Breathtaking Balkans: 6 reasons why you need to visit Pirin mountain

My last holiday started with flying to Sofia and going up the Bulgarian mountain to find one amazing hidden village in between the breathtaking Pirin mountain. I had a great experience there, and I would like to share it with you so you can plan a budget trip to Leshten, in Pirin mountain.

For everyone who is NOT Bulgarian: the prices there are really low + the flights are incredibly cheap, so it is definitely a budget saving destination.

I decided to go to Leshten, because I saw this amazing village in one Bulgarian movie a few years ago (The Foreigner). Since then I always wanted to go and visit it.

Where is Leshten located?

Leshten is not that easy to reach, but on the other hand, it is a very beautiful trip. You will be crossing Struma river, the famous ski resort Bansko and driving around beautiful mountains.

Why you definitely need to visit Pirin mountain, Leshten?

See for yourself how Leshten looks like, and then I will list my top reasons why you need to visit it πŸ™‚

1st. Amazing panoramic view
If you are a mountain lover, which I believe you are since you are reading this post, then Leshten will give you an amazing panoramic view and true satisfaction of your soul. The mountains are breathtaking and Leshten is right in the middle of it.

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2nd. Total relaxation
Leshten is a very calm village, small and quiet. You will go there if you need to relax and start your holiday with total relaxation. You will enjoy the beautiful views and nature while hearing only the sound of birds, bugs or animals. In the evening you can visit the restaurants, and there you will probably hear some music, but again it is all about focusing on yourself and the company you are with.

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3rd. Delicious food
The food in Bulgaria is in general great, especially for the meat lovers. However in Leshten, is pretty amazing, because all the vegetables are BIO, grown in someone`s garden ;). I would recommend trying something meaty (around 2-3 EUR), definitely aubergine, or any other salad you would like (they are around 1,70 EUR) and for a dessert yoghurt with jam (1,10 EUR). Please visit the place after the bridge at Leshten, across their only shop.

4th. Mineral healing water
If you go to Leshten, you can take advantage of the famous mineral water in the bacteriological resort nearby – Ogniyanovo. If you only would like to swim, you can do that at Leshten, but if you want to stay still in the water and let it heal your body, then you can take a short ride of few kilometers and go to Ognyanovo.

5th. Scenery village very pleasant for a walk.
The cobblestone streets of the village, together with the cosy small houses surrounded by green and mountains, makes it very scenic and lovely for a walk. Leshten will offer you a mountain hike, picking mushrooms and herbs in the mountain, and fishing. I would say that 2, maximum 3 days here are enough for you to feel recharged and energized.

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6th. The Bulgarian mountains are perfect for your trip on a budget!
Since we are focused on minimizing our budget and maximizing the quality of our trips, then Leshten and in general the Bulgarian mountains would be a great choice. First of all, as I already mentioned couple of times, the flights should be around 50-60 EUR with a low cost company as RyianAir, WizzAir and Transavia from Central Europe to Sofia. Furthermore, a night in a very nice hotel would be between 40-50 EUR for two people with Spa, and swimming pool and breakfast included.
The food is around 20 Eur for two people, which will include a main dish, veggies, and rakija.

I hope you find my recommendations helpful, and if yes, please subscribe for my blog.

Thank you for visiting,
xxx

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Why do you need to go boating outside of Amsterdam! Boat trip in Vinkeveen

Amsterdam is stunning and one of the most vibrant cities I have ever visited (and lived in) and its scenery canals make it very attractive for boat trips. However, if you are not visiting it for first time, and you do not want to do that the touristic way, think twice before wasting a sunny, warm weekend on a boat in Amsterdam AGAIN.

Our tip: rent a boat in Vinkeveen πŸ˜‰

Where is Vinkeveen?

Vinkeveen is only half an hour away of Amsterdam, 25 km distance.

Why Vinkeveen?

Here is why you will have great experience there:

1. A boat trip in the nature

As much as I love Amsterdam, there is nothing like a relaxing boat ride in the nature. You will not hear crowd talking around you, and your eyes will be relaxed of the city view when instead you will be seeing lakes, a lot of water, peaceful beach houses, listening your own music (which you bring with you).

2. Prices in Amsterdam vs outside of Amsterdam

We all know that Amsterdam can be a bit pricey. The prices for a boat are not an exception. If you decide to rent a boat in Amsterdam, the prices are between 40 and 60 EUR per hour (deposit of 150 Eur as well) and the prices we found in Vinkeveen 18 Eur per hour for a boat suitable for 6 people, but we rented it for 4.

3. Busy water roads

You definitely need to be careful in Amsterdam! It is busy all year around, but when it comes to a sunny day… oh guys! Do not look right, left, up, or down. Look only straight and focus on avoiding crashes in another boat.

In Vinkeveen, you have lakes like a labyrinth, and you have plenty of space not to crash in anything πŸ˜‰ At the beginning of the ride, they will give you a map with all the lakes, so you can choose the road you like. And trust me there is enough space for everyone.

4. Picnic in the nature

When we went in Vinkeveen, we could stop on every small green island, and pull out the picnic blankets.

5. Much more privacy

If it is a sunny and warm day, then you would probably want to try to get some tan. And if you try boating in Amsterdam, you probably know that between you in the boat and the people sitting in cafeterias and restaurant, or simply walking around the city, there are just few meters distance. You would not feel that comfortable when putting your sun cream and laying in bikini, while nearly everyone around you is eating and drinking on the canals, fully dressed up.

Well in Vinkeveen, the whole vibe is as of a beach place, everyone around you is doing the same or (windsurfing). And you simply feel like you are on a beach vacation.

It is entirely different type of experience than in Amsterdam. You can ride in much more peaceful, green, full of islands and lakes place, surrounded by beach houses. You choose your music, uninterrupted of the music of the boats near you, celebrating bachelorette parties. You can lay down, get your white wine and food, make picnic on the boat or on the islands.

For everyone who would love to have fully relaxing day, and everyone who already tried boating in Amsterdam, and does not want to do it the touristic way, go to Vinkeveen, you can book it via: Jachthaven Motel Borger (this is not sponsored post) spend half day there and let me know if you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks for visiting,

xxx