all is well in the rhodope

The Rhodope mountains have always had a certain magnetic appeal to me. Unlike other mountains in Bulgaria that are known for their high peaks, rocky climbs or great winter sports opportunities (so much that we’ve even had people very likely set fires on purpose to clear out forests for future ski runs…), the Rhodope have a different aura about them.

There aren’t any major peaks or climbs that offer a serious mountaineering challenge; they are vast with what at times seems to be a sea of hills stretching across the horizon; they are riddled with small villages connected with back roads few cars go on. Yet, there is something magical about the Rhodope and I often myself doing short trips to explore different parts.

Over the years I’ve gathered quite a few photos of this incredible place, a selection of which I’d like to share with you (alongside a beautiful track you absolutely should play). This could quite possibly be one of my longest posts with close to 40 images, but if there’s one thing I wish, that is to show you how diverse and alluring they are and to encourage you to find time and dive in. Trust me, you will love it 🙂

A typical sight – dirt roads, scattered houses, and mosques.


The endless hills… what a place that was! A 360 degree viewpoint that left me grinning.


One of the many dams with the menacing clouds just before a summer storm.


The famous Devil’s Bridge in the heart of the Rhodope.


Caught in mid-air. Love that shot.


I often wonder what it must be like to live in one of these remote villages… I try to strike up conversations with local people as much as I can, it’s always a good reality check.


Forest paths.


Out of nowhere, you stumble upon beauties like this.


Summertime fishing trips.


Often beauty isn’t just in the grandeur.


Rhodope villages in early morning… you wake up so refreshed in these places 🙂


Got up at 6am to catch the sunrise. I was about to go back to bed as after a good 30 minutes nothing really had happened with all the clouds that morning, but suddenly the clouds opened up and the beams starting beaming down. What a moment!


So colorful.


Canoeing at dusk in Golyam Beglik dam sure looked like the place to be 🙂


Plenty of people go camping around these dams.


End of summer clouds approaching.


Together they stand.


The town of Dospat near sundown.


What a gorgeous sunset that was.


Purple-pinkish skies.


I’ll catch up.


Houses at the end of the road.


I love clouds 🙂


The famous Kardzhali dam meander, a truly incredible spot.


After the rain.


The light makes this seemingly uneventful photo come alive, doesn’t it?


Moo b****, get out the way? 😉


Autumn is coming.


The early bird gets the worm as they say 🙂


A tough job.


Best place to stay in the heart of the Rhodope.


The small town of Madzharovo that is now a shadow of its former self when the mining industry in the area was at its peak.


Summer rains.


Plenty of tiny little water sources help farming.


Admiring the view.


The lonely rock.


The end of the road. Sadly there wasn’t a train in sight.


A good friend of mine calls them angels… I kinda have to agree 🙂


Does’t this remind you of Starship Enterprise?


Early moon near Svilengrad that marks the end of the Rhodope journey… for now 😉


I hope you enjoyed these. Please do like, comment and share 🙂


28 thoughts

  1. Stunning scenery! Wow. Just discovered your blog. I also read your about page and it seems we are on a similar creative journey – however I can’t travel as much as you do which would be a dream. Amazing photos in your blog. And I am a beginner photographer so am just recently starting to actively try to improve and learn and become better! 🙂 I have always loved photography but not until now I have started to become serious about really learning!

  2. I’ve wanted to visit the Rhodopi mountains for years, but haven’t had the occasion (or the car). Your fabulous photos make me want to plan a trip there all the more. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow, I love your blog and I love this post. The pictures are absolutely breathtaking. I’ve recently (finally!) started travelling, wanting to see as much of the world as I can, and I live to see the wilder places, the views that are more natural and not so reformed by the human touch. Your pictures (and the song, I did play the song as I scrolled through your post) have only added kindling to the fire in my soul that is currently raging. One day I will be here, looking at the same views, only in person instead of through pictures.

    • For some reason I missed this comment… apologies for the delay. Thank you for the kind words! Very happy that you’ve started traveling 🙂 Where are you from? What destinations are on your list? Indeed, you should put Bulgaria and the Rhodope somewhere on there 😉

      • No worries! I currently live in the U.S. Tennessee to be exact, though I was born in Georgia. I’ve seen a few states here that I’ve wanted to see for my entire life, but I still need to go to Colorado, the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Alaska, probably a few others. But I really want to see Ireland, the Maldives, Italy, France….a lot of Europe. Australia. Pretty much the whole world. Lol. That’s all I ask for..the whole world. Not too much, right?

    • That’s a very good question, don’t think there’s a definitive answer to it. It was built in the 16th century by the Ottoman empire to continue an old trading route that had gone into decay. Legend says that it’s because of the sound of the incredibly turbulent water of the Arda river underneath it.

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