Walking the Rodopi Mountains

Bulgaria: Rodopi Mountains

8 days
View Trips
Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 24 reviews >
Learn more
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
Min age:

Trek spectacular mountain landscapes in beautiful Bulgaria

The Rodopi Mountains are a hauntingly beautiful and mysterious region which, according to legend were the home of Orpheus. Today they offer a refuge for many exceptionally rare plants, as well as brown bears, wolves, wild cats and a prolific number of butterflies and birds.

This holiday provides the opportunity to discover the amazingly rich cultural and natural heritage of these remote mountains as we walk through a variety of landscapes including ancient coniferous forests and rugged limestone gorges, we also visit two impressive caves, and engage with the local people who maintain their traditional rural existence, working the fields by hand and tending their livestock on the surrounding meadows and pastures.


  • Stunning mountain landscapes with deep gorges, spectacular caves, ancient forests and flowering meadows
  • Unique flora rich in orchids and endemic species
  • Outstanding fauna, including brown bear, wallcreeper and an exceptional variety of rare butterflies
  • Unique opportunities to experience daily life in a traditional Bulgarian village
  • Delicious home-produced local cuisine

Key information

  • 6 nights in a traditional rural settlement in Yagodina Village, 1 night in a comfortable hotel in Sofia. All rooms en suite
  • 6 days centre-based walking
  • Group normally 6 to 16 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 2188m, average 1350m
  • Travel by minibus



  • Countries visited: Bulgaria

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners included
  • All accomodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's & Vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Walking & Trekking

Approximately 3 - 5 hours walking per day


Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 214.0km/9.0miles
Day 317.0km/11.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 518.0km/11.0miles
Day 614.0km/9.0miles
Day 73.0km/1.9miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Fly to Sofia; transfer to Yagodina.

    Fly to Sofia airport (Terminal 2), where we will be met by the leader and transferred to the remote village of Yagodina, our base for the next 6 nights.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Walk from Zmeitsa along route of ancient Roman road through meadows, forests and fields to the Buinovo Gorge

    Setting off on foot from the village of Zmeitsa, we follow the line of an ancient Roman road through meadows, forests and fields where there are opportunities to observe the local people engaged in their traditional agricultural lifestyle. Finally, having descended a broad grassy ridge spur, that offers stunning views towards the village of Yagodina, we drop steeply into the Buinovo Gorge where our minibus will be waiting.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    The Chairska Gorge, Trigrad Plateau and Devil's Throat Cave.

    We start today's extremely varied walk by first hiking down the gorge of the Chairska River, and then climbing through ancient forests to emerge at an extensive area of glorious flower-filled meadows. Having crossed these, and then an interesting section of karst plateau, we eventually drop down into the Trigrad Gorge to visit the 'Devil's Throat' cave, an enormous chasm with a thundering waterfall. According to legend, this was the cave by which Orpheus emerged from the Underworld after his tragically failed attempt to reclaim his wife Eurydice. The crags around the cave entrance are also very interesting for naturalists, being home to several local endemic plants as well as the wallcreeper, a rare and elusive bird that flutters around the rocks like a butterfly on strikingly crimson wings.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Walk around Mt Durdaga through a variety of habitats with rich flora and fauna.

    A full day's circular walk starting and finishing in Yagodina. Our route makes a tour of Mt. Durdaga, a high wooded peak that rises directly above the village. During the course of our walk, we pass through a large variety of habitats with an extremely rich flora and fauna. During the first half of the day, as well as wandering through ancient forests that are home to bear, boar and deer, we will also cross several flower covered pastures that are normally enlivened by a spectacular assortment of butterflies. Later in the afternoon, we return to Yagodina along the line of a former Roman road that runs high above the Trigrad Gorge, which not only offers outstanding views, but is also one of the most renowned botanic trails in the country.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Traverse the highest peaks of the Rodopi Mountains.

    After breakfast we set off in our bus for a 90 minutes’ drive east into the highest part of the Rodopi Mountains. Having reached the end of the driveable road, we begin a wonderful hike along the main ridge of the Rodopi Mountains. First we skirt just below the military base on the summit of the Rodopi’s highest peak Mt. Golyam Perelik (2191m), before ascending Mt. Golyam Snezhnik (2188m), just two metres lower! Having enjoyed the expansive views from the rolling open pastures, we then start to drop down into the forest, eventually making our way down to the tiny, picturesquely situated village of Gela, which according to legend was the birthplace of Orpheus. Here we will be met by our bus for the drive back to Yagodina. Occasionally, during May, late-lying snow makes it impossible to traverse the flank of Mt. Golyam Perelik, so instead we will attempt a direct ascent of Mt. Golyam Snezhnik from the village of Gela, climbing as high as the snowline.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Sveti Ilia ridge walk with panoramic views over Yagodina and most of the Rodopi.

    The focus of today's walk is the imposing Sveti Iliya (Saint Elijah) ridge that rises up directly north of Yagodina. Our route starts directly from the hotel, climbing steadily upwards to reach the broad open ridge and then on towards the breath-taking viewing platform at its western end. Although rough and stony, the ridge boasts its own unique flora and fauna, as well the opportunity to observe a variety of interesting birds. However, the panoramic views would in themselves be reward enough for climbing the ridge, for they not only stretch out over the village of Yagodina itself, but much of the Western Rodopi, offering an ideal chance to point out and identify the places one has walked during previous days of this holiday. Given stable weather, we can then make a complete traverse of the ridge to its eastern end, before descending through beautiful meadows into the Trigrad Gorge where our bus will be waiting to drive us back to Yagodina.

    Yagodina Family Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Buinovo Gorge and Yagodina Cave. Transfer to Sofia.

    Setting off on foot from the hotel, we pick up yet another section of former Roman road, now a beautiful forest trail that is famed for the great variety of orchids. Suddenly the path emerges at a shelter, perched high on a rocky viewpoint from which one can gaze down into the Buinovo Gorge below. From here, the trail steadily descends to meet the river and road beside a wonderfully preserved Roman bridge. On reaching the bottom of the gorge, we will then spend about an hour exploring the Yagodina Cave. This is one of the most beautiful in the country, and world renowned for its variety of cave formations including stalagmites, stalactites, draperies, flowstones, dendrites and cave pearls. The cave system also harbours a unique prehistoric dwelling and subject to permission from the archaeologists, we will hopefully have the chance to enter this and learn more about the surprisingly sophisticated way-of-life of the people who inhabited it more than 6000 years ago.

    Having finished our visit to the cave, we then set off on the long but highly picturesque transfer to the Bulgarian capital Sofia, where we will spend our final night.

    Hill Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Fly to London.

    Fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

Essential Info




There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Eating and Drinking

Typical Meals

Breakfast: Will usually include tea or coffee, bread, jam, honey and cheese, supplemented in Yagodina by fresh home-made yoghurt and traditional local specialities such as thick pancakes known as 'katmi' and a rice-based dish called 'rodopski klin'.

Lunch: Picnic lunches will be eaten in the mountains and typically comprise of bread, cheese, salami, salad, biscuits and fruit.

Dinner:  will be taken in our hotel restaurant, and will normally include three courses comprising salad or vegetarian soup, followed by a main course, and a dessert of fruit, ice cream or cake/pudding. The cuisine reflects a mixture of Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish and Slavonic influences. We sample many traditional local specialities including 'smilyanski fasul', a delicious bean soup, and 'patatnik', a local delicacy made with grated potatoes, onions, and cheese, then seasoned with mint and other herbs. Jugs of tap water will be provided on the table with the evening meal. Bottled mineral water, soft drinks and alcohol are not included but can be purchased. There are several local wines that you may wish to try, including an excellent red 'Mavrud' from vineyards on the northern slopes of the Rodopi.

Vegetarians and Vegans: Bulgaria is famed for its fresh vegetables and fruit, so vegetarians are usually well catered for. However, it is extremely difficult for vegans, as dairy produce and eggs form the staple part of the diet in this region, and occur in the vast majority of meals.

Please note, special gluten-free products are not available, so those clients with wheat/gluten intolerance should, if needed, bring with them something to replace the local bread and pastries that make up the breakfasts and picnic lunches.


Spring and summer days are usually warm and sunny, with a refreshing mountain breeze that moderates temperatures; but please note that changeable weather and cold temperatures can be encountered at any time in the mountains, and in May it is possible to encounter late-lying snow on the highest peaks. Occasionally during spring and summer, there are sudden short violent storms, which require that suitable waterproof clothing is always carried on all walks, and which may force minor amendments to the itinerary; however, after such storms, there is often a prolonged period of settled weather. Later in autumn, overnight frosts and misty dawns typically give way to beautiful sunny days, but it is always worth keeping a pair of gloves and a spare warm layer in the pack for shadier paths or when picnicking on breezy rock outcrops.

Is this trip for you?

On this trip there will be walks between 4-5 hours, along traditional mountain trails, forest tracks, and ancient Roman roads. Our varied programme of daily walks will take us through a mixture of silent forests and lush flower-filled meadows, as well as over some rocky karst terrain.

Although the pace of walking will be relatively relaxed and leisurely, allowing time to enjoy the landscape and nature of the region through which we pass, and giving ample opportunities to stop and observe the flora and fauna, to take photographs, and to talk to the local people, the holiday does involve moderately strenuous walking in mountainous terrain. Trails are rarely flat, and often rough and stony. To get the full enjoyment out of this holiday, you should be prepared for some steep daily ascents as we climb over ridges, and in particular confident and comfortable descending steep paths over stones and tree roots as we drop into deep valleys and gorges.

NB: Exodus also offers a challenging 8-day walking holiday in the Bulgarian National Parks (Trip Code: TVB). On some dates it is possible to combine the two trips to make a fantastic 15-day itinerary. Ask a member of our sales team for details.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Yagodina Family Hotel

Our base for six nights will be the village of Yagodina, a traditional rural settlement famed for its self-sufficiency and the hospitality of its inhabitants. The village lies isolated and tucked away in the Trigrad Karst region, one of the most remote parts of the Rodopi Mountains. Here we stay in the ‘Yagodina’ Family Hotel, a small village hotel offering comfortable twin and single rooms with en-suite facilities and Wifi. The hotel is owned and run by a local family and most of the food (including milk, cheese, butter, jam, honey etc.) is either home produced or locally sourced. Our final night will be at Hotel ‘Hill’, a conveniently located 4-star hotel in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2019
    marilyn carroll

    Walking in wonderful Rodopi mountains

    A memorable walking holiday. The walks were through forests, gorges and beautiful wildflower meadows. Lovely views! A very pastoral feel to the whole holiday - and very relaxing. Yagodina is a small friendly village in a peaceful location. The hotel was clean and comfortable. Food was good - lots of local produce was used.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyone mentions the lunch stops - but it was so lovely looking at the wildflowers, the birds and the views. There are not many places left in Europe that are so unspoilt. We rarely saw other people when we were out walking. Finding bear paw prints on a walk through some woods was unexpected!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nelly was excellent. One of the best guides I have encountered on a holiday. She spoke English fluently and was a good communicator with the group. Her knowledge of the local flora and fauna was extensive. She gave us a lot of background on the history and culture of Bulgaria. She was very helpful and attentive to the needs of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I spent an extra day in Sofia and I can recommend this. There is a lot to see in the city centre. The Metro system is easy to use and cheap. Be prepared for showers when out walking and take lots of sunscreen.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish I had tried to learn a few words of Bulgarian before the holiday. If you are not flying direct to Sofia make sure you have enough time to make your connecting flight. One hour was not enough when flying from Manchester due to delays.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    John Murray

    A great walking holiday in unspoilt Bulgaria

    This was an excellent trip in a relatively unspoilt and bucolic part of the world. The Rodopi mountains in southern Bulgaria, near the Greek border, make for relatively gentle but sublime walking. We ambled along easy trails through deep gorges, natural forest and woodland, and, best of all, high alpine meadows, with carpets of wild flowers. The hotel in Yagodina was excellent - clean, with plenty of hot water after a day out. The food, even as a vegetarian, was varied, using a lot of local produce, and generally excellent. At the hotel, local beers were cheap, about £1.25 a bottle, though the wines were less so - think UK supermarket prices. It even had fairly good wifi!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the walks were lovely, but the lunches among the wild flowers, sitting in a high meadow, were something special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Neli was an outstanding leader. She was attentive to the needs of her party, patient, and was a great source of knowledge about Bulgaria, its history, politics, and culture. She really knew her local flora and fauna, and even knew all the names in English! She also boasted just about the best English language skills I've come across in a local guide, indeed her vocabulary would have put many native speakers to shame! Most importantly however, she was absolutely passionate about Bulgaria, and the Rodopi in particular.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a waterproof, it showered on most days, although only in the afternoon. Bring binoculars for the wildlife. Bring at least a one-litre water bottle - it can get hot, and although the walking is not arduous, the days were quite long. If you get Exodus to book flights with a stopover, check the timings. They wrecked our first day by allowing just one hour at Frankfurt airport. The plane was late taking off in the UK, and mayhem ensued. We eventually arrive many, many hours late, after many changes in flights! This was the only negative about the whole holiday however!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Mick Quinn

    As the Nike Ad says "Just Do It"

    Having travelled extensively but not to Bulgaria previously I was very interested to see what I would think of the country and I wasn't disappointed. I flew direct from Ireland on Thursday and spent two days in Sofia before I joined a group of 15 others on the Saturday. I am not surprised that our trip was full/sold out. We spent a great week enjoying all aspects of rural Bulgaria. The walks averaged out at ten miles a day based in Hotel Yagodina that is ideally situated and very well run. The weather was perfect, despite many forecasts that predicted otherwise.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The consistency of how beautiful the views were each day when we lunched. The other aspect that really appealed to me was how natural the food we ate during the week was and how little processed food was served during our stay at Hotel Yagodina.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nelly's command of the English language is the best I have ever experienced in a non native speaker. Her willingness to help and accommodate people in the group was outstanding. Her passion and knowledge of the flora, fauna, folklore and history of Bulgaria was unsurpassable. I believe she has found her forté as a guide and I intend to nominate her in the Exodus Annual Leader Awards.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some of the group members who didn't spend a night or two in Sofia either at the beginning or the end of the holiday regretted their decision. I really enjoyed my two day stay in the capital and saw more of it than I imagined I would when I joined an organised cycle tour of the city that covers about 20kms and lasts about three hours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If in doubt, just book it. I don't think you will be disappointed.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Carmel Elwell

    A fantastic walking holiday in remote and beautiful mountains

    We had five strenuous but not exhausting days walking through really beautiful gorges, meadows and mountains and came back to a welcoming and comfortable simple hotel each evening. Our guide was exemplary in her local knowledge of flora and fauna so there was much to learn as well as to enjoy. Highly recommended if you want to be out all day amidst a fascinating landscape.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting and gazing across the valleys and gorges from 6,000 feet up.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A fantastic leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring binoculars.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Pam Peers

    A wonderfully authentic Bulgarian experience; interesting walks, comfortable accommodation and a lovely group

    This trip provides a great introduction to a very special, unspoilt part of Europe which maintains traditional practices in agriculture and food production. Yagodina is a real find and I hope its uniqueness can be retained; the local people were friendly and the Yagodina Family Hotel offers a genuinely homely atmosphere, including comfortable accommodation and plenty of interesting and well presented food. Maria, the proprietor, runs an impressive operation and is always available to ensure that guests' needs are met. The walks were well chosen and the week's itinerary gave an excellent overview of the Rodopi mountains, including insights into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch most days was in beautiful meadows with masses of colourful Spring flowers and great views of the mountains - a real joy! The traditional Bulgarian singing and dancing on our final night was very enjoyable - Maria's mother and her team were an inspiration, and it was nice to see three generations of the family joining in the fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Svetla is excellent, and her passion and affection for the area were infectious. She is very well organised, always cheerful and positive, and has a great sense of humour. Her style in leading the walks was relaxed, whilst highly professional and she always ensured that all members of the group were comfortable with the pace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have time, stay an extra night or two in Sofia but make sure you join the group at the airport for the transfer to Yagodina - this can be arranged via the Exodus Office when you book. Sofia is an interesting and historic city, with impressive Roman ruins, a thriving music and cultural scene and some excellent restaurants. It is compact and easy to get round with a modern metro system. There are free city walking tours, which are highly recommended - tips for the local, well-informed, English-speaking guides are optional but well deserved
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Sue Totterdell

    If you go down in the woods today....

    A superb holiday in beautiful countryside, staying in an excellent local hotel with walks that make the most of what the region has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Realising that bears were probably within a kilometre or so of us as we walked through the forest. Julian's enthusiasm about all things 'bear' was catching. His expertise was not, however, limited to bears. The most photographed moment was on the last night when a small group of ladies from the village came to share traditional songs and dances. Seeing fellow walkers joining in with enthusiasm was a special moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Julian is a superbly knowledgeable leader. His long association with the region makes him an expert in the area's cultural heritage, as well as in local flora and fauna. His extensive knowledge of the mountain tracks and paths meant that there was always an alternative possible if weather conditions dictated a change of route.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for changes in the daily routes - the mountain weather is unpredictable and thunderstorms meant we had to abandon one climb for a more sheltered walk. Late snow also meant we did not reach the highest point described in the trip notes. The alternative were always carefully explained and fascinating. Bring waterproofs. Delicious four course meals can become a habit. Be prepared either to keep up the strenuous walking routine at home or suffer hunger pangs for the first few days at home.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a great way to visit Bulgaria. You could add on a day or so to see Sofia but the mountains are sufficient to justify the trip. The orchids were plentiful and the traces of bears were a wonderful reminder of the varied wildlife that makes its home in the region.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Joanna Z

    Beautiful walks in a remote part of Bulgaria

    It was a very enjoyable trip in a remote part of the country. I didn't hear about Rodopi mountains before so didn't know what to expect. The scenery is absolutely stunning - mountains, forests, gorges, caves - all so untouched and beautiful! I enjoyed all the walks and we never saw any other walkers - it was amazing to have it all just to ourselves. We also had a chance to see how local people live. It was a nice, relaxing week and the group bonded pretty quickly!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to choose one moment as the whole trip was so beautiful. But I really enjoyed Sveti Ilia hike, the views were breathtaking and we even managed to see some wall creepers!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was great, very informative and knew the area really well. Nothing was too much trouble, she was always willing to help. It was easy to see that she was passionate about what she does and that she really enjoys showing her country to foreign visitors.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You might want to bring a lunch box with you. And don't forget a sunscreen!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You will never be hungry - every meal I had in Yagodina was absolutely delicious and the portions were huge. It was good to try local dishes, it was all home-made and very tasty. Alcohol was very cheap, everybody was pleasantly surprised at the end of the stay that our bills were so low!
  • Reviewed September 2016
    Robert Walden

    Bulgaria Rodopi Mtns

    Good walking in the Rodopi hills -Derbyshire on a larger scale (but with a lot more trees).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walks were a little "samey" as many of the individual views are masked by the extensive conifer plantations but the viewing platform from St Elijah (Sveti Iliya) Ridge on Day 6 gave an impressive and unique aspect and from where we saw wall creepers on the rocks just below and could watch their red flashes in flight. Later the Yagodina Cave was an impressive side attraction.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. Cheerful and willing - mixed well with the entire group. (Danced really well!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take a large lunch box. The food is hearty but dull (a lot of cheese with every meal - especially breakfast!) - I would seriously suggest taking a bottle of ketchup or favourite brown sauce plus a supply of your favourite tea bags if you are not an avid coffee drinker. Beer, wine and coffee is very cheap - your bar bill will be a pleasant surprise!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The scenery is potentially stunning - much more dramatic than my favourite Derbyshire. However, some limited management of the trees is required to provide more open vistas and specific viewpoints, especially in and above the steep gorges. Imagine going to the English Lake District and being unable to see the lakes? As a consequence I am unlikely to return .
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Linda and David S

    Rodopi Mountains

    This trip was delightfully different from other European trips that we have enjoyed. The local people were warm and friendly and appeared content to work in the fields or sit with the cows in a high pasture all day. The difference between our fast paced life style and their post communist lives was marked. The scenery was beautiful, very 'vertical', with rare pre-ice age flowers. Even the long drive from and too Sofia was interesting and our driver surely the most competent in Bulgaria.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a difficult one. Was it seeing ancient Soviet agricultural equipment, people working in the fields, the prospect of seeing bears and wolves? Maybe it was meeting local ladies who were chatting and embroidering slippers, or dancing with the folk singers from the village? Probably, it was just the sheer beauty and tranquillity of the area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nelly's love and knowledge of Bulgaria shone through at every meadow, mountain and forest. Nothing was too much trouble and her care was always evident. She was an outstanding leader and made this a wonderful and exciting trip for us both.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take an empty plastic sandwich box for packed lunches, and lots of memory for your camera.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food is local, traditional and good - don't expect to loose weight!
  • Reviewed June 2016
    Ronald Bowater

    Rodopi Mountains

    Excellent trip walking in the mountains and meadows of the Rodopi mountains. Lovely family run hotel with exellent food - very welcoming. We had a very peaceful and relaxing time in Yagodina and the walks were lovely - especially the time spent in the beautiful wildflower meadows.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking through the fantastic wild flower meadows with no one else around.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Nelli is a superb leader in all respects. Very kind and caring of her group at all times. She made our stay something special to remember. Many thanks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just enjoy the scenery and the relaxed atmosphere.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is very good value for money - would recommend it to anyone who enjoys walking in beautiful scenery.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like