Start from Shiroka laka!
Shiroka luka is a traditional village, located 90 km from Plovdiv and 12 km from the popular ski resort Pamporovo in the Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria. The village is settled on both sides of a mountain river and the houses climb the hillsides. Traditional architecture together with the freshness of the pine forest and cultural monuments make this small village a perfect spot for sightseeing, walking & cultural holidays.
Here are some of the most impressive sites of interest in Shiroka laka:
Museum of Ethnography “Zgurovski konak”
It is a traditional style stone building where you can find a lot of information about the typical way of life of the Bulgarian people from 19th century, together with local crafts, old style machines and tools, clothes, books, etc. The building of the museum has a historical importance and it’s really impressive. From there starts the famous Kukeri (Mummers) festival. The name of the festival is “Pesponedelnik” and it takes place every first Sunday of the month of March. It is amazing to see all these people dressed up as scary animals with huge horns and sharp teeth. The museum is open to visitors from April 1 to October 31. It is closed during winter time.
Orthodox church named after the Holy Mother
Shiroka luka has a nice church, built on the river side. It was built in only 40 days during the Ottoman invasion in the Rhodope mountains. It was a whole complex before – with a canteen for poor people, library and church school. Visiting the church and lightening a candle is in a memory of a close person but it is also a support for the church.
Early Byzantine Basilica in the village of Gela
8 km from Shiroka laka is the village of Gela where you can visit the highest situated basilica and religious complex in this part of Eastern Europe. It dates from 4 – 5 century and it is 1485m high. This basilica is connected with the beginning of the Christianization of the Thracian people from the Rhodopes. The basilica is at the beginning of Gela – 10 min walking distance from the asphalt road – there is a brown arrow sign.
Thermal water of Beden
8 km from hotel Kalina is a small bath with hot mineral water. It is right next to the asphalt road – a small sign points to the left. The thermal water comes deep from the earth with 70 degrees. The bathroom is open every day from 8:00 amd to 3:00 pm. After that the water is pumped out and new water is pumped in the bathroom with 70 degrees, stays there all night and in the morning is around 38 degrees. No chemicals are used to clean the water – it is simply pumped out and in every day. Entrance fee is BGN 3,60 for adult and BGN 2,40 per a child. Ask in our restaurant for more information and directions.