The traditions of Bulgaria's Slavs are strongest in the Rodopi, and it is here most of the Muslim population lives: ethnic Turks and Pomaks, whose ancestors converted during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. During the communist period a 20km (12mi) exclusion zone was enforced along Bulgaria's southern border, ensuring that the villagers in this region were isolated.
Many travellers only get as far south as Bachkovo Monastery (read more), 30 km (19 mi) south of Plovdiv. Smolyan, a large logging town 70 km (43 mi) farther south, is a good base for visits to the surrounding area. The ski resort of Pamporovo, 16 km (10 mi) north-west, is popular with package tourists from Britain and Germany, but day-trippers are also welcome.
Twenty km north-west of Smolyan is Shiroka Laka, a scenic village of stone houses, meandering goats and chatting villagers striking casual poses with pitchforks and donkeys. The School for Traditional Music, founded in 1971 to preserve Rodopi folklore and music, gives regular performances to the public.
There are few prefered objects in Rhodopi Mountain:
Tumrush reserve- rock climbing,
Dobrostan, Markovo and Brestovitsa- tandem paragliding spots,
Belintash- ancient thracian energy area, Mountain trip,
Wonderful bridges- 80m rappeling,
Yagodina, Trigrad- caving adventures, accomodation, home made food/delicious cuisine/
Chairski lakes- mountain biking in the wild,