The Crossbill Guide Rhodope Mountains covers the Bulgarian part of the Rhodope Mountain chain that forms the border with Greece. The Rhodope Mountains are often considered to contain two parts, a high and very green western and a lower and drier eastern part. Both are covered in this book. Additionally, there are two other areas included in the guide: the wide lowland valley of the Maritsa river, where the large cities of Plovdiv, Kaskovo and Svilengrad are situated and through which the motorway runs between Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and Turkey’s capital Istanbul. The final area covered in this book is the small mountain range of Sakar, which lies just east of the River Maritsa and the border with Turkey. This is a dry region with a steppe-like landscape.
The Crossbill Guide Rhodope Mountains is a thorough and practical guide for birdwatchers, naturalists and nature lovers. It offers background information, routes and site descriptions, plus tips on finding and watching all kinds of wildlife. Each route offers detailed descriptions of where to find wildlife and wildflowers. The book offers a mix of walking routes and car itineraries with stops and short walks. Although some are challenging, all the walks in this book are designed to explore the landscape and find birds and wildlife rather than simply covering ground.
This nature travel guidebook to the Rodope Mountains of Bulgaria contains routes and background info on landscape, flora and fauna.
- Landscape history
- Flora and Fauna
- Where to watch birds
- Finding mammals, reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies and wildflowers
- 24 detailed routes with tips for finding wildlife and 20 site descriptions
About the Rhodope Mountains
The Rhodopes are a mountain range with a dual character. The western part is heavily forested with coniferous forests (spruce, fir and pine) on the higher slopes, beech in oak in the lower parts. It is a wild and sparsely inhabited range where Wolves, Brown Bears and Chamois occur.
The Eastern Rhodopes by contrast, are a little lower, but above all much drier. The climate is much more continental and the vegetation more open, with a mix of open oak woodlands, scrubland and dry, flowery grassland. In particular the Eastern Rhodopes is famous for its splendid birdlife with a mix of Mediterranean, Eastern and Central European species.
The lowlands to the north are fertile and dominated by agricultural land with large rivers and small wetlands, but also steppe-like grasslands. These latter are especially frequent around in and around the Sakar hills, which are another hotspot of eastern and southern wildlife.