In April we spent four nights at the Karashka Bed and Breakfast. We were five people from three generations of the same Danish familiy, and we all had a wonderful stay there thanks to the hosts Maya and Kalin. Already on the first day my nine year old daughter said 'Dad, I love it here because I feel so free!' Now, two months later, when we talk about our vacation we still remember it as the 'best vacation ever'. -So what made it so fantastic? Well, it was probably the most authentic and genuine vacation we have had. Perfect for slowing down. Relax. Digital detox. Go for long walks on the trails in the forest next to the house (we saw footprints after deer and wild boar in the mud. At night we came back with flashlights to the forest and the kids loved it!) Sit by the huge open fireplace in the living room at night and talk. Be together. Look at the stars. Visit the small villages to see how people live, or the bigger ones like Gabrovo and Veliko Tarnovo to see old castles and enjoy the delicious Bulgarian food.
This also means that this place is not suited for anyone. If you like standard tourist stuff, then you should go to one of the standard tourist places around the world. There are no tourists around Karashka, only locals. That is something quite rare these days. To be able to go somewhere where you truly feel like you are in another country. Few people speak English. The local shops do not sell the products you are used to from back home, they sell Bulgarian stuff. But everybody is friendly, and if you want nothing but your own food from back home, then it's much easier to stay home anyway. -Here, you will get the Bulgarian mountain experience, and that is the whole point! The hosts (who both speak excellent English) take pride in sharing everything they know about the region, history, nature, animals, food and drinks. They are fantastic in recommending trips around the region. (These trips and everything else for Karashka were explained in details on their website which really helped us with our planning). We visited several villages, saw traditional Easter celebrations, castles, ruins, beautiful nature, riwer, waterfalls, giant caves full of bats, monasteries, and so many other things it's impossible to mention them all. There are not so many highways in Bulgaria, but roads are generally in a good condition and it's easy to drive there.
The Karashka house also deserves to be mentioned, as the hosts have spent several years to restore it. When I like the most is that there is nothing indicating that it is a bed and breakfast. You feel like you are visiting old friends, and definitely not like a tourist. They have been very carefull to restore the house using old techniques as master craftsmen would have done it a hundred years ago. As an example, everything is made from wood. Nothing is plastic. Some of the walls are made from ½ meter thick rocks. It's difficult to explain, but it just feels good.
Overall, we would all love to return there!