The Sakar Mountain feels authentic and is probably formed by an extinct volcano. It is situated between the valleys of the rivers Maritsa and Tundja, between Harmanli and Svilengrad from the south and Topolovgrad from the North, where an International theater festival of amateur comedy theaters is held every May. There are mysterious Thracian dolmens in the area, wonderful nature, delicious cuisine and very strong wine. For several years there have been good places for accommodation, which attracts more tourists.
When you climb from Harmanli up the southern slopes of Sakar, you should definitely stop for a while in the village of Bulgarin. When you get there, ask for the people who make ahchak (a type of milk delicacy). You can try the pickles of grapes which is a traditional food they prepare for the winter. Then head to Kolarovo, where there are several wine cellars. I recommend you to taste the “Malkata zvezda” winery.
Levka is the largest village of Southern Sakar. Demonstration center of Green Balkans is located there. It is built in 2012 with the aim to return the Lesser Kestrel to its natural habitat. Children and adults are welcome during visiting hours. You can see how birds live, what they eat and even go to their hunting grounds in the nearby meadows. A guest house at the center of the village offers accommodation available throughout the year. The village can be a base camp for your weekend and a starting point for the village of Matochina, where the fortress Bukelon is located, with the original Balduin Tower. The road up there is a nerve test, but it’s worth the end result, especially if you come back through Michalic. The rock church is a must-visit site, serving up to two hundred monks during the Middle Ages.
Prepare for gastronomic experiences in Levka and do not regret your diet. The peculiar climate of this region is characterized with cold evenings even on the warmest summer days. During autumn and winter days, wine is the main alcoholic beverage on the table and the glasses are constantly being filled up with more. Each house in the village has at least a few tons of wine, stored in the basement, so do not worry.
On your way back to civilization, you can set off to Harmanli for a while. You will come across two wineries as soon as you enter the city – “Villa Basareia” and “Bratanovi”. While enjoying a glass of wine, you should definitely taste ahchak too, for it is the milk magic of South Sakar.