In the Central Rodopi mountain, there is a small village called Levochevo. When entering the village there is a sign “Welcome in a piece of Paradise”. We are driving slowly in a really tiny road between some cows. It smells of the village and the beautiful nature prepares you for gorgeous views.
I am making jokes that this is the “Bulgarian Tivoli” ( Tivoli is an Italian cute city) because it really has these small cobblestone streets and the food is so delicious. Every house keeps the old traditional look and at the same time the modern way of living. The oldest houses dated from 1876. Some of the houses have names – traditional Bulgarian names. It is so nice to see how the Bulgarian spirit has been kept for years here in Levochevo, in the heart of Rodopi mountain.
The biggest Festival in Levochevo is during the traditional Bulgarian celebration of “Илинден”. During this Festival the whole village is on the main square and everyone is dancing the Bulgarian traditional dance horo.
The views are simply fantastic as the village Levochevo is on a high hill and when you look down you see a big part of Rodopi mountain, many different shades of green color! It is so relaxing, there is no rush and you are infected by this calmness immediately.
Chepelare – my favorite choice for skiing resort in Bulgaria, is around 14 km away from Levochevo town. The trip to both destinations Chepelare and Levochevo can be combined. Chepelare is an amazing winter destination in Bulgaria. The ski slopes are long, wide and beautiful. There are slopes for everyone – from amateurs to professionals. The Rodopi mountain loves all her guests and shows its majesty every day.
The traditional food of Rodopi mountain is something you can’t resist. Definitely try “пататник“, “родопски клин“, “марудници“, “качамак“, “агнешко чеверме“, “салата от смилянски фасул“, “телешко“, Bulgarian yogurt (кисело мляко), “сарми“, “къпана баница“. This just the begining of a legendary kitchen!
Enjoy skiing, enjoy Bulgaria, enjoy Rodopi mountain, enjoy the incredible food and yes – the winter is blessing season!
I have been living in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, for 7 years and I love the rhythm of this dynamic city. My hometown is Mineralni Bani, Haskovo city region. A small village in the beautiful South Bulgaria where all people are warm and smiley. My home is here, my parents live here, many of my dreams start here. Here everyone and every place give me love and support.
I love being here, in Mineralni Bani, for the weekend. It is so relaxing and the nature is so beautiful. I love the old village houses, the smell of my hometown is amazing! When I am here, I always get 2 kilos because the food is incredibly delicious and I overeat with pleasure. Our house is a big courtyard where my mum takes care of bio vegetables and fruits. We have wooden barbeque and green areas. My favorite is the cherry tree in front of the house!
Village Mineralni bani is an autonomous municipality. The sport and folklore are very well developed here. The men’s football team and the women’s handball team glorify the small resort village. I have been training handball for 12 years in my teenage years here.
The national resort village of Mineralni Bani welcomes you.
You can visit the site of Mineralni Bani here. There are many tourists and many of them use the healing water of the mineral springs. The mineral water is unique with its composition. There are 14 gushing springs in the resort Mineralni Bani.
More about the chemical composition of the healing mineral water in the National Resort Mineralni bani find here.
There are many nice hotels, family houses, and rooms where the tourists of the village can enjoy the relaxing and authentic energy of Mineralni Bani. They can enjoy the delicious homemade food. The hotels have full spa packages, indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor pools are an amazing experience during the winter when the snow is around the pool but you are sitting in the hot mineral water enjoying the snowflakes on your cheeks.
In the small resort center, there is a public bath with mineral water at really affordable prices. You can check the priceshere.
The nature of my hometown Mineralni bani is typical for the East Rodopi mountain. The highest peak is Aida – a great place for a walk and relax. The forest welcomes you to explore Rodopi mountain.
The Thracians have lived here and stamped the region with their traditions and energy. The local people know the old traditions.
The Romans have lived also here and there is a Roman Fortress “Holy Spirit” as a heritage.
Walking around the center of Mineralni Bani village, you should not miss the giant footprint of Virgin Marry. The stone phenomenon can be visited in this region – Orlova Skala, Probitiyat kamak, Drenaka.
The Terrarium in the resort Mineralni Bani is also a great attraction. All information on animal species, prices, contacts – here.
Mineralni Bani village welcomes thousands of kids every year during the Festival of the Mineral water, big celebrity for the whole town. The kids from Europe, Turkey, and even Brasil perform traditional dances and songs and show their talent during this Festival.
Bulgaria has been established in 681. An old country with history and traditions. Situated on the Balkans and part of Europe. It is an amazing country for a trip because of its beautiful nature. Impressive mountains, The Black Sea beaches, the spirit of the Old Bulgarian traditions, the deliciousfood, the home-made wine and the traditional alcoholic drink rakiya – these are just a few things everyone can really enjoy in Bulgaria. There are really cheap offers for flights to Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, so no matter of the season it is totally worth it to visit this small but extremely charming country!
Our trip starts at Sofia and we are going to Veliko Turnovo city, situated in Stara Planina mountain region. We drive 2 hours by car. The architecture of the city is unique, all the streets in the Old city are cobblestone and there are many historical places in the city of Veliko Turnovo – churches, old buildings.
Veliko Turnovo was Bulgarian historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. It is called the cities of the Tsars because the Bulgarian emperors had lived there and build city-state fortress. There are 3 hills – Tsarevec, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora. The river Yantra crossed the city and forms amazing Canyon in the mountain Stara Planina.
The fortress Tsarevec is very famous because of the audiovisual spectacle “Sound and Light” which is performed every year during national holidays and festivals of the city Veliko Turnovo. It is FREE and it is performed no matter the weather conditions. It is an outdoor spectacle.
The “Sound and Light” is a spectacular thunderous show presenting the dramatic history of the Second Bulgarian State. One of the best dates to be watched are 3 and 22 March and 6 September. This time of the year the weather usually is very nice.
After visiting Veliko Turnovo our last stop is 8 km away – Village Emen. The village is an eco place where you can relax in a quiet and calm place.Complex “Imenieto” (click on teh name to find their facebook page) was my choice to stay and I love it. So much green area around, so cozy place with space for outdoor activities, a nice pool and volleyball playground. There is a spa included and the kitchen is really nice. The food is home-made and extremely delicious! This complex contains 8 wooden houses close to the forest. It smells so fresh and you could sleep so well.
In the village Emen there is a famous Canyon called Emenski Canyon, The cave of Emen and the echo path Emen.
Massive rocks, impressive view and an adventurous path will lead you to the epicenter of the Emen’s fairy tale. It smells on fresh moss, the Waterfall of the Emenski Canyon is calling you from the beginning of the echo path. You are trying to get to this waterfall and the road is intriguing.
The Canyon and the Waterfall of the village Emen are with faerie energy and the beautiful nature around is simply amazing. I feel the Bulgarian mountain is alive and it beats with the rhythm of the rocks, the wind, the water and the sky – perfect harmony between nature and her guests!
Живея в София, столицата на България, от вече почти 7 години и харесвам този забързан и изпълнен с динамика град. Родом съм от село Минерални бани, община Минерални бани, до град Хасково. Това е Южна България и тук хората са топли и усмихнати. Тук са родителите ми и моят дом, тук са детските ми мечти и приключения. Тук всичко и всичкиме ме подкрепят и обичат.
Обичам да се връщам тук за събота и неделя и да си почивам, да се наслаждавам на красивата природа, на старите селски къщи, на миризмата на село. Обичам звуците рано сутрин. Винаги когато се прибирам натежавам с поне 2 килограма, толкова вкусни неща ми приготвят у домa, че преяждам доволно. Имаме градина и от там си късаме био зеленчуци и плодове безплатно. Имаме двор и барбекю и прекрасни зелени градини. И една страхотна череша отпред!
Село Минерални бани е самостоятелна община. Има много добре развита спортна и фолклорна дейност. Мъжкият отбор по футбол и женският отбор по хандбал прославят малкото курортно селце. Самата аз тренирах над 10 години хандбал.
Национален курорт село Минерални бани, община Минерални бани! Добре дошли. Може да посетите сайтът на Минерални бани тук. Разбира се туристи има много и голяма част от тях се възползват от лековитата вода на минералните извори. Минералната вода е уникална по своя състав. В курортното селище има 14 бликащи извора. Повече за химичния състав на водата в Националния курорттук.
Има множество по-големи хотели, както и семейни хотели и стаи, където туристите отсадят и се възползват от вкусна храна, добро обслужване и спа пакети. В някои хотели има открити басейни, които са страхотни за разлечение зимата, защото наоколо има сняг, а ти си стоиш в минералната вода и снежинки валят по бузите ти…
В малкия център на селото има обществена баня на много достъпни цени, която също предоставя достъп до минералната вода. Може да проверите цените тук.
Природата на моя роден край е източно-родопска! Най-високият връх е Аида и е страхотно място за разходка и отдих. Гората е типичната широколистна прелест, която те приветства навсякъде из Родопите. Древните траки са населявали земите ни тук и са оставили своя отпечатък в народните традиции, празници, обичаи, като тук напълно изключвам църквата и църковните ритуали. Тук местното население наред с религиозните, е запазило и още по-дълбоки и стари традиции, които следва.
Римляните по нашите земи оставят и Римската крепост “Свети дух”.
Roman Fortress “Holy Spirit”
Разхождайки се из центъра на селото, задължително трябва да посетите стъпката на Света Богородица – местните вярваме, че тук е стъпила Богородица. И защо да не е стъпила? Теорията за хората гиганти е подкрепяна в миналото и до днес.
В община Минерални бани могат да се посетят редица каменни феномени – Орлова скала (с. Сърница), Пробития камък (с. Сърница), “Находище на момина сълза и божур” (местността Дренака). Селският туризъм предстои да се развива.
Терариумътв курортното селище Минерални бани също е страхотна атракция. Цялата информация за животинските видове, цени, контакти, къде се намира – етотук.
И сега какво остана? Заглавието е” У дома. Къде са тия Хасковски Минерални бани и Коледен дух”. За Коледния дух – Коледа тук е песни на коледари. Тези коледари са млади момчета и знаят песни за здраве и плодородие. Местните ги чакаме с орехи и сладки и се радваме на пестните им. Коледа тук е топлина, уют и на Бъдни вечер нечетен брой ястия. Коледа е фестивална. Да, в селцето кипи фолклорна култура и се провеждат фестивали през цялата година. Коледа е цветна, навсякъде с коледни светлини.
Благословена съм с корена си!
Пожелавам ви Весела Коледа и Весели Празници! Много любов, мечти и прегръдки.
Christmas is knocking on the door. Why not enjoying a little bit of the German Christmas spirit at the German Christmas bazaar. If you live in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, or you will travel soon to Sofia –The Weihnachtsmarkt is a nice place to relax and drink a glass of glue wine with friends.
Weihnachtsmarkt is a traditional German Christmas Bazaar but nowadays it is very popular in many European countries. Ages ago, opening this market is a symbol of the beginning of the Christmas time and welcoming the Christmas child. Nowadays is more about the Christmas and Santa Claus.
10 reasons to visit the Weihnachtsmarkt in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria
You can taste delicious Bratwurst and any kind of Wurst
You can drink glue wine with fruit taste and smell of cinema
You can bring your kids to a puppet show
All the kids can meet Santa Claus and tell him their Christmas wishes. Santa Claus is giving gifts! Maybe you will have some
There are concerts and music
You can buy handmade Christmas gifts and handmade Christmas cards
You can have a walk around the wooden houses enjoying the Christmas spirit everywhere and drink hot drinks
You can taste Chirous
You can have delicious potatoes and cheese
You can enjoy the delicious Christmas chocolate
The Weihnachtsmarkt in Sofia is open 11-22 h till 20 of December.
It is not a traditional Bulgarian Bazaar but it has the Christmas charm and the enthusiasm of December celebration.
Enjoy it and if you were inspired to visit the Weihnachtsmarkt in Sofia after reading this article – put your nice photos on the internet with hashtag #travellifestory. This will be the best Christmas gift for me – to see all your happy December moments!
It is easy to arrive at Constanta. There are many ways but from Bucurest is the easiest way, by bus. Bucurest is the capital of Romania and you can find plenty of flights arriving at Bucurest.
Constanta is a big Romanian city situated on the Black Sea. It has the biggest Romanian seaport and it is a strong water connection for Romania for centuries.
My visit here was because of Erasmus Plus Exchange Program. We were youth group of 25 people from different European countries – Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Turkey (non-European country), Greece.
I spent one really amazing day in Constanta playing “where is what”.
Where is the oldest building in Constanta? – The oldest building is Constanta Casino situated along The Black Sea alley in the old part of the city center. This is the most impressive building here and it’s a pure love for the architects’ eyes.
Where you can get some fun with locals? – On the Black sea alley in the old part of Constanta. Actually right where the Constanta Casino is. It is a very nice boardwalk and you can feel and smell the sea, touch the Romanian spirit and even talk with some locals.
Is there a mosque in Constanta? – Yes, part of the locals is Muslims.
Where is the best place to eat? – Tomis Harbor. It is part of the port and there are restourants and nice coffee shops.
Find one beautiful beach on the Black Sea in Constanta. – Easy! Mamaia Beach is natural and gives you a charming wide view of the sea. It is a nice place to walk, jump, relax, have a sit and just watching the water.
Constanta has many museums and I visited The Museum of National History and Archeology. It was curious to see plenty of the Romanian history, traditional clothes, and accessories. It was a mixture of Greek and Roman heritage. We found out interesting pieces and fragments from Romanian sculptors, painters, artist.
I spent one really crazy and busy day in Constanta and I loved the city. It is not so big as Bucurest but it has authentic spirit and salt taste.
It was totally worth it to visit Constanta even for a day. Actually, you don’t need to spend many days – just a weekend is enough to enjoy the city and explore the interesting places there.
I see you checking for a ticket! Let me do the same and find my next destination!
Bulgaria has 4 seasons and I am so happy to live here in Sofia, Bulgaria and enjoy every one of them!
The autumn is amazing time, not too hot and not too cold. Humans always look for the balance in their life and the autumn is the greatest time to take the energy of the nature. I enjoy my everyday walks, I enjoy being with my dog in South Park in Sofia. I strongly recommend as a must to visit this beautiful park if you visit Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
Home is the best destination for me right now, I am collecting naturally painted leaves, running between the colorful trees with my puppy and just relaxing.
The sun gives me soft kisses and makes me feel stronger.
I love this season, it smells on mature fruits, leaves and pumpkins. Smells good, tastes good and that’s why I choose it as my favorite!
I suggest to visit Sofia during the autumn, this time of the year I find it the most beautiful!
Rome is my favorite metropolitan city in Europe. The Renaissance is in the air and everything is so impressive here. The time is never enough for this amazing city.
But the tourists are so much! You can get mad because of the thousands of people everywhere and you can destroy your holiday while waiting on huge queue, being in a group with so many and different people, so in the end you can feel just tired and frustrated.
This article is about how to behave smart and skip the big lines, being alone in usually crowded places, how to visit all the exciting things without getting pissed off. Rome is beating in a crazy rhythm and a good time schedule is the key for amazing time and you’ll have time to feel the energy of the places and to enjoy the food and the weather.
Smart time schedule for sightseeing in Rome:
1. Vatican city – Probably you read a lot about it, it is different city than Rome, located in the heart of Rome and it’s fully autonomous. It has its own lows and rules and you must follow them as a tourist if you want to go inside. Big problem here it is always very crowded, you can spend half day just waiting to go inside and you will not have enough time to explore all the museums and the gardens.
Tip 1: Buy your ticket online in advance or go in front of the main entrance and ask for a qualified guide. Otherwise there is unwritten rule you will be treated with the lowest priority on the queue. My advice is to spend a bit more money and have a guide (ticket + a guide is around 50 $) because this will make your stay in Vatican city more useful, you will learn new things in a funny interactive way and you will get more into the historical details. And you can ask whatever you want and you’ll get the answer, and this is super cool because in Vatican a lot of questions will appear! Also as a part of a group you will be treated with priority on the entrance.
Tip 2: For the Vatican gardens you will need to book your ticket 2-3 months in advance. Depending on how much you want to see them – think for that some months before your staying in Rome. You can see them from the roof of St Peter basilica for free.
Tip 3: Don’t be frustrated if you don’t see everything. This is mission impossible. Vatican city needs months to be discovered, so stay focused on what you see, feel the energy of the museums you will visit and enjoy Sistine Chapel.
Tip 4: Stay quite inside the Sistine Chapel. Don’t take pictures and videos – it is not allowed! Nippon Television Network Corporation of Japan owns the rights for all videos and photos and in case somebody take a photo, a fee might be registered! and when you want to leave, take the right exist which will lead you directly to St Peter Cathedral. If you take the left exist you will be back at the beginning of the museums and you will need to wait on another queue for the St Peter Cathedral.
Tip 5: You can have some snack with you as you will probably spend about 6 hours and inside the Vatican city there are no food places for tourist.
For Vatican city a day will be enough to be touched by the power of Art, to explore the main halls, to enjoy Sistine Chapel and St Peter.
2. Coliseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus – 1 or 2 days in a row
Did you watch the movie Gladiator, if so – keep calm and wait for the moment you will start feeling as an actor in the movie. Coliseum is amazing from the outside. During the night the atmosphere turns even more to a magic. It is totally worth it to go inside and spend some nice hours exploring the past and the cruel fights that had happened.
Tip 6: Depending on your time take a guide or audo record with you. You will hear about really interesting stories which had taken place inside the Coliseum. With the audo you are a little bit more free to do whatever you want and go where you choose without waiting for all the people in the group.
Tip 7: The Coliseum ticket can be combined with The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. The ticket can be one for all these 3! And the good news are you will have 2 days to explore them with one ticket. But you can delay Coliseum for your 2nd day. With this combined ticket you have to start from The Roman Forum first!
Tip 8: Take the combined ticket from Tip 7 from the entrance of the Forum which is next to the Piazza Venezia, don’t buy it from the main entrance next to the Coliseum as there the queue is much bigger. Once you enter in the Roman Forum you can reach directly from the inside The Coliseum and The Palatine Hill.
Tip 9: If you delay your visit to Coliseum for the second day – once on the queue, go in front of all people and show your ticket. It is allowed to skip the line in case you have your ticket in advance as described in Tip 7 and Tip 8.
Tip 10: Circus Maximus can be combined also during this visit. Enjoy it!
3. Spanish steps and Fontana Di Trevi
Tip 11: These two sightseengs are in the heart of the city center of Rome. It’s better go there during the night. Of course you will pass by them many times during the day as well. During the night it is not so crowded, especially worth it for Fontana Di Trevi. Spanish steps are a good place to eat gelato and feel the Roman love in the air!
4. Piazza Venezia has special place in my heart!
It is modern Piazza and personally I can say this is the most beautiful one in Rome. It is so enormous and so impressive. The building is marble and white. The view is so cool! The two fires at the entrance of the building represent Roman people always keep the fire. You can visit Piazza Venezia many times and every time it looks different.
Tip 12: Close to Piazza Venezia is the main street Corso in Rome. You can combine the visit here with a walk after that on the Corso street. And plenty of restaurants, coffees, shops and souvenirs can be found. Of course the smell of pasta, pizza and wine is everywhere!
5. Piazza Navona and The Pantheon
Two amazing places to have fun! Piazza Navona is another charming place to eat gelato, relax and enjoy the two beautiful fountains there. There are very nice restaurants but they are quite expensive.
Tip 13: If you want to eat somewhere in the city center, avoid the restaurants in front of Piazza Navona. Take some small narrow streets and find a place close to Piazza Navona but not on it. The prices will be different but the quality will stay the same.
Tip 14: Go inside The Pantheon and enjoy the energy, take some history background and the place will be even more alive.
6. Tiber and castle St Angelo
If you like to spend hours in museums and different castles – check St Angelo castle as well. The price is 15 EUR. Tip 15: If you are more about the nature – spend some time in front of the castle. There is a beautiful bridge and the river Tiber is making the nature around so fresh and green. Nice chance to eat gelato or find a restaurant near the St Angelo Castle and enjoy some pasta and wine.
7. Villa Borghese and the whole Borghese gardens are a good way to spend really funny time laying on a green grass. The park is with small lakes, beautiful trees and flowers and it is so relaxing to just sit on a bench. Tip 16: Combine the walk through Villa Borghese with a nice lunch, drink wine and be an actor/ actress of this Renaissance masterpiece. You can hire rickshaw or a bike and be active and free. Amazing way to have some fun with your friends, to burn some calories and deserve the dinner.
On the Borhese terrace there is nice view!
I believe these tips are quite helpful because they are about the most wanted to be visited places in Rome. Of course this is not the entire list of all sightseeings as there is something to be seen on every corner in Rome. But for the rest there is not so much pressure and queues.
Keep calm and enjoy Rome!
I spent one amazing week in Rome, full of surprises and unexpected joyful moments. Rome is my favorite European metropolitan city and my heart starts beating in the rhythm of Renaissance every time I am in Rome. But this time I discover the beauty of Tivoli – just 30 km away from the crowded Rome!
It is easy to go there – a plane to Rome and then you can find one day trips to Tivoli or just go to the train station Termini (in Rome) and in 40 minutes you will arrive in Tivoli.
Tovoli is a small city with narrow streets which smell on coffee and delicious bread panini. The atmosphere is charming, harmonic and you can fall in love with Tivoli from the very first moment!
It has the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. Villa d’Este and Villa Gregoriana – the masterpiece of many centuries. Both places are beautiful gardens which represents the scientific and creative achievements of thousands famous painters, physicist, architects, sculptors, and any other kind of аrt people. There is another ancient garden Villa Adriana but it is out of the city Tivoli. It should takes 1 hour to reach it. I read amazing reviews for Villa Adriana but I could’t manage to visit it this time. Amazing excuse to come back in Tivoli !
Villa Gregoriana is a funny way to spend amazing time and even to have your lunch away from the big city’s noise and vanity. It has crazy wild paths and waterfall. While walking Tempio della Sibia is wathing you from the top of the gardens. One of the ways to enter in Villa Gregoriana is from the side of Tempio della Sibia. The other way is across the bridge.
Tempo della Sibia is ancient temple from Roman times located in acropolis of Tivoli, in the province of Rome. The temple is huge and well preserved and there is a nice restaurant nearby where you can eat delicious food and enjoy the beauty of both the temple and Villa Gregoriana. The restaurant has Michelin sighs for 2017, 2016, 2015 and the food here must be tested. Unfortunately during my stay the restaurant was closed.
Villa d’Este is UNESCO World Herritage and it has been created before Christ. During the centuries many creative people has been building more and more beautiful masterpieces inside. It is very famous with its fountains. Villa d’Este is 4 hectares residential place and the best gardens to walk through! Some of the fountains are singing at fixed hours, other have light shows.
Travel Tip: Check the opening hours for both villas and plan in advance when what. If you have a day for both villas, better to do Villa Gregoriana first because usually Villa d’Este opens in a later hour. Between the two walks a lunch can be included 🙂 Home made pasta and pizza are always the best choice.
While walking through the Tivoli’s streets searching for some souvenirs, I found Rocca Pia. Another well preserved historical sightseeing in Tivoli – the castle of the city with imposing structure and ancient architecture. The sightseeing of Tivoli can been seen from the top if you go inside. I enjoy Rocca Pia from the outside because of my time schedule. If you have experienced the Rocca Pia atmosphere from the inside, please share your excitements as comments 🙂
Arco dei Padri Costituenti is modern arc in the center of Tivoli. Perfect place for snack or gelato. From this point you can reach all sightseeings of Tivoli in 5-10 minutes, you are close to the central streets where you can eat delicious homemade pasta and drink homemade wine.
So start planning a trip to Tivoli! and don’t miss: Villa d’Este, Villa Gregoriana, Tempio della Sibia, Rocca Pia, city center and the small restaurants and bakeries. Feel the energy of Tivoli!