SE Bulgaria. What to see?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Mar 8, 2012 6:29 AM Last Post By: karavansarays
Feb 29, 2012 10:39 AM
SE Bulgaria. What to see?And by SE, I mean the extreme SE, north of Greece, around the Ivailovgrad area. While there are many attractions for the visitors to the eastern Rhodopes, around Smolyan and Zlatograd to Kardjali, there seems to be an unexplored area south of Kardjali to Ivailovgrad.
As I am planning to do this route, from Kardjali to Greece through the newly opened border station in Ivailovgrad, are there any places worth visiting? Momchilgrad or Krumovgrad perhaps?
Or should I better change my plans and go direct from Kardjali to Svilengrad and exit from there?
Feb 29, 2012 8:33 PM
1I don't have a ton of experience exploring this region, but here are some ideas:
- The far south of the Black Sea Coast has some laid back, small villages and beaches. (Sinemoretz, Ahtopol, etc.)
- There is a large park called the Strandzha Nature Park in the vicinity of Malko Tarnovo and the Turkey border. I've never been there, but I understand it's a pleasant area of hills, valleys and forests.
- The two cities of Haskovo and Kardzhali are pleasant stops with enough to explore for a day or so.
- In the vicinity of Kardzhali, there are a couple of historical ruins to explore at Perperikon and Ahridos, and there are also some interesting rock formations in the vicinity of Kardzhali.
- There is apparently some interesting birdwatching and other outdoor exploration to be done at Madzharevo nature reserve.
Hope this helps.
Mar 1, 2012 12:52 AM
2This part of Bulgaria is very rich on ancient ruins and is considered as quite a mystical place by many people. I haven't been there recently, but a few years ago the interesting places were not developed as tourist attractions and some of them are quite remote and accessible only by car. Strandja national park has got unique nature, very different from the rest of Bulgaria and Madjarovo indeed is the place for bird watching. I would recommend Malko Tarnovo area for places like Mishkova niva, here is a link if you want to read about it, it has been inhabited for a long time and there are some mystical legends about it. http://rock-cut.thracians.org/en/s_m_mishkova.php
There is a very nice stone bridge near Ardino, which was built by the Turks in the 15th century, There is a place called the Deaf stones or silent stones, which is great to see; here is somebody's blog with some nice pictures of it http://www.aleksovi.com/en/adventures/details/6/72
Other places are Villa Armira, a roman villa ruins, the fortress Liutitza, a thracian tomb near the village of Dolno Lukovo and many more. If you do a search about Ivaylovgrad all this will come up, there is some information in English. However as I said earlier you might need a car to visit most of the places, good luck with the search!
Mar 5, 2012 9:49 AM
3Thanks for your advice, I'll keep them in mind for my planned visit.
In the meanwhile, a search showed me of a new guidebook and also a map that covers exactly the area I am talking about and is published by a company called New Thracian Gold. I haven't checked them, but I'll do and possibly write a review if I get them in my hands.http://newthraciangold.eu/shop.php?lng=en
Btw, I was in Smolyan and Zlatograd this weekend, and I felt that both cities were pretty dead at this time of the year. Saturday night in Smolyan and no one walked at the streets, bars were also pretty empty and in Zlatograd most of the facilities in ethnographic complex were closed and only one mehana and a hotel remained open. Nobody to be seen at streets or at the restaurant and the hotel also.. Seems that Zlatograd is popular in summertime only, but I would expect more from Smolyan since Pamporovo is open nearby. Perhaps it was the day.
Mar 6, 2012 2:08 PM
The extreme S.E. of Bulgaria borders Turkey - not Greece.
You need to be further west for the BG/GR border.
The crossing over into Greece is lovely - and the beaches just a little way south, are some of the very best in the region.
South of Sinemoretz - is Turkey - and without the right papers, you can't cross on to the Turkish beach.
Mar 8, 2012 6:29 AM
5Smolian is a nice place, but not particularly exciting. Everybody goes to Pamporovo or heads up in the mountain to see the Smolian lakes and other nature sites.
Zlatograd is better in the summer, now is a bit boring.
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