Sunset on Belintash, Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria

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Beauty and tranquility on Belintash in the autumn

This is the moment when the sun pushes its rays through the clouds and mountain peaks and repays for your patience. Every sunset on the Belintash plateau in the Rhodope mountains is unique. It is totally worth the hard journey back through the dark.

Belintash is a beautiful rock plateau, surrounded by mysteries and legends. According to some theories, its name means “White rock”. However, I doubt that this was its actual name when it was a sanctuary of the ancient Thracians.

The mysterious plateau Belintash in the Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria
The mysterious plateau Belintash in the Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria

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Белинташ 41.847458, 24.966838

Where is Belintash – Google Maps link

Belintash in the autumn
Belintash in the autumn
Some people see the face of a witch in the rocks of Belintash
Some people see the face of a witch in the rocks of Belintash. Can you spot it?

Belintash is the second largest such sanctuary in Bulgaria after Perperek in the Eastern Rhodopes. It is believed that there used to be an ancient Thracian sanctuary of god Sabaziy. On the rocks have been found hundreds of man-made holes and two wells. Stairs and other figures have also been carved in the rocks.

Mystic rock formations at Belintash Bulgaria
Mystic rock formations at Belintash
Belintash in the autumn, rhodope mountains Bulgaria
Belintash in the autumn season

However, the history of Belintash is surrounded by mystery. The only thing that archaeologists know for sure is that the complex was used between the 5th millennium BC and the 1st millennium BC. It was later destroyed, probably during a military conflict, and it no longer existed during the Roman times.

Our story – from the grocery shop to Belintash

We were actually on our way to the supermarket to buy tomatoes. But the parking was crowded and we didn’t even enter because we don’t like being in a crowd. Instead, we just headed to Belintash. It was a 2-hour drive away, but this has never been a problem for us.

How to reach Belintash

To reach Belintash you first need to go to Asenovgrad and then take the road to Kardzhali. When you enter the village of Cherven, you will see a sign directing to a small mountain road on the right side. Then you need to drive further 25 km which will take you around 50 minutes.

The road passes through the villages of Gornoslav, Oreshets and Vrata. After you pass Vrata, you will reach a crossroad where you need to take the dirt road to the right. It is a dirt road, but not a bad one and it is easily accessible by any car. However, have in mind that it is a narrow road with bad visibility and if you are going there on a busy Saturday you may have some difficulties when encountering other vehicles. Luckily, after sunset there is no traffic.

The road to Belintash
The road to Belintash

This time there were no other tourists besides us on Belintash – a full contrast to the crowded supermarket. The only people we met at the foot of the plateau were those selling honey and jams. However, we didn’t stop to buy from them and instead headed to the path leading to Belintash. In the beginning it is quite steep but later it becomes easier and offering beautiful views.

View towards Village Sini Vrah
View towards Sini Vrah village
View towards Vrata village and the mysterious fog around Belintash
View towards Vrata village and the mysterious fog around Belintash
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On the top of the world

Belintash is far from the highest peak of Bulgaria but when you go up there, you feel like on the top of the world. From the vertical rock you can see the small villages down, the orange-green colours of the autumn forest and the sun going behind the peaks of the Rhodope mountains.

Panorama from Belintash Bulgaria
Panorama from Belintash
Just glorious, the view from Belintash
Just glorious, the view from Belintash

Sunset photos are a mission for any photographer because the light allows taking really beautiful pictures. However, watching the sunset from Belintash is much more than a nice photo. The truth is that no photographer with any equipment could possibly shoot the real panorama from the peak, the way lights are moving and playing. The white rocks, covered with pale moss, turn green. The sky becomes pink and the colours of the forest become even brighter.

I really adore this view from Belintash
I really adore this view from Belintash

When the Sun is down

Nightfall on Belintash
Nightfall on Belintash
The sun is down, behind the mounitains and it is time to leave Belintash
The sun is down, behind the mounitains and it is time to leave Belintash

Just for a second, the clouds move to make space for the last sunrays to break through, before they finally move behind the mountains. A mystic white fog is crawling above the villages. In a minute, the sun is gone and the twilight comes. We hurry to go down before darkness. It takes a few minutes walking through the orange forest before we reach our car. The rocks are already gold-coloured.

The sunset on Belintash
The sunset on Belintash
The path to Belintash
The path to Belintash

The way back is a challenge but it is worth the effort. Luckily, in the evening there is no traffic and you do not need to make difficult maneuvers on the narrow path. Down in Vrata village we encounter the fog and it takes us almost an hour to drive the 20 km to Cherven where we enter the civilization we are used to live in. Up there we have left behind the quiet small villages where life is still, probably with no internet, where people socialize in the local pub instead of Facebook. The air up there is fresh and bears are maybe living in the forests. But we are leaving for our home where we will sit on the laptops again, but this time to see our photos, to remember the emotions and to share them with everyone.

My wife - The photographer
My wife – The photographer

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