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Ecotourism Ecotoruism is creating jobs, raising life standards and reducing the depopulation of rural areas. The New Thracian Gold network of entrepreneurs works for the sustainable development of the region by providing nature tours, tourist attractions, and number of nature friendly...

What is the New Thracian gold

New Thracian Gold (NTG) is a Bulgarian-Dutch project, active in the period 2009-2014, aiming at the greener future for the Eastern Rhodopes. The main objective is to develop sustainable initiatives which promote and combine organic farming, nature conservation and ecotourism. Since 2014...

Places of interest

This section describes the natural and historical/cultural treasures of the Eastern Rhodopes. Concerning the nature and wilderness part, most of the Eastern Rhodopes is technically Natura 2000 area. However, less than 20% of Natura 2000 area in Bulgaria is actually protected under national...

The NTG team

Frank Zanderink, АRК Nature - Leader of the NTG project Frank was born in 1962. He graduated from the Agricultural University of Wage­ningen, the Netherlands (Forestry with specialisation on wildlife and nature management). He has worked for GREENPEACE NETHERLANDS; for WWF -Zambia...

Publications

On a bicycle in the Rhodopes - BNR, 22.06.2013 First Tarpan Foal for 2013 - For the nature, 02.04.2013 2013's First Tarpan Horse Born in Bulgaria - novinite.com, 02.04.2013 Curious cases from Bulgarian environmental protection - 13.03.2013 Experts Build Up Population of Fallow Deer in Eastern...

Team of the New Thracian Gold nowadays

Nowadays the activities and products , developed under the New Thracian Gold project are managed by "Gabi Tour Ltd". The New Thracian Gold network of entrepreneurs and farmers in the Eastern Rhodopes is coordinated by Mihaela Kircheva - sustainable development and ecotourism expert. All members...

Caves

Cave “Karangil“Location: village Shiroko Pole, East from KardzhaliOrigins: Was formed in limestone rocks, three floors with a depth 650 m. inhabited by several species of bats. The cave is the only in the world habitat of the spider.Status:  Natural landmark.Access: 200m...

Natural Phenomenons

The petrified forest Location: Located in the village of Raven (Momchilgrad) in a deep gorge, called by locals Gabaz gulch. "The Trees" are among both sides of the gorge with over 120 m length. They represent twenty stumps of trees burned by fire. They are 1 to 1.5 m tall and...

Eastern Rhodopes Guide

Visit the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains in South Bulgaria and use this website to find out Where to stay and Where to eat, as well as find details of Activities and Interesting sites. You can easily book everything directly through us. Simply send your request to: newthraciangold@gmail.com or...

Historical Sites

The Devil’s Bridge (Sheitan kyupryu)Location: Located on about 5 km north from Ardino near the village of Dyadovtsi.Description: Stone bridge over the Arda river, built on a scenic narrow gorge in the Late Middle Ages. Through it passed the way, which used to connect region of the...

Archaeological and cultural sites

Perperikon – Archaeological complex  Location: The complex is located 20 km northeast of Kardzhali, 2 km from the village of Gorna Krepost. It is entirely carved into the rocks and is one of the oldest monumental megalithic sites in Bulgaria. Here can be found the...

Protected areas

Patronka protected site   Patronka  is located on the south bank of river Arda, east of the town of Madzharovo. It is one of the most picturesque and inaccessible portions of the valley of the Arda River, where the river bank is very steep and intensely rugged. Interspersed...

Organic model farm

ORGANIC MODEL-FARM TOPOLOVO village,  MADZHAROVO municipality  This model-farm plays a key-role in the New Thracian Gold (NTG) Project.   NTG is a project of the Dutch Foundations Ark and Avalon and aims to support the Eastern Rhodopes region by combining organic ...

Perperikon - Archaeological complex

Location: The complex is located 20 km northeast of Kardzhali, 2 km from the village of Gorna Krepost. It is entirely carved into the rocks and is one of the oldest monumental megalithic sites in Bulgaria. Here can be found the Thracian legacy, bearing memory of the god of...

The Womb cave

The Womb cave near the village of Padartsi  Location: Situated 25 km from the town of Kardzhali, high in the mountains above the hut Borovitsa in rocky area Dangardak Kaya (The ringing stone).  Description: This incredible facility from the Thracian times was found in...

Orpheus sanctuary near the village of Tatul

Location: At 15 km east of Momchilgrad in the area of Asara near the village of Tatul.Description: This is the second most important megalithic monument in the Eastern Rhodopes and one of the unique Thracian megalithic monuments in Europe. Impressive religious complex at first...

Ancient necropolis “The Great mound”

Location: It is located in the highest place in the beginning of what now is the village of Svirachi in the municipality of Ivaylovgrad – specially picked so it could be easily seen, with excellent visibility in all directions, providing closer distance with the...

Dolmen at the village of Pelevun

Location: At 2 km before the village Pelevun, Ivaylovgrad municipality, on the right to the road. Description: It is a tomb, pointing east - west, the entrance is from the east. It consists of a large burial chamber, antechamber, pre burial chamber and dromos, all with a...

Thracian complex “The Deaf Stones”

Location: 6-7 km southwest of the village Malko gradishte.  Description: one of the biggest cult - burial complexes in the Eastern Rhodopes. It originated in the early Iron Age (XII - VI centuries BC.) And was used during Antiquity and Middle Ages. Situated on four rocks, ...

The Devil’s Bridge (Sheitan kyupryu)

Location: Located on about 5 km north from Ardino near the village of Dyadovtsi.Description: Stone bridge over the Arda river, built on a scenic narrow gorge in the Late Middle Ages. Through it passed the way, which used to connect region of the Thracian lowland with the Aegean. The...

Remains of the Thracian fortress “Kaleto” (The Fortress)

Location: Located in the area “Eagle rocks” at around 4km south of town Ardino.Description: The wall of the fortress forms irregular circle dimaetar 67 m. It covers an area of 0,5 dca. The fortress was built without plaster, so it is completely destroyed, the construction has slide...

Protected area “Pchelen kamak”

Location: Between the villages of Pchelari in the municipality of Stambolovo and Kotlari in the municipality of Krumovgrad, before the iron bridge over Arda river, near the protected area Oreshari. Description: A Thracian rock sanctuary, consisting of a group of rocks on which are...

Chernata Skala (the Black Rock)

The Chernata Skala protected site has an area of 893.70 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-473 of 11.07.2001 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, with the aim of preserving protected and ...

Gyurgena protected site

The Gyurgena protected site has an area of 72.40 ha and was established with Order No:649 of 23.11.2000 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water, on the suggestion of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and the Group for the Research and Protection of Bats. It...

Dupkata (the Hole) protected site

The Dupkata protected site has an area of 6.5 ha. It was established with Order No:RD-328 of 08.05.1992 by the Ministry of the Environment and Water. The Dupkata protected site is immediately above the town of Ivaylovgrad and includes a natural landmark, a precipice cave.. In a ...

Kardzhali town

   Kardzhali is a town in Southern Bulgaria and it is located in the valley of Arda river, which is the biggest river in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains. Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, lies some 250 km to the northwest and Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, lies some...

Madzharovo

Madzharovo is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with approximately 500 inhabitants. The town is named after its protector from 1913 - Dimitar Madzharov. Back at these days around 20 thousands Bulgarian refugees from Aegian Thrace were expelled from their land. They were seeking path to their...

Tourism index

Tourism The Eastern Rhodope region has been inhabited since the dawn of European civilization and it is the richest in the Balkans in megalithic monuments from Thracian antiquity. The Eastern Rhodopes are one of the few places in Europe where the nature is uncredibly various, the biodiversity...

The Wild Farm

Story by Meindert Brouwer, Dutch writer and publisher: http://mb.hetwebburo.nl/October, 2009 They call their guesthouse The Wild Farm, ‘a rural house for adventures in the Eastern Rhodope’. And wild it is, not the farm, but the region. Father Nikki, mother Betty and...

Press releases

NEW THRACIAN GOLD 5 YEARS ANNIVERSARY. Open doors weekend in the Eastern Rhodopes 26-27 Apri - 17.03.2014 The winners of NTG Contest - 04.11.2013 European Bison Reintroduction in the Eastern Rhodopes - 27.10.2013 „The Wildlife of Eastern Rhodopes” in Varna and Sliven -...

Terms of use

Main project info: The New Thracian Gold (NTG) is a project of the Dutch nature preservation organizations ARK and Avalon. By 2014 they will work on supporting economic growth and welfare in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountains by developing activities which combine organic farming, nature preservation...

Local rare breeds

Local rare breeds are part of the living wealth of the planet. After thousands of years of natural and artificial selection, they are well adapted to the conditions of the environment in which they have been living for centuries, easy to satisfy, with inherited qualities and high viability....

Multimedia

New Thracian Gold - YouTube The World Live - To Take Interest In Others - Documentary about ARK Foundation The Eastern Rhodopes - NTG YouTube channel The vultures in Eastern Rhodopes - NTG YouTube channel   BiNET.tv Bulgaria travel - Thracian cult complex at Dolno cherkovishte Bulgaria...

Biodiversity and wild life

The Eastern Rhodopes are located in the southernmost part of Bulgaria. They occupy the lower eastern part of the Rhodopes Massif. To the south they border with the Aegean Lowland, to the north and east with the Thracian lowland and the river of Maritza. The border with the Western Rhodopes follows...

Rhodopean Shorthorn cattle

Rhodopean Shorthorn cattle are the breed with the least specimens in Bulgaria. It’s a primitive form of Bos Taurus Brachyceros, left unchanged since the Neolithic age until today. Widespread in the past, today this primitive breed is preserved only in the Eastern Rhodopes. The Rhodopean...

Karakachan sheep

The Karakachan sheep is the domestic sheep’s closest ancestor to the wild European mouflon, and is one of the oldest breeds of sheep in Europe. Animals of this breed have been bred from ancient times - ancient authors mention sheep with rough wool kept by the Thracians. The breed takes its...

Karakachan horse

Karakachan horse is a local primitive breed of horse, extremely durable and adapted to the hard ways of living. For centuries it has served the Karakachans in their long mountain hikes during their seasonal migrations from summer pastures to winter and vice versa. Horses were pasture raised, no...

Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature

The winners of the first competition „Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature“ November 1, 2011 Vladimir Sulov and Valentina Raykova are the winners of the first New Thracian Gold-contest fort the most interesting itinerary and best photo from the Eastern Rhodopes. Vladimir...

Natural monument

The petrified forest Location: Located in the village of Raven (Momchilgrad) in a deep gorge, called by locals Gabaz gulch. "The Trees" are among both sides of the gorge with over 120 m length. They represent twenty stumps of trees burned by fire. They are 1 to 1.5 m tall and...

Reintroduction of Red Deer in the Eastern Rhodopes

New Thracian Gold and the National Hunting and Fishing Association - Union of Hunters and Anglers in Bulgaria work together to recover the red deer population in the Eastern Rhodopes.  In 2012 and 2013, a total of 30 red deer was released in the Studen Kladenets Game Reserve. The...

Dimo Karaboyukov’s place in the village Popovets

Dimo Karaboyukov grows vines (5,15 ha wine and table grapes) and alfalfa (3.91 ha)  near the village of Popovets, Stambolovo municipality. He accepts visitors all year round, upon prior request. The groups can be up to 10 people. A walk in the vineyard, including trimming and picking of...

Krasimir Arabadzhiev’s place in village of Topolovo

All year round Krasimir Arabadzhiev, also known as Kasim, accepts groups of a maximum of 12 people at his organic farm in Topolovo. The farm is a model for the “New Thracian Gold” project. A visit to the farm cost 3 leva per visitor. He can offer honey, herbs andwine made of organic...

Mummer's festival

IVAYLOVGRAD EASTERN RHODOPES DATE: 1 – 2 March 2014   BE A PART OF THE CELABRATION VISIT THE TRADITIONAL MUMMERY FEST IN LADZHA NEIGHBOURHOOD   PRICE: 84 BGN   HIGHLIGHTS: ✔     Ariving in Friday ✔     Departure...

Bread festival

Village of RABOVO EASTERN RHODOPES TASTE THE HEALTHY BREAD MADE OF SPELT, MADE BY OLD TECHNOLOGY BOAT TRIP AND ADVENTURES WITH KAYAKS OBSERVATION OF DOE AND DEER   DATE: 27 – 29 JULY 2012  Day one – Friday, June 27 Accommodation in Kroyatsite hut in hunting...

Krumovgrad

Krumovgrad is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with  approximately 5000 inhabitants. The surrounding landscape  is picturesque and exotic. The area is rich in nature and offers various  cultural highlights.  Krumovgrad is situated in  between Kardzhali and Ivaylovgrad along...

Natural grazing and large herbivores in Eastern Rhodopes

Natural grazing by large herbivores is a key process for suitable development and natural maintenance of ecosystems. In wild nature the animals graze all year round.  This practice was well understood and practiced for thousands of years by the ancient Balkan livestock farmers, who...

Eastern Rhodopes Tourist Map

The latest and most detailed up to now tourist map for the Eastern Rhodopes has been elaborated in 2011 by Bulgarian and Dutch experts of the New Thracian gold project.  The map presents all attractions of the Eastern Rhodopes fully covering ten municipalities - Kardzhali, Ardino,...

Wineries and degustation

Winery “Trakia” in the village of Popovets Dimo Karaboyukov is a great host and inexhaustible source of stories about the Rhodope mountains, Stambolovo area and Popovets village. He can turn the tape of his family more than a century ago and tell you amazing stories about the...

Farms and attractions

The Wild Farm in the village of Gorno Pole The Wild Farm is a non-traditional, organic farm in the village of Gorno Pole, Madzharovo Municipality. The young Vasilievi family, who are the owners, gave up their life in the big city to develop rural tourism in the old family house. Now they...

How to get to Sbor

  By car From Krumovgrad drive 17 km towards Iwaylovgrad; turn north towards the village of Padalo and 5 km after the crossroad, before the village of Padalo and after the collapsed bus stop, you will see a dirt road leading west (left) to the village of Sbor. Coming from Ivaylovgrad...

Byala reka nature site

Tour description: full day, 15 km walking, medium-strenuous Area description: unspoiled wilderness, Mediterranean woodland and scrub, abandonded villages, picturesque river, Ancient dolmen and open air barbecue Highlights: Mediterranean species – Balkan terrapin, Snake-eyed lizard,...

Wildlife photography promo tour

Together with our partners from Photosynthesis we invite you along to capture the beauty of the nature through the lens instead of in the optical sight, to preserve and show it rather than destroy it. "Take photos! Don’t kill! " is the motto of the project which Photosynthesis started...

TransRhodope Long distance biking trail

GPS tracks available to download from HERE The TransRhodope Long distance mountain biking trail is mainly off-road. The route is built using dirt mountain roads, forest paths and small country roads. Over 70% of the route is traffic-free. The total lenght of the route is over 500 km. The...

Youth eco-club

Conservation of the "green gold" - the unique biodiversity of the Eastern Rhodopes -  is a major point in the philosophy of " New Thracian Gold" (NTG). The involvement of young people in conservation activities and promotion of natural resources is a guarantee for sustainable...

Reintroduction of Tarpans

New Thracian Gold project is successfully conducting the first ever reintroduction of Tarpans in Bulgaria, a rebreed of wild horses that have lived hundreds  of years ago in Europe. In September 2011, the first 12 Tarpans arrived in Bulgaria from the Netherlands and settled in the Eastern...

A Culinary Guidebook to the Eastern Rhodopes

Do you happen to know what gyuzlemi are? Have you ever tasted a rabbit banitsa or a pumpkin stuffed with rabbit meat? Have you ever eaten chicken with katmi or krukmach? Have you heart about a Rhodopean zelnik? Or about a maslenitsa? Information and the recipes about these dishes you can...

Competition 2011

Vladimir Sulov and Valentina Raykova are the winners of the first New Thracian Gold-contest fort the most interesting itinerary and best photo from the Eastern Rhodopes. Vladimir Sulov wins the photo competition with his View of the Priest (Perperikon). Sulov is actually twice a winner, because...

The Winners in the Second Edition of NTG Contest „Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature“

Kichka Dyankova and Yassena Popova are the winners in the second edition of the Competition „Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature“. They submitted the most interesting travel story  and the best photo, according to the jury of New Thracian Gold. The number of...

The Wild Farm of Betty and Nikolay Vassilievi

In their new guest house Betty and Nikolay can accommodate guests in six rooms. The family combines various entrepreneurial interests. In addition to hospitality and tourism the Wild Farm is specialised in organic farming. Currently, they breed more than 450 Rodopi Shorthorn cattle and Bulgarian...

Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation

Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation is a legal non-profit entity which inherited the nature conservation activities of the New Thracian Gold project in the region of the Eastern Rhodopes. The main activities of the Foundation are connected with natural grazing of Red and Fallow deer and wild horses in...

Restoration of fallow deer population

New Thracian Gold, the National Hunting and Fishing Association - Union of Hunters and Fishermen in Bulgaria, Hunting and Fishing Association "Sokol"- Krumovgrad and the Society of the Hunters and Fisherman of Kardzhali work on a joint project for the restoration of the fallow deer population in...

First Organic Tahini Factory in Bulgaria

On May 23rd, the first organic tahini factory in Bulgaria - BIOTERRA – IVAYLOVGRAD Ltd. - was officially opened in the village of Kondovo, Municipality Ivaylovgrad. Its opening becomes possible thanks to the expert and financial support by the Bulgarian-Dutch project New Thracian Gold (NTG)...

European Bison Reintroduction in the Eastern Rhodopes

New Thracian Gold works on the reintroduction of the European bison, a large endangered herbivorous species and iconic for to rewilding in Europe, the Eastern Rhodopes. In October 2013, five bison were brought to the Studen Kladenets Game Reserve in region. This was the first step of the first...