Chepelare is a resort town located in southern Bulgaria near Smolyan and Pamporovo. The city is located on both banks of the Chaya River. One kilometer from Chepelare there are two ski slopes – Mechi Chal 1 and Mechi Chal 2, which are served by a lift. A cross-country ski and biathlon track has been built around the town. Chepelare is an attractive destination both in winter for ski tourism and in summer for hiking – Krastova Gora, Pamporovo, Wonderful Bridges and others. Sofia – Chepelare – 213 km. Plovdiv – Chepelare – 65 km. Varna – Chepelare – 421 km.
From ancient times the Rhodopes are a mysterious and enigmatic mountain. The mountain of the mythical Orpheus and the besis – the guardians of the famous temple of Dionysius. Archaeological excavations testify to the existence of life from around the twelfth century BC. The remains of many Thracian fortresses say that here in ancient times there was a rich social and cultural life. The ore deposits in the region have favored the development of metal mining and jewelry since ancient times.
The glass vessels, cups, buckles, coins and pottery from the late Roman era (379-450 AD) discovered during archeological finds testify to the continuing intensive economic life. In 1911, excavations revealed traces of a Roman bath, which is currently the only trace of urban construction in the Central Rhodopes.
From the period of the First and Second Bulgarian state (681-1393) many medieval fortresses, settlements and necropolises were discovered, some of which continue to be used since Thracian times.
During the epoch of the Bulgarian Revival (1762-1878) in the town of Chepelare and the settlements around it there was a lively cultural and educational activity, illustrated by the existing 14 temples and 72 chapels. Four of the churches have been declared as cultural monuments of national importance, and one of the churches and 15 chapels have been declared as cultural monuments of local significance. There was a school next to each temple.
Tourists can visit the churches ‘St. Athanasius ’and‘ Holy Mother of God ’, the Museum of Speleology and Bulgarian Karst, which is unique in appearance not only in our country, but also on the Balkan Peninsula and Europe.
The city recently has a Museum of Ski Sports, which tells the rich history of white sports in the area.
On the eastern slope of the powerful Rhodope hill Chernatitsa is one of the most beautiful natural creations in Bulgaria – the Wonderful Bridges, so deservedly called because of its wonderful beauty.