Last week, I started telling you guys about my road trip throughout Bulgaria that I recently took with my dad. I am continuing the break down of my journey in today’s blog post with Part 2! I left off with Day 3 as we were traveling to Pamporovo and Smolyan; however, we had made a few stops along the way. We stopped at the Bachkovo Monastery and the Wonderful Bridges. Eventually, we got back on the road and headed to Pamporovo.
Day 3: Pamporovo and Smolyan
Pamporovo is known for its ski resorts and spa hotels, but since it was the end of May, the season was over and there wasn’t much that was open. My dad decided that we should check it out nonetheless because when he was younger, he would go there all year round with his friends. We decided to keep driving to a town not too far from Pamporovo – Smolyan.
Smolyan is a small town in southern Bulgaria and it is close to the border with Greece. It is also known for skiing since it is so close to Pamporovo. There are stunning views of the Rhodope Mountains from the center of the town. We stayed at a hotel (Рибката)that was right at the beginning of the town and located by a beautiful lake. The hotel also has a restaurant that serves really good traditional Bulgarian food. One dish that I recommend you trying when traveling by the Rhodope Mountains is the famous Trout fish – Pucturva (Пъстърва).
Day 4: Koprivshtitsa and Beli Osum
Our road trip throughout Bulgaria didn’t stop on Day 4 when we left early in the morning from Smolyan to a town called Koprishtitsa. It was about a 3-hour ride from Smolyan (about 190km or 120mi). The entire town is like a walking museum. The houses reminded me of those from Old Town Plovdiv and they also had a lot of history. It felt like the time in this town had stopped because of the old Bulgarian Revival styles that you see in the houses.
We stopped for a while to have lunch which consisted of traditional Bulgarian soups and pork meat cooked on a Sach. A sach is a Bulgarian cooking dish or pot that closely resembles that of a cast iron pan since it can be used to grill and bake.
From Koprivshtitsa, we made our way to a small village called Beli Osum which was about an hour and 30 minutes away (80km or 50mi). On our way there, we passed some incredibly stunning views and were trying to beat the rain which was soon approaching.
We had to get to the other side of the mountains and eventually made it to the Troyan Balkan or in other words – the center of Stara Planina which is the central Balkan range. Once we got to the top, my dad decided to stop on the side of the road where we crossed the street and walked to the side of the mountain. The view was incredible. There with us was a group of people who were paragliding off of the mountain down to the village below. That is definitely something I would like to do one day.
(Mom, if you’re reading this, I tricked you…that wasn’t me jumping off…it was someone else.)
Finally, we made it to Beli Osum and we were making our way to a guest house complex called Hitar Petar (Хитър Петър). This place has a few different rooms where you can stay the night, all with private bathrooms. We stayed in a cabin-like room that had a huge yard in front with different activities that you could do like play like ping pong, bad mitten, or simply relax on the lounge chairs. This place reminded me of my Girl Scout/camping days as a kid because we stayed in similar cabins. (side note: yes, I was a Girl Scout, don’t judge).
The cost of your stay is cheap and it includes breakfast in the morning. There is a restaurant that also serves lunch and dinner from a small menu, but everything is super tasty and freshly made.
That was the last stop of our road trip throughout Bulgaria. While it was a short one, it was definitely full of a lot of sightseeing and adventure. I definitely plan on traveling more throughout Bulgaria and exploring the different cities/villages.
Have you ever traveled to any of these places or taken a road trip throughout Bulgaria? Let me know!