Gela - Family Hotel


September 27, 2023 /

Have you heard the legend of Orpheus, the mythical Thracian singer whose music enchanted wild animals and even made trees fall silent? The story tells that the beauty of Gela Village, located in the central Rhodope Mountains at an altitude of 1500 meters, inspired Orpheus. The village is situated at the foot of the majestic peaks of Golyam Perelik, Orpheus, and Turlata, and is only 6 km from Shiroka Laka, 18 km from the famous ski resort Pamporovo, and 30 km from the town of Smolyan. With a history of over 3300 years, Gela is considered one of the cradles of European civilization.

In ancient times, Gela was inhabited by the richest members of the Thracian tribe Bessi, and the ancient Thracian fortress “Gradishte” can still be seen 5 km south of the village. During Roman times, Gela was an important cultural, commercial, and defensive centre, and Turlata Peak was a fortress whose remains are still visible from the top. The village is also famous for preserving its culture and religion during the 5 centuries of Ottoman occupation, with 2 Orthodox churches and eleven chapels still standing.

Gela is not only a cultural centre but also the most energetic place in Bulgaria where one can reconnect and recharge their internal power gird and health. The fresh mountain air and unique Fion wind from the Aegean Sea have negative ionization, making it favourable for people with lung conditions. The climate is significantly softened by the influence from the South. With an average annual temperature of 9°C, Gela is one of the sunniest places in Europe, with over 280 sunny days a year.

Despite being inhabited for millennia, the area around Gela still has places left untouched by humans, preserving the natural habitat for rare animals and plants. The symbol of the Rhodopes, the flower of Orpheus (Haberlea rhodopensis), is antient relict flower endemic to the area. The forests around Gela are abundant with wild fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants, and the local people continue to live as their ancestors did, cultivating the land and grazing their animals on the meadows and pastures around.

With only 66 residents, 200 sheep, 10 cows, and 10 goats in an area of 18 km2, Gela is a remarkable place in the Rhodopes. The silence is only disturbed by the cow chimes and the song of the bagpipes, making it the perfect place to escape from city life, crowds, stress, and get closer to nature.