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:
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) .
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.