The Petrified forest is hidden in a beautiful canyon nearby the village of Raven, Momchilgrad area. The forest keeps “tree trunks” standing upright with a maximum height of 1,5 m. It is considered that the stone stumps were formed after underwater volcanic activity burned the trees and covered them with ash. It is recommendable to take a guide to the site, cause it is not well marked and there are many tricky places. Besides the interesting stone trees, the area is exceptionally beautiful and also there are some Thracian trapezoidal niches on the rocks above this valley.
Close to the village of Dzhanka, Krumovgrad area, the highest and most beautiful waterfall in the Eastern Rhodopes is hidden. It is known as “Vodopada” (meaning the waterfall). It is formed at the small river Dyushan dere. The water falls from 25 m and below the water is 5 m deep.
Madrets is a privately owned lake with a lovely house in a nature setting, located 1 km away from the village of Madrets. It is suitable for small groups and individual tourists. It’s a nice spot for fishing, boating, tenting, picnic in the summer house, fish lunch. The owners provide overnight stays in their guest house in the village of Madrets.
Lake “Studen kladenets” is a place of exceptional beauty with panorama views, interesting rocks, roaming birds of pray and rich biodiversity. The lake begins after the city of Kardzhali and ends at the dam near the village of Studen kladenets. Nature sites Sredna Arda, Yumruk skala and Golemiya sipey are ranged on its left shore. On the right (southern) shore of the lake is the game reserve Studen kladenets. In out of the hunting season you can enjoy this very special preserved natural setting. From the western border of the reserve you can admire spectacular views of lake Studen Kladenets, Sredna Arda, and Yumruk Skala. The reserve is famous for its enormous population of fallow deer. This wilderness area is also home to red deer, roe deer, European bison, otter, wild boar, fox, wild horses, and many other species. Vultures, black storks, and white-tailed eagles are regularly seen roaming the sky, while wolves come over from the neighboring Valchi Dol Nature Reserve located just a few flaps of the wings to the east. Among travel services are nature walking tours, wildlife photography, horse riding, hiking and biking tours, kayaking, and boat tours to show off the remarkable area.
Lake Kardzhali is Bulgaria’s third largest reservoir with a 24 km leght. The shores of the artificial lake Kardzhali are picturesque and very suitable to relax and outdoor activities. One can enjoy interesting water adventures such as:
- Boating in the lake;
- Water wheel or water jet tour.
The dam of the reservoir is also attractive with its arch form and a height of 109 m. Lovely spots for fish meals is the boat-restaurant Emona at the bank of the lake in recreation site of Enchets. The villages of Enchets and Glavatartsi offer nice guest houses and family hotels for all ages and wishes. There is also a hut and suitable places for tenting and camping outdoors.
The city part of Arda river was made into a channel with a water regulating function. The water in the channel is a home of various species, and right next to the channel, is the site of the heron’s colony of Kardzhali. The water treasures of Kardzhali are surrounded by walking and biking trails, parks, relaxing spots, view points, etc.
The plant is included in the Red book for protected plant species of Bulgaria as well as in the IUCN Red list of threatened species. We have a legend in Bulgaria which says that when Orpheus was torn by the Bacchantes, every drop of his blood merged into a small lilac flower. Another legend says that Orpheus used the Haberlea Rhodopensis for medicine and rituals. Anyway the Haberlea is a delicate flower with extreme resistance to drought and great ability to fall into lethargy and to withstand low temperatures and even freezing cold. This flower was estimated since Ancient times – Romans used it in coins design and emperors honored him in the Rhodopes mountains.
The huge Stone mushrooms (2-3 m height) are situated north of the village of Beli plast, just along the main road from Haskovo – Stremtsi – Kardzhali. Their age is from 35 million years ago when the Rhodopes were a bottom of a warm sea. Then underwater volcanic activity started and shaped the rock. When the water moved away, the climate formed the rocks into mushrooms. They are even colored with the right painting – pink for the stumps and dark green/grey for the hats – because of the different minerals in the rock of course.