Adventure gastro tour “Fever for precious stones in The Rhodope Klondike

Daily Tour 2 days Availability: 2021-12-04
6480 Madzharovo, Bulgaria Eastern Rhodopes Tour Guide: Ekaterina Terzieva

The search for and collection of precious and semi-precious stones is one of the most modern types of tourism in Bulgaria. We will take you to the crater of a volcano that erupted more than 35 million years ago. Today on this place is the second smallest town in Bulgaria – Madjarovo. As a result of the active volcanic activity, the rocks around the city hide in their bowels over 16 types of precious, semi-precious stones and gold.

With a local guide, we will enter the old mine for precious stones, and in the area around it, we will embark on a real adventure in the Bulgarian Klondike – looking for agates, amethysts, chalcedony, jasper. Later we will look at a collection of over 1000 specimens of precious and semi-precious stones, we will learn about their energy and healing properties, we will have the opportunity to join a small bazaar for jewelry inlaid with stones.

In the Land of Orpheus we can not but visit the dwellings of the ancient Thracians – the sanctuaries Kovan Kaya and Hambar Kaya, as well as the famous Alexander’s tomb, built in the second half of the IV century BC. as the last home of a rich Thracian ruler.

And because the focus of “SlowTours.BG” is gastronomy and local food, on both days we will enjoy delicious Eastern Rhodope dishes and local specialties. The mentors of the reality TV show “The Farm” Blagovesta and Nikolay will welcome us on their farm with stuffed pumpkin with beef from pastured animals and delicious dairy beef appetizers. And in the neat hotel along the Arda River at the foot of the dam “Studen Kladenets” we will be treated to both days with delicious dishes according to old local recipes.


Place of departure / arrival

Departure hours: 06.00 from Sofia, 08.00 from Plovdiv.


The price of the tour includes

  • One breakfast
  • Two lunches
  • Dinner
  • Overnight
  • Leader of the expedition to search for precious stones
  • Guided tour by a licensed guide
  • Presentation about the precious and semi-precious stones in Bulgaria
  • Transport with a licensed transport company
  • Tourist insurance

And the hosts on the first day will be Betty and Nikki – the stars of the TV show “The Farm”, who are parents of four children and have their own farm for grazing animals.



Opportunity to purchase

Opportunity to purchase fresh and natural farm products at producer prices, as well as jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones


What to expect?

The adventure gastro tour “Fever for precious stones in the Rhodope Klondike” provides an opportunity for an exotic and new for Bulgaria type of tourism – the search for precious and semi-precious stones.

This natural wealth predetermined the development of Madzharovo during socialism as a mining center. The development of the deposit began in the late sixties. The explosives were transported to the underground galleries by cutters, ox-carts, and camels. The camels appeared in the area together with the caravans of refugees from Eastern and Aegean Thrace and Aegean Macedonia before the First World War. They were used to carry loads, wood, plowing. The last camels in our country were in Madzharovo until the 70s of the XX century to transport the ore.

Mining in the town drove away from the Egyptian and whitish vultures. With the advent of democracy, the gemstone installation in Madzharovo was abolished and mining was stopped, prompting protected birds to return. Today, more than 100 griffon vultures and more than 20 Egyptian vulture families live in the rocks above Arda, attracting many birdwatchers.

From a settlement inhabited by 6000-7000 people, Madjarovo became the second smallest town in Bulgaria. 35 million years ago there was a crater of a volcano on the site of the settlement. Thanks to its activity, the region abounds in over 16 types of precious and semi-precious stones. With a local guide, we will enter the old mine for precious stones, and in the area around it, we will look for amethysts, agates, jaspers, and chalcedony.

Later we will look at a collection of over 1000 specimens of precious and semi-precious stones, we will learn about their energy and healing properties, we will have the opportunity to join a small bazaar for jewelry inlaid with stones. Amethyst is one of the stones with universal therapeutic properties. His energy is very powerful and highly purifying, it is believed to carry wisdom. Helps with headaches, migraines, increased mental load, insomnia. Jasper also has strong healing and grounding powers. The ancient Egyptians wore jasper scarabs as amulets because the stone was believed to increase sexual energy. According to the Bible, the jasper is a gift from God and is the first stone of the new Jerusalem.

Chalcedony symbolizes calm and composure, for Tibetans, it is a stone of purity and concentration. In ancient times it was quite a popular decorative stone, engraved with deities and water spirits. The ancients believed that this stone could affect the weather and tried to appease the gods with it. Agate provides a balance between physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual states. Agate helps in the treatment of diseases of the pancreas and improves blood circulation.

In the Land of Orpheus we can not but visit the dwellings of the ancient Thracians – the sanctuaries Kovan Kaya and Hambar Kaya, as well as the famous Alexander’s tomb. Kovan Kaya is part of a megalithic Thracian cult complex in the Eastern Rhodopes. Known as the Rock – beehive, it is the largest complex with rock niches in our country. Their south-southeast orientation gives reason to believe that they served the ritual purposes of our ancient ancestors. From Kovan Kaya there is a stunning view of the beautiful meanders of Arda.

Near the dam Studen Kladenets there is another rock sanctuary, called by the locals Hambar Kaya. It is a solitary massive rock, at the foot of which there is a small cave cavity. Several trapezoidal niches are carved into the rock. At the top of the rock are footprints leading to three rock tombs. We will also see the Alexander Tomb, built in the second half of the 4th century BC. as the last home of a rich Thracian ruler. It is decorated with unique murals, and on the walls of the burial chamber, the dromos and the vestibule are depicted in various hunting scenes and a funeral feast. The site is expected to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

And because the focus of “SlowTours.BG” is gastronomy and local food, on both days we will enjoy delicious Eastern Rhodope dishes and local specialties. The mentors of the reality TV show “The Farm” Blagovesta and Nikolay will welcome us on their farm with stuffed pumpkin with beef from pastured animals and delicious dairy beef appetizers. Here they also prepare Thracian specialties from the village of Sachanli, Aegean Thrace: “guzlemi”, rabbit pie, chicken with “katmi”, steamed goat, “saralia”, as well as Rhodope specialties: “kukuresh”, traditional barbecue… A cozy hotel along the river Arda at the foot of the dam “Studen Kladenets” will host us both days with delicious dishes according to old local recipes.


Маршрут

Day 1: The Thracian sanctuaries of the Eastern Rhodopes and the first meeting with the precious stones

We depart from Sofia and Plovdiv and head to the Alexander Tomb, built in the second half of the IV century BC. as the last home of a rich Thracian ruler. It is decorated with unique murals, and on the walls of the burial chamber, the dromos and the vestibule are depicted in various hunting scenes and a funeral feast. The site is expected to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. We have lunch at the farm of Blagovesta and Nikolai – the mentors of the reality TV show “The Farm”. They will welcome us with stuffed pumpkin with beef from pastured animals and delicious dairy beef appetizers. The afternoon is dedicated to the Thracian sanctuaries in the Eastern Rhodopes Kovan Kaya and Hambar Kaya. Kovan Kaya is part of a megalithic Thracian cult complex. Known as the Rock – beehive, it is the largest complex with rock niches in our country. The rock sanctuary Hambar Kaya is a solitary massive rock, at the foot of which there is a small cave cavity. Several trapezoidal niches are carved into the rock. At the top of the rock are footprints leading to three rock tombs. In the afternoon we will have the first meeting with the precious and semi-precious stones from the region of Madjarovo – we will see a collection of over 1000 specimens of precious and semi-precious stones, we will learn about their energy and healing properties, we will have the opportunity to join a small jewelry bazaar inlaid. with stones. Dinner includes local dishes based on traditional recipes.

Day 2: Gem fever on the banks of the Arda River

After breakfast, we set off on the great adventure – searching for precious and semi-precious stones in the region of Madzharovo, where 35 million years ago there was an active volcano. The town is built in the crater of the volcano, so there is an abundance of over 16 types of precious stones. With a local guide, we will enter the old mine for precious stones, and in the area around it, we will look for amethysts, agates, jaspers, and chalcedony. Everything we find remains a gift for us. Depending on the weather forecast, lunch will be in the form of a picnic near the meanders of Arda, where the Egyptian and griffon vultures nest. If the weather does not allow lunch outdoors, we will eat at the hotel with local dishes according to Rhodope recipes.
Departure is in the afternoon.

Madzharovo is located in the crater of a volcano that erupted more than 35 million years ago. As a result of the active volcanic activity, the rocks around the eastern Rhodope town hide in their bowels over 16 types of precious, semi-precious stones and gold.

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