Mineral Baths, Sapareva Banya | Минерални бани, Сапарева Баня

saperevabanyaaa

Sapareva Banya, a small town north of the Rila mountains, is known for it’s mineral water with a 103°C geyser in the center. A perfect place for mineral baths. There’s a great place called Aqua Club Kotvata that has it all. In- and outdoor baths with different temperatures up to 40°C, hot and cold. The view outside is amazing, with a mountain background. There’s also a sauna department.

From Oktober to March the place is open everyday from 06:30 to 20:00. From April to September it’s open from 09:00 to 21:30 and is closed on monday. I’m not completely sure about entrance prices, but according to their website it will cost you about 12 leva for an adult and 7 for children from 4-12 years old.

Best time to go there would be from October untill May. Don’t go there in the summer, especially when you don’t like crowded places.

Address: street Germaneya 38, 2650 Sapareva banya | улица Germania 38, 2650 Сапарева баня
Coordinates: 42.287945, 23.254253

How to get there
From Sofia: Drive on the E79 to Dupnica, south of Sofia. When you’re almost there take the exit to road 62, after the town Piperevo and before the town Kavakliya. Keep following road 6204 for 12 km. You will cross 3 other towns before entering Sapareva Banya. It will be on your left, after about 450 m when entering the town.

howtogettoakvaclubfromsofia

From Dupnica (Blagoevgrad/Kyustendil): Drive to Dupnica. When you get on the E79 stay on this road until you see a viaduct. Stay right and take the exit, to the center. Take the second left, after a slight. left Follow this main road for about 2 km. Then take a right at the traffic lights to the 6204, going to Sapareva Banya. You will see a CBA supermarket on your left after about 100m. Keep following road 6204 for 12 km. You will cross 3 other towns before entering Sapareva Banya. It will be on your left, after about 450 m when entering the town.

howtogettoakvaclubfromdupnica

From Samokov (Pazardzhik/Plovdiv): Drive to Samokov. From there take road 62 to Dupnica. After 23,2 km take a left to road 6204. Follow this road for 5,6 km. You will find the baths on your right, about 450 m before leaving the town.

howtogettoakvaclubfromsamokov

Advertenties

Bachkovo monastery | Бачковски манастир

142729244026032

When we drove to the Bachkovo monastery, we saw the signs on our way there. The last one led us to the parking lot. After we parked the car we followed the street which went up hill to the monastery. Along the street were many souvenir shops and food stands. They sell pottery, candy, herbs, bracelets and more. I bought myself some herbs once. You will pass a gate and a little fountain and before you know it you will stand in front of the monastery, with on your right some beautiful trees.

2013-09-22 17.01.56 20130922_170341_Richtone(HDR) DSCN6002

Next to the entrance is also a small fountain. The beautiful gate will lead you to the courtyard, with in the middle an orthodox church, a big tree with a gutter around it, a patch of grass with a fountain on it, chickens and a rooster walking around and the beautiful 3 stories of monk cells (and probably others things, this makes me curious!) surrounding this all.

Also good to know, on the left side of the monastery, opposite the entrance of the church, there’s a door. You should definitely check if it’s open, because there’s another little courtyard behind it with another little church. You can’t enter the church, but the view from outside is amazing already. When you’re not sure about whether it’s okay to go there, ask someone ‘Mozhe li da pogledam kakwo e tam?’ May I see what’s there?

DSCN6020 DSCN6014 DSCN6018

I really like this monastery. It’s a cozy one and it really feels like you’re back in time (when there aren’t groups of tourists..). I’ve been here 3 times and it has been wonderful every time.

Adress: Plovdiv and the Valley of the Kings | Пловдив и Долината на тракийските царе
Coordinates: 41.943642, 24.855324

How to get there?
When you drive on the 86 between Asenovgrad and Chepelare you will find Bachkovo monastery on the east side of the road. It lies beneath the town of Bachkovo. From Asenovgrad it’s about 10 km, from Chepelare about 43 km. You will see the signs when you get closer, including the one leading to the parking lot next to the road. It’s next to a river, where there’s a walking bridge.

142729244026032

 

 

 

 

Asens fortress | Асенова крепост

142667436058157

DSCN6055The remains of a fortress with a strategic location and a two-story church. That’s Asens Fortress. You can go there by car, although there are also people who prefer to walk there. At the entrance of the area the view is already incredible, and it only gets better. The stairs will lead you around the top of the hill towards the church. It’s also possible to walk the stone stairs up the hill from where you will have a wide view. Because after all that’s the reason the fortress was build here. I’ve never seen a church with 2 floors that are both open for public. The idea for the first floor was an ossuary, a place for graves, but it was never used this way. Now it’s some sort of mysterious ceremonial place, with chairs, candleholders and rock formations.

On the second floor you will find the main part of the church. The plaster isn’t what it used to be and the paintings aren’t intact, but it’s beautiful. With a little bit of luck the sun will shine through the windows which makes it magical. It’s a light, silent, bright, old place.

2013-09-22 16.05.51 2013-09-22 16.02.38 2013-09-22 16.04.54

The Thracians saw the potential of the location in the 5th century and build the first fortress. It was rebuild in times of the Roman Empire, as a defend against Slavics. When in hands of the Byzantines, the first tower was build. In 1204 the Crusaders took over, but not for long. In 1231 king Asen II led the expansion and rebuilding of the fortress. The fortress got his name, aswell as the city next to it, Asenovgrad (City of Asen). In times of the Ottomon Empire, Sultan Bayazid took over. After his death in 1402 and a short time of leadership by one of his sons the fortress was destroyed to make ure opponents of the throne wouldn’t take over and use it’s strategic location. Only the church was saved.

20130922_160019_Richtone(HDR) 20130922_160354_Richtone(HDR)

howtogettoasensfortressHow to get there?
Drive to Asenovgrad on the 86. This road will lead you through the town. For those of you who love wedding dresses, make sure to keep your eyes wide open! When you see the river in front of you the road will bow to the right a little bit. You will have a rock formation on the right after which will be the exit to Asens fortress. There’s a brown sign on the left side of the main road that says ‘Asens fortress, 2 km, –>’. Follow this road, it will lead you to the entrance of the fortress. There’s a little parking lot behind the ‘office’ where they sell tickets, to get there follow to road until after the bend. It’s really close, you just have to know it! A ticket will cost you aroud 3 leva.

November – March
Wednesday – Sunday
10.00 am to 5.00 pm

April – November
Wednesday – Sunday
10.00 am to 6.00 pm

Closed Monday and Tuesday

Hostel Old Plovdiv

1359625375677408 This is a beautiful and cozy hostel in the center of the Old Town of Plovdiv. You’re surrounded by an ethnographic museum, the amfi theater, the top of the hill with an amazing view (watch a sunset there!), part of the ancient stadium, church of the holy mother of god, restaurants, shops with handmade products, the dzhumaya mosque and many more. Wander around in the old streets and take time to look around.

The hostel has several rooms, for 2,3 or 4 people. It’s also possible to have a single room, or to ask kindly for a room for 5. Each room has something special, unique bedframes and antique accessories. There’s even a room with an amazing painting on the wall. None of them have a bathroom, you can find those next to the hallway with the reception.

hostel-old-plovdiv     4

In the morning there’s a good breakfast, which you can eat outside in the garden. There’s also a ‘livingroom’ with a big baroque-ish couch and chairs. There’s a computer aswell.
The staff is great, they speak English and know a lot about the old town and Plovdiv. The staff I met was also great to hang out with in the garden! There’s always someone at the reception.

Adress: ulitsa ‘Chetvarti yanuari’ 3, 4000 Plovdiv | улица ‘Четвърти януари’ з
Coordinates: 42.149872, 24.752254

How to get there?
Walking from the shoppingstreet
Somewhere in the middle of the shopping street you find the mosque (pink), part of the ancient stadium and a little park(green).
Walk between de mosque and the park all the way up. Keep the church on your right. When you arrive on a little square go left. You will find the hostel at the left side.

Travelling with bus/taxi142557147495552/car
The busses stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel right after the tunnel. When you get out walk the stairs (red), with the tunnel on your right. Take the second street right, then a left and a right and you will find the hostel at the right side.

From the train/bus station (they’re pretty much next to each other) you can take bus 7, 20, 26 or shuttlebus2. You can buy bustickets in the bus. When with a car or taxi you can either stop at boulevard Tsar Boris III Obedinitel and walk the red route or follow the green line. Taxi’s will bring you halfway up there. There a possibility to park your car when you get on the ‘blue’ street, right before the church.