Veliko Tarnovo

Perched on the hilly banks of the Yantra River, hidden in thick green forests and demonstrating the historical magnificence of the Second Bulgarian State, Veliko Tarnovo is definitely one of the most important and beautiful tourist destinations in Bulgaria. The steep narrow paved streets of the Old Town lure its guests to go farther and farther up Tsarevets Hill until they finally reach the most striking medieval fortress on the territory of the country. This is where the old capital of Bulgaria used to be right up until 1393 when the Ottoman invaders conquered it. Today visitors of Veliko Tarnovo can learn everything about the religious, political, cultural and artistic life of its medieval predecessor thanks to all the museums, galleries, churches and monuments of the modern town. And if you want to experience Bulgaria’s most defining moments and at the same time witness something completely unique… then go see the one-of-a-kind Light and Sound audiovisual show, the most amazing trip through history since 1985.

The region around Veliko Tarnovo has plenty more pleasant surprises for tourists. The village of Arbanassi right next to the town is an architectural reserve with beautiful Christian temples, museums, houses and taverns. Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex is also not far away – just some 50 km to the south. There one will find out about traditional Bulgarian crafts such as weaving, icon-painting, woodcarving and many more. And if jokes are your way of dealing with the hardships of life then Gabrovo, located at the foot of the awesome Stara Planina (Old Mountain), is the right place for you. The capital of humor, as they call it, is the only town in Bulgaria to boast a museum dedicated to humor and satire. Well, you won’t find any Monty Python sketches there, but it is worth checking out anyway. The splendid Transfiguration Monastery is just 7 km away from Veliko Tarnovo and the small town of Lovech is also nearby. It is famous for its historical district called Varosha and the Covered Bridge – the only one of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula. Devetashka Cave and Krushuna Falls, located in the vicinity of Lovech, are two natural landmarks that should make it to every tourist’s itinerary. They are simply splendid. If you don’t believe us ask Silvestre Stallone who chose to shoot the sequel to The Expendables in this region precisely