With literally hundred’s of Bulgarian villages to choose from, we’re often asked why we chose to live in Srem, so, here’s our top 10 reasons why Srem’s home…
#1. It’s Gorgeous!
If you love nature, you’ll love Srem village. The immediate area boasts; rivers, hills, forests, grasslands, and numerous types of farmland. Its located between two EU designated areas of Community Special Interest (CSIs) with over 30 endangered animals, including 11 species of bat, plus; otters, salamanders, dragon flies and more. Bird-wise its one of the few remaining sites for the mighty Imperial Eagle, and we often see black storks, the golden oriel and more.
#2. It’s Nature’s Playground
The gorgeous nature around Srem means there’s loads of outdoor activities to do. With no fences and miles upon miles of tracks traversing the nature reserves, Srem is ideal for horse-riding, quad biking, mountain biking and hiking.
The Tundzha, Bulgaria’s second largest river surrounds Srem on three sides and offers fishing and family-friendly Kayaking expeditions.
The Vodenitsa River and numerous wild lakes in the reserve are pretty much as clean as water gets and offer hours of old-school wild-swimming, paddling, and guddling for even the smallest kids.
#3. It’s Location
Ask anyone who lives in Srem and they say they were intrigued by the little village over the bridge. While most Bulgarian villages are located on a through-road and the drive into and out of them can range from pretty to pretty-depressing, Srem is completely different.
There’s a reason it’s tucked away. Several hundred years ago, it was indeed a through-village like everywhere else and was originally located on the other side of the river. But the savvy Sremites became so infuriated by the continual raiding and plundering of those using the road, they upped-sticks and relocated to the other side.
#4. It’s International
While villages around Bulgaria die at an estimated rate of one per month, Srem is moving in the opposite direction. Although only tiny, with around 250 residents, Srem is attracting a pretty international crowd.
To date we have 15 international permanent resident households, with an additional 15 plus seasonal home owning families. Nationalities include; English, South African, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, American, Russian, German and French. This means a staggering one fifth of Srem’s population is international and this percentage is increasing every year.
Located only a little over one hour from the Svilengrad borders to Greece and Turkey, and 40 minutes from the Lesovo border also to Turkey, Srem is a great base for international travel.
It’s also only one hour from Burgas and the beach and with the new motorway only a couple of hours from Bulgaria’s hippest-city, Plovdiv.
#6. It’s Not Dead!
One of the big reasons people choose Srem is it’s still very much a living village. It has a post office, four general groceries, a hotel, several guest houses, a couple of lively bars, a restaurant, a horse riding centre, a recently renovated community centre, several commercial dairy farms, high speed fibre optic internet, several daily buses to the local towns and three well-known hunting and leisure lodges located only three-kilometres away.
#7. It has a Lively Community
Everyone knows of villages where all the newcomers have fallen out, or where no one mixes with anyone else, well, again Srem is different. Of course, there’s the usual disagreements, but in general it’s a really happy place. And its not just the incomers who think this either, there’s a growing number of new Bulgarian residents who think the village is pretty awesome and they’re buying and renovating holiday and retirement homes here too.
Then there’s the traditions like frozen river swimming on Yordanov Den and of course, the most highly anticipated day of the social calendar- Srem Day, where the international and Bulgarian communities come together to raise money, dance the hora and enjoy the various locally made ‘beverages.’
#8. It’s Full of History
There is barely a square metre of the south east region which has not been trampled since the dawn of time, from the Thracians to the Ottomans, the Romans to the Communists- Srem is jam-packed with history.
There’s Ivan’s museum house, believed to be the oldest in the village. Give him a call and he’ll personally take you round his beautifully preserved old long-house. He’ll tell you where the family hid from the Ottoman soldiers and how the grain store upstairs pours out into the animal pens below.
Meet enterprising 16-year-old Georgie, who’s passion for history has spilled over into a privately curated collection of village artefacts and costumes all set-up in his grandmother’s garage.
Outside the village there’s even more. Take a trail-ride to explore the mysterious Thracian Sun-circles, see the old mill sites along the Vodenitsa river and drive or cycle to the beautifully maintained Holy Trinity Monastery with its lavender fields and cave church hidden in the hills.
#9. The Food
Thanks to the miles of nature reserves all around the village, Srem produces some of the best and cleanest honey available anywhere, and at under 5 Euro per kilo, its certainly the most affordable too!
Then there’s the fresh milk delivered from the dairies each morning, the cheeses, butter and Bulgaria’s famous local yogurt all hand-made in our local dairy.
Visit the village shops and you’ll find local seasonal fruit and veg, straight from garden to shop. Visit a neighbour and you’ll most likely sample home-made Rakia and wines, although this does range in quality from paint-thinner to delicious- you’ve been warned!
Village restaurant, Café Fakirchev, is open for lunch and dinner and offers a vast menu of Bulgarian favourites all served in a pristine setting. The Hidja Tundzha and Galina Palace hotels around three-km away also offer evening meal options throughout the summer season.
#10. It’s Amazing for Kids
Horse riding, archery, kids camps, kayaking, fishing, cycling, river play and running wild. There’s tones for kids to do in Srem!
For kids that NEED to get out into nature and ‘connect,’ there’s no place better than Srem. Pick up a fishing license for little more than pennies and head to the Tundzha. Book a kayaking excursion for the whole family with Extreme Adventure GP in Elhovo. Join Konna Basa Sakar for horse riding trips, or book the kids into their kids camps which focus on connecting with nature, environmental projects and spending time with animals.
Read more: Kids camps at Konna Basa Sakar