Bulgaria is a land of magical beauty and ancient myths. There is a village here in the most remote corner of the Rhodope Mountains where those myths and legends are intertwined with the sound of bagpipes and the smell of homemade bread in the midst of lush meadows and high ridges.
A village where timelessness exists. It is located where all roads end at 3750 ft altitude, an hour drive from the Greek border. The village of Kiselchovo represents the lifestyle and architecture that could be both medieval looking with solid stone walls and narrow paved streets and charming at the same time. Only 8 people live in it. Their hospitality and the energy from the mountain transform each visitor.
Rhodope is one of the few mountain ranges in the world with high level of negative air ionization. According scientific research the negative ionization helps brain’s alfa waves and stimulates the therapeutic, antibacterial and antiviral processes in the body.
Our guest house Ethno Art Room is on the southern slope and offers the best view in the village and the area. Eco, bike, horse trails and four-wheel drive dirt roads (https://smolyanadventures.com/atv-tours/) are nearby as well as archeological and nature sights.
The local guides speak English as well as the hostess Roumy. She will get you in touch with them or can even help with upfront booking as a complimentary service.
Eco trails from Ethno Art Room
The view from here is always stunning regardless of the season.
Route: follow the blue and white markers that begin from Ethno Art Room
Duration: one and a half hour hike one way from Ethno Art Room
Elevation gain: 400 meters (1300 ft)
Kartalski Kamak Peak
360-degree panoramic view awaits you at the top with Ardin peak, Kom peak and many others in front of you. You will see the Aegean Sea from here. Eagles nest on the slopes of the peak and if you are lucky enough you will be able to observe them.
Route: Upper Kiselchovo – Sinanevo area – Dimovo – Kartalski Kamak
Duration: 2-hour hike one way from Ethno Art Room
Distance: 8 kilometers round trip
Elevation gain: 350 meters (1150 ft)
It’s a small waterfall with a height of about 12 m. The river and the waterfall are located in a beautiful gorge surrounded by sheer cliffs.
Distance: two and a half hour hike round trip from Ethno Art Room
Holy Trinity Church built in 1896 in Kremene was declared a National monument of art and culture decades later. There is also an ancient Roman road which goes through Kremene. See more information about Nadarska Cave below.
Route: Upper Kiselchovo – Dimovo – Kremene – Poprelka – Nadarska Cave – Kiselchovo – Upper Kiselchovo
Distance: 19 kilometers
Duration: 5-hour hike round trip from Ethno Art Room
Based on a Trip Advisor visitor review the cave displays a “wonderful underground world”. Ancient Thracian ceramics dating back to 1,000 years BC are found inside. It’s the oldest cave in the region.
Duration: 1.5 hour hike one way from Ethno Art Room
Distance: 4.4 kilometers one way
Attractions within 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Ethno Art Room that are amongst the most popular Rhodope tourist sites:
called “the underground Palace of Rhodope Mountain”, the cave is famous for its magnificent coral formations. About 3000 tourists visit the cave every year. An impressive flowstone formation known as the Icefall and 4 lakes are at the end of the cave.
his is the best-preserved architectural structure in the region built during the 19th century. The construction took 3 craftsman about 20 years to complete it. Konatsi’s singular form is “konak”, which means a “palatial residence, large house”. The entire complex is fitted with 221 windows, 86 doors and 24 chimneys. Due to its size the feudal estate resembles a castle with no equivalent on the Balkans. The complex was declared a National monument of art and culture in 1964.
Panoramic Platform The Peak
Built in 2020 near by Mogilitsa, the platform has a glass floor. While you enjoy the astonishing view you can sense the steep abyss underneath. The options to get there are to rent a jeep or an SUV and follow the road markers.
The late-antique fortress is situated on top of a marble limestone conical hill near by the village of Koshnitsa. It was built in the 6-th century and was part of the Rhodope fortification system during the Middle Ages along with the rest of the fortresses in the region. The passage cave to the fortress and the fortress itself were used as a rock sanctuary. A few chapels are preserved in the southern part of the fortress.
On your way to Upper Kiselchovo you will notice a sign with a map of the route to take you to the abandoned village Varad. Booking a local guide to get you there is highly recommended.
Your visit inside the water cave will be an adventure of a lifetime! Situated between Koshnitsa and Mogilitsa, the cave allows visitors in late summer and fall only due to the underground lakes and a stream which fill the cave with water. A rope bridge takes you there. All visitors should wear long sleeve tops, full length pants and keep in mind that the temperature inside is 11 degrees Celsius / 52 degrees Fahrenheit all the time. The instructors from the Caving and Extreme Tourism Club “Mursalitsa” (phone +359 878 450 800 or +359 889 293 070, email email@example.com) will equip you with rubber boots, lifejacket and headlight. Upfront reservation and a minimum of 4 people are required to book a spot.