The first post in my July Thematic Month is dedicated to an amazing place that we visited back in March. We fell so much in love it that it has become one of our top picks when it comes to a little getaway from the city on a long weekend, or a cozy place to spend some quality time with your loved ones. Let me show you around St. George Villa near the little beautiful Bulgarian town of Razlog.
How to find the Villa
Admittedly, getting to the villa proved to be the hardest part of our trip. Hidden in the outskirts of Rila mountain, the villa is located in this secluded place far from the hustle and bustle of famous Bulgarian ski resorts such as Razlog and Bansko. Due to the only 2 hours drive from Sofia via the Struma highway, the Razlog area is quite popular among Sofians for a quick getaway from the city. However, a few kilometers before Razlog you need to exit the big road at one point and get literally into the woods to take a short but quite bumpy ride to the villa. Don’t be fooled – Google Maps won’t be much of a help here as the villa is not clearly marked. This is quite understandable as the owners do not promote the villa actively – they prefer to keep its seclusion and make the experience of their guests a memory they will cherish forever. They are very helpful and they will give you clear instructions on how to navigate your way through the woods and find the villa (they even waited for us at the beginning of the woods and escorted us to the villa itself).
What we liked best
I possibly won’t surprise anybody when I say that the thing we liked the most was indeed the seclusion of the villa. The location is perfect for a cozy getaway far from everyday chaos and challenges that prevent you from taking a quality break. Even though the villa is a bit off the beaten track you won’t be bored – there is a big kitchen place in the yard where you can have your barbecue party with your family and enjoy the fresh air of the Rila mountain. In addition, take your time to sunbathe at the lounges provided by the owners and enjoy the magnificent view all around the villa. The house is so secluded that your view won’t be obstructed by other buildings like in the big city.
This is what we call a true getaway from the city and a quality break!
Activities in the area
In case you feel a bit bored at the villa, you can always explore the area. Get back to the main road and drive approximately 1 hour in the Sofia direction. You will see numerous signs that point the way to the most famous monastery in Buglaria – the Rila monastery. You will quickly recognize the right road to the monastery because of the long line of cars and tourist buses headed in its direction, especially in the peak season of summer. Take your time to explore the monastery which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and admittedly one of the key symbols of Bulgaria.
In addition you can always check the ski resorts close to the villa. Bansko attracts not only winter sports enthusiasts but also people who would like to enjoy a calm walk and a good meal in the many restaurants serving traditional Bulgarian cousine. A tip for the people coming from abroad would be to try the kapama (a traditional meal associated with the Bansko area) and the numerous options of salami produced by the locals.
If you feel adventurous, you can always take any of the mountain tracking routes around the villa. The owner is a big mountain enthusiast and he can always be happy to show you around or even help you climb some of the mountain peaks nearby. Rila mountain is generally very popular among Bulgarians for its tracking options especially in the summer so don’t be surprised when you see big groups of people who greet everybody on their way.
What are your go-to options for weekend getaways from the city? I would love to learn about new places as we desperately need a new getaway soon.