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  • Writer's pictureStefan Ivanov

Svoboda peak

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

It's the beginning of September.

Panorama from Freedom peak
Panorama from Svoboda (means Freedom in Bulgarian language) peak to the Rhodopes ocean

Autumn has not yet come, but it already reminds of itself.

I drive on the extremely picturesque road to the town of Laki.

Everything is still green, but here and there deciduous trees have begun to change their summer attire with new ones – colorful and golden. It is obvious that the autumn fairies are here to replace the summer ones and to prepare the earth for the most colorful season of all – autumn.

The road to Freedom peak

I take along the Yugovska River.

To reach the Svoboda peak, I go to the village of Manastir (pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable), a contender for the highest village in Bulgaria and in the Balkans.

How to get to the village of Manastir?

Just before entering in the village of Manastir I take the sharp turn to the left – the road to the village of Davidkovo, and to the Svoboda hut (means Freedom in Bulgarian language) – today's starting point for a new adventure.

The road is good.

Beauty surrounds me!

There are almost no passengers around.

Driving on the road to village of Davidkovo, I am already watching for a sharp turn to the right, from where I take the road towards the Svoboda hut.

Soon I am in front of the meadows near the Svoboda hut.

The meadows at the foot of Freedom peak

I park in the small parking lot.

On the other side, the 604 steps to freedom* begin. (*Svoboda in Bulgarian language means "freedom", i.e. Freedom peak).

The trail to Freedom peak

A backpack, water, comfortable hiking boots and a great mood are enough for you.

...102... 200... 320...

Wonderful sheds with benches for relaxation are built along the steps.

Do not hurry! Stop, sit down and enjoy! Breathe!

...422... 502... 533... 604.

The finale!

Freedom peak

If you stop right now and turn in the direction of the steps you have just climbed, right in front of you you will see the high, white and elegant silhouette of the Snow White Tower, as well as the peak of the same name.

The Snow White tower from Freedom peak
Snow White Peak and the elegant silhouette of the white tower

At the top I am greeted by a marble plaque with the inscription: In memory of Momchil Voyvoda, defender of the Rhodope Mountains from the Ottoman conquerors.

Sevastocrator Momchil or Momchil the Leader, also Momchil the Hero, is a Bulgarian feudal ruler in the Rhodopes and in White Sea Thrace, who lived in the XIV century.

Legends describe him as an exceptional, dignified and astonishingly brave man with impressive physique.

It is said that he led alone, riding his winged horse Yabuchila, a battle, defending Meropa, but died on the battlefield.

Freedom peak

The white building is the tomb of Enihan Baba.

Svoboda Peak is 1915 meters high.

I inhale and exhale - the air is even freedom!

Panorama from Freedom peak

It is gloomy and cloudy above.

It's quiet. There's no wind.

The temperature is only 10 degrees.

Panorama from Freedom peak
The highest peak on the horizon (S-SE) is Veikata, and on the penultimate ridge the pyramidal peak in dark blue is Alada

Veikata Peak is the southernmost point of Bulgaria and the highest in the Eastern Rhodopes (Gyumyurjinski Snezhnik hill).

If you come here early in the morning, when it is clear, looking south, just before sunrise, you will see the White Sea. And right in the center, in the middle of the shining sea sails the island of Samothrace with its leader – Fengari peak – 1611 meters.

Panorama from Freedom peak

Now I see only the Rhodopes ocean – hill after hill, wave after wave, blue everywhere!

Panorama from Freedom peak

Amazing and wonderful!

Panorama from Freedom peak

Curious and wonderful!

Panorama from Freedom peak

Admiration for all the senses!

Panorama from Freedom peak

I am in the insanely beautiful Prespa part of the Middle Rhodopes!

The steps leading to Svoboda peak are perfectly suitable for people of all ages.

Persons in wheelchairs can only access the meadows in front of the Svoboda hut, but with the help of an accompanying person.

The steps leading to Svoboda peak are not wheelchair accessible.

I wish you a charming walk!

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