10 Wonderful Things to Do Around Pamporovo, Bulgaria (Besides Skiing)

Pamporovo is considered one of the best ski resorts in Bulgaria. Perhaps the only one it gives in to is Bansko. The long slopes and good conditions for skiing attract many tourists every year, including many foreigners.

Apart from the incredible opportunities for a ski vacation, the area definitely has something to offer to anyone who is curious about what else can be seen around.

Ive written this blog post after a not-so-successful ski trip to Pamporovo last winter. What happened was that we went there for 3 days and it rained during two of these days.

At least something good came out of this trip and thats the fact that I got to explore around Pamporovo and see whats there to visit in the area. Its quite a bit!

Keep in mind that these places are to be reached by car, as I am not sure if there are any other transportation options out there. If you dont have a car, be sure to stop by the tourist information centre in Pamporovo (its lovely btw!) and ask them about any organised or public transportation.

In this article you will find out which are the top 10 sights around Pamporovo that will make it worth it missing a few days on the slopes.

Make sure to join the Discover Bulgaria Facebook group for even more ideas and helpful information about travelling in Bulgaria!

 

 

Things to do around Pamporovo

  1. Shiroka Laka village

Distance from Pamporovo: 13.5 km

Shiroka Laka is a village famous for its authentic Rhodope spirit (the Rhodopes are a mountain in Bulgaria) and preserved traditional houses. The Shirokolashka River, the stone bridges and the beautiful buildings are just some of the things that give incredible charm to the village of Shiroka Laka.

Take a walk along the main street and visit the impressive church Church of the Assumption which was built in 1884 in just 38 days. See the monument and the native house of Exarch Stephen I, as well as the house-museum of Captain Petko Voyvoda.

Shiroka Laka village is declared as a folklore and architectural reserve and its reputation as paradise for relaxation, accompanied by its proximity to Pamporovo, attracts many guests every year.

You can read the full article about its history and things to do in Shiroka Laka in this article.

2. Momchil Fortress

Distance from Pamporovo: 35 km

Momchil Fortress was a real fortress which was used in the past but was destroyed twice - for the first time in the 6th century by the Slavs, then rebuilt and burned again by the Ottomans in the 14th century.

The fortress is located near the village Gradat and was constructed in the 6th century during the reign of Justinian I. Due to its high location, the fortress offers an incredible view of the peak Golyam Perelik (2191m), the Snezhanka tower above Pamporovo, the national astronomical observatory Rozhen and Svoboda peak (1943m).

The Momchil fortress is named after a hero named Momchil - a Bulgarian, who became an independent ruler and was hailed as a fighter against the Ottomans.

 

 

3. Smolyan

Distance from Pamporovo: 17.5 km

Smolyan is the city that is nearest to Pamporovo. Even if you think that there is nothing to do here, Smolyan offers some interesting sights.

Maybe the biggest one of them is the Planetarium which is the biggest in the country and attracts many visitors from all around the country.

Another landmark you could visit is the History Museum of Smolyan. You should also take a walk to the Ancient Tree - Chinar; the temple of St. Visarion Smolenski and Alibeev konak.

 

4. Snezhanka Peak (Snow White Peak)

Distance from Pamporovo: 7.5 km

If you went skiing in Pamporovo, you cant help but climb Snezhanka Peak. Most of the slopes of the resort start from this place, and the altitude of Snezhanka is 1926m.

At the top rises a TV tower which offers a unique view over Pamporovo and the surrounding area. To get there you have to take the Studenets 2 lift which takes you straight to the top.

 

5. Orpheus Rocks

Distance from Pamporovo: 7 km

 

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Immediately below the Snezhanka peak in Pamporovo are the Orpheus Rocks - an area of high rocks that reveal incredible views.

You can walk from Snezhanka peak and in 15 - 20 minutes you will find yourself at the Rocks. The trail is well marked and easy enough so that even beginner hikers can handle it.

According to legends, the name of the rocks comes from the story about Orpheus drawing inspiration for his songs from the amazing views on the top.

 

6. Smolyan Lakes

Distance from Pamporovo: 18 km 

Smolyan lakes are a group of lakes which iin the past were over 20, but today only 8 of them remain - 7 natural (Milushev goal, Silage, Camp, Osmanov gyol, Trevno Bistro and Muddy lake) and one that has been turned into a micro-dam (Keryanov gyol) The rest have either dried up or turned into swamps.

The lakes are located in the Western Rhodopes, under the Orpheus Rocks and Snezhanka peak, and are located throughout the valley of the Black River.

The walk to the lakes is extremely pleasant  and your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful views and amazing nature.

 

7. The Nevyasta Eco Trail

Distance from Pamporovo: 9 km

The Nevyasta Eco Trail is ideal for light walks in nature if you find yourself around Pamporovo. The Trail starts from the middle of the road between Pamporovo and Smolyan and its clearly marked with signs.

The total length of the eco-trail is 900m and passes through a flat forest trail where you will find species of flora and fauna which here and there are marked with signs.

Here you will find two panoramic sites - Beautiful and Incredible (yes, these are their names) which provide beautiful views from above.The eco trail ends at the Nevyasta rock, from which you can take a look over Smolyan.

 

8. Eco-Trail The Canyon of the Waterfalls

Distance from Pamporovo: 20 km 

If youre a fan of nature, you like winding paths and high waterfalls, the canyon of the waterfalls is the perfect walk from Pamporovo for you.

The eco-trail has a total length of 6km and can be walked in half a day or about 4 hours at a leisurely pace. The displacement is approximately 700 meters, which is good to keep in mind because it is in no way short. There is no need to worry about how long you will be walking and how you will return, because the eco- trail is a circle and takes you back to where you were left off.

Along the way you will see 46 beautiful waterfalls, the highest of which is the Orpheus one with a height of 68 meters. Continuing upwards you will reach the highest point of the whole eco-trail itself which is 1800 meters above sea level and provides a magnificent view of the mountains and the city of Smolyan.

 

9. Yagodinska Cave

Distance from Pamporovo: 47.5 km

The last two sights are a little further from Pamporovo but it is certainly possible to visit within a single day.

Yagodinska Cave located nearly 50 km from Pamporovo and near the village of Yagodinska is one of the most visited caves in Bulgaria. Its 8501 meters long which makes it the fourth longest cave in the country.

The cave receives visitors every day, and the tours start every hour. Each tour is accompanied by a guide who will introduce you to the history and features of the cave.

The hall with which the tour begins is the New Years Hall. In it the cavers from the area have the opportunity to celebrate New Year and inside you will see a real Christmas tree which stands there for years. After that you enter the Ritual Hall where every year dozens of couples in love decide to choose it as a place for their wedding.

You will also see other cave formations, such as The Kiss, Santa Claus, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Virgin and Child, as well as the interesting leopard skins and cave pearls.

 

10. Devil’s Throat Cave

Distance from Pamporovo: 50 km

The Devils Throat Cave is the last landmark around Pamporovo that well talk about but certainly not the last in importance. Its located in the Trigrad Gorge in the Rhodopes, not far from the Yagodina Cave.

Its name comes from the shape of its former entrance (its current exit), which looks like a devils head. An interesting fact is that anything dropped into the rivers of the cave from one end never comes out of the other one… spooky!

The devils throat was formed due to the collapse of the earths layers, which makes it a precipice cave. Its main part is occupied by the main hall which houses the highest underground waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula.

The hall itself is called the Roaring Hall and is the second largest in the country, after the entrance hall of the Devetashka cave

The length of the Devils Throat is 1km, but tourists are allowed to walk only 350 meters from it. Visiting the cave is only allowed in the presence of a guide and groups enter every hour.

 

I hope that these 10 ideas for landmarks around Pamporovo will inspire some of your next trips in the Rhodopes. If you can think of other places that could be visited near Pamporovo do not hesitate to share them with me in the comments below.

 

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Are you planning a trip to Bulgaria? Here are even more useful blog posts:

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