The Rhodope Mountain Range National Park is located in the northern parts of the Prefectures of Drama, Xanthi and Rhodope, and signifies the natural borders between Greece and Bulgaria. It is divided in the Eastern, Central, and Western Rhodope.
The Rhodope mountain range occupies approximately 19,000 square kilometers; its southern part lies on the Greek territory, while its northern part lies in Bulgaria. From an ecological point of view, Rhodope is one of the most interesting areas of Europe due to the region’s great biodiversity. Rhodope’s geographical position, geological composition, and geomorphology contribute to the unique diversity of its natural environment. Furthermore, as the glaciers did not affect this region, Rhodope’s land became a refuge for many species living in Central and Northern Europe. Thus, this area marks the southernmost limit of the spread of these species. Specifically, in the central and western parts of the mountain range, we meet some of Europe’s less disturbed natural ecosystems, which host a wide variety of habitats, where rare species of plants and animals live.
Despite its small territory, the Greek part of Rhodope is of great ecological interest. The diversity of the ecosystem is abundant—this is visible in all the vegetation zones of the region, such as the Mediterranean zones, the continental zones, the zones of the northern psychic conifers of the Pro-Alpine and Northern Europe.