Heavy hearted we left the stunning mountain resort of Pamporovo and headed off in search of a small Bulgarian village for a night of authentic charm, and upon finding Trigrad (N41.59893 E24.378978) we were not disappointed. Paloma is tucked into the small village Carpark, with the local hotel at one end and a rather unique cafe bar in front of us.
The journey had not disappointed either, on leaving the high mountains we made a road trip down into Smolyan and passed its beautiful seven lakes known as the “emerald eyes” of the Rhodope Mountains, the Smolyan Lakes were certainly smiling at us today.
The Towering cliffs, dense lush green forests and the crystal clear waters together makes this a magical corner of the Mountains.
From here we drove on through Shiroka Laka which is considered to be the most beautiful village in Bulgaria. Its outstanding authentic architecture and tranquil surroundings make it a must see place.
Through the village of Teshel and then down into Buynovo Gorge, had we had a bit of sense before arriving we might of googled the place, but instead we waited until the road narrowed around us, the top hit comes from a site called “Dangrous Roads.org”
The road is in dreadful condition and requires strong nerves to negotiate it. It’s a paved road that winds along the base of the cliffs. It is a one-lane road with traffic in both directions, not suitable for oversized vehicles or impatient drivers. Some sections of the road are totally impassable for 2 cars at the same time.
But it’s too late after the event, and never one to be put off by a challenge, having only a couple of weeks ago smashed the Transfăgărăşan Highway in Romania, we knew we could cope with anything !
The Buynovo Gorge is the longest and most visually stunning gorge in the whole of Bulgaria, At the end of the gorge is situated one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria, Yagodinska cave.
The road is certainly breathtaking and it well deserves its fearsome reputation. The narrowest point of the gorge is called (wolf jump). At this spot, the cliffs from the two sides of the gorge almost touch each other at height of three to four meters above the road, or a few inches above the MoHo! local residents say that during winter wolves would leap the gap to attack the sheep on the other side…….
The drive is definitely worth it. There are so,so many excellent photo opportunities here, it amazing you can drive it without wanting to stop and marvel at the beauty!
The area of Trigrad was a border area in the past, so the access was very limited during Communist times. Only a very small asphalt road goes through the gorge which is the the only connection between the village of Trigrad and the town of Devin, no vast infrastructure here.
The road is cut into the rocky side of the gorge and after a long winding climb reaches the village. Just before the village you hit tat seller heaven as this is the stopping point for visitors to the Devil’s Throat, a cave famous for the 42 meters high underground waterfall inside it.a little tourist but hey thousands of people can’t be wrong -can they ?
A traditional mountain village with one interesting odditie a mosque and an Ortodox church next to each other in the centre of the village. Appprently such a mixture in religions is common for the whole area of Rhodopes, where Muslims and Christians live together peacefully, no fighting or wars……
Sampling local fare was be be the order of the day and a trip to the local Hotel did not disappoint, with a course of local soup followed by spit roasted lamb for Michele and Grilled fresh river trout for me a few beverages and a huge bill of 40lev with handsome tip !
Bonus pic of this epic stone eagle, he was just on the road side near nothing ……..