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Guest House Balkan
Guest House Balkan is hands down one of Stara Planina's most coveted vacation spots. It is located in Valevtsi Village, right in the heart of the mountain, about 80 kilometres from Veliko Turnovo and no more than thirty minutes away from the town of Sevlievo.
This isn't an ordinary chalet perched on a picturesque hill near a cute pine forest and neither is it a huge fancy hotel resort that can accommodate heaps of noisy tourists. Rather, it is a place ruled by peaceful seclusion where one can relax and escape from all the hustle and bustle of the big city without actually giving up any of the amenities it provides. Every single room and apartment in Guest House Balkan's three super neat stone-and-wood houses is loaded with impressive features such as cosy and luxurious interior designs and furniture, astonishing views of the courtyard and the green slopes of the mountain, and even a sauna and a hot tub with a Jacuzzi in one of the rooms. Of course, none of this can hold a candle to the natural beauty of the region.
You will feel the magic of the area as soon as you get out of your car and look around. You will see nothing but endless woods and lofty hills and the only thing you'll hear will be the whisper of nature. Balkan, the dog after which the guest house is named, will probably be the first one to meet you, while his faithful friend Buria (Storm) won't be far behind.
The guest house's restaurant is situated in the newest building of the complex. One can order anything there. The chef will prepare whatever dish you would like to eat. You can enjoy your meal either on the terrace with the lovely views of the mountain or next to the fireplace inside. After dinner you can burn some calories in the spa centre, which is also in this building. It has all sorts of state-of-the-art relaxation devices, including a whole bunch of comfy chairs, a Jacuzzi, a sauna and a special heated bench for the cold winter days. The sports fans can go for a quick training session at the gym or try out the football pitch, tennis court, and basketball ground.
The outside swimming pool, which offers the most mesmerizing views of the green meadows of Stara Planina, and the open bar with the refreshing cocktails, are favourite spots in the summer. The little chapel, on the other hand, is a preferred place for all the devoted believers who just want to light a candle and pray to God. The conference hall is open for anyone who feels like getting some work done.
There are many entertainment activities one can engage in. They range from lighting up fires and throwing wild parties under the stars to trekking and exploring the local mountain routes and going hunting. All the trophies hanging on the walls of the houses were shot in the region.