We offer a tour with kayaks along the Arda River – from the town of Madzharovo to the village of Borislavtsi. Price: 30 BGN per person for groups of 5 or more people. For up to 4 people the price is 150 BGN for the whole group. For groups that are more than 9 persons, it is necessary to make booking at least two days before the tour. The price includes full equipment for the kayak, a guide and transport to the site. Our guides are professional lifeguards. The tour is carried out at low river level; it is safe and suitable for children over the age of 5. Children aged 8 to 14 years get a 50% discount and for those aged 5 to 7 years the tour is free.
The tour starts with a two-seat kayak every day at 9:30 at the parking lot of the Nature Conservation Center “Eastern Rhodopi”, near the bridge over the Arda River. The length of the route is 7-11 km (depends on you), which is about 2-3 hours of rowing. The total duration of the tour including transport to the starting point, briefing and all of the rest stops, is about 4 hours.
This is an adventure that is suitable both for experienced kayakers, and also for people who have never paddled a kayak. The route passes through some of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria that also have deposits of semi precious stones, next to two of the protected areas in the region. We start with a short briefing on the beach, close to a colony of Griffon vultures. After a brief training on how to paddle a kayak – which takes place at one of Arda’s meanders – we rush into the real adventure. The reflections of Griffon and Egyptian vultures, as well as black storks, can be seen in the clear waters of the Arda River, while those majestic birds soar in the sky above us in search for food. The town of Madzharovo is located in the crater of an extinct volcano, and each kayak is supplied with binoculars to help us enjoy the bird life in the area. Our leaders have encyclopedic knowledge of geology and the biodiversity in the region. We usually stop at several points to search for semi precious stones like jasper opals, stones of chalcedony, mountain crystals and amethysts.
There are several different places on shore of the Ivaylovgrad reservoir, near the village of Borislavtsi, where we can end the journey, depending on your capabilities and wishes. After getting out of the kayaks, we will wait for a vehicle to arrive and take us back to Madzharovo. Additional option is a visit to the Historical Museum “Christo Cholakov” in the village of Borislavtsi, which has one of the richest ethnographic collections for the Eastern Rhodopes and a large collection of minerals. Entering the museum is free of charge, but any donation for the development of the museum is welcomed. Another option is visiting the local tahandzhiynitsa, where we can buy tahini and honey, and to taste them while enjoying the stories of grandpa Christo who owns the place. Before we go back to Madzharovo, we will stop at the protected area Kovan Kaya, where we will observe the nests of griffon vultures with a scope.
All participants are advised to bring a bottle of water and sunscreen lotion, as well as a swimsuit and some spare clothes. It is appropriate to wear flip-flops, or waterproof sneakers.