We wanted to find a quiet place with good food in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains. And we did!
The place is called Meressev’s house. The website is not available in English yet but i promised to do that some time soon.
Geographical area: Central Rhodope Mountains, Banite Municipality, Oryahovets village. It is about 3h away from Sofia, 245 km. See map and directions.
About the house: The house is new. It opened in 2009. It was built with the co-financing of the EU so you will see the EU sign on the house. There are 7 double rooms each with its own bathroom and access to a terrace. Two of the rooms are like small apartments and have something like a kitchen corner. They are all nice and clean. My pictures of the room did not turn out ok because I did not use my flash, but I will post them anyways just to give you an idea. There is a small tavern with fireplace on the lower level, but we had our meals in the garden. There is free WiFi that works in the garden, as well. This was a nice surprise for us. Also there was jazz music playing in the garden – that was unusual but really cool.
The garden is small but very pleasant with a great view to the mountains. You can ask to have your meals in the garden if the weather allows it. This is what we did and enjoyed the fresh air and the beautiful view.
The food is great! Leave the owners to cook their local dishes for you and you won’t regret it! They use natural products: eggs from the hens next door, veal from the neighbour’s calf, milk from the neighbour’s cow, potatoes and tomatoes from their own garden. Everything was soo fresh and delicious! Of course, you can tell them what you want and they will cook it for you, but i strongly recommend you to leave them to decide for you.
The service is very good. The owners are friendly and cheerful family. They will do their best to make you feel at home.
The price: BGN 25 (= EUR 13 ) per person per night, breakfast included.
Pros: Everything I described above.
Cons: Even though the village is very secluded and there is hardly any traffic, the house is by the road so you may hear noise in the morning. Our terrace was shared with the room next to ours.
Contacts: If you have questions or would like to get in contact with Meressev Guesthouse, use the contact form or simply write an e-mail to: email@example.com
Places to see
Zagrazhden Eco trail: Beautiful eco trail starting from Zagrazhden village, 30 min from Oryahovets village. We walked all over the route – about 5 hrs.
One part of the eco trail follows the Zagrazhdenska river and there are many beautiful waterfalls, wooden bridges, and rocky routes.
At some point the trail climbs quite high and there is a beautiful view of the mountains and the forest around. The trail is not extremely hard – there was an 80 years old man who was walking the trail when we were there. There are a few alcoves where you can rest or have a sandwich. Take water with you.
Rozhen Observatory: it is situated at Rozhen peak (altitude: 1750 m). There is a curvy road all the way to the observatory.
We went there just to see the area, but we somehow got in the middle of a group so we went to see the large telescope and listened to a short lecture. There is incredible view from the terrace on the last floor (where the telescope is).
The large telescope is not for public use, but there is a smaller one which can be used with a prior reservation and if the weather allows it. I am decided to do that one day.
Svoboda peak / Enihan Baba: To get there you need to head north-west from Davidkovo village (very close to Oryahovets village). We drove to Svoboda chapel. There is no parking lot or anything, which signals the end of the road. We just left our car where we saw other cars parked.
Svoboda chapel is an old, old chapel in a very poor condition. I went in just to take a look. I was surprised to find an old man who made Turkish coffee and sold water and sweets. What is interesting about the area is that muslim population from Bulgaria gather there over the weekends or on their holidays. They roast meat and make soup. If you are hungry they will feed you:)
From the chapel there are about 600 stairs, leading to the peak. The stairs are not steep and you can get to the top in about 30 minutes. There are many alcoves along the stairs if you want to sit and rest and enjoy the great view.
At the peak there is a small black marble stone in honour of Momchil voivida, who was defending the Rhodope area from the otomans in the 14c. There is also a small temple in honour of Enihan Baba – a muslim legendary hero (although different sources give different info). It is believed that his grave is in this area. Anyways, the view from the top is quite impressive and the air is crystal clear.
Other places to see:
Zlatograd - the old town
Tatul – the Thracian sanctuary
Dyavolskia most (The Devil’s Bridge)
Chudnite Mostove (The Wonderous Bridges)