Mountains (Rhodopes) west of Kardjali

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970sxxx
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Mountains (Rhodopes) west of Kardjali

Postby 970sxxx » Tue May 17, 2005 7:11 pm

Does anyone have any info on this region - betweek Kardjali and Pamporovo, near to the Arda river? It's very mountainous and I've seen a property there which looks lovely, but I've never been to that region. Does anyone have an opinion on whether it will be any good for rental or property price increase?

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dimojordanov
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Re: Mountains (Rhodopes) west of Kardjali

Postby dimojordanov » Wed May 18, 2005 8:00 am

Hi,

You have to know that Kurdjali region has main population of Bulgarian Turks.It is very important, I don't say anything more, they are nice and laborious, but have different customs to Bulgarians. At all it is different.

Cheers !

Di

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970sxxx
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Postby 970sxxx » Wed May 18, 2005 6:10 pm

Thanks, Di, I didn't know that. Wouldn't have guessed as it's closer to Greece than Turkey. I notice the house style is very distinctive. Thick stone walls, built into hillside, so downstairs is smaller than upstairs.

Do you think this region is a good investment then, compared to areas like Velingrad (I have a house near there). Or too far out? And do you think the Turkish aspect will affect the investment negatively? (are you able to say!?)

Thankyou for your help, I assume you are a native, so your oppinion is of course valued (not that the others aren't - I'm digging myself a hole here!) You know what I mean....

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dimojordanov
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Postby dimojordanov » Thu May 19, 2005 10:09 am

Hi,

Really they intend to develop the rural tourism in the region, but it is long way.
The Turks living in the villages around Kurdjali in compactwise, they speak Turkish and a Bulgarian doesn't feel 100 % comfortable. You have ever anything beared in mind. You have to speak with Bulgarians living there to explain all things or to buy in town where is mixed population.
Even that for so many years lack of employment, infrastructure, and other things Kurdjali shranks from 70000 to 35000 population. At all young people relocate to larger cities, this is typically for Eastern Rhodopes.
Western Rhodopes are other, although hard live for the locals. they are higher and tourism attracts investments to papmporovo, Chepelare, Luki, Smoljan etc.
due to the skiing.

Cheers !

Di

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Postby saltrock » Thu May 19, 2005 12:47 pm

HI,

I am also thinking of buying property in the Rhodopes. I see you already have a house near Velingrad, 970sxxx, so was wondering if you can recommend anywhere nearby. I would 'PM' you, but I haven't done enough posts yet. I'm attracted to the Velingrad region as it seems within striking distance of the big ski resorts, but within easy reach of a number of smaller ones. In addition, the proximity of a spa town is a plus. Thing is I don't know what the area is really like. I wonder, having already purchased, if you have any further advice, such as lawyer, use of agent etc. it would be very much appreciated. I'm going to visit the area during the week of June 8th - 15th.

Cheers,

Keith.

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jegzy
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turkish/bulgarian

Postby jegzy » Thu May 19, 2005 1:26 pm

we are buying a property near zlatograd, would we have the same problem with turkish/bulgarians, do they get on with english people

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Postby puddycat » Thu May 19, 2005 1:41 pm

Hi Saltrock

We looked in the area around Velingrad this spring. We had originally thought of buying in the town area of Batak but after visiting it I would not recommend it myself. We saw quite a lot of gypsies around the town when we went through though this may have been due to some gypsy event in the area. I would certainly advise against Pazardzik area as it has a very high population of gypsies. We were told they can cause problems if they know a house is empty so why take the risk. There is another thread about this area. We found Batak a dark and dismal place and that is before learning of its depressing history. However, some of the villages in the area are nice but some are very much off the beaten track. One we visited was along a 10 km dirt track road which at times was difficult to pass due to deep mud. Another two were way out of the way again the roads were poor. I would definitely try to get your agent to tell you exactly where the properties are as this could save you a lot of time. Pointless buying a house in a beautiful area if it is then not accessible in winter. The area is beautiful though and the town of Velingrad is very popular with Bulgarians. I would suggest Rakitovo which is approximately 10 minutes drive from Velingrad and about 1 and a half hours from Bansko. The road to Bansko though was quite poor in places but this may have been because they had not repaired it yet after the winter. It also has the benefit of being a 10 minute drive to Lake Batak which is a very beautiful lake and has a ski resort there (though this is very small) It also has summer activities on the lake. You also have the choice of Plovdiv and Sofia airport. There are properties sometimes available on Lake Batak itself but the land that they stand on belongs to the municipality.

Regards

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Postby 970sxxx » Fri May 20, 2005 4:26 pm

Hi eveyone,

Guess my impressions are a fair bit different to yours, Puddycat! Just shows different people like different things. Most people love or hate Batak. The central square (all cobbled) has a nice pavement cafe, a bank etc. Sitting there watching the kids play is great. The streets are narrow and it certainly has a feel of an old rustic town. There are several museums and also a more modern town square which is huge but a bit "soviet" style. There is a lovely blue domed church (I can see the dome from my house) as well as the older one famous for some of Batak's more gruesome history. It has unusual houses (for Bulgaria) with interesting architecture, all very close together like you get in many old northern English towns.

Some of the other small towns in the area I visited were lighter and brighter, but to me they had no depth and no soul. But I'm the sort of person who loves the historic places like Nessebar but hates the brash tourist places like Sunny Beach.

Saltrock,

You might like to know why I chose Batak, apart from liking the place. I think you and I are thinking along similar lines. It's about 4 miles from Batak to the ski slopes, and a very cheap ski option last time I looked. £5 per day for all in, including the ski school. That has GOT to be a great selling point which no other town near there can boast! The view down the slope looks towards lake Batak, which is gorgeous. There is also things like canoeing on the lake in the summer, restaurant etc. The other towns were not quite as near as Batak. Very roughly speaking, Batak falls within the triangle formed by the 3 big ski resorts (bansko, Borovets, Pamp) and I reckon all will be reachable for a day trip. Plovdiv is not too far with all it's history.

But the other thing was the ease of getting there. You just head east along the motorway from Sofia and then take a main road south and you reach Batak before too long. Under 2 hours I think. The other towns, you would use the same route, but would continue through Batak so the journey will be a bit longer. Apart from Rakitovo, you have to go onto smaller less good roads. Same thing with going to Plovdiv, Batak is nearer. So even Sofia is good for a day trip, because of the closeness of the motorway.

As for Velingrad, personally I don't like it much. I find the architecture all the same and very boring. But as you say, it's still a good advertising point to say you're near a spa town.

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saltrock
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Postby saltrock » Fri May 20, 2005 6:41 pm

Thanks, Puddycat / 97sxxx,

Very interesting to hear from people who have experienced the place first hand, although the differing views are hard to balance, guess I'll just have to wait till I see the place myself... Do either of you (or anyone else for that matter) have any recommendations about choosing lawyers/agents? I'm thinking of using somone named Dimitar who runs 'Ramhostel' in Sofia - he'll take us around viewing, provide the car and do any translating for us for 50 euros per day - do you think this is reasonable? Of course, I'll still need a lawyer to do the buss. 97sxxx, if I do end up buying in the Velingrad area, maybe we could get together for a beer one day in Batak.... I must admit, it seems a good spot for access to the major ski resorts, but are the roads ok to them in the winter?

Well, its Friday night & I can feel a cold bottle of Stella beckoning from the fridge.

Cheers,
Saltrock

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970sxxx
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Postby 970sxxx » Fri May 20, 2005 10:07 pm

Hi Saltrock,

I can provide you with photos of Batak if the helps, if you want to give me your email address? I think you're supposed to put some extra text in the middle of it e.g joe.bloggsDELETE-THIS@whatever.co.uk so that it can't be nicked for junk mail.
The photos show the 2 town squares, the older, less pretty church and the typical houses I talked about. Can't find the pic of the blue domed church though, dunno where it went.

I don't know what the roads are like in the winter I'm afraid, as I've not been there in the snow yet.

About the services you need. I used one company for everything: purchase, lawyers, builders, translators etc, but I've already been "ticked off" a little for recommending them, as some people, including Pussycat, have had bad experiences, so I dare not say too much. Sorry. They didn't charge me at all for the 2 days of trips I made with them, and they even paid for the drinks in the cafe in Batak and lunch the day before in Bansko. Maybe that was because I'd already bought from them though.


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