Golyam Beglik dam lake

If you want to spend a few days cycling or kayaking, then Golyam Beglik (Beglika) may be the place you are looking for

The lake is located at 1500m of altitude amid coniferous forests and although its shores could be too crowded during the summer, off the active summer season it is quite a peaceful place. There’s hardly anyone who knows more about the life around Beglika than the people from Bikearea, so send them an email or drop in on the Chatama Forest Centre maintained by the association. Visitors to Chatama can stay in one of the renovated buildings or pitch their tents on the nearby clearings. Here there is running water, composting toilets, solar heated showers, electricity, facilities for keeping and making food (contact: (+359) 886 689 984, Stanislav Nikolov).

August is the time when Beglika Fest takes place (usually around 20th of August). The festival's days are funny and full of various activities, music, dancing, games and experiences but if you’re looking for peace and quiet, better choose some other time to visit the area. In the beginning of September, for example, the water of the dam is still warm but there are much less people on the shores and you’ll be able to feel and see more from the wild nature of this region.

Golyam Beglik Dam is located in the Western Rhodope, about 60km north of Pazardzhik. You can get to it along the way that connects Batak Dam to the town of Dospat. If you’re coming from Sofia, the shortest way goes through Septemvri and follows the route of the Septemvri-Dobrinishte narrow-gauge railway but just before Velingrad turns right towards Rakitovo. After Rakitovo comes Tsigov Chark and then, 4km after it, the road turns right to Golyam Beglik Dam. After the fork the lane becomes narrower and winding but it was recently repaired so when it’s dry it’s a pleasure to drive along it. If you’re traveling by bus you can ask the driver to drop you at the dam wall or, if you want to get to the southern shore of the dam, you can get off at the fork 4km up the road and continue on foot, taking the dirt road to the right which goes round the dam.