Sofia and Varna in Bulgaria are among the most popular travel budget destinations. However, if you are curious to visit Bulgaria off the beaten path and wondering where to go, I would like to give you a hint: explore nature, authentic crafts, and delicious food in Troyan and the region.
Troyan is a small town in the heart of Stara Planina, located 160km from Sofia. For all those who are dreaming about nature, authentic crafts, and delicious food, Troyan and the region are a must-go!
How to get to Troyan and the region?
Well, in order to enjoy the activities I have chosen to recommend, the best option is to go by car. You can easily rent a car from Top rent-a-car company. They will advise you on the best option in terms of comfort for your trip.
Where to stay in the Troyan region to enjoy nature, authentic crafts, and delicious food?
Accommodation is always my top priority and in order to make the best of your Bulgarian experience, I would like to recommend you to book one of the houses at Eco-village Azareiya. The eco-village itself is designed according to the best feng shui practices and it is proven that if you stay there for at least one week, you will feel energized and well-balanced. For bookings, please check out their website.
What to do in Troyan and the region?
Troyan region is family-friendly and if you decide to go there with your family and friends, no worries, you will be well accommodated and you will find a myriad of activities to enjoy.
Practice water activities with Nautical Tourism Club “Osam”
If you visit the region during the warm season, you can enjoy a day out at the Sopot Dam kayaking, water wheeling, or just fishing. There is a Nautical Tourism Club “Osam” that can welcome you at their headquarters (at the Sopot Dam shore itself) and provide you with information about the club as well as offer you the option to stay overnight (25lv/night) and, as a bonus, to allow you to use their kayaks or water wheels for free.
A hike in nature in Lesopark Turlata
If you prefer to go for a hike and admire the surroundings of Troyan, you can go to Turlata Forest Park, located above the city with a panoramic view of the whole region.
There is also a very fun children’s playground where you can see Baba Yaga’s house and enjoy a zip line.
Where to try delicious food in Troyan and the region?
If you have spent half a day outdoors and are hungry, I would highly recommend trying some local Bulgarian dishes.
My favorite place in Troyan is definitely the restaurant “Na dvorat”. The interior is classy vintage style and the food is so yummy. I would recommend mushroom soup, grilled vegetables, meat specialties, and, of course, the dessert of the day. All the dishes are served in vintage-style porcelain.
Nevertheless, if you are visiting Bulgaria for the first time, and want to eat in a traditional restaurant, I would recommend you to go to Mehana Troyan located in Troyan Plaza Hotel in the city center of Troyan.
If you want to visit the region of Troyan further and decide to stop by the village of Balkanets, enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant “Hana” where you can taste traditional Bulgarian dishes – salads, homemade bread, and meat for those who love meat.
Once the lunch break is over, you can visit the Museum of crafts in Troyan.
Admire authentic crafts in the Museum of crafts in Troyan
Troyan is famous for its handmade ceramics and you will see unique styles of ceramic paintings and products in the Museum of crafts in Troyan. The building of the museum as well as everything that you will see there is only to be admired in Troyan. So, do not miss to visit it!
This guide is intended to provide you with the best activities for 2 days only, so I would keep Troyan Monastery for the next day.
Where Serenity and Divinity meet – Troyan Monastery
When you are traveling in Bulgaria, do not miss out to visit and know more about a monastery or even more than one of the regions of your interest. Especially if you decide to visit Troyan Monastery. This house of worship is mesmerizing in terms of architecture, energy, and surface. It is huge, and you can easily spend 2 hours visiting the church and the museum part of the monastery complex.
The Monastery has been built in 1600 and there was only one person living there in the beginning. The popularity of the place has grown tremendously and more and more monks started living there ending up creating a community. As in every big Monastery in Bulgaria, you can also spend a night or more in the religious complex.
There is a museum with different icons in the Monastery as well as you can see the room where the emblematic revolutionary figure Vassil Levski has been hidden during the liberation period of Bulgaria.
After all these exciting two days spent in Troyan and the region, finally, the time has come to buy some souvenirs to bring back home.
What to buy as a souvenir for your family and friends?
When you leave Troyan Monastery, you can visit the National Exhibition of Crafts and Arts in Oreshak. This is an amazing place with 9 huge halls showcasing all types of Bulgarian crafts. You can walk around and participate in a ceramic product-making workshop if you wish so. You can also buy some beautiful handmade souvenirs to bring back home.
In addition, you cannot leave Troyan without trying the local prune rakia (sort of Bulgarian grapa). The best however is sold at the Troyan Monastery and is called “burenovka”. It contains a bouquet of 45 herbs that gives it an amazing flavor and amber color. This is a must-try aperitif while in Bulgaria.
A big “Thank you!”
My trip to Troyan and the region comes to an end and I would like to thank Regional Association for Tourism Tour Club ReMark who organized and invited me on this amazing tour. My trip would not be possible without the financial support of the Municipality of Troyan which supports Tourism in my beautiful homeland Bulgaria!
Thanks for reading!