Bulgaria / GreeceBulgaria / GreeceBulgaria / GreeceBulgaria / GreeceBulgaria / Greece

Bulgaria / Greece

The route now takes you through a grassy lowland plain. To the right you can see the Belasica Mountains, to the left the Ograzden Mountains. In the Middle Ages, the Bulgarian town of Petric at the foot of the Belasica mountain range served as a stronghold in the wars with Byzantium. Today it is a centre for the processing of tobacco, fruit and vegetables.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can continue beyond Goce Delchev, climbing several metres up and passing through abandoned villages and empty landscapes. If you prefer an easier ride, you can opt for an alternative route. Goce Delchev lies in a long valley framed by massive mountain ranges.

Welcome to a different culture sphere: a quick side-trip to Turkey

The trail continues along paths lined by pinewoods towards Dospat. You are now in the region of the Pomaks, Bulgarian-speaking Muslims.  Dospat nestles on a slope, with the minaret of a mosque rising between tall buildings. You continue through Smoljan and Zlatograd, the southernmost town in Bulgaria situated in the Rhodope Mountains. After passing Ivajlovgrad, the trail now briefly enters Greek territory, passing the picturesque town of Petrotá with its bright, well-kept buildings and gardens,

  • 689
    Length
    KM
  • 227 kinds of birds
    in the Kerekini Lake Park,
    Greece
  • 25 km
    the former Greek
    "Surveillance area"
    along the Iron Curtain.

 

  • Burial Tombs of Mikri Doxipara-Zoni, Greece

    The burial tombs of Mikri Doxipara-Zoni are located in the municipality of Kyprinos which used to belong to the area of ancient Thrace. Close to the villages Mikri Doxipara and Chelidona, this archaeological site is well worth a visit. The tumulus dates back from the 2nd Century AD and has been constructed to cover the ashes of four members of a rich family and their horses. Five wagons which were used to transport the dead bodies as well as numerous offerings including weapons, jewelry, bronze and wooden items have been found in the area. The site can be visited all year long for free.

  • Moussaka, Greece

    Even though the moussaka is cooked in many Mediterranean countries, the Greek version of that dish seems to be the most famous. In this country, moussaka means an eggplant (zucchini, potatoes or artichokes could also be used) and ground meat dish covered with a thick layer of béchamel sauce. As the Iron Curtain Trail passes through Greece, cyclists will have the opportunity to enjoy it in its “home country”. Photo credit: Joana Petrova

  • Ustra Fortress, Bulgaria

    During the Middle Age, the Ustra Fortress was one of the highest strongholds in the Rhodope Mountains. At 1,114 meters altitude, the foundations of the fortress remain a formidable sight. Built during the 10th Century, this stronghold is located on top of a steep rocky mountain. Visitors can nowadays take a look at the three remaining towers and at the impressive 113 metres long outer wall. Photo credit: mitko_denev (flickr)

  • Evros River, Greece / Turkey / Bulgaria

    Evros River (or Maritsa River) which flows from the Rila mountains in Bulgaria to the Aegean Sea is the natural border between Greece and Turkey on more than 200 kilometers. The river forms a vast delta of 188 km2 next to Alexandroupolis. This delta has a high diversity of habitats including lagoons, fresh water lakes and sandy islets. This protected wetland is nowadays home to numerous bird species which can be observed all year long. Photo credit: Dimitris Siskopoulos

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The stages