Devin is a charming mountain town that offers many opportunities for a pleasant and healthy stay. The state-of-the-art SPA hotels and the mineral water aqua park harmoniously coexist with the pastoral atmosphere and the slow speed time here. 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”
Our recommendations for how to spend your day in Devin depend on the season. If it is winter and you want to relax your muscles from the load on the Pamporovo ski slopes, the SPA hotels in the city offer ideal conditions for this. We suggest you to call in advance at any of the four major SPA hotels: Persenk, Orpheus, Ismena or Devin. Hotels also offer a rich variety of spa procedures and massages. We suggest that you try some of them:
In terms of cuisine, they usually perform best at the Ismena Hotel. “Yurutsite” is an unpretentious little restaurant with a fireplace, where delicious food is offered and is mostly visited by locals. Тhe biggest grocery store is at the beginning of main street, right next to the Post Office.
During the summer time, you have opportunities that are even more exciting!
The town of Devin has a unique Thermal Aquapark with 2 types of mineral water – from Devin and from Beden. You can find out more about the healthy temptation on their site – https://aquaparkpersenk.com/en/
A perfect day in Devin, in our opinion, would go like this:
- Leaving Solishta at 09:30, arriving in Devin about 10:15.
- Making an appointment for a massage or a different procedure in one of the SPA 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.
- Buying water and fruit from the grocery 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. They might be disruption of the telephone and internet connection. Getting to your goal – the Lukata area – 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 held in favourable conditions. In Orpheus’ mysteries, it symbolises immortality, and in the times of the Roman Empire, it symbolized as well 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.
If you don’t choose to stay at the mineral water beach, at about 13:30 you are back in Devin. You have several options:
- Quick lunch in a local pub, small city walk.
- Aqua Park, SPA procedures.
- To meet somebody local and have a nice chat – local people are always happy to share some interesting stories.
- Drive to one of the two destinations – Trigrad or Yagodina and visit some of the caves.
At about 18:00, your “Devin” schedule is complete. Load up some fuel on your way out of town