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Elhovo is a town located in the Southeast Thrace near the river Tundzha in the middle of the fertile Elhovo field. It is 160 m above the sea level; 37 km far from Yambol, 65 km from Sliven and 94 km away from Burgas city. The town has around 13 675 resident population.


Elhovo is a place with age-old history. The sepulchral mounds and the great number of finds in the area evidence it was inhabited ever since the ancient Thracians. The existing Thracian settlement was fortified at the time of the Romans and became popular as Oruditza at Burgum. The place was located on a main road connecting Adrianopolis (Odrin) and Kabile (near Yambol). The Byzantines called it Malso Kastro (strengthened settlement). During the middle ages there rose the fortress Yanitza (Yoanitza), predecessor of today's town. During the time of Khan Krum the Elhovo region was included in the Slavo-Bulgarian state. The town was conquered by the Turks in 1373. In the following years it was established an agricultural, craft and administrative center. The Turkish name of the town is Kazalagach. After many epidemics, looting raids and the Russian-Turkish War in 1877-1878 it became depopulated and many people moved to Dobrudzha (north-east part of Bulgaria) and Russia. After 1930 it gradually recovered its position when there settled people from Stara Zagora region, Chirpan and Srednogorie (central Bulgaria south of Stara Planina Mountain).

The main occupation of the locals was agriculture and stock-breeding thanks to the good natural conditions. In 1833 a school opened in Elhovo and after 3 years a church was built. For the natives teaching in Bulgarian language was a method against the imposed Greek language. The struggle against the Turkish oppressor was expressed in the haidouk movement. Many songs were created praising the national defenders, the haidouk of Stoyu, Stoyan, Valkan, Dobri, Kuman, Sandyo, the legendary Indje etc. One of the greatest figures of the Bulgarian National Liberation in XIX century, Stefan Karadja was born in Elhovo area.

In 1872 a revolutionary club for liberation was founded in Elhovo and many of the natives took participation in the fights with the Turks in spite of the victims. Located on the road to Odrin Elhovo was put under attacks, robberies and murders. The town was liberated on 21st of January 1878. After that it gradually restored and became a municipality.

The Bulgarian name of the town Elhovo dated from 1925 when it was officially declared a town.


  • The Town Ethnographic Museum which preserves cultural monuments and keeps a rich ethnographic collection of examples of national crafts and folk costumes (the only collection with national costumes from the Aegean Thrace).
  • The church "St. Dimitar Solunski" (1878) with an original bell tower.
  • The reserve "Dolna Topchia" - in the area of Papazova Koria, along the river Tundzha, 5 km far from Elhovo. It was created in 1960 for protection of a rare species of pheasant. The bigger part of the reserve is covered with longose forest. There are 7 amphibian species, 13 reptile species, 102 species of birds like pheasant, blackbird, thrush, starlings, owl, owlet etc; also mammals- fox, jackal, hare, wild boar, fallow deer etc. North of Elhovo is the reserve "Gorna Topchia" created in 1951 for preservation of the natural longose forests.
  • The reserve of "Balabana" south of Ehovo is located in an area with the same name. It was established in 1961 and includes age-old longose woods in the valley of the Tundzha river

The Elhovo municipality falls into the range of two climatic areas - the North - Tundzha Area (transitional continental) and the Sakar-Strandzha Area (transitional Mediterranean, with soft winters, warm springs and dry and hot summers).

The north part of the region is characterized by a temperately continental climate. The average January temperature is about 0 °C, the average July temperature is about 23 °C, and the average annual temperature is 11-13 °C. The soils are varied - Mediterranean black soils, maroon forest soils and yellow-earth soils. In the low part of the region, along the rivers, alluvial meadow soils and black-earth-Mediterranean soils occur, which have favourable characteristics for a high fertility.

The Elhovo settlement system compasses part of the lowland-hilly and low-mountain Tounja Area - a region of the middle valley of the Tounja River and part of the Dervent elevations. The plain relief in the north parts gradually turns to low-mountain - a part of the Dervent Elevations. The Tounja River passes through the low-mountain range in the south part, separating the Dervent Elevations from the Sakar Mountain. The river forms a picturesque canyon between them. Its steep valleys and numerous windings make the region picturesque and attractive. The area provides excellent conditions for relaxation, fishing, hunting, rafting etc.