Arbanasi, a Bulgarian village build from stone

Arbanasi is a beautiful village perched on a high plateau, only 4 kilometers away from Veliko Tarnovo town.

It is a good weekend stop for those who need a couple of days of relax-time in nice hotels or guest houses and enjoy nature and the beautiful countryside and the good food.

Otherwise, if you are the active type of tourist, you can see all of it in just a few hours.




If ‘village’ only means for you shaggy roads, old and neglected houses, you’ll find that Arbanasi is completely the opposite!

It has very good roads and the buildings, old and new, have the same architecture: stone bricks and wood beams and most of them are surrounded by high protecting fences also from stone, just like small forts.

At the beginning of the 20th century the local government imposed that every new building or any change to the face of the village had to respect the traditional architecture. Today, this small municipality of less than 300 people looks like a village museum, carefully perpetuated from generation to generation, keeping alive the same appearance from hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

If you’re interested in other places to visit close to Arbanasi, check my other articles also:

The UNESCO rock hewn Churches

A car trip to Bulgaria




I was sure the village had some connection with Italy because its name sounded so Italian in my ears, but in reality it means ‘albanian’ in the Slavic language. When the 2nd Bulgarian empire was formed, they named the village to honor a victory over the near Albanian territories. This small municipality started to flourish a lot, being so close to the Bulgarian capital of those times, Veliko Tarnovo, and was inhabited mostly by the ‘boyars’, who were wealthy Bulgarian landlords.

From Veliko Tarnovo, if you travel by car, you’ll get here in no time. But there are also buses or you can even chose the most exciting option: to walk for one hour and a half and enjoy nature at every step.

And here is Veliko Tarnovo, seen from Arbanasi.


The are a few interesting landmarks in Arbanasi, and most of them are centuries old churches.

The orthodox church of the Nativity of Christ is the oldest in the village and the most interesting of all and has a shape so different from any other orthodox church I have seen before. The entrance is 6 Leva (1.5EUR) .

We also went to St. Nicholas Convent, who is very similar to most of the monasteries  from Romania.

Konstantslieva is a house museum, that belonged to a wealthy merchant. It was build some 3 centuries ago when the Bulgarian territory was under ottoman occupation so it has strong Turkish influence in the decor of the rooms. The entrance is also 6 Leva (1.5EUR) .

Nativity of Christ
St. Nicholas Convent

The restaurants offer great food, decent prices and the best thing about a few of them are the gardens! Fresh air, nice view and domestic animals running and playing around.


June 2017

25 thoughts on “Arbanasi, a Bulgarian village build from stone

  1. Wonderful. For some reason the name of this village is not totally unknown, I have probably heard about it before. Nevertheless, this is the first time I actually read something about it. The photos themselves show indeed an interesting village. Who knows when I visit Veliko Tarnovo for the first time I’ll have enough time to visit Arbanasi !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I recommend Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo. They are both beautfiul. Veliko Tarnovo of course is even better and there are also similarities in the architecture of the buildings, as you can also find there many old houses build like this, from stone and wood.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have traveled extensively throughout Bulgaria, but still there is so much I’ve missed and want to see. Clearly Arbanasi is one of those places. Thanks for sharing the information and so many beautiful photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the nice comment:) Yes, I’m planning to come back and see more; Next on my list are Nessebar and Sozopol. Please let me know you advice on the prettiest cities from Bulgaria.


      1. I have not been there – a real lapse on my part – but I understand that Ruse is lovely. We’ve enjoyed the very picturesque small towns of Koprivshtitza and Bansko. Plovidv’s Old Town is terrific and the city is the European Capital of Culture for 2019.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful photos of Arbanasi, the stone village. So serene for a relaxed weekend.
    Sometimes i’m torn between big cities and smaller towns/villages and i think a weekend once in a while in a small town doesn’t harm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to go more and more for the smaller cities lately or if I chose a big city, to spend more than 3 days in it. We were doing city breaks in Paris and London for instance, for 3 days and we were always so on the rush, from early morning till very late hours. But now, I prefer everything at a slower pace: to relax and enjoy food and good company also 🙂


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