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The borders of the Mountain

Clockwise, from the north it is the valley of the Maritsa river, that borders the Rhodope Mountains from the north and east; to the south - the White Sea Plain; to the west - the valley of Mesta River, the Dreshenets River, the Avramovi Kolibi Saddle, Lyuta Reka River, the Yundola Saddle, Yundola River and the river Yadenitsa till itd pouring in Maritsa River. The western border of the Rhodope Mountains separates (or connects) it to Pirin and Rila. The mountain has an orthographic connection solely to the Rila Mountain - the saddles Avramovi Kolibi and Yundola.

The Rhodopes are spread over 14 737 sq. km of which 12 233 sq. km are on Bulgarian territory, the remaining - in Greece. The mountain is about 220 km long and about 100-120 km wide with an average altitude of 785 m.

The Rhodopes have two main ranges - Western Rhodopes and Eastern Rhodopes the border between them passes (from north to south) along the valley of Kayaliika River (right tributary to Maritsa River), Kitkata Saddle, Yailudere River, Borovitsa River, Kurdzhali Dam, Vurbitsa River to the Tri Kamuka Saddle on the Greek border. This division is made on Bulgarian territory only. The two ranges are subdivided into many sub-ranges. What is typical for the Rhodope Mountains is that they are the most populated mountain in Bulgaria. Unlike the other high (over 2000 m) mountains in Bulgaria there are many cities and villages (14 of them are resorts) within the range. This fact provides essential advantages for development of tourism. The best conifer woods in Bulgaria are in the Rhodope Mountains as well as the best preserved natural environment in the country.

Fifteen reserves have been established, some of these are included in UNESCO list. There are many mineral water springs - a great natural wealth of the mountain. The European Pedestrian Route E-8 to Turkey passes through the Rhodope Mountains.

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