Trigrad Gorge – amazing beauty! Words cannot describe. Pictures cannot capture. You need to feel it.
Geographical area: Trigrad is a small village in the Western Rhodope Mountains, very close to the Bulgarian-Greek border. The journey from Sofia takes about 3 hours – driving directions Sofia-Trigrad. It is a beautiful drive! You should make this journey as soon as possible because in 1-2 years there will be a new a dam – Tsankov Kamak – on the road and a big part of it will be submerged under deep water.
Trigrad is set in the most beautiful region of the Rhodope Mountains. Travelers who come to Trigrad enjoy the amazing scenery of the mighty gorge, beautiful nature, great caves, crystal clear mountain air, hospitable people… unforgettable experience!
Where to stay: Many local people would be glad to welcome you in their house. They are known for being very hospitable and hardworking folks. We have stayed in different houses, but we felt most at home at the Kaldarama house. The hosts names are Vessela and Yakim.
The house is in the very beginning of the village. Once you enter the village you take the first left, over a small wooden bridge. Then you drive about 200 metres and you will see the yellow house on your left. The house offers 4 double rooms, each with a private bathroom with a WC. There is a nice yard, where guests usually prefer to sit when the weather is fine.
The rooms provide the basic comfort – they are clean, and warm. Each room has a small TV. Our room had a small balcony with a nice view to the village. Each room has a private bathroom with WC.
The WC: the basic comfort – private WC, sink and shower
The food: that’s the best part:) You choose what you want to eat and the host will cook it for you. The food is simple, but everything is home made from scratch. The milk comes directly from their cow and is buttery and delicious. They make their own yogurt. You should try it! The jams are all fruit and they are wonderful. For breakfast I recommend you try mekitsi with their home-made jams or pine honey or their special banitsa. For dinner try the patatnik or pan-fried trout. You should also try their famous herbal tea, they call it mursalski tea, which grows only in the Rhodope region. It has a refreshing and regenerative effect and they playfully call it the local Viagra:) They do not serve spirits, but you can bring your own.
The service: the hosts, Vessela and Yakim were great and made us feel at home!
Price: 20 leva per person per night; you pay separately for the food.
Pros: delicious food, great hosts, clean and warm rooms, nice view from balcony, pleasant yard
Cons: our room and bathroom were quite tiny, the ventilation in the bathroom is not very good and once you take a shower it takes a long time for the bathroom to dry out
Contact: the phone numbers for the house: (+359) 03040 225 and mobile (+359) 0886 104 201. If you have additional questions use the contact form or simply write me an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Things to do / see
Caves: There numerous known and unknown caves in the region – paradise for cave lovers and climbers. If you decide to visit the caves, please, do not make pictures, step carefully and do not touch anything! The light not only disturbs the bats, but also increases the natural temperature and spoils the cave formations, which take veeeery loooong to form. If we want our kids to be able to see this beauty we really need to be careful. That is a major problem of the local people, who want to promote and preserve at the same time – an extremely hard task.
Yagodinska Cave is the longest cave in the Rhodope Mountains. The cave is very pretty with its numerous cave formations. No wander a lot of young couples have chosen to get married in the very cave – in something like a ritual hall. Here are some quick facts about the cave:
- 10500 metres long (1100 are available for the visitors)
- 275 000 years old
- 6ºС annual temperature
- open all year-long – first entry 9 am.; last entry 4:15 pm
Dyavolsko Garlo (Devil’s Throat) cave is an amazing cave right in the Trigrad Gorge. The natural entrance of the cave resembles the shape of a devil’s head – hence the name. The main part of the cave represents a huge hall where you will see the highest underwater waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula. By the waterfall there are 301 steps, which will take you back on Earth:) According to the ancient Thracian legends it is from here that Orpheus descends into the underground kingdom of Hades to save his beloved wife Eurydice. Here are some quick facts about the cave:
- 110 metres long
- 40 metres wide
- 35 metres high
- 8ºС annual temperature
- open during the Summer season 8am-6pm; during the Winter season you need to call in advance
Haramiiska cave does not have open public access. You need to have a guide if you want to visit it. It is a little bit on the extreme side and I strongly recommend the experience. During the Summer season it won’t be hard to find a guide. The guides usually gather in front of Dyavolsko Garlo cave each morning around 9am.
Horse riding: at the south end of the village there is a horse riding center. They will offer you different routes depending on your preferences. The Rhodope Mountains are the perfect place for horse riding!
There are also walking trails, climbing, offroad motor-biking etc.
You can walk to the old Bulgarian-Greek border through the deserted village of Vodni Pad (Водни Пад). The trail starts from the horse riding centre. It takes about 2 hours in both directions. The only permanent resident of the village of Vodni Pad is a 90 year-old lady. You can visit her and she will make hot tea for you. This is how the journey looks in the first snow in October: