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Malko Tarnovo

Malko Tarnovo is a town located in the southeast of Bulgaria and only 5 km from the Turkish border. It is in the Burgas region, and the only town in the heart of the Strandzha Mountains. Malko Tarnovo translated means little town.

 

It is surrounded by 12 villages, although is in fact one of the most sparsely populated regions of Bulgaria with a total population of just under 5 000. Malko Tarnovo borders Primorsko, Sredets, Sozopol and Tsarevo, and 76 km from the major city of Burgas. It is also close to the border of Turkey and is only 290 km from Istanbul.

Malko Tarnovo is located in a beautiful part of the Bulgarian countryside and surrounded by stunning landscape. The area is popular with hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers and those seeking a quiet place to retreat and who enjoy the rural beauty. There is a lot to explore in the area and you get a true feel of the culture here. Throughout the year there are many celebrations and rituals to enjoy in the area, such as fire dancing and saint days.

History

Located in the heart of Strandja Mountain, the region of Malko Tarnovo is the successor of many centuries-old relationships between the mountain and the sea. This relation is also marked with historical eras - starting from the time of mythical Finney and the Argonauts searching for the Golden Fleece to today's artistic and creative performances provoked by the magic of the Strandzha Mountain. The ancient past is passed on over time and unites the history of Europe from the Thracians to Christianity.

Places to see

Close by are some interesting sites to visit in the town in including, two churches, a catholic and orthodox, a museum with historical relics located in 3 typical style houses dating back to Bulgarian revival around the 19th century, walking tours to Thracian tombs from the Roman era, Golemiyat Vris is a mineral spring in the centre of the town, and the locals believe that those from other towns who drink the spring water will wed in Malko Tarnovo.

A trip to the Strandzha region provides an alternative type of tourism and a variety of activities to pursue such as walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing, hunting or simply relaxing in the wonderful surroundings. If you enjoy culture and history then there is a wealth of sites to explore in the area such as botanical, chapels, archaeological sites and traditional architecture to see.

You can find several bed and breakfasts, guest lodgings and the hotel Hippocrates for your stay, along with restaurants, cafes and bars where you can sample delicious local traditional cuisine. Strandzha region is well known form its dishes made with pork, and the main products used is pork livers, kidneys, heart and pork leg, salted bacon and spiced with garlic.

The town of Malko Tarnovo is a great place to discover traditional Bulgarian customs and traditions, in addition to being in a superb location to visit other fascinating areas around the area.

Image courtesy of Svilen Enev