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Russians, Germans, Estonians and Britons live happily in a Bulgarian village

At the foot of Pirin Mountain there is a village – Ilindentsi, which gathers people from different parts of the world.

At the foot of Pirin Mountain there is a village – Ilindentsi, which gathers people from different parts of the world. They all are attracted by the beautiful nature and the hospitality of the locals. The village is known for its sculptural park, vineyards and wine.



"I fell in love in Ilindentsi at the first sight. We will live here to our last breath, says the Russian Galina Bulgakova to Her husband Mark Olev is Estonian. Their 14 year old son Alexey came with them and their daughter Maria, who is 20, still lives in Tallinn. Galinasays that she was in Burgas and Sunny Beach, but as soon as she saw Ilindentsi she realized that wants to grow old in this village together with her husband. She admits that all people in the village are very good, better than the ones in Russia and Estonia. "Our neighbours are very smiling, and not gloomy like the ones in Estonia where I lived for 20 years. They are always ready to help us. Recently our neighbors noticed that my husband was hand-sawingthe trees in our garden. They immediately came to the helphim with a chainsaw and in one hour the work was completed"says the Russian, who works online with various Russian companies. Their two-storey house is very close to the river. And high cliffs rise a hundred meters away from their home."We bathe in the river, there is a waterfall.My husband climbs the rocks, he is an alpinist. We visit often the art center of the sculptor Ivan Rusev, which has great sculptures. Nature is wonderful, the air is clean. But the greatest treasure here are the people. They are very benevolent and we help each other and exchange home visits" says Galina who lives in the village for a year and a half. Of course, in the first days of her life in the villageshe tried the famous wine of the local wine makers. I love the wine festival in Ilindentsi. Then I even dance the traditional Bulgarian horo /folk dance/  at the village square”,says Bulgakovawho is not retired yet unlike the other foreigners in the village is.Her husband Mark Olev calls himself a professional tourist. He has never been sick, and does not even know what is cold. He climbed Mont Blanc 30 timesat least and his hobby is parachuting. He is also a mountain guide of groups in the French Alps."I've visited very difficult and dangerous places. I love to travel. Here, however, I feel good. In the morningsI have a bath in the river, whether it is winter or summer, and climb the rocks. I keep myself fit and preparea sport corner in ourgarden. I am ready to train the children in martial arts free, but first we have to find a suitable building"says Mark whose pension is 200 €. He sold his home in Estonia to have funds for purchasing a house in the village of Ilindentsi.

Mark and Galina’s son Alexeyis studying in Sandanski. He is practicing football and other sports. Quite often he is in the river with his father or climbing the rocks. "He also has no communication problems, his classmates and teachers are all friendly with him. We have never been sorry for our choice to settle down in Ilindentsi"saysGalina.She is an engineer and used to work as a furniture designer also. Sheadmits that their stay in Bulgaria is a bit spoilt by "the spoon of tar in the honey barrel". They can not get used to and accept the fact that in the village there is water rationing. The water main is under repair at the moment and we hope that the problem will be resolved, Mark and Galinahope. They do not accept the indiscriminate waste disposal on streets, in rivers, mountains, and near the homes. "We are very disciplined in this matter. The cleanness is very important for the human health. The garbage should be collected into the garbage bins. This is a rule for us but some of the Bulgarians don’t follow it"they say.

 The English couple – Darrell and Carol are the best advertisement for Ilindentsi. They start living here in 2006. But in 2014 their relatives who live in a village near Veliko Tarnovo convinced them to move there. They did not want to leave, but had to do it because of the friends. So they sold their home in Ilindentsi to Russians. And found in a while that they can not live without the village of Ilindetsi. "We travelled around Bulgaria to find that Ilindentsi is the most beautiful area. Now we are looking for a new home here, and will takeback our luggage. The mayor will store it in the school for a while. Neither people nor nature in Veliko Tarnovo are the same like here" share the Brits. Of course, one of the things that Darrell really likes here, is the wine. I help the people in the village to harvesttheir grapes and they give me some liters of unique wine he admits. With this elixir they warm up both their bodies and souls. “There is nothing better to have a glass of wine at home in the cold winter days. We're just in heaven", the new villagers assert. They came here from abroad tosettle down in Ilindentsi.

According to the mayor Iliya Bashliev the interest of  the foreigners is growing up and in the village there is no other houses for sale. What attracts mostly the foreigners is the good weather, friendly people, good wine and beautiful sculptures.


According to the Bulgarian prophetess Vanga many people will come to live in Bulgaria as it will be one of the few places not affected by disasters and cataclysms. The same prophecy was told by Petar Dunov andSlava Sevryukova – other famous Bulgarian prophetesses. Is the time for it coming?!



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