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The Red Doors House - A one-day trip to Devin
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 Девин - панорамаA one-day trip to Devin
Devin is a captivating mountain town, which has recently been in the spotlight of major investors, yet without losing its pastoral atmosphere and the typical slow passing of time. People are smiling and talkative, not overly organised, but ready to help if you ask them. Tap water here is what the rest of us Bulgarians buy as "Devin Spring Water", but here it's simply called "Baldaran water". There are several indoor and outdoor pools with slightly mineralised water, which we know as "Devin Mineral Water". Both spa hotels – "Devin" and "Orfei" – offer therapeutic hot-water pools with Bedenska mineral water. Hotels also offer a rich variety of spa procedures and massages. We suggest that you try some of them. We do not recommend eating at the restaurants of large hotels in Devin, because the food they serve is tasteless. The only exception is the family hotel "Ismena", where food is usually well-cooked and in excellent taste, while the view from the outer terrace is the best in Devin. Restaurant "Royal" is located on a spacious terrace in the building of the town hall. There are two other modest restaurants, mostly frequented by locals ­– "Yurutsite" and "Vurbata". They are located on the two sides of the main street, ask the locals for the exact address.
Хотел ДевинThe largest grocery store is in the beginning of the main street, right by the Post Office. Right across the street from the store is a cosmetics shop. If you have no bathing suit with you, but you would like to go to a pool, start your search from the underwear shop across the street from Business Center "Devin", beside the Culture House.

A perfect day in Devin, in our opinion, would go like this:

#Leaving Solishta at 09:30, arriving in Devin about 10:15. If you are not Bulgarians, we suppose the schedule will start half an hour earlier, which is actually a better option :-)
#Making an appointment for a massage or a different procedure in one of the two hotels. A tip: if you want an aroma oil massage, book it for a later hour – 17:00 or 18:00, because it is desirable that you keep the oils on your skin for at least two hours, instead of dipping in a pool right away. The price for a massage is up to 45 leva.
#Buying water and fruit from the store. You can also buy products for a picnic, if you would like to have a picnic lunch. It would be wise if you buy mosquito and tick repellent from the pharmacy by the post office, because later on you will be walking along a river.
#At 11:00 you would be on your way to the Struilitsa locality. Start from the bus station, without crossing the bridge to the central area, then drive parallel to the bridge for about 2 km to the west. The asphalt road gets to a parking lot, right before the town's bathing-beach and a mineral pool. There is a map of the route at the parking lot, but it is a little misleading. Go on ahead, following the asphalt road, by the pool and keep going along the river. Bring a camera with you. You are in for a two-hour walk around a little piece of paradise along a safe, unique ecological path. Getting to your goal – the Lukata locality – takes about one hour, this including stops for water (there is spring water down the road) and taking pictures. When you cross the bridges overhanging the river, make note of the plants on the damp rocks. Apart from the familiar geraniums, you will see another plant that has fleshy leaves, arranged concentrically, with pink or purple flowers (in June). This is "silivryak" (Haberlea rhodopensis), also known as "Orpheus' flower". This endemic plant can last 11 years as a herbarium with its roots, and then go back to life, if it is put in favourable conditions. In Orpheus' mysteries, it symbolises immortality, and in the times of the Roman Empire, it also symbolised the Rhodope Mountain. The ultimate goal of your hike is a large meadow, nestled among steep rocks. There are a small hut and an arbour there. Give in to half an hour of contemplation, while you are feasting on some fruit. If you are not rushing for spa procedures, make a picnic. If you follow the time schedule we are suggesting, you would be heading back at about 12:30-13:00. The way back heads up in the direction of Kaleto, right after you cross the bridge to the meadow. On the top you will see the remains of a medieval stronghold, where the last epic battle in defence of the city from Ottoman conquerors took place in the late 14th century. If you spare your thoughts about battle though, you will be in a great mood, because the views along the way are captivating. It is highly probable that you will see eagles, soaring above the mountain. After the highest point – Kaleto – the path goes down to a familiar place, which is only 15 minutes away from the town's bathing beach. There are a restaurant and a beach volleyball court by the pool, so you can enjoy your afternoon beaching in the mountain.
# At about 13:30 you are back in Devin. You have several options:

  1. Quick lunch in a local pub (if you are in a hurry, you can visit the European restaurant of hotel "Orfei"), pool, spa procedures, walk around town.
  2. A lavish lunch, taking your time to enjoy the view from hotel "Ismena", pool, a walk.
  3. Improvisation.

At about 18:00, your "Devin" schedule is complete. If you load up some fuel on your way out of town at the "Petrol" gas station, you will get a cup of coffee for free, which you can then sip in the car, while smiling at the pleasant feeling in your body and soul after your day in Devin.


www.thereddoorshouse.com# For inquiries and reservations – telephone +359 888 510 061; email: info@thereddoorshouse.com