Black Sea Bulgaria Destinations Historical Sites Travel

Yailata: archeological reserve or a luxurious hotel in the rocks?

If it wasn’t for Galin & Darina, we would have never gone to Yailata. When I was reading about the region of Kavarna before our recent epic trip, this place didn’t even pop out as a recommended stop and we would have missed it with a lightning speed.

This is exactly why I am writing these lines and hoping you go see it.

To make the most of your journey, I strongly recommend you get in touch with the above mentioned Kavarna super-heroes. Not that you can’t go to Yailata yourself, but you’ll miss a lot of the hidden gems that they can show you. We’re all about traveling on our own and exploring whatever we want at our own pace, yet these guides were one of the highlights of our trip. You’ll know why when you meet them yourself.

Now on the Archeological reserve Yailata

Whether you care about archeology or not, this place is not to be missed. This conclusion I made while walking around was that, despite the technological revolution we, as species, haven’t really gotten much smarter than our ancestors.
Let me elaborate.

Yailata is one of the places in Bulgaria where the signs of human presence date back 5000 years B.C. The first thing you see as you begin your walk are multiple ancient tombs, some of which single, some double. They were built by our ancestors, the Thracians, and what’s interesting is that they were all made in a way allowing them to lay the dead so they face the sunrise.

You can continue on to one of the 100+ cave dwellings which will stun you. Used as homes, monastic cells and rock churches, most of them are square-shaped and offer jaw-dropping views. Quite frankly, modern day hotels often have poorer views than these centuries-old cavemen’s homes and I personally find this ironical. Apparently, it’s not money that’s needed to create perfection – it’s collaborating with nature that does a better job.

If you end up visiting Yailata, don’t miss checking out the ruins of the Byzantium fortress which has been partially restored. It is believed that it was built during the rule of Emperor Anastasius (491-518) as a part of the fortification system which protected Byzantine from Slavs and Bulgarians invading from the North.

Was it poorly built or did Byzantine collapsed because of an internal lack of stability just as every other empire – I don’t know. I guess there are some nations nowadays which can take a look into the history and check back with reality. After all, everyone who ever believed they ruled the world is now extinct… Just saying.

To conclude your journey in the Yailata, don’t miss the rock church. Although far from visually spectacular, this place was one of the few sacred locations for many generations. Used between the Middle Ages and 11th century, this location hosted practically every religion practiced by locals.

And last, but not least. If you have more time on your hands, I would suggest this for you: just take a while, sit somewhere peacefully end enjoy the view. Just as on Cape Kaliakra, Yailata is one of the locations where you can see entire pods of dolphins, playing in the sea. If you are lucky enough, don’t forget to share a picture with us (hashtag #yailata). We’ll really be envious 🙂

By Nina Alexander

Nina is the big sister. She's a marketing professional by day, traveler by heart, tech geek, bookworm, beer lover and an amateur photographer. Her motto is Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

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