The Crossbill guidebook for the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria is out

29 May 2023

A guidebook for the Rhodopes, prepared by the Dutch Crossbill Guides Foundation, is out of print and is already available for all travellers, nature lovers and explorers.

This new guidebook is very different from the former edition as it does not include North-east Greece anymore, but covers a much larger area in Bulgaria. Whereas the previous book covered only the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains, this book covers the western part as well. In addition, two more interesting natural tourist destinations are included in the updated edition of the guidebook: Thracian plain and Sakar.

The guidebook is an in-depth and practical guide for naturalists and nature lovers, offering a better and deeper understanding and exploration of nature and biodiversity in the natural attractions included in the book. It offers background information, routes and site descriptions, as well as practical advice to help you find and observe some wildlife species. The book offers a combination of walking and driving routes with stops and short walks. “All the proposed routes offer pleasant walks for nature lovers who like to enjoy nature and have an eye for flora and fauna, and are not for people who want to cover as many places as possible in one day,” explains Dirk Hilbers founder and director of the Crossbill Guides Foundation.

The author is convinced that the guidebook offers unique routes and sights. In the Rhodope Mountain, scenic beauty and panoramic views, adventure and exotic flora and fauna from remote destinations and authentic local culture, important features already disappeared in so many places in Europe, are all intertwined. It is the mix of Eastern Rhodopes with the directly adjacent areas that makes this such an irresistible area. The guidebook also offers a combination of rewilding areas and birdwatching hotspots in the Eastern Rhodopes with very different but nearby areas. It is the combination of all these different habitats in close proximation that makes that the Eastern Rhodopes ranks on the very top of European nature destinations.

“I was pleasantly surprised about the great freedom you experience in the Rhodopes because there is hardly any fenced off land. That hasn’t changed of course but I almost forgot how wonderful it is to explore as you like. That is such a difference in comparison to many areas in Western Europe”, add Dirk. For the updated edition, the Crossbill Guides Foundation and Rewilding Rhodope revisited all the routes included in the first edition to update and add to the existing information and to add information on the new routes from the Western Rhodopes, Sakar and the Thracian Valley.

Another thing I realised is how vibrant and alive the conservation efforts are. A pleasure to see all the (re)introductions like the Black Vulture and European Bison projects. As a visitor you really feel there is a lot of projects aimed to strengthen biodiversity of the region, and you can see these projects are paying off,” explains Dirk Hilbers, founder and director of the Crossbill Guides Foundation.

The publication of the guidebook for Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria is supported financially and with expertise by Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation.


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