The municipality of GORNA ORYAHOVITSA is situated on an area of 318 km² and includes 14 settlements (2 towns and 12 villages). It has a favourable geographical position: located in the central part of Bulgaria, close to well-developed tourist centres such as Veliko Tarnovo, Dryanovo, Gabrovo, and Elena. The region is characterized by its moderate continental climate, with an average annual temperature of 11,5 ° C, which, combined with the hilly relief of the municipality, implies the development of summer recreation and tourism.
The municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa has a well developed technical infrastructure. Because of the favourable geographic location, the access to Gorna Oryahovitsa is very convenient; it is no coincidence that the town is one of the most important transport centres in Bulgaria. In the immediate vicinity of the town, two first-class roads from the Republican road network pass: I-4 /Sofia-Varna/ and I-5 /Ruse-Kardzhali/, the latter being part of international road E 85. The Gorna Oryahovitsa railway connects two main railway tracks: Sofia-Gorna Oryahovitsa-Varna and Ruse-Gorna Oryahovitsa-Stara Zagora, which maximizes the access to the town by train. In Gorna Oryahovitsa, there is one of the five airports with international status in Bulgaria, which accepts and sends all types of airplanes.
The Gorna Oryahovitsa Administrative Center is located in the northern foothills of the Arbanasi Mountain. The hills are cut from the gorge of the Yantra River passing by the town. The area has significant differences in altitude. The lowest point on the banks of the Yantra River is approximately 92 meters above sea level, while the dominant Kamaka Plateau is 460 meters high.
The flora and fauna around Gorna Oryahovitsa bear the characteristics of the geographical area but also have some unique shades. Just at 5 km south-west of the town, there is the Bozhur Polyana Protected Area, one of the rare deposits of peony. Immediately to the south-western outskirts of Gorna Oryahovitsa, the Kamaka forest park starts, containing some rare bird species such as the rock eagles, images of which were found on a medieval ring-seal from the Ryahovets Fortress. For the last several years in summer, several pairs of black storks have been nesting in the forest park, and often in winter, swans can be seen along the Yantra River. In the Yantra Valley near the village of Pravda and in the Rositsa Valley near the village of Polikraishte, people have the opportunity to observe waterfowl. The Kamaka Rock, rising as a guard over the town in the north-eastern part of the plateau bearing the same name, reveals a wonderful panoramic view of Gorna Oryahovitsa, the Yantra River, and all the villages in the immediate vicinity of the town.
Within the Kamaka Forest Park, an opportunity for longer recreation is offered by the Bozhur Mountain Hut located at 5 km southwest of Gorna Oryahovitsa and near the Bozhur Polyana Protected Area. From the town, it can be reached by car or on foot, using the picturesque eco-path.
On the territory of the municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa, there are various cultural and historical sites. At 4 km northwest of the town, there is the Ryahovets Medieval Fortress, which reached its peak during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (12th – 14th centuries). More than 800 original exhibits, hundreds of photographs and documents from different stages of the historical development of the town and the region are presented in the Historical Museum of Gorna Oryahovitsa. Within the structure of the museum, the Ethnographic Museum of Dolna Oryahovitsa is also included, presenting the ethno-demographic and social-household characteristics of the region of Gorna Oryahovitsa, and the Asen Raztsvetnikov Museum House in the village of Draganovo, keeping an ethnographic collection related to the life of the writer. The Nedyalko Karaneshev Art Gallery, opened in 1978, has a permanent fund of picturesque paintings, graphics, and sculptures mostly by Bulgarian artists.
Every year, the municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa hosts many festivals, competitions, fairs, and festivals. The most popular among them are:
- Rahovche International Children’s Folklore Festival;
- New Music International Youth Competition for Popular Song;
- Jivopisatira International Plainair Painting;
- Rahovche National Children’s Festival of Arts;
- Folklorna Broenitsa National Festival of Folklore Clubs and Groups;
- National Review of Rural Amateur Community Theatres;
- Municipal Folklore Festival of Folk Choirs and Source Folklore Groups;
In recent years, the Municipality of Gorna Oryahovitsa has been actively working on building its image as a culinary destination. The town hosts two unique events: the Feast of the Gorna Oryahovitsa Sudjuk and the Feast of the Gorna Oryahovitsa Pot. In honour of the most popular Gorna Oryahovitsa delicacy, a new exhibition named Gornooryahovski Sudjuk was opened at the Historical Museum in 2015. The exhibition presents, through preserved original objects and photographs, the history of the famous sausage over the centuries: from the first recipes for preparation to the receipt of Protected Geographical Indication in 2011.
The beginning of the museum work in the town of Gorna Oryahovitsa was laid in 1962. The original fund of the museum collection amounts to about 500 exhibits. Over the next ten years, the collection activity increased their number several times. In 1972, the reconstructed two-storey building at 1, Antim I Street in the central part of Gorna Oryahovitsa was provided, where the Historical Museum has been housed until today. The new exposition was opened on 2 June 1973. The building has a total area of 1,210 m². On the ground floor, there is a stockpile and in the yard, there is a separate building with an area of 65 m², which houses the Tourist Information Center and the newest Gornooryahovski Sudjuk Exhibition.
The Historical Museum of Gorna Oryahovitsa preserves the historical heritage of the town and the region, divided into six sections: Archaeology, Ethnography, Revival, Learning, National Liberation Struggles, and Old Town Lifestyle. The first part of the permanent exhibition displays artefacts from the two Neolithic settlements near the town, the Ryahovets Fortress and the village of Yantra. The accent is the large collection of medieval jewels, including silver and gold-plated forehead diadems, presenting interesting and rarely found headgear.