Rhodope Mountains

Regional Overview

Caverns of the Underworld

According to apocryphal legend, the ancient Thracian Hero Orpheus wandered the Rhodopes Mountains in grief for his dead wife, Eurydice, before descending into the underworld to rescue her. While Orpheus probably never saw the Rhodopes, the region is nevertheless one of rugged, breathtaking natural beauty worthy of heroic legend. With this many caves, one must undoubtedly lead to the underworld.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • The rugged natural beauty of the mountains, famously the Trigrad Gorge and the many caves of the Southern Rhodopes
  • Mysterious Bronze Age cult sites from the Thracian civilization that flourished here
  • Villages of the Bulgarian National Revival, including the old town of Shiroka Laka, Zlatograd, and the Fortified Manor of Agush Agha




Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What are the Rhodope Mountains?

The Rhodope Mountains are not only a natural wonder but also a cultural gem. Visitors can immerse themselves in the region’s unique blend of ancient Thracian tombs, medieval fortresses, and picturesque villages. The Rhodope Mountains are one of the seven Folklore Regions of Bulgaria and hold a particular place in that nation’s mythology. The people here are deeply woven into the rugged landscape with their way of life, complete with unique clothing, music, and traditional festivals. For the adventurous traveler, there are few regions that offer such cultural immersion.

Interactive Map

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 4
  • Transportation: 2
  • Volume/Capacity: 5
  • Infrastructure: 1
  • Interactivity: 8

5 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 3
  • Monuments: 8
  • Quality: 5

8 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 10
  • Tradition: 6



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