The town of Devin is a good base for our adventure trip to the Rhodope Mountains area of Bulgaria.. It is located 190 km from the capital Sofia, now only 90 km from Plovdiv city. Has about 7.000 inhabitants and is located in the geographic center of the Rhodope Mountains in the south of the country.
Devin is in the heart of a mystical part of the Balkans, where ancient civilizations were born. It is surrounded by huge and wild forests, high peaks (of 1.300 a 2.200 meters), rivers of pure waters and deep valleys. In fact, it is known throughout Bulgaria for its mineral and healing water sources.. Thanks to its mild climate and the abundance of hot mineral waters, Devin has become a popular spa and spa destination. Many people come here to treat their bone ailments, allergies, nervous system conditions, cardiovascular, lung or skin. In addition, Devin's waters are the most famous in Bulgaria as bottled water for daily consumption..
Devin has an important history. Archaeologists have discovered remains of human populations from the Paleolithic era: make 25-30.000 of years. Much later towards the 2.000 a.C. the region was inhabited by the Thracians, the ancestors of today's Bulgarians, that left abundant samples of their culture and way of life and that have been incredibly maintained in today's kitchen, song, local dance and crafts.
Orpheus is believed to have been born and lived in the region in its centuries-old forests. Currently in Trigrad, just 25 km from Devin, the summer festival of "The Mysteries of Orpheus" is celebrated in his tribute.
I have highlighted 11 points of interest in the Devin region:
1. Devin spa town. The combination of mountain sports with its thermal springs make the area an ideal destination for active tourism accompanied by subsequent rest in its hotels with Spa and spas.. In some of them there is even the possibility of being able to take a relaxing bath in hot springs outdoors while enjoying the snowy landscape as seen in this photograph…
3. Devin's eco-trail. Once on foot, the visitor has wooden bridges for hiking, following the course of the river between the stone walls, a route of great beauty that is surprisingly not overcrowded. You can also find up to 9 waterfalls here, remains of the medieval fortress of Kaleto from the 8th century and a Thracian necropolis from the 17th century to. C.
4. The Eye of the Eagle. To some 40 minutes by car from Devin is this viewpoint that will make you get your adrenaline pumping on your adventure trip through the area. It is the highest point of the Buynovsko Gorge with its huge cliffs of 600 meters high. A platform was built on top of one of them just above the abyss, when one accesses it, feels like an eagle observing the nearby mountains and forests from the top.
5. A meteor from an antiquity of 4 million years ago it was found on the outskirts of Devin in 2010. It is estimated that it fell there ago 15.000 years and the cataclysm it produced spelled the end of the legendary city of Atlantis.
6. The Flower of Orpheus ("Immortals"). It is a small flower with purple petals that grows on the cliffs of Devin's Gorge.. Its scientific name is "Haberlea Rhodopensis" and it survived the Ice Age thanks to its anabiosis capacity., a state of hibernation without reaching total death.
If this flower runs out of water it is capable of drying out without dying and after a few months it will bloom again in a few hours if it has water again. In ancient times thanks to these abilities it was considered a symbol of beauty, vitality and eternity. The common name Flower of Orpheus comes from an ancient coin and a statue found near Devin, in them, Orpheus and Hermes carried this flower as a symbol of the immortality of the human spirit…
7. Just 18 km from Devin is located the largest underground waterfall in the Balkans with 60 meters high. The cave is located at the end of the Trigradsko Gorge and is included in the list of the 100 Places to Visit in Bulgaria. Legend has it that the Devil's Throat is the entrance to the underground kingdom of Hades where Orpheus descended to bring his beloved Euricide back to the world of the living.. The waterfall pours water into the Devil's Throat at the rate of 2.600 liters per second in spring.
8. The largest underground cave room in the Balkans is in the Devil's Throat. This room is called The Thunder Room due to the noise of its waterfalls.. The hall is so large that it could accommodate the cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky of Sofia. This room is also the winter home of the largest colony of bats in the Balkans., more than 100.000 specimens. In addition, at the end of July, a populous recreation of the ancestral ritual is held here that theatrically recreates the mystery of Orpheus entering the Underworld and leaving it after losing his beloved for the second time., do not miss it if you are in the area…
9. The legend of the mountain lions. Make 160.000 years, ancient mountain lions of 4 meters high, and ancestors of the brown bear that currently lives in these mountains, they reigned in the Rhodopes. In a cave near Devin, cavers have discovered huge bones from these ancient predators. Analyzes have found a lower jaw of an ancient leopard. The discovery proves popular legends that "mountain lions" once lived in the Rhodope Mountains.. Fossils of Ursus Spelaeus have also been found, a oso cavernario, already extinct, who lived ago 100.000 years in the area and reached 1.000 kilos of weight, 2 meters in height and when it rose on its hind legs it reached 4 meters high… There is the possibility of going on excursions in search of the current brown bear and photographing it in its natural environment.
10. Mycenaean culture in Devin. In 2006 Evidence was found of a Thracian settlement from the Greek Mycenaean era to 14 km from Devin. Crafts and other utensils from the Mycenaean era were found with 3.700 years of antiguaty. The beautiful and complex symbols found on these dishes prove the highly developed civilization that lived in the Rhodope Mountains.. The archaeologists also found a Thracian sword of about 3.700 years that are thought to have been used in the conquest of Troy.
11. The oldest land in the Balkans. More than 500 Millions of years, the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates originated the rise of huge rock masses that gave rise to what we now know as the Rhodope Mountains.. The Himalayan mountains did not yet exist when the highest peaks of these mountains were formed: pico Perelik (2.191 m), pico Karlak (2.188 m) and Persenk Peak (2.091 m) within a radius of 20 km from Devin. They represent the oldest lands in all the Balkans, and which since its creation, have never been below sea level. They are the paradise of climbers and hikers in Europe.
12. The Buynovo gorge. The road from Devin to the town of Yagodina is iconic for its beauty. Every visitor takes a photograph of her. Huge rock walls of over 300 meters rise to the sky from the river that runs through the gorge.
I recommend that you see the rest of the information about the Rhodope Mountains on the home page of this website as well as all the activities we offer on our trips.