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Surrounding areas of Smolyan

16 km to the north, up above the town is one of the biggest Bulgarian winter resorts - Pamporovo (refer to Rhodope Mountains related chapter herein).

10 km west of the centre of the town is the region of Smolyan Lakes, known as the emerald eyes of the Rhodope Mountain. They totalled 20 in number, but presently there are only 7 lakes. The largest one of them Bistroto Ezero, the so called clear lake - is also the deepest and the most beautiful. The whole region forms a natural park of forests, meadows, hotels, a chalet, chapels, lanes, open-chair lift to Mt. Snezhanka (Pamporovo), picturesque vertical rocks. Bus line  No. 4 travels to this region.

Smolyan Waterfall - on Kriva (Curved) River, which is the left tributary of Cherna River. The waterfall is 20 meters high and is in the immediate surroundings south-west of the town.

27 km south of Smolyan, in the valley of Arda River is the village of Mogilitsa. It has beautiful Revival Period houses, but the most interesting building is that of the Аgoushevs Konak, built in 1843. It was intended for all the year round living (in opposition to the summer Agoushevs Konak in the Chereshovo Area). It has 221 windows, 86 doors and 24 chimneys. It is artistically decorated inside and outside, with wood-carvings on the ceiling, cupboards, railings and shelters. The Konak tower is flower-painted, and the internal and external architectural design, all in pine, walnut and cherry-wood is splendid piece of art of an unknown Rhodope master. According to the legend, his right hand was cut by Agoush, the owner of the Konak, to make sure that the master will not build another similar masterpiece of art. This is the only preserved medieval feudal castle on the Balkan Peninsula. There are some 20 caves in the vicinity of the village, the most interesting of them being the Ultsata (Uhlovitsa) Cave (3km east of the village) noted for its miraculous cascade lakes. The cave is easily accessible. There is regular bus line from the town of Smolyan to the village.

10 km north of the town is located the extremely interesting village of Мomchilovtsi. Its authentic Rhodope architecture, the local historic-ethnographic museum, the interesting habits and traditions, its mild and pleasant climate in all seasons, the delicious local culinary gourmets, its fantastic nature, the availability of a number of family type of hotels and other appealing features turn the village into a special  site of domestic and international tourism. There is a regular bus line to Smolyan and Chepelare. For further information and hotel reservation one should contact the Momchilovtsi Tourist Information Centre  (tel.: 03023 2212, fax: 03023 2833).

At the middle of the road connecting Smolyan and Roudozem (28 km) is located Mt. Srednogorets (1262 m), called the Rhodope Mt. Shipka. In 1934 a 16 meters high magnificent memorial channel-vault was erected in honour of the soldiers of the 21-st Sredna Gora Infantry Regiment commanded by the legendary Colonel Vladimir Serafimov.  During the Balkan War, the above-mentioned military unit, jointly with the population from the neighbouring villages led a heroic battle against the numerous regular Turkish troops, which were times more than the Bulgarians. Colonel Serafimov disobeyed the order of the Chief Command Unit to withdraw, declaring: I will never betray to the enemies the villages, which have welcomed me as a Liberator just one day ago!

St. Atanas Monstery and the legendary peak of Кralyov Kamuk are located to the south in the Rhodope Ridge of Kainadina.

Smolyan serves as a starting point for a number of tourist routes in the neighbouring hills and ridges of Western Rhodope Mountains (refer to the Rhodope Mountains related chapter herein). The town is also a centre of the emerging national recreation and tourist complex Оrpheus, enclosing in its boundaries a significant part of the most beautiful Western Rhodope landscapes.

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