Dryanovo monastery is a beautiful monastery located in North-Central Bulgaria near the small town of Dryanovo and the scenic and historic town of Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria and a must-visit place in Bulgaria.
I visited the monastery by car (there is a parking lot right in front of it – the fee was something like 1 lv per hour), but if you go there over the weekend it is a good idea to visit the monastery around 9 – 10 AM when there are less people and more parking spots available. The monastery is located very close to the main road between Veliko Tarnovo and Gabrovo – there is a sign close to the exit of the main road where the monastery is, but you will also find this place with Google maps (and I always recommend this as an option!). It really seems that the place is in the middle of nowhere, so I was also quite surprised that one can reach it by public transport (by train, to be more specific – and the trip is very scenic as you pass the Balkan mountains). The railway station is called “Bacho Kiro” and can be easily reached from Veliko Tarnovo (around 40 minutes) or Stara Zagora railway station (2 hours). There is no entry fee for the monastery.
As for the history of Dryanovo monastery, it was built in 13th century but around 2 km away from the place where the monastery is now. About a century after that, people from the Ottoman empire burnt it down. The monastery that we see now was built in the 17th century (with some reconstruction work done, of course). An interesting fact is that you can spend the night at Dryanovo monastery – there is a “hotel part” of the complex (contact details for reservations according to the website of Dryanovo). Around the monastery there are a couple of restaurants where you can have lunch. There is also a wooden bridge just behind the monastery (consider it as a back entrance) – the view there is quite nice, this is where I took the photo above!
There are five points of interest next to the monastery: