I’m a big fan of historical ruins so this first post on the blog will be dedicated to Nikopolis ad Nestum – an ancient Roman city near the village of Garmen, 8 km from Gotse Delchev.
How to reach: from Sofia it’s 205 km, through Bansko and Razlog. It’s better to visit it by car, public transport would take a long time. Allow yourself at least 3 hours since the road is pretty picturesque and you will certainly stop here and there to relax and enjoy the views.
What’s to see there: This ancient Roman city is in the process of being recovered only since recently. This is one of the three cities that the Roman Emperor Trajan built in year 106, to celebrate the victory over the province of Dacia. The huge city is surrounded by a city wall and inside you can see religious buildings, residential areas and of course a huge Roman bath, with the area for the hot and cold water, the channels for the water and others. Lots of the ruins are well preserved and in the process of being recovered and exposed. There are very few ancient ruins in Bulgaria preserved to such an extent.
Your ticket of 2 lv includes a guided tour in Bulgarian. For English speakers there’s printed brochures, but hopefully guided tours will be available in English soon. Working time: every day, 10-18.
What else to do while here:
- Take the fancy train to the nearby villages of Leshten and Kovachevitsa (if you travel with your kids, they will surely enjoy it 🙂 Those villages are known for the well-preserved old Bulgarian houses and amazing nature. Lots of the houses can be rented, you can find good listings on Booking.com
- Take a dip in the hot mineral pools of the nearby village of Ognyanovo. My recommendation would be hotel Therma Vitae – you can get 2 hours in their covered pool + open jacuzzi + kids pool for 10 lv. I wouldn’t be able to stay more anyway, the water is fairly warm.
- Take a walk in the city of Gotse Delchev (8 km from the ruins). This is a small but very peaceful and green city, with one central street and a lot of parks.
- Try the local kitchen. This region has delicious local specialties and prices are very moderate. We’ve dined at restaurants in Ognyanovo and Gotse Delchev and they were all very good.
A very beautiful region of Bulgaria, a favorite destination of mine.