The village of Bozhentsi is an architectural reserve in the Gabrovo region of Bulgaria.
The village has around 100 houses, all of which are well preserved from the Bulgarian Revival period. Most of the houses in Bozhentsi have been turned into museums, restaurants, shops or guest houses making it a popular tourist destination. The village is also protected from construction as it is part of UNESCO’s cultural monuments.
I recently spent 3 nights in Bozhentsi and used the great location as a base to explore the whole region. The guest house we chose, Halachevata House was just outside the main village centre, around 5 minutes by car. It’s a perfect place for a family to stay as the house has 5 rooms and sleeps up to 10 people. The only downside is that there are just 2 bathrooms so if it’s a full house it can get a bit busy! I can’t find any advertising in English for them but if you speak some Bulgarian, this is their number for reservations +359 897 984 795.
The area is incredibly peaceful and surrounded by the forest. Bozhentsi Village is also very quiet. The restaurants all offer delicious traditional Bulgarian food, be prepared to eat a lot of banitsa and lamb! The small shops are selling lovely souvenirs and handmade crafts and all of the prices here are very reasonable. We did ask if there was a small shop in the village to buy some essentials such as mineral water or toiletries and the waiter we asked just laughed. He told us that no more than 15 people live permanently in Bozhentsi and that if we wanted a supermarket of any kind we needed to drive the 15kms to Gabrovo! Of course, we had a car so we didn’t mind the drive but if you visit without a car you need to make sure you have everything you need if you don’t want to travel out of the village. I recommend taking a stroll around the village and visit the museums, either early in the morning after breakfast or in the evening before dinner. The village is like a postcard, everything is so pretty and perfect. I noticed there were no stray dogs in Bozhentsi, although there were quite a lot of cats. I enjoyed feeding the cats banitsa in the mornings so I found myself with quite a following after the first couple of days! If you like taking long walks, there is a trail through the forest which leads to Tryavna. I didn’t try it, so I can’t tell you how good the paths are, but there was a sign saying 1-2 hours and the walking distance is around 10kms.
You can really escape while you are in Bozhentsi and simply enjoy the nature and history. I do like to take some quiet time but I prefer exploring so I was very happy that we also had so much to see around the region!
I’ve written about all of the places we visited while staying in Bozhentsi and I’ve added the links to the articles below for you to take a look: