Archive for the ‘6. Villages in Bulgaria’ Category

Unspoiled Beaches in Bulgaria

July 25, 2010

If you see a beautiful lonely sand beach in Europe you are either there way out of season or you are dreaming. However, Bulgaria still has a couple of unspoiled, non-commercialized, beautiful, lonely beaches by its Black Sea. I am going to disclose one of them to you here. This info is only for nature lovers, enjoyers and keepers. All greedy investors keep out, because these places are National Parks and we don’t want anybody building anything there.

Karadere is the name of the beach and it is on the north seaside. Miles of sand beaches and nothing but, vines, trees and bushes around them. There are no showers, no WC, no food stores – I mean nothing! Just sand, billions of round pebbles by the sea and emerald waters.

My soul was so happy there - and it shows..

And because people feel so far from civilization on this lonely, unspoiled beach, it is only natural for them to bathe naked.

The beach of Karadere

How to get there: the closest village where you can stay is Goritsa. It is a sweet, quiet village. From Goritsa you need a car to get to Karadere beach. The drive is about 25 minutes in the direction of the town of Byala. One thing you need to know is there are hairy pigs grazing along the way to the beach. They are not wild animals but I personally prefer not to be walking in their company.

Pigs along the way to Karadere beach

Where to stay: There are many village houses in Goritsa where you can rent a room. The prices are very low – 15-25 leva per person per night. We stayed at “Pri Pancho” (meaning Pancho’s). It was nice and clean – all you need – no more no less. Write me an e-mail if you need help with reservation.

Where to eat: Again at Pancho’s. The food is delicious and natural. The fish soup is a must. We were lucky to have tried turbot fish there. The prices are one of the lowest you will find at the sea.


The Village of Leshten – Somewhere in Space and Time

May 25, 2010

Where: another alternative destination in Bulgaria – the village of Leshten. It is situated in the SouthWest end of the Rhodope Mountains – about 220 km from Sofia. The road is windy and uneven but it is absolutely worth the trouble. Our first impression – a magnificent view towards Pirin Mount!

The village of Leshten, according to different sources, is an ancient village and many traces of old life, culture and architecture have been found in the region. It used to be a municipal and trade centre in the past. I find it hard to believe this, looking at a small stony village of 30 houses – about 300 years old – and a single permanent resident.

That’s right, “stony village”, everything is made out of stone – the roads, the houses, the fences. No wander this specific technique of building was the core means of living here back in the Bulgarian Revival. It’s a great thing that the authentic look of the village is preserved. Even the 15 renovated houses, which host tourists, have kept their old style – stone plinths, roofs covered with hand cut tile-stones, high stone fences, small windows and wooden flooring. So solid and so great!

Where to stay: in one of the 15 renovated houses. They are supplied with all the modern comforts, a fireplace and a kitchen. Below is the house where we stayed at. If you need help with reservation write me an e-mail to truebulgaria@gmail.com or use the contact form.

the house we stayed at

Where to eat. There is one single place to eat in the village. I find it relaxing not to have a choice for once. The restaurant is in the building of the old monastery school. I haven’t eaten there yet but most people say the food is local, authentic and very delicious and… it is not cheap.

Things to see: the village of Leshten is a historical monument by itself. The ancient architecture and the great natural location is a winning combination. The spirit of the once lively municipal centre is asleep but it’s still there.

The village church – St Paraskeva – had its last service in 1957 but you can still enter the church and light a candle. The wall paintings are quite bright, kind of modern and curious.

The clay house – this one is a favourite tourist destination not because it is ancient or has any historical value but because it is one of a kind. It is made entirely out of clay. There are no sharp square shapes – the whole house is soft and oval. Even thought it looks simple and primitive the clay house actually offers luxury accommodation, which combined with location and view is probably worth the price – around 60 euro per night.

the Clay House

the clay house's porch

The gallery – one of the houses functions as a classy gallery from where you can buy sophisticated pricey art-icles.

The village of Kovachevitsa – nearby village, also an architecture monument – post about the village of Kovachevitsa coming soon

a street in Kovachevitsa village

Koziat kamuk (the Goat’s Stone) and Chernata skala (the Black Rock) – ancient sanctuaries of Thracian times (or so they say)

Fossil Deposit Site near the Village of Garment

Natural sights:

The Blue Pool – a beautiful pool of Kanina river

The Dark Forest – a forest reserve

Manoilova Dupka Cave- with various cave formations, underground river and waterfalls. It is the home of globally protected bat species. Entrance to the cave is limited.

Rizova Dupka Cave – a rare type of cave formed not by erosion but by vertical slicing in a gneiss rock, caused by its won weight

The Zagrade Plane trees: these are two incredible sycamores (plane trees) over 600 years old; they can be seen on the right side on the road from Gotse Delchev town to the village of Marchevo. In the Tertiary (or so the sources say) there used to be a huge forest of such trees along the valley of Mesta river.

If you need any help with reservation or a tourist guide to show you around write me an e-mail to truebulgaria@gmail.com or use the contact form.

Krushuna – a Green Wet Fary Tale

February 15, 2010

Krushuna is a village about 35 km from the town of Lovetch. It is quiet, the nature is unspoiled, the air is clean – just like most other villages in Bulgaria. But it does have something more to it… In the south end of the village a magical place is hidden. Come with me – I’ll show you…

How to get there:

The Journey from Sofia takes about 2 hrs and 20 minutes. Here is a link to map+driving directions.

Once you get to the village it won’t be hard to discover its proud secret – the Krushuna waterfalls or the so-called “Maarta”. In the midst of green vegetation there is this wondrous creation of nature – waters, falling over  soft mossy rocks, overflowing round shaped terraces, which look like they are filled with liquid emeralds.

part of the waterfall

part of the waterfall

Of course this has its scientific explanation. The waters of Maarаta river fall over karst, limestone and travertine rocks. Gradually the waters mould the rocks into these beautiful round rapids. I don’t know how the water got this emerald colour, but I guess it has to do with the chemical composition of the rocks.

emerald waters of Maarta river

The whole waterfall is about 15 metres high. There are bridges and steps, facilitating  the visitors get different views of the sight.

High in the rocks you will see a few ancient caves. One of them leads to something like a church, carved in the very rock. These caves were ones the homes of Christians who professed isihasm – an orthodox school, popular in the 13th century, which founded its values on humbleness, love and wisdom. The isihasts lived in remote, secluded places, where they could contemplate nature and connect with God. They used to heal peoples’ diseases. One of their believes were that mankind could be freed from its ailments and even live forever.

entrance to one of the caves

Other things to see:

From all the caves in the region there is one you absolutely have to see – Devetashka Cave. It is on the way to Devetaki village.  We parked where the road crosses the Osam river. There is a road sign for the cave. From there it is about 1 kilometre to the cave along a small eco trail.

the caves's entrance from a far

I love this cave because it reminds me of a cosmic station. It has the biggest ‘foyer’ of all the caves in Europe – 3o metres high and 35 metres wide. According to different sources it was inhabited during 7 different epochs. It was a sanctuary in ancient times.  It used to be a military base in the past. Later on in the 1950s it was a storage for oil. According to some it was the federal reserve’s food storage and rocket base.

There are 7 huge openings on the ceiling, through which natural light enters the main hall. Past the main hall the cave splits into two corridors. The left one is about 2.5 km long. It is dark with a small river running through, forming miniature lakes and waterfall, passing through the main hall and eventually flowing into Osam river. The right corridor is much smaller. It is dry and warm, ending with a round hall, known as the Altar.

the ceiling

inside

Where to stay:

There are many village houses for rent. Usually the whole house is rented and you can cook your own food in the fully equipped kitchen. The house we stayed at had only one WC and bathroom so I am not going to recommend it. It had really nice yard though and a great outdoor dining area with a fireplace. If you are not worried about the single bathroom fact write to me and I’ll send you the contacts.

outdoor dining area

the house

My advice is do not visit Krushuna during the village holidays May 2nd  – it gets crowded and messy.

Please keep the area clean and be careful not to damage the formations. Unfortunately, we, Bulgarians aren’t particularly good at that.

If you have further questions you can use the contact form or write to me at truebulgaria@gmail.com.


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