Bulgaria,  Rhodope Mountain,  travel

The Meanders of Arda River in Bulgaria

The most beautiful places are often quite remote and difficult to get to. Thе meanders of Arda River have been on my bucket list for years. I travelled hundreds of kilometers to the most faraway locations in the Rhodope Mountains and finally got to see them. Totally worth it!

Arda is the longest river in the Rhodope Mountains and probably one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria. The river is approximately 280 km long with 250 km on Bulgarian territory.

Arda meanders beautifully through the Rhodope Mountains, forming impressive curves along the river valley. The meanders of Arda River are probably some of the most beautiful wonders in Bulgaria worth a visit.

Before you get on the road, you should know they are not as easily accessible – make sure you get a map, camera and more coffee. Don’t get discouraged as yet, though, the road is long, but once you get there you will not be disappointed.

The Meanders of Arda River near Madzharovo

I would say this is the easiest to get to from all meanders of Arda River. It is located on the road between Madzharovo and Village Borislavtsi in the eastern part of the Rhodope Mountains.


The road follows the river as it winds around and allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery through the window of your car. Make sure that you stop your car just before the biggest curve. The view is truly impressive.

The meanders of the Arda River, steep cliffs and vultures circling high in the sky.

The Meanders of Arda River near Kardzhali Dam

The meanders of Arda River, which are close to “Kardzhali” Dam are a lot more difficult to get to as they are quite remote from any larger towns. Despite being relatively far, they are absolutely stunning and the views along the way are breathtaking.

We had to travel more than 100 km through winding and rough roads, in one of the most isolated parts of the Rhodope Mountains. The small villages along the way look almost abandoned and only flocks of sheep remind that life still exists between the empty houses.

The only way to get to the meander is to get the road between Ardino and Kardzhali. After less than 15 km there will be a sign for Borovitsa. You should take that road, and in another 10 km you will be at a small crossroad. Take the road to Suhovo, there is a white sign stating that you are entering Star Chirak. At this point there is no chance of getting lost – just keep driving on this road and in few kilometers you will see the river curves to your left.

You feel like you are at the end of the world, where time has stopped. In this distant location, though, with no cars, no traffic, no urban noise, you will feel the most alive. You are surrounded by nature with an untouched beauty, wildlife sounds and fresh air.


After you take the necessary photos of the outstanding view, don’t forget to stop for a moment and appreciate the nature. It feels like there is something magical about this place. Photos cannot capture what the eyes can see, what the heart can feel and the peace with which your soul is filled.

Click here and learn about other unusual places in Bulgaria worth the visit.

Make sure that you add the meanders of Arda River to your travel bucket list!

What are the places on your bucket list that you have been dreaming about for awhile but still have not managed to tick off? What stops you of going? Feel free to share in the comments section below.


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