Embarking again on Rhodope adventures (which you can read more about here), it was inevitable to visit in return from Madzharovo (where serious efforts are being made to restore wildlife in the Rhodopes, find out more here) one of the new and exciting tourist attractions in the region, namely the eco-trail “Paradise View“.
This route is located near the Kardzhali dam and near the Utrobata cave, which I will mention as a bonus at the end. But how does this eco-trail differ from the others in Bulgaria?
Eco-trail “Paradise View”
To begin with, I can point out that it is located in the picturesque region of the Eastern Rhodopes and is completely surrounded by the enchanting wildlife of this mountain. The views from here are probably one of the most beautiful I have ever seen – they are directed to the meanders of the Kardzhali dam and the Arda river, to the steep peaks in the area and the unique landscapes of this Bulgarian region. And in that way you can understand that the place deserves the name it got – Paradise View.
The beginning of the eco-trail “Paradise View” is located at a bend, just after the village of Padartsi, and a signpost is used as a guide. From here the distance to the final destination is about 1 hour and the length is about 2-3 km, depending on the pace of walking. Initially, the path is steep, but later it becomes more sloping. Even from the first steps on the tourist route beautiful views will open in front of you, but this can only hint to you what reward awaits you at the end. As a guide you will find yellow ribbons tied to the trees that will accompany you to the end of the trail. In some places the eco-trail passes through shady groves, and in other places – through open rocky sections.
Once you reach the end of the route, you discover the majestic beauty of the Rhodopes, the rivers Arda and Borovitsa, as well as everything else involved in this heavenly view! At the very end there are numerous benches where you can sit or even look, as I did, and relax in the company of your award – the unique panoramic view.
Paradise View Eco-Trail is suitable for visiting all year round, and should be tailored to the season in which you go to prepare with appropriate equipment;
According to the period of the visit, I recommend wearing appropriate shoes, because the terrain is mainly covered in small stones;
It is desirable to carry water because there are no fountains around;
The sun here can be strong, so it’s a good idea to wear appropriate clothing to protect you and / or put sunscreen on you regardless of the season;
The place is suitable for children and adults, and I emphasize again that it is good to carry water and if necessary to rest in places after the big climbs;
Speaking of the beautiful places in the Rhodopes (find other interesting places in the Rhodopes here), it is appropriate to add as a bonus in this article one of the most popular and mystical Thracian sanctuaries in Bulgaria – Utrobata Cave
The cave can be reached by several paths, one is from the eco-trail “Paradise View“, following the yellow markings, the duration is 1 hour and the terrain is medium difficulty. The other and more popular route is from the road after the village of Padartsi, 4.5 km away.
I went through the second route, which is marked with blue markings. The duration from here is about 1 hour, and the path on this side consists mainly of a rocky section without much shade. Along the route there are three nice gazebos where you can relax, the third of them is the largest and has a barbecue and table.
But what is a cave and why is it so interesting? The Utrobavata or known also as the womb is an ancient cave sanctuary, with uncertain dating, placed in a wide range from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. It is a natural horizontal crack in a rock, which was additionally cut and shaped by human hands into a small altar. It is about 3 meters high, almost 22 meters long. Its entrance is located 2 meters above the ground and can be reached by a wooden ladder.
And the special moment in this place can be observed at a certain time of the year, when the sun is low in the south, its rays are long enough to reach the altar and symbolically “fertilize” the womb. According to some estimates, this happens only in January and February, and according to others it can happen only on one day of the year – Christmas. Scholars believe that the culmination of Orphic beliefs took place in this temple.
No matter which route you take to the cave, the duration of the walk is about 1 hour;
There are no fountains on either path, so bring water;
Here the trails are almost entirely outdoors, so wear appropriate clothing or get the necessary preparation to protect yourself from the weather;
Remember that the route from the eco-trail “Paradise View” is marked in yellow, and from the road to the cave is marked in blue;
Wear appropriate shoes with high and stable soles;
The place is suitable for adults and children as I to mention that the stairs at the very entrance of the cave should be carefully taken on;
I strongly believe that the Rhodopes are one of those places that in a very interesting way shows history and nature in one, and is an intriguing place for curious adventurers looking for beauty and thrill, so the combination of eco-trail “Paradise View” and Utrobata cave provide an amazing experience, accompanied by unique emotions and sights that will bring smiles to your face for a long time.