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The Eastern Rhodopes

The Eastern Rhodopes are spread over a territory of 4127 sq. km, or about 34 per cent of the whole area of the mountain. This is a much lower part - the highest peaks are Mt. Orlitsa (1483 m) and Mt. Veikata (1463 m) on the Greek boundary. Here the large flat wood covered massifs of the Western Rhodopes are replaced by wide, low hills with almost no verdure, with rocks and cliffs. But this landscape is extremely interesting and one finds himself in an unbelievable world! Such an experience is offered to you in the valleys of the Borovitsa and Varbitsa rivers and some smaller ones. Here are the large artificial dams Kurdzhali and Studen Kladenets that together with the rivers mentioned above offer great opportunities for water tourism.

Due to their lower altitude the Eastern Rhodopes are much more populated than the Western part. Here are the major cities of Haskovo and Kurdzhali as well as the smaller Momchilgrad, Krumovgrad, Kirkovo. There are about 10 tourist chalets and hostels here but the towns and villages provide additional lodging opportunities. There are marked hiking tracks, too. The opportunities for biking are very good given the road network spreading throughout the area.

The Rhodope Mountains are the greatest accumulator of water resources in the country although the Balkan watershed does not pass here. The rivers from the mountains flow into the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. Three independent hydrographic systems have been formed - the Mesta River, the Maritsa River and the Arda River and only the latter takes its source from the Rhodope Mountains. The other larger rivers here are Dospat, Vacha, Chepelarska (Chaya), Borovitsa, Varbitsa, Harmanliiska, Krumovitsa and many others. 

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