The hidden gem in the Rodopi mountains
Shiroka Laka is a magical place well-hidden in the Rodopi mountains. Once you visit, you will forever remain in awe of this amazing village. Endless pine forests and winding, narrow gorges define the area around Shiroka Laka. It is located nearby Pamporovo, a famous ski resort, which attracts tourists primarily during the winter season. It is all like a dream come true for those who make the 12 km drive to Shiroka Laka from Pamporovo. This is a little gem of a village with its traditional old cottages and cobblestone streets.
Located in the same village is the famous folk music school offering the perfect setting for talented children to learn to play the Bulgarian bagpipe. This traditional Bulgarian instrument (“kaba gaida”) originates from the Rodopi mountains and it features very often in traditional wedding ceremonies.
Life here is simple, the surrounding forest is both a source of food and heat. Locals have learned to look after each other and are famous for their hospitality. There are plenty of nice restaurants featuring all of the local specialties such as “patatnik”, “rodopski klin” and “katchamak”. Mehana “Pri Slavchev” would satisfy your curiosity for traditional meals.
The village gets busy in March during the annual gathering for the traditional Kukeri festival “Pesponedelnik”. These men, all wearing masks and dressed in elaborate costumes with copper bells attached to their waists, arrive in Shiroka Laka from all around the country. They perform traditional dances, part of an age-old ritual to oust evil spirits.