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Wilderness The Eastern Rhodopes Mountains, located in South Bulgaria, are the European kingdom of raptors. Griffon, Egyptian and Black vultures roam in the sky together with 270 species of rare birds. The flora of the region is extremely diverse and rich in endemits. Orchids and turtles are...

What is the New Thracian gold

New Thracian Gold (NTG) is a Bulgarian-Dutch project, active in the period 2009-2014, aiming at the greener future for the Eastern Rhodopes. The main objective is to develop sustainable initiatives which promote and combine organic farming, nature conservation and ecotourism. Since 2014...

Places of interest

This section describes the natural and historical/cultural treasures of the Eastern Rhodopes. Concerning the nature and wilderness part, most of the Eastern Rhodopes is technically Natura 2000 area. However, less than 20% of Natura 2000 area in Bulgaria is actually protected under national...

The NTG team

Frank Zanderink, АRК Nature - Leader of the NTG project Frank was born in 1962. He graduated from the Agricultural University of Wage­ningen, the Netherlands (Forestry with specialisation on wildlife and nature management). He has worked for GREENPEACE NETHERLANDS; for WWF -Zambia...

Local Guides

Marina Kutelova – 50 year old, lives in Kardzhali, married with two kids. Qualified guide on archaeological tourism, Bachelor degree in Engineering, fluent in Russian and English. Marina has extensive experience in organizing events such as "team-building, excellent animation of tourist...

Team of the New Thracian Gold nowadays

Nowadays the activities and products , developed under the New Thracian Gold project are managed by "Gabi Tour Ltd". The New Thracian Gold network of entrepreneurs and farmers in the Eastern Rhodopes is coordinated by Mihaela Kircheva - sustainable development and ecotourism expert. All members...

Natural Phenomenons

The petrified forest Location: Located in the village of Raven (Momchilgrad) in a deep gorge, called by locals Gabaz gulch. "The Trees" are among both sides of the gorge with over 120 m length. They represent twenty stumps of trees burned by fire. They are 1 to 1.5 m tall and...

Protected species in the Eastern Rhodopes

1. Plants So far, 1944 plant species have been found in the Eastern Rhodopes. Of them: - 84 are included in Bulgaria’s Red Book - 37 are Balkans endemites - 22 are Bulgarian endemites - the Verbascum juruk can only be found in the Eastern Rhodopes   2. Amphibians 10 amphibian...

Protected areas

Patronka protected site   Patronka  is located on the south bank of river Arda, east of the town of Madzharovo. It is one of the most picturesque and inaccessible portions of the valley of the Arda River, where the river bank is very steep and intensely rugged. Interspersed...

The Stone Wedding

Location: Located near the village of Zimzelen, aroud 3 km east from Kardzhali. It’s noticeable from far away because of the specific coloring of the rock in white and pink, caused by the content of metal oxides. Several different stone figures are noticeable – people,...

Valchi Dol reserve

The Valchi Dol reserve is the only strict reserve in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is located in the territory of the Krumovgrad Municipality, in the land of the village of Boynik, and covers an area of 774.70 ha. It secures the preservation of one of the wildest and most pristine parts of the...

Patronka protected site

Patronka  is located on the south bank of river Arda, east of the town of Madzharovo. It is one of the most picturesque and inaccessible portions of the valley of the Arda River, where the river bank is very steep and intensely rugged. Interspersed in a mosaic of  oak woods there...

Momina Skala (the Maid’s Rock)

The Momina Skala protected site has an area of 782.03 ha. It was established with Order No: RD-475 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving plants and animals that...

Chernata Skala (the Black Rock)

The Chernata Skala protected site has an area of 893.70 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-473 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving protected and ...

Golemiyat Sipey (the Big Scree)

The Golemiyat Sipey protected site has an area of 653.9 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-471 of 11.08.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving rare and protected ...

Gyurgena protected site

The Gyurgena protected site has an area of 72.40 ha and was established with Order No:649 of 23.11.2000 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and the Group for the Research and Protection of Bats. It...

Byala Reka Meanders protected site

The Byala Reka Meanders protected site has an area of 1531.98 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-474 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving rare and...

Dupkata (the Hole) protected site

The Dupkata protected site has an area of 6.5 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-328 of 08.05.1992 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water. The Dupkata protected site is immediately above the town of Ivaylovgrad and includes a natural landmark, a precipice cave.. In a ...

Hambar Dere protected site

The Hambar Dere protected site has an area of 101.10 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-427 of 29.10.1999 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving forest formation along ...

Oreshari protected site

The Oreshari protected site has an area of 55 ha. It was established with Order No:274 of 23.08.1999 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. The Oreshari protected site is in the Krumovgrad ...

Ribino protected site

The Ribino protected site has an area of 66.30 ha. It was established with Order No:583 of 02.11.2000 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving protected and rare plants and animals. The...

Gyumyurdzhinski Snezhnik protected site

The Gyumyurdzhinski Snezhnik protected site has an area of 1926.40 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-153 of 21.02.2003 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian-Swiss Program for the Protection of Biodiversity, the Bulgarian Society for the...

Travel services

Local travel agencies specializing in offering services related to adventure tourism in the Rhodopes Mountains   Gaby Tour Ltd, Kardzhali - travel agency for trips, marketing, advertising and expert advices in the field of tourism. Specialists in all outdoor adventures - hiking and...

Madzharovo

Madzharovo is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with approximately 500 inhabitants. The town is named after its protector from 1913 - Dimitar Madzharov. Back at these days around 20 thousands Bulgarian refugees from Aegian Thrace were expelled from their land. They were seeking path to their...

Ivaylovgrad

Located in the most southern part of the Rhodopes, the area of Ivaylovgrad enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Olive trees and Laurel show it. Here you can find some of the most virgin forests in Bulgaria..Ivaylovgrad’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in the  dolmens, mounds,...

The Wild Farm

Story by Meindert Brouwer, Dutch writer and publisher: http://mb.hetwebburo.nl/October, 2009 They call their guesthouse The Wild Farm, ‘a rural house for adventures in the Eastern Rhodope’. And wild it is, not the farm, but the region. Father Nikki, mother Betty and...

Common House Martin

House Martin (Common) House Martin (Delichon urbica) has been long time part of he urban environment. It is widespread in Europe, Asia and Africa. House Martin nests on buildings and bridges. It does not have any fears of people. Exceptionally House Martins can be found nesting in the...

Biodiversity and wild life

The Eastern Rhodopes are located in the southernmost part of Bulgaria. They occupy the lower eastern part of the Rhodopes Massif. To the south they border with the Aegean Lowland, to the north and east with the Thracian lowland and the river of Maritza. The border with the Western Rhodopes follows...

Fauna of the Eastern Rhodopes

A total of 4329 animal species has been established in the Bulgarian part of the Eastern Rhodopes, which is quite a lot and which has a relationship with the special geographical position and the warm climate. 90% of the animal species are invertebrates, mostly insects with a Mediterranean type of...

Natural monument

The petrified forest Location: Located in the village of Raven (Momchilgrad) in a deep gorge, called by locals Gabaz gulch. "The Trees" are among both sides of the gorge with over 120 m length. They represent twenty stumps of trees burned by fire. They are 1 to 1.5 m tall and...

Natura 2000 site Krumovitza

BG0002012  Surface – 11 183 hectares. The area includes the valleys in the middle course of the Krumovitsa River and its tributary Djushun Dere with the adjacent hills and slopes of the Eastern Rhodopes. It covers the sections of the Krumovitsa between the village of...

Natura 2000 site Studen Kladenets

BG0002013  Surface – 15 995 hectares. A water reservoir established in the rocky defile of the Arda River, with vertical cliffs, steep banks covered by scant vegetation and the adjacent maintain hills. It is located between the town of Kardzhali and the village of Studen...

Natura 2000 site Madzharovo

BG0002014  Surface – 3 550 hectares. A part of the deep, narrow valley of the Arda river, surrounded by mountain slopes and rock massifs up to 150 m high. The area is located between the village of Borislavtsi and the town of Madzharovo. A big part of its territory is...

Natura 2000 site Byala Reka

BG0002019  Surface – 44 627 hectares. The area covers the Byala Reka watershed in the most south-eastern part of the Eastern Rhodopes, immediately next to the state border with Greece. It includes the Byala Reka valley and the surrounding mountain hills from the village...

Natura 2000 site Arda Bridge

BG0002071  Surface – 15 022 hectares The site covers the Arda river course from the village of Rabovo to the town of Madzharovo and the northern parts of Iranov Ridge. To the north it borders on the villages of Madzhari, Voyvodets, Dolno Pole, Rumelia and Gorno Pole; to...

Natura 2000 site Ivailovgrad Reservoir

BG0002106  Surface – 19 662 hectares. The site covers almost the entire water body of Ivailovgrad reservoir on the Arda river and the adjacent mountain slopes from the villages of Borislavtsi and Senoclass on the west to the state border on the east and from the villages of...

Natura 2000 site Harmanliyska Reka

BG0002092  Surface – 4 889 hectares. Harmanliyska Reka covers a hilly area along the lower stream of the Harmanliyska river west from the town of Harmanli. To the north it borders to the main road E80, and to the west the site limit goes through the villages of Bryagovo and...

Birds in Eastern Rhodopes

Eastern Rhodopes are one of the richest, in terms of ornithological highlights in Europe. Because of its location on the edge of the European and Asian continent, the pristine landscape and the variety of habitats, the impact of the Mediterranean and the relatively weak human disturbance,...

Natural grazing and large herbivores in Eastern Rhodopes

Natural grazing by large herbivores is a key process for suitable development and natural maintenance of ecosystems. In wild nature the animals graze all year round.  This practice was well understood and practiced for thousands of years by the ancient Balkan livestock farmers, who...

Biodiversity - links

The return of the neophron Red Data Book of the Republic of Bulgaria Natura 2000 Rewilding Europe Bulgarian Biodiversity Portal The Bulgarian flora online Flora bulgarica Birds in Bulgaria Parks in Bulgaria European greenbelt BlueLink information network Bat Research And Conservation...

Nature Adventures

One day nature trips in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains, South Bulgaria Route 1 Madzharovo – the Vultures' volcano   Tour description: 5 hours, 5 km walking, easy-medium Area description: Superb gorge, spectacular rock cliffs and scrubland walk, departing from the visitor's...

Madzharovo – the Vultures' volcano

Tour description: 5 hours, 5 km walking, easy-medium Area description: Superb gorge, spectacular rock cliffs and scrubland walk, departing from the visitor's center. Excellent opportunities to watch raptors and reptiles. Highlights: visit of the Birdlife information center in...

Mammals heaven near the lake Studen kladenets

Tour description: 6 hours, 10 km walking, moderate Area description: breathtaking scenery, mixed and pine forest, wide variety of birds and mammals Highlights: boating on the beautiful lake of Studen kladenets to a nature reserve for observation of Fallow and Red deer, Roe deer, Otter,...

Youth eco-club

Conservation of the "green gold" - the unique biodiversity of the Eastern Rhodopes -  is a major point in the philosophy of " New Thracian Gold" (NTG). The involvement of young people in conservation activities and promotion of natural resources is a guarantee for sustainable...

And the winner is...

The winners of NTG’s third edition of the contest “Eastern Rhodopes - taste the wild nature” are: Anahid Chalyovska, Vasil Anastasovski , Olya Stoyanova Herman van der Hart. Travel story competition In the section for the most interesting travel story, Anahid...