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ORPHEUS TOURS Ltd.

23, Hristo Botev str.
4580 Chepelare, BULGARIA

Office Sofia:

10, Yanko Sakazov blvd.
1504, Sofia BULGARIA

Tel./fax: +359 2 944 95 15
Mobile: +359 888 468 545

office@orpheustours.com

www.orpheustours.com



Chepelare
Bulgaria is a country sheltering many quiet, untouched and distinctive places where you can enjoy spectacular nature and feel the atmosphere of the traditional Bulgarian culture and customs. One of these places is the town of Chepelare lying in the hearth of the western Rhodope Mountains.

The town of Chepelare is a center of a municipality with a population of about 9000, which is situated in the valley of a river of the same name. The town is located at an average elevation of 1150 m above the sea level, making it the highest lying town in Bulgaria.
The geographical location of Chepelare can be defined with a reference to the capital city of Sofia, the cities of Plovdiv and Smolyan, and the ski resort Pamporovo. The town is located 230 km of Sofia, 70 km south of Plovdiv, 10 km north of Pamporovo, and 25 km of Smolyan. The town is traversed by the road Plovdiv – Smolyan which is the main thoroughfare in the Rhodope region.
The geographical location of Chepelare can be defined with a reference to the capital city of Sofia, the cities of Plovdiv and Smolyan, and the ski resort Pamporovo. The town is located 230 km of Sofia, 70 km south of Plovdiv, 10 km north of Pamporovo, and 25 km of Smolyan. The town is traversed by the road Plovdiv – Smolyan which is the main thoroughfare in the Rhodope region.
The town is surrounded on all sides by beautiful old spruce and pine forests and meadows. The surrounding area is characterised by rounded peaks, lack of rock formations, complicated terrain features, differences in altitude between 650 and 800 m, spacious meadows and lengths of the slopes between 2500 and 3500 m.
The climate in the area is transitional continental with a pronounced Mediterranean influence. The average temperatures in January vary from +7°Ñ to –1,5°Ñ, and in July they are between +11°Ñ and +18°Ñ. The earliest snowfalls in the area occur in mid-November, and the snow cover lasts through mid-April. The average snow depth in the area of Chepelare is from 30 to 80 cm. The climatic conditions in this part of the mountain have some healing effects. At higher elevations there are fewer contagious diseases and pathogenic microbes. The mountain air stimulates the breathing; it is pure, light, and dust and pollutant-free. A decrease of the atmospheric pressure by 100 mm helps to increase the hemoglobin by 10%. These conditions also help to increase the number of the erythrocytes. The cool mountain air improves the digestion and the appetite. It is long known that it heals tuberculosis, asthma, diseases of the kidneys. The positively ionized air in the area of the town is conducive to the therapy of skin diseases and metabolism conditions.
The natural conditions in the Chepelare valley have attracted the attention of many tribes and peoples, who have settled here since the remotest past. The valley and its slopes have been inhabited by the Thracians since the first millennium BC. The existing Roman roads that can be seen along the ridges of Karabalkan and in the whole Chernatitza and Radyuva Planina are evidence that the life in this part of the mountain has continued through the Roman period. The valley has not remained uninhabited during the periods that followed. During the first millennium AD powerful Slav migrations swept the mountain. After them the Proto-Bulgarians came. The Slav and Proto-Bulgarian populations dwelling in the western and central parts of the Rhodopes were incorporated into the early mediaeval Bulgarian state.
In 1884 the laying of the road Assenovgrad – Chepelare began. The citizens of Chepelare saw in this undertaking an opportunity to overcome their poverty. Streets connecting the various parts of the town to the main road began to be built and this way the urban planning of the settlement was started. Urban development came hand in hand with cultural and education activities. The educational society “Rodopska iskra” was founded, and in 1895 the construction of the town school – the second in size in the Rhodope region – was started.
In recent years the town of Chepelare emerged as one of the leading ski centres in Bulgaria. The town has long standing traditions in the winter sports. It is represented in virtually every national winter sport team. The highest achievement of Chepelare and Bulgaria in the winter sports realm was recorded at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano (Japan) in 1998, where the local biathlete Ekaterina Dafovska won the gold medal in the 15 km pursuit.

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