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Visit Bulgaria’s Beautiful Beaches and Ski Resorts

January 12, 2015

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is one of the latest members of the European Union and an interesting “low cost” tourist attraction. Boasting with its beautiful beaches and spectacular mountains, Bulgaria changed quite a bit in the last ten years, thanks to massive investments from Western European companies, due to its cheap property and stunningly beautiful scenery.

With a population of only 7 million people and a land surface of 110,994 square kilometers, Bulgaria is sits quietly in the Balkans, on the western shore of the Black Sea.

Its neighbors are Romania on the north, Macedonia on the southwest, Serbia on the northwest, Turkey on the southeast and Greece on the southern border.

One cans safely assert that Bulgaria is one of the “Exotic” countries of the EU, being an essential land route/entry point to the Middle East and Asia.

Harboring spectacular mountains and a beautiful golden beach, Bulgaria lures hordes of visitors every year. One interesting fact about the country is that it managed to be the oldest one in Europe, keeping its original name since 681 (Anno Domini). Bulgaria was an empire on two occasions, during the medieval period and fought extensively with Byzantium! I bet you did not know that!

The capital is Sofia, the biggest city and Bulgaria is Europe’s 16th biggest country.

Sofia-Bulgaria-Vampire

What to see and what to do in Bulgaria

 

One can relax visiting Bulgaria, and I am very serious about it, because you can find here ancient spas benefiting from natural mineral water, with curative properties; most of these spas are located around the Black Sea coast. Also, you can visit the magnificent baths dating from the times of Romans in Varna, called the Roman Thermae.

Batchkovo Monastery sits just 5 miles from the city of Plovdiv and it was built in the 11th century, almost 1 thousand years ago. You can see here beautiful frescoes, ancient manuscripts and old coins.

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Another city to visit, again older than history itself is Belogradchik, lying in the northwest of the Balkan Mountains. You can enjoy the Magura cave on Rabisha lake and the local rocks, bizarrely colored and shaped very interesting.

Obviously, you can climb /hike or take a rail journey in the Rhodopi mountains (but also in Veliko Tarnovo, Vratsa, Maliovitza, Trojan or Roussenki Lom).

or take biking tours on the coast of the Black Sea.

The rose valley is a place where Bulgarians planted roses for centuries, the best time to visit being early June every year, when the Festival of Roses takes place in lots of cities in the area.

Another place to see is Rila Monastery, here you’ll be fascinated by its huge collection of old bibles, woodcarvings, murals and old weapons.

rila-monastery

Go swim in the Black Sea, an excellent place to spend your summer vacation. That’s because Bulgaria has 232 miles of beautiful coastline with golden beaches, like the Sunny Resort and Golden Sands, along with two beautiful and picturesque (ancient) cities of Nesebar and Albena.

If you’re not the summer type, go ski the slopes of Quaint Bansko in the Pirin Mountains and Borovets during the winter.

Trigrad Gorge is a spectacular site, flanked by huge walls (250 meters tall) located in the Rhodope Moutnains, near Trigrad city in the south part of the country. The most interesting place to visit here is the Devil’s throat cage and the Haramiiska cave, where 4000 years old human fossils were discovered.

Trigrad Gorge

Veliko Turnovo was the main city, the capital of the second Bulgarian empire and harbors awesome relics, works of art and old churches.

The capital Sofia is a very cosmopolite city, a mélange of Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Turkish architecture. Sofia is the best place to visit if you’re a culture/history buff, featuring opera houses, churches, museums and art galleries. The most famous tourist attraction in Sofia is the golden dome of the Nevski Memorial.

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Food and Drink

Bulgarian cuisine is pretty diverse and specialties include cold soups made of cucumber yoghurt and walnuts (Tarator), salads (Shopska),pork/veal with mushrooms and onions (kavarma), a kind of  meat stuffed cabbage leaves (surmi) and minced meat rolls (kebpche).

Coffee espresso style is hugely popular and alcoholic beverages include red and white wines (Karlouski Misket, Evksinograde, Tamianka, Trakia, Mavroud), liquors (Mastika, Rakia) and infusions of mountain herbs.

Visa Requirements

A passport is required for visiting Bulgaria, but no Visa. If you’re an EU citizen, you can visit Bulgaria with just your ID card.

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