Rhodope region comprises the Eastern and the Western part of the Rhodope Mountains.
The Eastern Rhodopes are spread over a territory of about 34% of the mountains’ area, constituting a much lower part. The large artificial dams Kardzhali and Studen Kladenets are located in this part of the mountains. Major cities in the area are Haskovo and Kardzhali. Almost every species of the European birds of prey nest in the rocks and forests of the Eastern Rhodopes including the rare Black vulture and Egyptian vulture. The East Rhodope mountain is characterized by lower relief.
The Western Rhodopes are representing the most beautiful parts of Bulgaria.
The mountain is higher, with higher peaks, gorges and caves all concentrated in this area.
The magnificent Trigrad Gorge and Buynovo Gorge are some of the deepest river gorges of the Rhodope Mountains. Amazing rock phenomenon is the Wonderful Bridges. Three unique caves are located in the region of the two gorges – the Devil’s Cave, Haramyiska Cave and Yagodinska Cave, all are accessible for visits. Some of the largest dams in the country are located in the Rhodopes including the Dospat Dam, Batak Dam and Vacha Dam. There are many mineral water springs, the most famous are located in Velingrad, Narechen, Devin, Beden, Mihalkovo.
The town of Smolyan is located in this part of the mountains, as well as the winter resort Pamporovo. The Asen’s fortress (medieval site) and the Eastern Orthodox Bachkovo Monastery are one of the most attractive and frequently visited tourist landmarks. They are located only 30km from the centre of Plovdiv. A number of architectural reserves, such as Shiroka Laka, Kovachevitsa, Momchilovtsi, Kosovo, are also located in the area. Besides the villages, the Rhodope towns Velingrad and Devin are the most popular Bulgarian balneological and SPA resorts. The combination of healing mineral water, clean mountain air, natural landmarks and delicious local cuisine has been attracting people to these lands for thousands of years.