Elena Balkans (Elena)

Traditions kept alive

The Balkans’ steep mountain slopes and river valleys deeply jutted into them are among the reasons why the locality of Elena town is often characterized as wonderful, picturesque, fresh, beautiful and so on. Its mountainous part provides opportunities for every kind of tourism – cycling, hiking or skiing adventures. A few eco-trails and a number of tourist trails have been made here. The highest peak in the Elena-Tvarditsa part of the Balkan Range – the 1536-metre high Chumerna – is frequent final destination for peak conquerors. The mountain paths lead to wonderful places – Markov kamak (Markov Stone), Hristovski vodopad (Hristovski Waterfall), the Slona (Elephant) Tree, Rayuv kamak (Rayuv Stone) and others. On foot or by cycling, one should get to the locality of Boaza because of the plant species untypical for those altitudes as well as the protected animals and the picturesque landscapes. The way goes through a beautiful gorge and leads to an amazing waterfall in the woods. A mountain walk may also end at the Hristovski Waterfall on the Miykovska River – a cascade of 15 metres in height.


The Markov Stone rock phenomenon has long sparked the interest of visitors - a huge piece of rock, standing as if someone specially supported it over a few smaller stones. The name of the rock originates from a legend that explains its peculiar position. It says that folklore hero Krali Marko threw the rock piece at a Turkish caravan of enslaved Bulgarian women. Not far away, south of Markov Stone, is another natural sight – Rayuv Stone. The symbols engraved in the surrounding rocks are sign of the attitude ancient peoples had to this place. In addition to their traces, here you can also enjoy the wonderful view to Yovkovtsi Dam. The dam itself, which is among the country’s biggest, contributes to the colour of the Elena region by adding opportunities for fishing and recreational activity by its shores.


In order to make the visit in Elena and its locality even richer, one must definitely see a few places in the town itself. Among them is Daskalolivnitsata – the first Bulgarian pedagogic school founded in 1843. The eponymous Architectural-Historical Complex also includes the churches of St. Nikola and Dormition of the Mother of God, The Clock Tower and Popnikolovata House. Altogether there are 147 building-monuments in Elena. Part of them are of national importance and others – of local. No matter which one you will visit, it will take you back to past times and fill you with pride while a walk along the cobbled streets of the town’s Revival part will make you feel those times have never gone. The preserved traditions and the works of local writers, poets and artists celebrated all around Bulgaria contribute even further to both the spiritual and the material richness of this region.

View the Sites

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    Tsarevets Fortress

    The influential symbol of the old Bulgarian capital

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    Kilifarevo Monastery "Nativity of the Virgin Mary"

    The present Kilifarevo monastery is located about 600 m. from the buildings of the former cloister and a fortress that existed during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom.

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    Samovodska Charshiya Market

    The authentic atmosphere of Veliko Tarnovo’s Samovodska Charshiya Market takes us back to the time of our ancestors.