Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

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)

Sredni Kolibi Village – Elenski Balkan

October 22, 2009

This is a journey to the Balkan Mountains (Stara Planina) – to the most beautiful part of it – the region of Elena town.

Geographical area: Sredni Kolibi village in the Central Balkan Range – the region of Elena town. Here are the directions and a map from Sofia to Sredni Kolibi village.  The drive from Sofia takes about 3:30 hrs. There are signs to the hotel so it is not hard to find.

The village of Sredni Kolibi is tiny, very quiet and awfully charming. It is very sad how few people live there now. One thing you should know about this part of  the mountain  is that it is incredibly beautiful! We call it “Elenski balkan” and we are loving it:)

Where to stay

Elenski Riton Hotel: There is a main building and there are 2 smaller separate buildings. We stayed at one of the smaller buildings. Everything is nice, clean and new since the hotel welcomed its first guests only in 2008. The architecture deserves compliments – it has a character, authenticity and it fits perfectly with the surroundings. There are bikes for rent – the region is perfect for biking tours. I almost forgot to mention the outdoor pool – pardon me, I’m not a pool lover.

Elenski Riton – the 2 smaller separate buildings

Elenski Riton – main building

The rooms are also very clean; almost everything is made of wood and that gives them a pleasant hm… woody smell. However, they are a bit small and dark for my taste.

The bathroom is large and clean. It was quite cool in there when we visited since they did not have the heating on. We had a boiler in our bathroom and it was quite noisy during the night. We had to turn it off  in the end but we were wandering for quite a while where did that strange squeaking noise come from.

The restaurant is not to my taste – dark, smoky and noisy. We had lunch and breakfast outside and if it were not cold, we would’ve had our dinner outside as well.

Outside the hotel

Outside the hotel

The food: The menu is not impressive as a whole but they had some home-cooked meals which were excellent.

The service: As I have mentioned many times before, Bulgaria is not famous for its good service.  Well, here is one exception to the rule – the staff at this hotel was friendly and helpful. The lady manager is very kind, she knows quite a lot about the area and she will gladly provide you with any info you need.

Pros: great location, very quiet – no roads or noise of any kind; new, clean and tidy hotel, good service.

Cons: the rooms are a bit small and dark for my taste; the restaurant is not a cozy place; the menu is composed mainly of fast-cooked stuff – there are only a few real cooked meals.

Contacts: If you have questions about the area or about  Elenski Riton hotel use the contact form or simply write an e-mail to:

Things to do / see:

Yovkovtsi Dam is the first thing that you should go and see – approximately 10 minutes walk from the hotel. If you enjoy fishing you can spend the rest of your vacation there:)

A view from Sredni Kolibi village to Yovkovtsi dam

Biking tour – a great idea! We rented bikes from the hotel and we had a really cool (and quite tiring:) biking tour. We got to a deserted village ab. 8 km from the hotel. (Head in the direction of the dam and just follow the main road. You will pass one village before that – try to go upwards all the time (that will be on your left). At some point we left our bikes by a tree and continued by foot.  It was much easier going down with the bikes:)

Biking tour towards the deserted village

Kapinovski Monastery – most monasteries have unique air  to them, which is impossible to describe. Once you enter their yard, you enter a different world – slow, green, quiet, humble and beautiful. Just stay there a moment – feels good. This monastery is actually a working male monastery.

In the yard of the Monastery

In the yard of the Monastery

The town of Elena – a unique mountain town with a lot of museums, galleries & churches. The whole town is a historical site. Just go up and down the steep streets made of stones and you will feel the atmosphere.

Hristovski waterfall on Miikovska river.

Hristovski waterfall

Animal life: It was really cool to see  so many animals in their natural environment – storks, foxes, rabbits, deers. It does not sound so exciting written down here, but if you see them there, while you are walking – it really is cool:)