Perushtitsa | The Red Church in Black & White

Did you know that one of the earliest surviving Christian churches in Europe is located near the small Bulgarian town of Perushtitsa?

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Beautiful Bulgaria | Weekend in the Rhodope Mountains

 I had the pleasure to take Panasonic FZ2000 & DMC LX15 on a trip to the Rhodope mountains

to test their capabilities. The photos in this story are taken with these 2 cameras and only adjusted for brightness/saturation.

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Reservoirs, lakes & gorges | The beautiful Rhodope Mountains

According to the Thracian legend Rhodopa and Hemus were a brother and sister who fell in love and called each other by the names of the Gods: Zeus and Hera. And since Ancient Greek Deities are not famous for their good temper, the abuse of their names brought on a curse on the young couple: both lovers turned into mountain ranges. Of course, geologists have a slightly different idea about the formation of the mountain range.

The Rhodope Mountains takes up 1/7th of the territory of Bulgaria and features ski slopes,  caves, historical cities and villages, hiking routes and some of Bulgaria’s biggest reservoirs & artificial lakes.

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Unlike Rila, which is swarming with tourists (to the detriment of the area’s ecosystem), the Rhodope Mountains still manage to preserve their raw charm and offer travellers a serene look into Bulgarian nature, history and traditions.

Things to do & Places to visit

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Zooming to the distant shore | Shot on Panasonic FZ2000

Continue reading “Beautiful Bulgaria | Weekend in the Rhodope Mountains”

Bulgaria | The 5 Most Beautiful Places We Visited in 2016

In the past few years Stef and I have travelled all around Bulgaria: enjoyed its countrside, hiked (and snowboarded) across its mountains and stormed through beaches, caves, lakes, valleys and all sorts of beautiful places. We had seen a lot on our motorbike trip across the country, but the past year provided us with the chance to explore some of the prettiest spots in the country. It is quite hard to choose just 5 but here are the places which really impressed me during the year:

5. Belmeken

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Belmeken felt like entering the Twilight zone. We went there on a day when a thick blanket of fog covered everything around us and it felt like our car was piercing its way through a hostile yet truly magical place. I would really like to come back on a sunnier day, but still: the area looked amazing (See more).

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4. The Devetaki Cave (Devetashka Peshtera)

The Devetashka Cave | From the Paleolithic period to Hollywood action movies

The cave (named after the nearby village of Devetaki) looks so surreal and cinematic that some of my friends asked me if whether I had photoshopped it! No, I haven’t: it does exist in reality and its incredible space was used as a set for Hollywood movie productions.

What makes it even more special is that it is one of the most important speleological spots in Bulgaria and one of the largest habitats of rare bat species in Europe! (Learn more)

3. The Belogradchik Rocks

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This is one of the most populat tourist spots in Bulgaria but I saw it for the first time this year. I definitely regret not coming here earlier: what an amazing and unusual view! (Read more).

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2. 30km across Rila in a day

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Musala is the end destination for most visitors in the Rila mountain but for our small group of enthusiasts it was just…the first stop.

After reaching the summit, we simply continued through the vast beauty of Rila for another 20+ killometers, we spent the night in Zavratchitsa Hut and on the next day…we kept walking…(Read more)

1. Tsigov Chark & The Lakes in the surrounding area

DSC_0200 (2).JPGI’ve seen my fair share of beautiful nature around the world, but Tsigov Chark and the abundance of not-so-popular but wonderful lakes in the area really took my breath away.

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Waking up at dawn to run to the shore and take photos of the awakening nature was one of the best mornings I’ve had this year!  (Read more)

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My best wish for you in 2017: Explore Bulgaria & Enjoy its beauty!