Savoy Rent a Car is one of the leading car rental companies in Bulgaria established in 2003. Our goal is to provide our customers with high quality services at the most competitive rates. Savoy offers a wide range of vehicles. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, we have a vehicle to suit your needs. Our fleet contains economy, compact, mid-size, SUV, minivans and full size cars. We guarantee: - Unlimited mileage - Full insurance coverage - 24/7 customer support - Free delivery - Delivery & transfers to every point in Bulgariaread more
If you book a rental car with us, we’ll make sure it’s ready for you to go. Including insurance and, in winter season, the suitable tyres. You’ll find that Bulgaria is easy to explore by car, in the last couple of years the roads have really improved and you should have no issues navigating the roads. The signs are in Cyrillic as well as Latin script, which makes it much easier for you. Besides, if you have a rental car, you’ll manage to see far more because public transport to remote corners is available, however it’s infrequent. With your rental car, you have all the freedom you desire. With pleasure we’ll help you prepare an itinerary so you can hit the road prepared! It’s not such a long drive to Plovdiv and then Asenovgrad. It should take you about 2,5 hours from Sofia. Make sure to visit the Old Town of Plovdiv, where you find several ancient sites as well as good restaurants and cafes. In Asenovgrad, visit Asen’s Fortress and continue southeast towards Kardzhali. You’re in the northern part of the Rhodope mountains now. There are many villages but the forests are mostly uninhabited. It’s one of Europe’s last natural frontiers, an area mostly untouched by mankind. As you drive to Kardzhali, you can leave the main road to drive into some small villages and see how life is in these places. You’ll find traditionally built houses, mostly built of stone from the nearby area. The people still make a living in the same way they did hundreds of years ago. They sell their homemade honey or yoghurt and keep livestock. Nowadays plenty of people run a guesthouse to make it through winter. Asen’s Fortress / Perperikon / Swallow Falls Pool After leaving Asenovgrad, near the first villages off the main road, visit the Swallow Falls Pool (Водопад Лястовичи Вир). Find it in Google Maps. Then continue to the villages Oreshets, Vrata or Mostovo, high up into the mountains. There are plenty of guesthouses you can spend the night. The next morning, enjoy a hearty, homemade breakfast and why not take a walk over the hillsides? You can walk along the road and even get all the way in the direction of the village Tri Mogili. Or, find Skalnia kompleks Karadjov kamak in Google Maps and walk there. You’ll have a good view over the area. It’s time to get back down to the main road and head east to Kardzhali. Feel free to stop along the road or to visit any village. Then drive a bit farther east. You’re in the Eastern Rhodope mountains now. You shouldn’t skip Perperikon, one of Bulgaria’s most impressive ancient sites. At 15 kilometres north of Kardzhali and 470 metres altitude, the rocky hill is believed to have been a sacred place for the Thracians. At this place, traces of human activity dating back to 5.000 years B.C. were found. Then you could stop by in Kardzhali, which is at 260 kilometres from Sofia. It has a unique position on the Kardzhali Reservoir and the Studen Kladenets Reservoir. Kardzhali has a typical center with streets lined with cafes and a city park. Then there’s the Kardzhali Museum of History. If you don’t feel like going inside, you can just visit the garden, which has 30 plant species that only grow in Bulgaria. The building was originally intended to function as an Islamic school but was never actually used with this purpose. It became a military facility and later on a campus linked to Plovdiv University. It was transformed into a museum between 1980 and 1983. The museum now has one of the richest collections in Southern Bulgaria, that includes many cultural and natural artefacts specific to this region. Monastery Yoan Predtecha is on the southern bank of Arda river, which divides the city into two parts. The place was destroyed at some point in history and its ruins were only found in 1930. Then it was reconstructed in 2000. Artefacts found during the excavations at this place are on display in the Kardzhali Museum of History, mentioned in the previous paragraph. There’s another monastery in the south of Kardzhali that you could visit - The Assumption of the Virgin Monastery. The garden is beautiful in spring, with many flowers and blossoming trees. For this monastery, a color pattern of blue and yellow is used, typical for Middle Eastern Christianity. As most cities in Bulgaria, Kardzhali is a very historical as well. It’s been inhabited from the Neolithic era. This era began around 15.200 B.C. and lasted until between 4.500 B.C. and 2.000 Kardzhali B.C. However, the area around Kardzhali is more mountainous than, for example Stara Zagora, which is an ancient city as well. For that reason, this area was used for building fortresses high upon the mountain tops, so the enemy could be seen from afar. Just 10 kilometres east of Kardzhali is the Monyak Fortress. Again, best is to find it in Google Maps. There is no actual fortress left on top of this hill, just the remains. Drive up with your rental car until you can go no further, park and hike the steep path up. It should take half an hour or so to reach the top. You have, arguably, one of the most stunning views in Bulgaria, all around you. You’ll see villages with several mosques dotting the countryside. This place is not that far from Turkey, it’s about a 130 kilometres from Kardzhali to the Turkish border by car. During the Ottoman era, Bulgaria changed radically and in over 500 years, many Turks lived all over the country. Especially so in the Southeast. Many left for Turkey after Bulgaria became an independent state. Still, Turkish is quite widely understood in Southeastern Bulgaria, depending on where you go though. In villages with mosques, you’ll likely come across some ‘Pomak’ people. These are the Bulgarian muslims, Pomaks make up about 220.000 of the complete Bulgarian population. The Balkans is a region of diversity and Bulgaria is no different. It makes the region fascinating to visit because each and every village has a culture of its own. Monyak Fortress Devil’s Bridge Arda River Another one of Bulgaria’s highlights is the Devil’s Bridge (Дяволският мост). It was built in 1518. It’s about half an hour walking from the village of Dyadovtsi. The village Dyadovtsi is just a 38-kilometre drive from Kardzhali. In the village, you’ll see the very unfortunate effect of what depopulation does to the countryside. Many people left for the big cities or abroad for future perspectives, meaning that many houses are left without inhabitants. On the positive side, people are starting to see the immense potential Southeastern Bulgaria has for tourism. Guesthouses are opening, village squares are slowly being renovated and with the influx of more visitors, the future should be good. The nature is stunning and wild. You’re in a remote corner of the European Union. A unique place that will certainly last in your memory. As you approach the Devil’s Bridge, you’ll find that it’s well maintained and, depending on the season, that it has a unique atmosphere. It’s a place where you find peace, you’re truly surrounded by nature here. If the wind doesn’t blow and the water is still, you can capture perfect pictures with the reflection of the bridge in the water. Autumn is probably the best time to visit, with a slight chance of rain however. The colours of the trees, the clear water of the Arda river and the sight of the arched bridge probably make this one of Europe’s most scenic places. Historically, the Devil’s Bridge is part of the ancient road connecting the Thrace region with the Aegean coast of Greece. It crosses the Arda river. By the way, you can even visit the source of the Arda river, in the village of Arda. It’s on the Greek border. If you have the time to drive there all the way from Kardzhali, you’ll get a good impression of the Southern Rhodope mountains. From this point on, you can either head back north or west to reach Sofia. You can easily see more of the Rhodope mountains on your way back, there are several roads you can take. For example past Chepelare and Asenovgrad or Pamporovo and Devin, or even Dospat and Batak. These places are all described in this separate post about the Western Rhodope mountains (http://savoyrent.com/en/exploring-the-rhodope-mountains-blog2176.html). by Leon de Leeuw Website: https://www.leondeleeuw.net/ Youtube: Visit Read more fantastic stories about Bulgaria: https://www.leondeleeuw.net/travel-bulgariaread more
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