Hiker’s Hostel, Veliko Tarnovo
Staying in Hiker’s Hostel is more like staying with an adopted family than a visiting a hostel – you’re instantly made to feel relaxed with traditional food and drink freely being served on the large terrace, and Mila, the manager, has a wealth of knowledge, stories and generosity to share with you. Having stayed there on and off for many visits to Tarnovo, it’s one of my favourite places to hang out: underneath the vines and the flowering Morning Glory, drink in hand and bantering the hours away with other guests.
This haven of greenery is located a short walk up along the quiet cobbled streets from Samovodska Charshia, the famous square and craft street in Veliko Tarnovo. Taxis might not want to take you up here, or if they do, it’s possible they’ll charge you an extra couple of Lev for their troubles. But, should you choose to walk it, you’ll pass through part of the local neighbourhood, Varusha, where old women (babas) sit on their benches, chatting outside higgledy piggledy houses, or tending to their tiny, colourful gardens.
One of the best aspects of this hostel are its views of the three hills of Tarnovo: Tsaravets, Trapezitza and Sveta Gora can all be seen from the upstairs rooms which also makes for a perfect vision when the town holds its Sound and Light show and lights up the famous fort and its walls. The hostel is kid-friendly and offers shared dorms or a private room inside a traditional building with old beams and quirky, handmade furniture.
As the name of the hostel suggests, if you’re interested in walks this is the perfect location to go for hikes: either to Arbanassi, the Preobrazhenski Monastery (the fourth largest in Bulgaria), or one of the many eco-trails, all of which pretty much start just five minutes away from the hostel. If you’re not a dedicated hiker, you can choose shorter routes and there are options to hire a guide from the hostel too. You can also book day trips to the local Roman ruins of Nicopolis ad Istrum, Buzludja, Tryavna and other nearby tourist hot-spots.
Hiker’s is open all the year round and you’re guaranteed to be well looked after during your stay here. They also have hostels in Varna and Plovdiv. For more information and bookings, contact Hikers Hostel on their website