Shiroka Laka, Bulgaria
Shiroka Laka is considered to be the most beautiful village in Bulgaria. It is located in the municipality of Smolyan, in the southern part of the country. The village is situated amidst the lovely scenery of the Rhodope Mountains, 1060 meters above sea level. According to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria (NSI), the settlement has a population of 679 people. Shiroka Laka is an architectural reserve. It is a typical example of an old Bulgarian town, and its medieval spirit and traditions are still alive.
Its outstanding authentic architecture is well-known far beyond the borders of Bulgaria. Narrow and winding cobbled streets pass between two or three-storey whitewashed houses of stone and wood.
Here you can find some very nice craft workshops offering a lot of interesting souvenirs you can buy. Although it is an important tourist destination and attracts many visitors, the village is still very quiet.
The only thing you hear while walking around is the pleasant murmur of the cool mountain Shirokolashka River.
Shiroka Laka is the most attractive destination for rural tourism in Bulgaria. Among the village attractions are the Bogdanova, Grigorovska, Sgurovska, Kalaydzhiyska and Uchikovska houses, the church “Assumption of the Virgin Mary”, dating from the first half of the 19th century, the famous Roman bridge, the National School of Folk Arts and the house of Exarch Stefan 1st.
The village is known for its Rhodope songs and the celebration of “Pes Ponedelnik” accompanied by colorful mummers dance.
Shiroka Laka is surrounded by beautiful pine and beech forests and green mountain meadows. Within a 30km radius of the village, you will find some exciting caves such as Yagodinska and Lednitsata caves as well as some very beautiful waterfalls such as Skakaloto and Orpheus.
The fauna of the region is very rich. There are bears, wolves, foxes, jackals, deer, wild boars, badgers and many others.
Situated high in the mountain, the village offers great opportunities to get away from the summer heat. Here, even in the height of summer the average daytime temperature is around 20°C.
Spring and autumn offer mild weather coupled with amazing colors and temperatures between 5 and 15°C.
Winters bring long-lasting fluffy snow and not very cold weather with daytime temperatures up to about 0 – 1°C. Since Shiroka Laka is only a few kilometers from the border with sunny Greece, the village enjoys a large number of sunny days even in winter.
When to visit Shiroka Laka? The best time to visit Shiroka Laka is in July and August, unless you want to ski at some of the nearby ski resorts such as Pamporovo.
How to get to Shiroka Laka? The best and fastest way to get to Shiroka Laka is by bus from the municipal city of Smolyan, located about 24 kilometers from the village.