I always wanted to go on a Yoga retreat and imagined the perfect Yoga retreat in the heart of Mother Nature. I also wanted to visit the mystical mountains of Rhodopes, where all the legends about Orpheus are kept alive thanks to the collective memory of the local people. Anyone who visited the Rhodopes once, will always come back, say the locals, because of their beauty, serenity, ”the slow-down” lifestyle you can feel in the air and numerous natural wonders like Yagodina cave, Devil’s Throat Cave, Devil’s bridge and many many others. The Rhodopes are the perfect place for a body-mind-soul detox. The retreat was organized by Yoga Studio Hridaya in Burgas and the owner of the studio was so kind to arrange the transportation from Burgas to Yagodina village for me!!!
Day one: on the road again
If you plan to visit the Rhodopes mountains, be prepared for a long and scenic ride. The road is one-lane and is difficult to drive on. As I was traveling from Varna to Burgas first, then from Burgas to Yagodina village, it took us an entire day to reach our final destination. However, the scenery around us the whole way was breath-taking. Lakes, little floating bungalows on the water, mountains, woods, rocks and all this in its purest state. If you need a clean-up head weekend, I would highly recommend you to visit the Rhodopes, you will definitely forget all your worries and leave behind you all your problems. When we arrived, we had a meditation session first and greeted the sunset.
Day two: our everyday schedule was always the same: morning yoga session, breakfast, hiking before lunchtime, SPA in the afternoon and yoga and meditation sessions in the evening.
The first yoga session was a classical one – morning stretching and relaxation followed by an abundant homemade breakfast – mekitzi with jam and Mursala tea – a real feast! As the weather was not rainy (yet), we decided to hike the Eagle’s Eye site. The Eagle’s Eye is a viewpoint where you can have a panoramic view of the three mountains – Rila, Pirin, and the Rhodopes. It’s also famous for the extreme jeep rides organized by the locals – if you need adrenaline, do not go for the hike, go for the 4X4 ride, it’s epic!
After we came back to the hotel Mursal, we jumped in the hot outdoors spring to chill and warm up a little bit. There were a hammam and sauna at our disposal that we enjoyed too! A wooden bucket with icе-cold water was placed outside of the sauna in case you need it! Priceless!!!!
The day finished with a walk around the hotel where we stayed. I was looking for a silent sunset to enjoy…. What else do you need when you have the mountains?
Day three: Ashtanga yoga in the morning, delicious breakfast, coffee on a terrace with a panoramic mountain background and Yagodina cave.
Yagodina cave is the most beautiful cave in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, it’s forbidden to take photos inside, but the whole experience is to be repeated. I saw a baby rearmouse and real pearls created by the sand and the water in the cave. As the temperature inside is about 7 degrees, we were freezing at the end of our visit and guess what? Jumped in the hot jacuzzi spring to warm up in the afternoon!
Power yoga, partner yoga, and dance meditation were planned for the evening and that was the perfect end to a long journey to myself in this unique plac!!!
We got a last get-together dinner with the whole group and exchanged our impressions of the stay.
The next morning it was time to say ”Goodbye” and to embark on a long 5-hours drive to Varna. We stopped in several villages on our way to buy local cheese and make some nice shots of the surroundings.
Are you excited to visit the Rhodopes one day? I am sure you’ll hear the sweet voice of Orpheus that will always remind you to come back!
Thanks for reading!