Where To Go On Holiday In Bulgaria
Those in search of an urban adventure will love Sofia. To acquaint yourself with the city take a free guided walking tour, or if you’re feeling a little more energetic, a free guided bike tour and reward your efforts afterwards with a traditional Bulgarian meal and a nice glass of Bulgarian wine! The city plays host to an impressive zoo, has plenty of open green spaces such as Borisova Gradina with its expansive Ariana Lake, and for the culture vultures a wide variety of historical buildings, galleries and museums.
If you’re looking for both a city and a beach break Bulgaria caters for you too! The coastal city of Varna is Bulgaria’s third largest and benefits from having the Black Sea right at its feet. Grab your snorkel and discover the array of fauna, or visit the city’s aquarium which boasts a huge collection of fish. As with Sofia, free cycle tours of the city are available taking in sights such as the beautiful sea garden and the ruins of the Roman Baths. By night take your pick from the many bars, restaurants and clubs on offer, all at affordable prices. Varna also serves as a great base for exploring the wider area with day trips to the Botanical Garden, the idyllic UNESCO Kamchiya Biosphere reserve and the stunning Euxinograd palace, winery and park.
Equally as appealing is the city of Burgas further down the coast. Here you can try your hand at a variety of water sports such as surfing and kite surfing or even learn to dive. If that’s not adrenaline enough then have a go at paragliding or go karting on the speedway. The city itself has plentiful museums, good shopping, pretty lakes and a long sandy beach, and is a great place to base yourself to visit the picture-perfect towns of Nesebar and Sozopol.
In the centre of the country the breathtaking Veliko Turnovo is well worth a visit. Set atop the imposing Tsarevets hill are the ruins of the Tsarevets castle, and from here you can enjoy commanding views over the city and the river Yantra. Set into the hillside is the beautiful Trapezitsa fortress, again with great views over the city making the journey up the hill well worth the effort. The old market of Samovodska Charshia is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on traditional goods such as pottery, and Gurko Street in the quaint old town a chance to fill your camera with photos of Bulgarian Revival architecture.
If it’s skiing you’re after then the resorts of Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo, Chepelare and Vitosha offer an affordable alternative to other European destinations without compromising on snow and the variety of runs. The longest ski season can be enjoyed at Bansko running from mid-December to mid-May, and snowboarders are catered for too at the Balkans Fun Park. For days away from the piste the town is also worth a visit. The long established resort of Borovets is the largest of the resorts and benefits from good temperatures without compromise on snow. It is also here that you will find the majority of cheap deals. If you would prefer a smaller resort, then look towards Chepelare and Vitosha.
If you’re in search of the great outdoors then look no further than Emen! The Emen Canyon of the Negovanka River (approximately 10 km from Balvan) is simply stunning – here you can enjoy walks through the gorge taking in views of the Momin Skok waterfall and the expansive Emen cave. Other popular destinations for walking include the Pirin and Rila national parks where you can enjoy walks along both the Pirin (the second highest mountain range in Bulgaria) and Rila mountains, and the simply awe inspiring Rhodopes mountain range.
So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a slice of the action before too many other people cotton on to Bulgaria!