Traveler's Test

Sleep in a neolithic house in Chavdar, Bulgaria

Sleep in a neolithic house in Chavdar, Bulgaria

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The challenge: take a walk in the shoes of a prehistoric person and spend the night in one of these Neolithic huts in Bulgaria.

You don’t need a time machine to go back to the Stone Age and feel like the Flintstones. All you have to do is set off to the village of Chavdar  and the St Petka hill (Sveta Petka) above it to end up among small Neolithic houses made of mud, poles and straw, and to see how primitive people lived 7,000 years ago.

Topolnitsa Archaeological Park

When archaeologists were digging up an orchard by the River Topolnitsa, not far from Chavdar, they accidentally found a mound from the Neolithic period (a prehistoric time when people still didn’t use metal). The excavations reveal how our forefathers lived in this period. The Topolnitsa archaeological park above the village gives us a peek at five Neolithic houses.

In the museum, you will learn what life was like in the Neolithic period. Bring some wheat to grind as the primitive people did, with a device called a chromel (a mill made of two stones).

One of the houses available to spend the night for as little as 6$ per night per person

Everything is simple inside, the bed is right under the roof.

>>> Read more: How to practice aylyak in Bulgaria and be happy

Other things to do at St Petka hill

  • light a candle in the beautiful temple on the top of the hill and enjoy a panoramic view of Chavdar from above (it’s especially beautiful at sunset)
  • bake food in the furnace for free or grab a bite at the summer house
  • have something in the restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking
  • visit the children’s corner with a sensory garden, two climbing walls and a rope garden

Taking a walk in the village of Chavdar is also a must – it is one of the most beautiful in Bulgaria.

The chapel St Petka

The contemporary village of Chavdar, Bulgaria

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Useful information:

Chavdar is 70 km from Sofia and 120 km from Plovdiv. The archaeological park is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. You have to pay BGN 2 (a little more than 1$) to get inside, and a family ticket will cost you BGN 3 (2$). You can stay for the night in three of the houses, which can accommodate 4 people per house (BGN 10/6$ per person, you need to book in advance). The beds are wooden, right under the roof, with soft hay laid on them. The conditions are primitive, but the bed sheets are clean and the experience is unforgettable. Contact details: +359 7189/ 2448.

All photos: © Maria Angelova/

>>> Discover more fun travel challenges in Bulgaria!