence of higher altitudes above sea level - the average temperature ranges from 5-9 °C. The transitional climate in the Rhodope Mountains it is also noticeable through the annual course of precipitation. In the eastern Rhodopes the peak of precipitation is in December and in August they are minimal. In the western Rhodope it is the other way round, here are prevailing summer precipitation. The mild climate combined with other factors favors the development of recreation and tourism.
In Bulgaria:
In Greece:
Get in
The closest airport in Bulgaria is
Plovdiv International Airport (PDV IATA). Ryanair operates a flight from London-Stansted.
Sofia Airport has more options. On the Greek side, the closest international airport is
Kavala International Airport and
Alexandroupolis National Airport.
Get around
Due to the remote character of the area public transport is rare or not available. To explore the region either a 4WD or a normal car with enough ground clearance is best. The dirt roads within the Greek Rhodopes are usually well signposted what makes it easy to find the attractions.
Bachkovo Monastery
In Bulgaria
Archaeological sites
Womb Cave
Eagle Rocks sanctuary
In Greece
Nestos Gorge
Karadzhov Megalit
Thermal springs in Bulgaria:
Thermal springs in Greece:
Eat and drink
Traditional Rhodopean dishes are :
In Greece:
For those who need more comfort and a greater choice of restaurants the villages Didymoteicho, Stavroupoli, Paranesti are good places to stay as a starting point into the Rhodopes.
Stay safe
The area is partly very solitary and you can walk for hours without seeing other humans. In many areas are no restaurants, hospitals or any infrastructure. It is advisable not to go alone into the forests.
Go next
In Greece:
In Bulgaria:
This region article is an extra-hierarchical region, describing a region that does not fit into the hierarchy Wikivoyage uses to organise most articles. These extra articles usually provide only basic information and links to articles in the hierarchy. This article can be expanded if the information is specific to the page; otherwise new text should generally go in the appropriate region or city article.
Last edited on 20 March 2021, at 21:02
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