goKotel

The neighbourhood

The municipality of Kotel include the villages Zheravna, Medven and Katunishte, all three architecture reserves, the gypsy village Gradets with the nearby natural carpet laundry ‘Karadzjejkata’ and the Turkish villages Ticha, Filaretovo, Novo Selo and Yablanovo. Daily, there are several connections to these surrounding villages with a minibus. The environment is characterized by vast and unspoiled nature with forests, streams, waterfalls, caves and rocks. The flora and fauna is diverse and is now a major industry of forestry and collecting wild herbs and mushrooms.

In the surroundings of Kotel there are various remnants of Thracian holy places and Roman fortresses. Kotel is less than 2 hours drive from the Sunset Beach and every day there are two or more busses that bring you to Sliven (70km), Targovishte (60 km), Burgas (125 km), Plovidiv (235), Sofia (375 km), Shumen and Razgrad.

Zheravna

This village is a famous architectural reserve of the Bulgarian revival time. Both as you walk from Kotel along mountain Batusha (7km) or by car on the road (18km), you have a beautiful panorama of the village with one hundred pairs of wooden houses. In Jerevna there are 4 small museums, an art gallery, the beautiful Sveti Nicholas Church with a special icon exhibition on the second floor and around 5 restaurants. Zheravna is much more touristy than Kotel.

Costume Festival Zheravna

From 15-17 or 22-24 August 2014, the National festival of costumes and traditions will be held in Zheravna under the motto: ‘Those good old days’. The aim of this festival is unique. In the setting of the architecture reserve Zheravna the festival visitors can only land at the festival if they are dressed in authentic folk costumes. Photo and video cameras, mobile phones, sunglasses, hats, watches, etc. should be given in custody. For people who don’t own a costume there are costumes for rent or for sale, but we dare our guests to choose an own folk costume (Dutch, Bulgarian or other). Besides that everyone is in costume, there will be a lot to experience, such as an orchestra of 100 gaida’s (bagpipes), zurla players (reed pipe) from Petric, Kukeri, Koledari, Nestenari and Kalushari, and of course many, many dance and music as a concert by the band of Ivo Papasov, for this opportunity with about 12 musicians. There are plenty of traditional dishes like Cheverme, bob Agnija, beer, wine and rakia. The festival will be held annually on the first weekend after 15th of August. The organization by the national ensemble ‘Bulgare’ of Hristo Dimitrov, together with the Zheravna mayor offer a unique experience. The festival received the European label for authenticity ‘Bona fide’.

Medven village (17km from Kotel) is also an architectural reserve with wooden houses, but much less touristy and impressive as Zheravna. Here you can do horse riding and like in Kotel you will find here a open air swimming pool. It is also the starting point of a short walk (approx. 20 minutes) to the waterfall Sini Vir (the blue pool).

Gradets at 15 km from Kotel is a big village where 80% of the population are gypsies. They work in the logging, quarries, or the gathering of wild herbs, berries and mushrooms. Their yearly celebration is on 2 August.

Yablanovo at 25 km from Kotel with over 5,000 inhabitants is the biggest Turkish village in Bulgaria. The inhabitants are 100% Shiite. Here, you have the feeling that the times stand still. Their yerly celebrations are on the Sunday near 6 May.

A little further from Kotel you find the provincial capital citie Sliven, the towns Omurtag (Turkish), and Veliki Preslav (second capital of Bulgaria) and the wine village of Sungurlare.

By clicking on the pictures placed on the left, they’ll enlarge and you can browse the album.

 


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