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Mugla Village and Kazandzhi Dere Eco Trail

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Mugla villageFar away from the crowded and noisy cities, enclosed between majestic slopes of Rhodope mountains is located Mugla village. The first inhabitants of the village settled the place because of the clean, pleasant to taste water. Once upon a time the village had a school with more than 300 students. Now the average age of all 217 inhabitants is over 50 years, the school is empty, but you can still feel the cosy atmosphere of the local life.

The distance from Smolian is around 26 km, but the road is an option only during the summer as during winter the village is often disconnected from civilization by large droughts of snow. Of course all year around the village is reachable through the mountain paths – from village Gela or from Trigrad, but I guess that the deep snow is not what the normal hiker is searching, so choose the best season for you having this in mind.

Duration – 2,5 hours from Chairski lakes and 5 hours from village Gela
Difficulty – easy from Chairski lakes and difficult from Gela
Closest cities: Devin, Trigrad
There is no entry fee for Kazandzhi dere

The ecopath Kazandzhi dere is accessible seasonally – from May till the end of October and somethimes in November (if the weather allows)

Where is located village Mugla?

The Mugla village is being built along the river Muglenska at the foot of Mursalitsa hillside in the West Rhodopi mount. Close to the village is situated the nature reserve Kazanite also know from locals as “Kazandzhi Dere”.

There area is famous with its preserved many century-old species like fir tree, beech, pine. The other interesting object is an impressive cascade of small waterfalls, which form small pools with water. The village was named after the word “mugla” which means “fog”. According the local stories it has been burned and then built triple.

But even the flames weren’t able to destroy its charm and it is still carrying the coziness of traditional Bulgarian mountain village.

The buildings reatin their originas architecture

From Trigrad to village Mugla

The hiking time from Trigrad to Mugla is around 5 hours. If you don’t feel ok to hike so much you can split the route between two days.

This way you will walk 3 hours first day to Chaira lakes hut.

And around 2 hours during the second day – from Chaira to Mugla.

This is how we made it.

Below is the description of the route for that second part – from Chaira to Mugla.

From Chairski lakes to village Mugla

We started this pleasure hike around noon after generous breakfast at the hut.

The route is very easy and the beginning is just in front of Chaira lakes hut.

In around 20 minutes you will see the fishermans lake.

After that you have to walk around an hour through green meadows and low hills, just following the signs.

The road is going straight to the center of the village.

The fisherman’s lake

Unexpected strangers on our way to Mugla

The unique nature of Rhodopes

Crossing a vast green meadow

Look around for small paths going down

Approaching the village

It is scattered on several hills

Accommodation in village Mugla

Arriving in Mugla you will see many locals hanging around or just sitting on bench and gossip. Seeing us they starting to compelling whose house is the best and inviting us to sleep at theirs. If you haven’t managed to find an accommodation here is your chance. Many of them are providing such services.

In general you can choose to pay overnight or to have all inclusive staying – food and sleep. The prices vary from 7-10 euro for sleeping up to 15 euro for bed and food. I would suggest to go for second option as this is how you can try traditional Rhodopean food, cooked by local 🙂

Here I’m sharing the link to our kind host aunt Veska – https://tripcarta.com/de/ChIJm36hjDtnrBQRqJ7Cpdaz7OE

Also to mention that if you want to climb some particular peak you may ask for lift to there. The price is around 50 lv both ways for 5 people ( same for one or two).

There is a shop and a bar with rock music in the center. Though the shop is not working so regular, but you can always ask in the bar if you need something.

Something curious to know about the local people – they belong to a small group called Bulgarian Muslims.

The Bulgarian Muslims are Bulgarians of Islamic faith which have their own traditions, celebrations and habits.

And also they are known as very hospital and kind people.

Local guy is greeting us

‘The cleanness is health. The health is happiness.’ – A board that remind us the important things 😉 – You will see many of those in Mugla

The mosk

Kous-kous and other stories from locals

Visiting such cosy villages that have retained its authentic culture, architecture and traditions is one of my favorite way of travel.

Everything in the village is so natural that the only one think that left to the visitor is to be lost in admiration of this native beauty.

The atmosphere is such spontaneous that some Rhodopean grannies are catching us from the street and inviting to try their home made kouskous.

This is not something that you can see elsewhere 🙂

It turns out that due to its remoteness from the big city a deep snow during the winter is blocking the main road.

Sometimes it takes weeks to clean the road and the locals are disconnected from civilization during that time. Thats why they have a tradition to prepare themselves for winter. They are making stocks during the summer and put them in sacks which may be stored for years. In case of need they open it and use the food.

To observe the process is like a traveling over the centuries.

The process is slow and hard. Sometimes it may takes days to produce enough reserves. They dry up the tiny balls for few hours and then put them into sack. Ready for winter 🙂

Kazandzhi Dere

Eco Trail Kazandzi Dere is situated in around 20 min walking distance from the village. The starting point is the center of the village.  Look for a sign but you can also ask the locals if you are in doubt which road to catch. The trail is following the river just till the end of the village. Once you see the last buildings you should pass the river through the wooden bridge.

Crossing the river. Using the bridge is not an opton for us 😀

After that go straight to the mountain following wide road which constantly become a small forest path. You will pass a lovely recreation area with gazebo and a place for barbecue.

Going forward you will cross 3 small wooden bridges and a terrace with panoramic view to the natural rock waterfalls.

The route is like a walk in the park – short(around 30 min) and easy. At the end of it you will reach a place with many small pools with fresh water, which has been formed as result of a natural erosion of the rocks. Locals called them ‘cauldrons’. They also calls them pools and we imagined that we are going to a swimming pool. However we were happy to cool off in this natural pools that hot day. The deeper one is only 2 meters.

Entering into the green

Almost there

It is time to get wet

 

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