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A Guide to Rural Bulgaria

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Travel Notes: Travel-Write: Europe Travel Articles: Kostenets

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Village Kostenets, is one of the most idyllic and relaxing places in Bulgaria.

Getting to Village Kostenets

The roads to Kostenets are in fairly good condition. To get to Village Kostenets, you must travel through the Town of Kostenets; a bustling, thriving town, always full of activity and people.

On a warm day, it is perfect for passing away your free hours in one of the many new cafes.

The main attraction of this town, is the Saturday market: for clothes, household goods, fruit and vegetable stalls and a fairly amazing animal market; where you can find little piggies in the boot of a car, or baby ducks flapping about in a cardboard box.

While driving the 8kms between the Town and Village of Kostenets, magnificent mountains tower in front of your eyes. These are part of the Rila Mountain Range and the intensity of awe that they arouse is very hard to put to paper.

Village Kostenets with Rila Mountain Range - Copyright Debbie Lockhart
Village Kostenets with Rila Mountain Range - © Debbie Lockhart

The first sign of your arrival is a locally crafted sign in the Cyrillic alphabet that stands at the right of the road. This village is easy to get around as it is constructed in a circle. The main road will lead you back to where you started.

Village Kostenets

The centre of the village is beautifully landscaped, with large trees lining the road and the central park filled with flowers. There are two cafes that are perfectly located to relax and watch the world go by.

There is also a quaint little fruit shop that will grind your coffee beans for you; the smell that fills the shop is simply divine.

Across the road there is an infamous 1 lev shop that sells pretty much everything and anything; you'll even find some Christmas decorations in there in during the month of July.

Kostenets Village Church - Copyright Debbie Lockhart
Kostenets Village Church - © Debbie Lockhart

The local church is situated just around the corner. It has stunning architecture that reminds you of a century, long gone. On the top sits a great Stork's nest, which is very important to the people as this signifies clean and healthy air is all around.

A large war memorial stands near by, tall and proud-seeking glory for all those that bravely fought and died. In front of the church are special boards that display pictures of all those recently passed on and the grieving place has a black bow tied upon its gate.

A steep incline up a large hill leads the way to the Villi Zone of the village. Half-way up, there is an outdoor mineral swimming pool filled with happy swimmers and sunbathers. On the opposite side, there is an indoor equivalent; for the braver amongst us that are willing to strip off and bear all.

Hiking Trails From Kostenets

At the end of the road, starts various hiking trails into the Rila Mountains; from the forestry building. One of them, a four-hour hike, leads to Belmeken; the sports complex.

To cool down, there is a fountain with two cold taps. It also has two warm taps that flow natural mineral water.

Along from here is the feature that makes the locals proud: the Kostenets waterfall. The sound of it flowing into the river is so peaceful and relaxing; the perfect place for a picnic.

Kostenets Waterfall - Copyright Debbie Lockhart
Kostenets Waterfall - © Debbie Lockhart

Follow the river down a long and twisting road and you will be pleasantly surprised when you find the Lake restaurant, 'Ezeroto'. They serve great traditional Bulgarian cuisine such as the Shopska Salad.

After parking you immediately see a large, wood carved majestic bear towering above you. It is one of the many wooden sculptures hiding in the natural environment.

It is incredibly beautiful here and the wooden walkways allow you to explore and walk all the way around, to see the ducks swimming up and down on the lake.

Kostenets Villa Zone

In the Villa Zone there is a little church, that is used by the villagers on weekends for special prayer. It sits on the perfect vantage point.

From here you can see all of the village and even the Kostenets Town in the distance. You are surrounded by mountains and the silence is only broken by whispering insects or calling birds.

Village Kostenets is one of the most idyllic and relaxing places in Bulgaria.

Why not visit a rural Bulgarian location for your next holiday? This is only one of the many rural villages that Bulgaria has to offer.

By Debbie Lockhart.

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Bulgaria Travel Notes:
The Bulgarian state was founded as an unification of Slavs, Thracians and Bulgars in 681 AD. Find out more about Bulgaria @ Travel Notes.

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