The Surrounding Area

Bulgarian rural lakeThe surrounding area offers rolling countryside with karst limestone escarpments, dense oak woods, vineyards, sunflower fields and unspoilt meadows, and close by, a large picturesque reservoir.
Travel along quiet country roads, breathe clean country air, and start to notice all the things you don't see in the city! The immediate region is home to a wide and diverse population of wildlife, including many woodpeckers, nuthatches, hedgerow birds and various raptors, along with badgers, foxes and wild boar. The June and July Firefly displays are unbelieveable!
 Wander through abandoned vineyards, or along the shores of the 18km long Alexander  Stambolijski reservoir - maybe even try your luck fishing  for carp, zander, or even elusive enormous wels catfish.
Local small towns and villages are fairly sleepy compared to "western" European norms, but everyone is friendly and interested, and even though neither of you may understand a word the other says, all exchanges seem to be gratefully received!
eco trail and hikingEven the smallest of villages will have a shop with a "bar" where you can cool off with a cold Zagorka… and practice your Bulgarian!

Pavlikeni, (ПАВЛИКЕНИ) some 14km away, offers everything required for day-to-day living, an extensive outdoor market on a Tuesday, with supermarkets, shops, petrol stations, as well as numerous restaurants and mehanas. Newly-opened bars attract young locals as well as foreign visitors from the surrounding areas. 

Further afield (23km), Sevlievo (СЕВЛИЕВО) has larger-town amenities, a very definite cafe-society culture and relaxed atmosphere, a great market on Fridays, as well as being host to Bulgaria's round of the FIM World Motocross Grand Prix, at the Gorna Rositsa track. This years' round, the opening race on the world calendar, takes place on the 10th April (2011), and has races for MX1, MX2, and Womens' world Championships. We'll happily arrange advance VIP tickets and transport to the event for you; please just let us know! (Other motocross meetings take place at least every second weekend, for local,national and international competitions, so if you're interested, an exciting day's racing is nearby!)

Veliko Turnovo, (ВЕЛИКО ТЪРНОВО) the "Old Capital" lies about 40km/25minutes distant, attracting tourists from all over the world, and has everything you'd expect a university town to have, as well as a few things you probably wouldn't; the magnificent Tsaravets Fortress,  the political, religious and cultural centre for the whole of the country between the 12th and 14th centuries, as well as the ruined settlements on the hills of Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora. Veliko TarnovoDozens of important churches, many museums as well as beautifully restored "revival" architecture are also to be seen, with the well-known Samovodska Charshiya (Marketplace) with its varied craftsmen-run shops being the centrepiece of the old town. The UNESCO-sponsored International Folklore Festival takes place annually in early July, with participants drawn from all corners of the globe to show their abilities in their traditional songs and dances. It also offers a multitude of bars and good restaurants, in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, as well as diverse nightlife to take you into the wee small hours...
A magnificent "sonne et lumiere" lightshow takes place from Tsaravets during the summer months, and can be viewed from the Fortress itself (ticketed) or for free from various vantage points high in the town.

Similarly historic is the village of Arbanassi, (АРБАНАСИ) a few kilometres up the hill from VT, where over 100 houses are preserved as they were in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as five churches and two monasteries from the 16th and early 17th centuries, with preserved and restored murals and icons. Veliko Tarnovo - Yantra riverMany of the houses, once the dwellings of wealthy merchants, can be visited with the purchase of a single ticket.

The website www.theoldcapital.eu offers lots more information on Veliko Turnovo town, attractions and surroundings.
We can arrange for you to be shown around the area by car, if you would like to see the sights and "get your bearings" before you embark on your own adventures in your hire car. This service is subject to availability, and would be payable locally, at a cost of approximately 100BGN - 150BGN per day depending on itinerary and distance covered.