Rodopi Mountains

  • Rodopi Mountains - © Ivaylo Madzharov
  • Bor Village in Rhodope Mountain - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user
  • Growing Old  - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user
  • Rhodope Mountain Hills  - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user
  • Sacred Mountain  - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user

Key information: Rodopi Mountains

  • A relatively compact range in Bulgaria's south-west, with classic glaciated landscape of cirques, sharp peaks, huge cliffs, lakes, deep valleys and moraine fields.
  • A remote(ish) area, the range is rich in animal and plant life.
  • Some magnificent walking, often on good paths.
  • This can be tough walking in high, remote mountains. Come prepared.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating84
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma30
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating84

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,191m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
Rhodope Mountain Hills  - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user


 The Rodopi (Rhodope to the Greeks) Mountains run for some 240km along the Greek-Bulgarian border, a bit under 20% actually within Greece. With their highest point at 2,191m, they are proper mountains, and Bulgaria?s largest-spreading range. The range is typified by high ridges and deep valleys, the west generally being higher.

The Rodopi have substantial areas of karst landscape in the west, with typical, dramatic features including gorges, cliffs, spires, natural arches and other strange formations and major cave complexes. It accordingly has few lakes - but plenty of rivers. A feature is the areas of meadow on the hilltops, above their steep forested flanks, oak at the lower levels and beech, birch, fir and pine higher up. That said, their landscape makes for pleasant walking, not of Dolomitic or indeed Pirin or Rila height, difficulty or grandeur, suitable for the nature lover rather than the thrill-seeker.

Expect to encounter a very diverse wildlife, from bears and wolves to a very extensile bird population the mountains are twitchers' paradise, including 36 recorded species of raptor.

The area is rich in history and culture, going back as far as Thracian times. The area was part of successive empires, including a long period on the border between the Bulgarian and Byzantine empires, resulting in a plethora of castles. The area was subsequently part of the Ottoman Empire. It became partly Greek after the Second Balkan War and the First World War. This has resulted in a wide selection of races and creeds, Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks; Orthodox and Muslim. There are fine monasteries, churches and mosques, as well as lovely and still remarkably unchanged villages and farming landscape.

The region's mild climate makes it attractive for summer walking.

Well-known walks/areas include:

  • A 5+day traverse of the Chenatilsa massif, much of it on the course of a Roman road.
  • The Bainovsko Gorge, near Yagodina, which you can either walk into or above.
  • The Chairska Gorge, near Yagodina,.
  • The Trigrad Plateau and Gorge near Trigrad.
  • Mt Durdaga, also near Yagodina: you can walk around this mountain (-or up it).  
  • The Sveti Ilia ridge, also near Yagodina.

As can be seen from the above list, Yagodina makes an excellent base for several fine days of walking.

Have a look at the dreaded TripAdvisor . You should get good, current views on this area.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by recommending your best walks/making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.


We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

Membership is FREE AND JOINING TAKES 30 SECONDS. To login or sign up click here

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Bor Village in Rhodope Mountain - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Growing Old  - © Filip Stoyanov flickr user...

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more

All material on this website is © Walkopedia Ltd 2008 - 2015, unless specified otherwise.