Archive for the ‘mountain huts/challets with hosts’ Category

A Place in the Rhodope Mountains where no Phones Work

January 20, 2010

No cell phone coverage, no internet, no fax and phone lines – just crystal mountain air and the sound of the forest. That’s the only way to get away from the routine and give your mind some peace.

I know such a place in the Rhodope Mountains. The area is called “Karatepe” and is about 25 km South from Velingrad. See a map with directions Sofia – Karatepe.

Where to stay: a small, secluded complex consisting of 3 wooden bungalows. They are set on a sunny meadow by a pine forest and a small lake, full of trout and carp.

There is hardly any info about the complex in the public space. It belongs to the State Forestry and is mainly visited by hunters. But when the hunters are not around it really is a wonderful Alternative Tourism destination.

the lake and the arbour

Getting there: not an easy job, unless they’ve fixed the road from Velingrad. But that goes with the territory – no easily reachable place can stay that wild and beautiful.

The bungalows: There are 6 private bedrooms, altogether in the complex. One of the bungalows has a fully equipped kitchen and a small dining room with a fireplace. The bungalows don’t offer luxury, but they provide more than the basic comforts.

the bungalows

The food: is your responsibility. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need. Just make sure you do your grocery shopping in advance because there is no store anywhere near the place. In the summer you can eat outside.

eat outside

Pros: great location, beautiful wild nature, peace and quiet, budget destination

Cons: hard to get there, the kitchen and rooms are not very well-maintained

Prices: 30 levs per room per night or 15 levs per bed per night. To use the kitchen the price is 60 levs per day.

Contacts: the website was not working at the time I wrote this post. The phone number: +359 35951937.

If you have additional questions use the contact form or simply write me an e-mail to: .

Things to do: talking on your cell phone and browsing the net is not one of them. There is no network coverage – that’s the best part! For emergency situations there are two certain spots on a meadow nearby, marked by wooden signs where you can get coverage of 2 mobile operators. You have to stay exactly at that designated spot to get coverage, its quite funny:)

a spot with network coverage

Having lost connection with civilization you are free to do whatever you want: hunt, fish, walk, pick blueberries and mushrooms, see the villages around or just hang at the arbour in the middle of the lake and watch the fihes.

gypsy camp

In the summer you will see a large authentic gypsy camp on the road from Velingrad to Karatepe Area. The gypsies live there throughout the summer and pick blueberries. They really make a mess around their camp – there is garbage and plastic bags everywhere. Still, it might be interesting for some of you to see the gypsy way of life. When we asked to be let in the camp to look around they were really friendly and chatty.


If you have additional questions use the contact form or simply write me an e-mail to: .

Shiroka Polyana Dam

October 26, 2009

Geographical area: Romantika Villas (no English translation of the website is available)  are situated in the central Rhodope Mountains by Shiroka Polyana Dam in the area of Kaval Tepe, Batak Municipality. Here is a map with directions Sofia-Shiroka Polyana. There are 2 wooden signs for Romantika Villas on the main road. Look for them. The second sign will tell you to go off the main road. There is about 11 km drive on a dirt road but it is worth the rough journey.

Romantika Villas
Romantika Villas

View from our villa
View from our villa

The Villas: There are 15 wooden, two-story villas. 4 of them have 3 bedrooms and the rest have 2 bedrooms. The bathroom+WC is only one per villa. Each villa has a fireplace, wood for the fireplace, sofa, cable tv, tel.,fridge, dining table with chairs and some cutlery and plates. There is a porch with a view to Shiroka Polyana Dam, which is great for outdoor meals. There is a BBQ close to each villa so, from the BBQ, directly to the porch!

The 1st floor
The 1st floor

One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

The bedrooms are on the second floor. Bear in mind that the stairs to the second floor are quite steep – it is not safe for small children or drunk people:) to climb them by themselves. The bedrooms themselves are, nice and clean, but very small.

The bathroom
The bathroom

The  bathroom is just one for the whole villa. It is large and has a shower cabin and a hair dryer. The sink is rather small and there is no place for people to leave their stuff.

BBQ next to out villa
BBQ next to out villa

The food is your responsibility – the BBQ is all yours. You should plan your grocery shopping carefully, because there is no shopping place anywhere close to the area. But do not worry because one of the villas (right in the middle) is made into something like a restaurant. They have the basics: coffee, tea, spirits, sandwiches, soups, pancakes, BBQ. They can also cook something with your products. But you should know that it is not the place you want to spend too much time at.

The service: you should rely on your own services in Romantika Villas. When it comes to the service in the cafeteria – well, it is just an old couple asking what you want:) However, if you need to fix something in the villas there are a few guys around to do that for you.

Pros: beautiful secluded area right by Shiroka Polyana Dam, the villas are made exclusively out of wood, warm fireplace, convenient porch

Cons: 11 km on a dirt road to get there, small bedrooms, very steep stairs to the second floor, only one bathroom for the whole villa, not enough cooking tools at a place, which relies entirely on self service

Contacts: If you have questions or would like to get in touch with Romantika Villas, use the contact form or simply write an e-mail to:

Things to do/see

Fishing: Most visitors come to Romantika Villas just for that. Other than Shiroka Polyana Dam, there are other Dams in the area where you can try your luck: Dzhenevra Dam, Big/Small Beglik.

Shiroka Polyana Dam, right in front of the villas

Shiroka Polyana Dam, right in front of the villas

In Dzhenevra area there are remains of a Roman village and a Roman bridge. (We were too busy fishing and did not have time to visit them:(


Further away but not to be overlooked are:

Yagodina (Yagodinska) Cave: 30 km from Shiroka Polyana area (more info about the caves in the region in my post Amazing Travel – Trigrad)

Trigrad gorge (more info in my post Amazing Travel – Trigrad)

Devil’s Throat (Dyavolsko Garlo) Cave (more info in my post Amazing Travel – Trigrad)

“Haydushki Polyani” Area – the Rhodope Mountains

August 20, 2009

Momchil Voivoda hut

Geographical area: the hut is situated in the Central Rhodope Mountains, Haydushki Polyani area, 15 km east of Pamporovo, close to Kutela village

The area: Haydushki Polyani area is a beautiful meadow in the heart of a pine forest. The name ‘Haydushki Polyani means haidouk glades (haidouk in the sense of rebels against the otomans)There are 2 small lakes in the area. People like to make fires and have picnics or BBQs around the lakes.

one of the lakes
the lake from a different angle

The hut: Momchil Voivoda hut is situated in the Haydushki Polyani area on a meadow in the heart of a pine forest.There is an old tourist hut next to it with the same name, but it lookes quite shabby. The new hut is quite decent. It is actually a luxury place for the real mountaineers who are used to very basic conditions. The hut has two floors. There is a pool table and a restaurant on the first floor. From the restaurant you can go out on a large terrace which offers a great view to the lakes and the forest. The terrace is a favourite place for the visitors who like to have their coffee/tea there.

the hut outside
Haydushki Polyani hut from outside

The rooms are clean but quite small. Each room has a separate bathroom. In the rooms there are just 2 beds (or one double bed) and a TV. No need for air conditioners because it never gets really hot in the area.

room on the 1st floor

the bathroom

The food: we did not try the food but i can tell you this – there was a group of tourists in the restaurant and the staff had already served them their food – typical Rhodope food – and it looked and smelled really good.

the restaurant

This is not pizza that you see on the picture. This is ‘patatnik’ – a typical Rhodope dish from potatoes, eggs, etc.

The price is 20 euro per room per night. There are group discounts.

Pros: The biggest advantage of Momchil Voivoda Hut is its location – really beautiful piece of nature; no noise around since the hut is away from the main road; crystal clean air; simple and good food.

Cons: Even though the rooms are clean they are quite small and dark – not very welcoming. The bathroom is clean but not very comfortable.

But as I already mentioned earlier, considering the secluded location of the hut it offers all the comfort that you can possible get in the mountains.

Contacts: If you have questions or want to get in touch with Momchil Voivoda Hut (no website available), use the contact form or simply send an e-mail to:

Places to see:

Rozhen Observatory (for more details see my post Meressev’s House)

Zagrazhden Ecopath (for more details see my post Meressev’s House )

Svoboda Peak (for more details see my post Meressev’s House)