This small Bulgarian village hideaway of Leshten is located in the Dabrash section of the Rhodope Mountains just 5 km north of Garmen, 75 km south of Blagoevgrad and 2 km south of Gorno Dryanovo.
Leshten is considered a quite summer holiday retreat for the local Bulgarians and Europeans. This beautiful village was once a bustling town with over 500 inhabitants in the early part of the 20th century. However, today there’s only a handful of year round residences that call Leshten home. This doesn’t change the fact that in summer, visitors still migrate here to relax, unwind and bask in the beauty of the region.
Why Leshten Village?
The old homes of Leshten have been beautifully restored into summer cottages for weekend holidays and guest-houses for visitor near and far. The majority of these homes being constructed in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century. The architectural style is very typical for this region of Bulgaria with the common design characteristics including a large terraces, inner courtyards and their own taverns. That’s right, your own tavern! The residents of Leshten are proud of the preservation of their village. Holding much pride by sharing it with us outsiders because many of them offer accommodations to travelers.
Plus, the charm and tradition and only enhances the overall experience.
Attractions and Activities
- Mountain hiking the Dark Forest
- Fishing, Swimming and water activities
- Day trips to nearby towns and landmarks
- Manoilova Dupka Cave; endless cave formations with underground river/waterfalls. It’s home to a globally protected bat species
- Rizova Dupka Cave; an unusual type of cave which is formed by vertical slicing of a gneiss rock usually caused by its won weight
Day Trips from Leshten Village
For the perfect day trip from Leshten you’ll find the villages of Kovachevitsa and Dolen. Kovachevitsa is another village similar to Leshten, dedicated in the preservation of the past by conserving their old traditional buildings and traditions.
In Kovachevitsa you will find many guest houses and restaurants in traditional Bulgarian style. This historic village offers a wide variety of food, drink and leisure activities. Just outside of the village of Kovachevitsa, you will be delighted to find the many natural sites of the Rhodope Mountains and the Kanina River. Make sure to visit the natural reserve of “Temnata Gora” and many other places in the Garmen Municipality.
The area of Dolen was once strewed with Thracian hamlets, villages and settlements. Today you can still find relics of the bygone era throughout the surrounding terrain. The hills surrounding Dolen are scattered with Thracian necropolises (cemeteries) and and the protected land of ancient Thracian vineyards which were in use until the Bulgarian National Revival. Evidence of this historic region are the relic remains from the eastern road, the village of Dolen itself, and the Roman bridge found in the district of Banyan.
Returning back to Leshten from your day trip is a perfect way to finish that long weekend getaway. The only problem will be that you’ll have to depart at some point, or maybe not for those lucky few. Whatever you’re seeking I’m confident that Leshten with it’s generous hospitality can provide you a terrific stay.