Sun lovers – Our private terrace is now open all summer!

The summer months in the Rhodopes are a dream. Crisp fresh mornings, wild flowers, bird song and clean air that adds pleasure with every breath. As the sun rises into a deep blue sky, temperatures soar and the pace slows. During the hot summer months from June to September, it’s not uncommon to have almost…

Detoxing the mind, body and soul

Throughout my life I have been on restrictive diets for various health and welfare reasons, to eliminate physical problems and to care for the world around me. My first hand knowledge of dairy free, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free eating has meant we can offer all these specialist diets to our guests. The…

2017 yearly roundup

A dramatic 2017 was the year of a very long hot summer after a dry winter, with very little rain for over 4 months and I was very aware of the forest fires that raged in Portugal and caused a lot of suffering. So when our mayor phoned me to tell me there was a…

The Wizard of Wicked Mountain

Since our first visit to Bulgaria in 2006, there have been so many occasions where help and assistance is freely offered, often by complete strangers who refuse any recompense for their time given. The generosity of the people and strong community spirit helped us move here from UK in 2011 and since then, we have nothing but…

2014 yearly roundup

Another year on in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria, and I’m still learning something new everyday, becoming more and more adaptable and expanding my DIY skills. Here’s a roundup of a few of the things that have occurred this year… 2014 has been another year where water has been a huge issue but this time…

Lyubino Luck …or happy accidents

Since we moved to Bulgaria there have been a lot of trials but none have been bad enough to count as tribulations. We researched ‘in depth’ before we embarked on our self-sufficient lifestyle, using books, internet, family and friends’ experiences and advice, even taking education courses but there’s nothing like learning hands on. When we…

Animal Instincts

On the road to self-sufficiency we have acquired a few animals, each species being entertaining in different ways and each bringing a different dimension to our life in a rural mountain retreat. I’ve learned so much this year, starting with my bee colony which, though not seeming interactive at first, play their part in pollinating…

Mountain Rescue

One day I was out walking with Jakal, our guardian dog, clearing one of the many walk routes around Melanya from fallen trees and overgrowth and also marking the way as there are many tracks that cross the path. I’d heard a storm approaching but thought I had time so carried on but the rain began….

You can teach an old dog new tricks

Spring has finally started in the mountains and as well the usual signs of new life, like the bluebells, daffodils and crocus’ emerging, trees budding, butterflies and bees getting active and birds calling for mates, our dog, Jakal disappeared for 2 days. We could hear him barking higher up in the village and we called…

Interesting Wildlife at Melanya Mountain Retreat

Our relatively short time in the Rhodope Mountains has been wonderful, discovering nature that is different to our experiences in England yet very familiar. The countryside is very similar to the UK with the four distinct seasons and the same species of trees including Oak, Walnut and Silver Birch. From our very first visit 6…

Mother Nature’s Gifts

I’m extremely lucky to have an organic garden that is brimming with produce that costs a lot to buy from shops. Fruit trees are all around me and I’ve never seen so many different kinds of plum, from small and round to large and oval, and all one colour per tree, either yellow, orange, red,…

The Sound of Silence

I spend many hours in my Mountain Retreat organic garden, planting vegetables, weeding, hoeing, tending plants, harvesting, and as the garden is big most jobs take a lot of time. It’s lovely being outdoors everyday in the unpolluted fresh air, sun shining brightly in the intense blue sky with majestic scenery of surrounding mountain peeks…