There are several places that "contend" for the title of the highest village in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula. Today the only digital guide under the hills will reveal three of them that you can take a tour to for a magical weekend in the Rhodopes, as well as combine with mystical sightseeing.
The Village of Manastir
It is located not far from Asenovgrad at over 1400 m above sea level. It was founded in 1890 and according to legend, it was built on the remains of an old settlement and a collapsed monastery, hence its name. The founders were immigrants from the village of Davidkovo, whose homes remained within the borders of the Ottoman Empire after the Liberation.
It is located very close to the area of Haydushki Polyani and a number of mountain routes start from it. There are also several small chapels around that you can also visit. They are located along the eco-path that leads to the Sveti Duh waterfall. There are about a hundred permanent residents.
The Village of Chamla
Formally, it is located at a higher altitude than the village of Manastir, but unfortunately it has not been inhabited in recent years. It is located near the village of Mugla and the Trigrad Gorge.
From 1878 to 1886, Chamla fell into the so-called Tamrashka Republic. It was deserted and completely depopulated in the 1980s, but it was not removed from the NSI and GRAO lists. It was not electrified and had no sewage system.
After 2000, there are reports that two expats tried to settle there, but failed to withstand the primitive conditions.
The Village of Ortsevo
The last three houses in the high village of Gorno Ortsevo are at an altitude of 1640 m, therefore according to some sources Ortsevo is the highest village in Bulgaria and in general on the Balkan Peninsula. It is located in the municipality of Belitsa and offers an amazing view of the Pirin Mountains.
As for its name, the legend says that once upon a time, the best dancers gathered there and people played on its green and lush meadows. Nearby are the Thracian sanctuary of Babyashka chuka and the Veliitsa peaks, where there is an incredibly beautiful and wild shelter, as well as Kavun tepe. If you decide to visit it, don't miss Musa's pub.