Valentine’s Day is this Sunday and with the sudden drop of temperatures in Bulgaria today, I couldn’t help but wonder what would be to celebrate the day of love somewhere in the mountains surrounded by the snow. No matter that I prefer warmer weather over cold one, there’s definitely something extremely romantic in watching the snow fall while bundled up in front of the fireplace in a remote cozy cabin somewhere in the mountains.
Luckily for us, Bulgaria is full with cute and cozy mountain cabins and cottages. No matter how much we love traveling abroad, traveling in Bulgaria gives us a completely different feeling and memories. Yes, the world is divinely beautiful and I want to get to know it all, but your home is where you speak your own language, feel comfort, security and tranquility, your food is the most delicious, your favorite people are among you, etc.
So if you have decided to visit Bulgaria during the winter period, I am pleased to share my personal selection of five cozy mountain cabins that I believe would be perfect for a quick weekend getaway, not only for Valentine’s Day but also for any weekend. I have not visited them myself but they have been for so long on my wish list that I am sure I will tick them off pretty soon, given the chance.
*I don’t own the rights to any of the pictures used from here onwards. These belong to their rightful owners.
I first heard about Garmen Hills from a Bulgarian TV show a while back. Apparently the owner, a French citizen, was extremely fed up with the Western civilization, urbanization, and the quick pace of life in general, so he decided to drop everything and come to a small village in the massifs of Pirin and Rhodopes mountains, in the South West part of Bulgaria. Quite a shock for the local people, who are generally old people enjoying their life secluded from the rest of the country.
Garmen Hills is an extraordinary place – on a plot in the countryside, at the end of the village of Garmen, the owner has managed to create a holiday site so that everyone can find calm and relaxation, and come to discover this beautiful region surrounded by mountains and forests. The cottages are made of natural materials, found in the surrounding environment, like wood and stone, which creates this cozy, almost homey, atmosphere. If you decide to visit the complex, you can also make a few day trips around the village – the villages of Leshten and Kovatchevitsa are extremely close if you fancy a walk in a traditional Bulgarian village; Ognyanovo is also a few minutes car drive away and you can enjoy its spa procedures and mineral springs; or you can simply take one of the few hike routes in the nearby mountain. Of course, you can always just stay in the cottage, bundled up in front of the fireplace, while reading your favorite book. It will be pretty magical, I am sure.
I first visited Pamporovo in November 2019 and quickly became fascinated about the place and the surrounding nature. We stayed in a hotel then but I am sure that next time we are visiting the region, we will stay in one of the cottages of the Malina Complex.
The cottages are far from the modern-day design – I must say that they look a bit out the socialist’s world in Bulgaria from the sixties or seventies. However, I found this extremely charming, as if you are stepping back in time. There is a huge lawn in front of all the cottages so I think it would be the best place to go if you have children who will be able to run all day while you are taking care of your barbecue. If you are a winter sports enthusiast, you will definitely want to check the skiing options in the nearby Pamporovo – even though I personally don’t ski, I’ve heard amazing reviews about the ski tracks there.
I stumbled upon Forest Houses while I was searching for a wedding venue nearby Sofia last year. The complex is located in Godech – a town in the West part of Bulgaria, only an hour car drive from Sofia. The houses are in Alpine style which blends with the ambient landscape of forest and meadows radiating calm chic. The interior of the apartments is completely built up with natural materials in unison with the surrounding environment.
What really drew my attention, though, was the incredible view – the complex of Forest Housеs is located on a forest lawn with a breathtaking view of the region of Chepan mountain. Being surrounded by huge buildings in the city all the time, I long for open air and calm atmosphere. You will definitely find both of those things in the Forest Houses Complex.
You may be wandering what a place with “castle” in its name is doing in an article for cozy mountain cabins. But in the resort Valentina Castle Hotel & Spa you will find the cutest wooden eco house that somehow works in perfect unison with the rest of the resort.
The house is made entirely out of wood and is developed with two floors. On the first floor the house there is a small living room with a fireplace, whereas on the second floor you will find the bedroom with an amazing view towards the village of Ognyanovo. It is truly an extraordinary design that would take you out of this world into a calmer atmosphere that you won’t want to leave.
I left the best one for last! The village of Leshten must be a magical place indeed – it attracts tourists with its authentic look and the old houses, preserved since the Bulgarian Revival (18th – 19th century). About 15 houses of the village that evoke the spirit and atmosphere of the past were reconstructed. Many of them offer accommodation. The hospitable hosts will feed you with the most delicious local dishes prepared from organic products.
Lesthenska Idiliya (Leshten’s Fairytale) is definitely the place for a larger company – I think the house will feel too lonely for just two people, so don’t hesitate to go with a couple of friends or your whole family instead. There is a place for 6-8 people, three bathrooms, a kitchen where you can create anything delicious, breathtaking views, summer kitchen and barbecue. The atmosphere is definitely one to remember – it is as if Christmas has been embodied in a cute mountain cottage. And could you imagine experiencing the Christmas atmosphere all year long? That would be perfect!
Which mountain cottage is your favorite? Have you visited any of them? Let me know in the comments.