Tourism in Bulgaria
Tourism in Bulgaria
Family holidays with children in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a tranquil and comfortable destination ideal for an enjoyable family trip. You may select any path for fun with children, but the most reasonable decision will be motels near spa resorts. This form of amusement will include beach activities and wellness treatments. There are various enormous and unique aqua parks in Bulgaria where youngsters may have fun and relax for a whole day. It’s alluring to visit the zoo in Varna, take in the view from the dolphinarium, and ride the dizzying slide at one of the amusement parks. Children’s vacations will also be quite rich in terms of excursions, since Bulgaria is home to various children’s museums and exhibits.
Aqua Paradise is one of Bulgaria’s biggest and most intriguing aqua parks, located in one of the country’s oldest and most picturesque towns, Nessebar. The overall length of all slides exceeds 3000 meters. Children and adults alike may ride one of the park’s 40 attractions, swim in the massive pool, or relax in one of the several cafés. Following strenuous descents, it will be quite relaxing to swim in the „lazy“ river or relax in the Jacuzzi. Safety is a priority at the aqua park; in the event of inclement weather, some attractions may be closed. Every day, the aqua park’s amphitheater is filled with vibrant shows. The tiniest visitor to the aqua park will not be bored either; various intriguing and safe activities have been designed just for them, taking into consideration their age and the unique characteristics of young children’s behavior.
The country’s biggest aqua park, Action, is situated near the Gold Coast, one of Bulgaria’s most sought-after resorts. The park has several unique themed attractions where children may go on a thrilling trip, such as „Ruins of Sunken Atlantis“ or the Water Palace, where they will encounter a variety of emotions and discoveries. Another intriguing location is Treasure Island, where you may descend from various slides and experience what it’s like to be a true pirate. On an unique stage, daily animators conduct themed performances. Lifeguards are stationed along the aqua park’s perimeter. Over 30 unique slides and attractions greet travelers at this enthralling location.
The aqua park „Aqua police“ is designed in a tasteful Moorish style, making it one of the most attractive in all of Eastern Europe. It is situated in the Golden Sands resort’s park zone and has large-scale ancient ruins and castles, as well as other water activities. Aqua Planet in Primorsko is one of the country’s newest aqua parks. Along with a massive complex of slides and attractions, this aqua park offers several options for practicing various sports. Visitors may play tennis on many courts, organize a match on a volleyball or basketball court, visit a sophisticated fitness facility, or check out the SPA-salon.
Varna has a plethora of choices for arranging children’s recreation. This city is home to the „Festa Dolphinarium,“ a one-of-a-kind attraction where children and adults alike may see the enchantment of the world’s most intelligent creatures. The concerts are done in four languages, and the dolphins execute extraordinary acrobatic stunts and even whistle melodies throughout the performances. Additionally, in Varna, it is worthwhile to investigate the children’s towns, which are appropriate for both younger and older children. There are twenty distinct attractions on its property, including a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a kart track. The rope park „Mowgli,“ where children may traverse various lengths at a height of many meters, is deserving of special mention.
Visit Varna’s zoo, which opened more than half a century ago. All little guests are provided the option to ride a pony at the entryway. The zoo has a 30-thousand-square-meter area and is home to animals from every part of the world. Sunny Beach is a vast amusement park with a wide choice of activities to suit every taste. Numerous slides are created exclusively for children, which gives this park an edge over others. It is recommended to visit the Retro Museum in Varna, which introduces youngsters to twentieth-century history and the country’s socialist heritage. A visit to Ravadinovo Castle in Sozopol will transform your tour into a true immersion in the Middle Ages.
Bulgaria is the unknown jewel in Europe’s camping crown. Each year, the rich culture, fascinating history, and unspoilt landscape attract an increasing number of international camping aficionados. Bulgaria has grown in popularity as a destination for visitors seeking the novel and distinctive. Whether you travel by motorhome, caravan, or tent, you will find several stunning locations and spectacular vistas.
The northwestern route connects Vidin (the Danube Bridge to Romania) to Sofia, the capital city. The trip begins in Belogradchik, a town renowned for its unusual rock formations, and continues to the stunning Iskar Gorge, which runs through the Balkan Mountains and conceals several caves, rock formations, waterfalls, environmental paths, and monasteries.
Between Vidin and Ruse, the Danube river valley remains an unknown tourist route. Along with stunning views of Europe’s second biggest river, you may see a variety of historic and modern attractions, including old towns, fortifications, natural parks, rock churches, and caves. Make a point of trying fresh Danube fish, a regional specialty.
North Central Bulgaria
The area between Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, and Gabrovo is rich in cultural and historical monuments dating all the way back to ancient times. Reserves of architecture, historic Roman towns and medieval strongholds, monasteries, natural parks, caverns, and waterfalls, among others. Each stop along the way offers awe-inspiring scenery.
South Balkan Area
This is the historical and gastronomic path. Thracian kings and revolutionaries ruled the areas of mountains, valleys, forests, and thermal springs. The moderate environment is ideal for rose and wine smells. This huge valley is located between the Stara Planina and Sredna Gora mountains. On your travel, savor food and beverages infused with rose and lavender fragrances.
Mount Orpheus enchants with its illustrious history, enthralling music, delectable cuisine, mineral springs, cultural variety, and never-ending woods. Additionally, Bulgaria’s cultural capital – historic Plovdiv – is a city with various faces that will never tire you.
Southwestern Bulgaria, which runs along the Struma River and the motorway to Greece, is densely forested with historical and natural attractions, mineral water springs, vineyards, and traditional taverns. These are Bulgaria’s tallest mountains, providing spectacular panoramic vistas. Don’t forget to sample the delectable wines made from the traditional Melnik grapes.
Black Sea Coast
The enchanted road will lead you north to endless beaches, enormous woods, rocky coasts with caves, and rock monasteries, and south to bays with golden sands, historic towns, healing sanctuaries, and the mythical Strandzha Nature Park.
Bulgaria is strategically located in the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroads of three continents, and has four international airports, making it less than two hours by plane from the majority of European capitals and their large international airports with scheduled flights to destinations worldwide. These advantages, together with the expanding number of three, four, and five-star hotels in the country’s major metropolitan centers, along the Black Sea coast, and in mountain resorts, continue to increase the country’s appeal for congress tourism.
Sofia, the nation’s capital, offers particularly favorable circumstances for conference tourism. Numerous hotels and convention facilities, such as the National Palace of Culture and the INTER EXPO complex, provide sufficient meeting rooms. Almost all of the bigger hotels can supply conference and seminar equipment. There are also several institutes of higher education in the city that provide space for such meetings. Additional facilities are provided at the Central Army Club, the Boyana Residence, the Universiada Arena, and the newly constructed Sofia Armeets Arena, a multipurpose sports hall. Participants in business meetings may also take use of the city’s diverse cultural offerings, and Vitosha’s mountain tourist amenities are almost inside city borders. Rural tourism, ecotourism, and golf enthusiasts will also find options nearby.
Plovdiv, situated in central Bulgaria’s south, is another fantastic option for convention tourism. Not only does Plovdiv offer a range of cultural events, but it also draws tourists interested in the city’s rich history, architecture, educational institutions, and research facilities. Additionally, the city is well-known for its international trade fairs.
Black Marine resorts are ideal for combining convention tourism, sea relaxation, and spa services. Numerous resorts along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast provide year-round services and lodgings, including those at Varna, Burgas, and Dobrich, as well as resort complexes in Albena, Golden Sands, Sunny Beach, St. Konstantin and St. Helena, Dyuni, St. Vlas, and Primorsko. Additionally, visitors of resorts in northern Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts have the option of playing golf on some of Europe’s finest courses.
The mountain resorts of Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo provide year-round access to world-class hiking, skiing, and ecotourism amenities, as well as ideal settings for corporate gatherings.
In the town of Kyustendil and in the spa resorts of Hisarya, Velingrad, Devin, and Sandanski, a great mix of convention tourism and stays at well equipped spas is offered.
Vidin and Ruse on the Danube, as well as Montana and Pleven, all provide convention venues. Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria’s historic capital, provides magnificent meeting facilities and possibilities to visit the city’s many cultural landmarks. Additionally, the cities of Vratsa, Sevlievo, Ribaritsa, Teteven, and Troyan are recommended for their unmatched natural beauty and great facilities for business meetings. Additionally, the towns of Pazardzhik, Stara Zagora, Sliven, Dimitrovgrad, Haskovo, Yambol, and Kazanlak have fully equipped conference rooms.
Rural tourism is the greatest method to learn about Bulgaria’s customs. Tourists might get an appreciation for traditional Bulgarian lives and culture via their stay in a rural home. Bulgarians’ hospitability, the distinctive local food, the well-preserved folkways, traditions, and crafts, the architectural heritage communities, and the picturesque surroundings all contribute to making rural tourism in Bulgaria unforgettable.
Typically, visitors stay in a home constructed in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, and a large part of the rich experience is the delectable meals prepared by hosts using vegetables harvested fresh from the garden and herbs foraged from neighboring woods and fields. There are numerous activities available in the villages – visitors can assist the hostess in preparing a traditional dish, assist with farm work, rent a horse to visit nearby landmarks, pick aromatic herbs and a basket of forest berries or mushrooms, or ride a mountain bike along country roads and trails. Tourists may want to milk a cow, trim hay, prepare yogurt, assist in the production of white and yellow cheese, or help preserve jam. Almost every family in the villages is involved in the distillation of rakia and the production of wine. Bulgaria’s region is teeming with internationally renowned vineyards.
Tourists are often welcomed to dinner with their hosts in the evening. Traditional food is provided, folk songs are sung, and local stories are discussed. Generally, visitors may assist in the preparation of the cuisine. Some villages provide classes in pottery making, icon painting, and traditional melodies and dances, as well as sewing and embroidery displays.
Nation guesthouses are located across the country. There are several such chances in the Balkan Mountains area, in villages such as Apriltsi, Shipkovo, Ribaritsa, Medven, Zheravna, Ichera, Gradets, and the settlements in the Elena Balkan Mountain. Near Veliko Tarnovo is the Arbanasi architectural reserve, which has its own distinct ambiance. A few kilometers from Gabrovo lies another architectural reserve, the hamlet of Bozhentsi, which is also a very popular overnight stop for travellers.
The settlements of Govedartsi, Dobarsko, Mala Tsarkva, Beli Iskar, and Dolna Banya are especially popular in the Rila Mountains.
Every settlement in the Rhodope Mountains seems to provide visitor lodgings. Momchilovtsi, Gela, Shiroka Laka, Smilyan, Arda, Zabardo, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Dolen, Trigrad, and Yagodina are among the most popular. There, guests may sample regional specialties like as Cheverme and Patatnik and watch or participate in a gaida (Bulgarian piper) performance or competition.
Bansko, the gem of the Pirin Mountains, offers guests the chance to participate in traditional regional activities such as horse-drawn cart excursions and, of course, savoring local cuisine. Visitors may see a simulation of a brigand assault during a Haydouk Attack play or pose in traditional costumes.
Additionally, the settlements in the Strandzha Mountains – Balgari, Gramatikovo, Kosti, and Brashlyan – are quite picturesque. Her guests may choose to stroll to antique wind mills or fulling mills, ride a donkey, or take a donkey cart tour. Additionally, travelers may see a traditional dance on fire coals at the Strandzha.
Guests visiting the big Black Sea resorts may visit adjacent towns and experience the local friendliness.
Tourists may see village life in Dobrudzha (Bulgaria’s breadbasket), experience local traditions and food, and explore the region’s distinctive Dobrudzha farms.
Throughout the nation, visitors may participate in a variety of traditions and rituals, including dancing on hot coals, mummers, a Bulgarian wedding, singing and dancing on St. Lazar’s Day, singing and dancing on Christmas, and the Trifon Zarezan festival, among others.
Numerous folklore events take place around the nation as well. Among the most well-known are the Plovdiv International Folklore Festival in the city of Plovdiv; the Burgas International Folklore Festival; the Rozhen and Koprivshtitsa National Folklore Gatherings; the International Festival of Masquerade and Carnival Games and Rituals „Surva“ in the town of Pernik; and the National Gathering „Beautiful Thrace Sings and Dances.“
Bulgaria is an incredibly tempting location for individuals seeking new experiences, for those who prioritize sport in their everyday lives, and for those who define relaxation as keeping active and conquering new peaks and territory.
Along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, there are several chances for sport and outdoor activities. Almost every resort has clubs that provide instruction and equipment for diving, surfing, kitesurfing, and other outdoor activities. Jet skis are available for rent, as are boats for trips or fun fishing. The Black Sea provides ideal diving and underwater fishing conditions.
Bulgaria’s mountains encompass one-third of the country’s land area, and a well-developed network of eco-trails allows tourists to experience their extraordinary beauty. In several alpine locations – for example, in the towns of Vratsa, Lakatnik Rocks, and Malyovitsa – fully equipped climbing facilities have been constructed.
You may also ride horses across Bulgaria’s highlands. There are equestrian facilities located across the nation that provide shorter rides as well as guided pack excursions in both the highlands and plains. Visitors will find comparable services throughout the Black Sea shoreline. There is arguably nothing more romantic than a sunset horseback ride along the beach. Equestrian sports have been developed in the nation for about 90 years, and the town of Bozhurishte hosts an annual tournament sanctioned by the World Cup of Equestrian Sport.
Whitewater rafting on Bulgaria’s swift-flowing rivers such as the Struma, Iskar, and Mesta is ideal for those seeking a rush of adrenaline. Rafting and kayaking are other popular activities on the rivers of Iskar and Kresna Gorge. It’s especially thrilling to ride the rivers during the months of May and June, when the water levels are at their peak.
Sailing over the Bulgarian countryside is another technique to boost adrenaline levels. For example, the heights above the town of Sopot are among of the greatest paragliding locations in all of Europe. Additionally, paragliders and hang-gliders fly above Vitosha, Sliven, Kyustendil, Stara Zagora, and Albena.
Additionally, two of the Eurovelo network’s routes, which were built by the European Biking Federation, run through the nation. Eurovelo 13 runs the length of the old Iron Curtain, while Eurovelo 6 follows the Loire and Rheine rivers to the Danube’s mouth.
Bungee jumping is arranged on the country’s highest bridges and in the Prohodna cave. Leaping into the depths of a cave is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Bulgaria has been establishing itself as a world-class golf destination over the last several years. Golf courses developed by world-renowned golfers such Gary Player and Ian Woosnan are now available for play. Three courses run along the Northern Black Sea coast, three are located in Sofia, one is located near the mountain resort of Bansko, one is located in Pravets, and one is located near the town of Sliven.
The country’s hunting and fishing industries are also fairly established. Red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild boar, mouflon, chamois, capercaillie, bear, pheasant, and partridge comprise the animal population. Excellent hunting conditions for large game are accessible at the hunting game breeding farms in Botevgrad, Vitinya, Samokov, Aramliets, Borovets, Borovo, Zhenda, Kormisosh, Studen Kladenets, Rusalka, Palamara, Rakitovo, Midzhur, Parvenets hamlet, Bosna, Byalka, and Voden, among other locations. The Black Sea provides unparalleled prospects for fishing for turbot, mullet, bluefish, cod, mackerel, and bonito, while Bulgaria’s rivers are also teeming with fish. Additionally, the country’s many dams provide good chances for sport fishing.
SPA and Wellness tourism
Mineral springs have been known for their medicinal properties since the time of the Thracians, who were famous healers. „Thrace’s Holy Springs“ were well-known throughout the Roman Empire. Few nations in Europe can compete with Bulgaria’s spa, balneological, and wellness tourism, which is characterized by an abundance and variety of thermal mineral waters and therapeutic mud deposits. There are about 550 identified sources with 1,600 springs totaling 4,900 gallons per second. Waters with a low mineral concentration account for the majority – 66.7 percent of springs, compared to 14.4 percent with a greater mineral level and 17.9 percent that are naturally carbonated. Narechen (Asenovgrad region), Shipkovo (Troyan region), Ovcha Kupel (Sofia), Smochan (Lovech region), Voneshta Voda (Gabrovo region), Merichleri (Simeonovgrad area), and others all have cool mineral springs. Sapareva Banya (103oC) is the hottest spring in Bulgaria and Continental Europe, as well as the sole geyser. The most famous thermal springs in the Balkan Mountains are located in Varshets, Barziya, Lakatnik, and Opletnya; on the Sofia plain, they are located in Bankya, Gorna Banya, Knyazhevo, Ovcha Kupel, Sofia, and Pancharevo; in the Srednogorie, they are located in Strelcha (40°), Hisarya (49.5°), Banya (51.1°),
Nitrogen thermal waters are the most prevalent in Bulgaria, occurring in springs at Sapareva Banua, Simitli, Narechen, and Momin Prohod, among other locations. Carbonic acid is present in the spring waters of Mihalkovo, Slivenski Mineralni Bani, and Stefan Karadzhovo; hydrogen sulphide is present in the thermal waters in the Sofia lowlands. Half of the thermal waters have elevated amounts of radioactivity, exceeding 15 eman/l, including the Klisura spring (200 eman/l) and the Strelcha spring (250 eman/l). Radioactivity levels were particularly high in the Momina Banya springs (560 eman/l) and the Narechen springs (1,300 eman/l).
Bulgaria also has significant reserves of curative firth mud and peat. Curative mud deposits are found in the regions of Shabla Tuzla, Tuzlata, Varna Lake, Pomorie, Atanasovsko Lake, and Mandra Dam; peat deposits are found near Batak Dam (Rhodope Mountain), Baykalsko village (Konyavska Mountain), Straldzha town (middle Tundzha river valley), Varna Lake, and Sadovo village (Gornotrakiyska Lowland). Spring deposits containing curative mud are located near the village of Marikostinovo (Sandanski-Petrich valley) and the town of Banya (Karlovo valley), and artificial peloids are located near Ovcha Kupel (Sofia City), Velingrad, Asenovgrad, Slivenski Bani, Starozagorski Bani, Haskovski Bani, Sapareva Banya, Blagoevgrad, Hisarya, Pavel
The country’s temperature is unusually pleasant in comparison to classic balneology vacation locations in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Each year, around 20% of the time is sunny, which is greater than Northern, Northwestern, and Central Europe. Along the Black Sea coast, there are 30% less foggy days than along the Atlantic coast or in certain regions of the Mediterranean. Bulgaria receives less rainfall than the rest of Europe throughout the spring and summer months.
Mineral springs in the south of the nation are impacted by the Mediterranean environment; others are situated in mountainous areas with coniferous trees and crystal springs; and yet others are located along the Black Sea coast. This, together with the vast array of herbs and other flora used in aromatherapy and phytotherapy, enables year-round effective treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases, as well as wonderful conditions for relaxation.
Bulgaria features 48 mountain resorts, 15 seaside resorts, and 38 spa resorts. Among the most well-known balneological, climatic, and mud curative Black Sea resorts are Albena, Golden Sands, St. Konstantin and Helena, Sunny Day, Sunny Beach, Riviera, Balchik, Tuzlata, Varna Mud Curative Baths (Varnenski Kalolechebni Bani), Pomorie, Primorsko, Kiten, Sozopol, and Ahtopol. Hisar, Velingrad (the Balkan Peninsula’s spa capital), Sandanski, Bankya, Kyustendil, Narechen, Pavel Banya, Kostenets, Varshets, Burgaski Mineralni Bani, Momin Prohod, Slivenski Mineralni Bani, Starozagorski Mineralni Bani, Haskovski Mineralni Bani, Sapareva Banya, Banya, Pamporovo,
Additionally, the country is well-known for its highly qualified personnel, superior accommodations, and diverse programs and services, which include massage, mineral water baths, pearl baths, reflex therapy, traditional needle therapy, medicinal exercises, acupuncture, laser therapy, acupressure, paraffin treatment, apitherapy, phytotherapy, mud treatment, aroma therapy, anti-stress programs, dieting and weight-loss programs, balneo-cosmetics, sauna, solarium, and fitning. All of this may be paired with a variety of tourist packages designed to introduce visitors to Bulgaria’s cultural history, folkways, and traditional food.
Mountain & Ski Tourism
Bulgaria is about 30% mountainous. The country’s mountains are extraordinarily varied in relief and provide an abundance of opportunities for leisure, as well as sports and entertainment, for travelers, since winter and summer circumstances are exceptionally favorable for tourism. The ski season at medium-high and alpine resorts lasts around 130 days each year, while enthusiasts may stroll through centuries-old woods throughout the summer months. Numerous hotels and leisure facilities cater to a broad range of interests and preferences.
There are several well-marked hiking trails in Bulgaria’s highlands, including the southern traverses of the Kom – Emine European track E-3, the European trail E-4, which runs from Vitosha to Verila, Rila, and Pirin, and the European hiking route E-8, which runs from Rila to the Rhodopes.
Bulgaria’s longest mountain range is the Balkan Mountains. They are sometimes referred to simply as the Balkans, which is also the term given to the whole peninsula. It is the dividing line between the north and south halves of the nation. The Balkan Mountains are renowned for their extensive network of mountain trails. Botev is the Balkans’ tallest summit (2,376 meters above sea level). Berkovitsa, Ribaritsa, Belogradchik, Beklemeto, Uzana, Karandila, Chiprovtsi, Varshets, Troyan, Teteven, Apriltsi, Tryavna, Elena, Kotel, Zheravna, and Bozhentsi, among other sites in the Balkans, provide excellent conditions for climbing, skiing, and spa tourism. Tourists may also visit mountain monasteries, which are the strongholds of Bulgarian Orthodoxy. The Sredna Gora, Bulgaria’s second longest mountain range, is located next to and parallel to the Balkan Mountains.
The Rila and Pirin mountains are alpine in nature, with steep ridges, high summits, deep valleys, and gorges. Mount Musala, Bulgaria’s and the Balkan Peninsula’s tallest mountain, is situated in the Rila Mountains (2,925 m). One of Bulgaria’s most famous monuments is situated here — the seven glacial lakes that range in elevation from 2,095 to 2,535 meters. Borovets is the biggest resort in the Rila range. It is known for its superb ski routes and mountain lodges. Additionally, Panichishte and Sapareva Banya provide unique opportunity to combine trekking, skiing, and spa tourism. Malyovitsa, Semkovo, and Govedartsi ski resorts are all quite popular with visitors.
Additional outstanding hiking and skiing options are available in the Pirin Mountains, which are renowned for their alpine splendor. Bansko, Dobrinishte, and Predela resorts are situated here, as are the Popovi Livadi and Kamenitsa lodges. Bansko has evolved into a European and worldwide destination, hosting a number of World Cup tournaments in alpine skiing and biathlon in recent years. It has spectacular ski routes, an abundance of hotels and lodges, and the famous Pirin cuisine. Additionally, Dobrinishte and the tourist complexes in the Predela area provide options for relaxation and a variety of forms of entertainment. Mount Vihren, Bulgaria’s second highest mountain and the third highest on the Balkan Peninsula, is also situated in the Pirin range (2,914 meters above sea level). Pirin national park is included on UNESCO’s list of world natural heritage sites.
The Rhodope Mountains, also known as Orpheus’s home, are separated between an alpine western section and a lowland eastern section. Pamporovo, situated in a thickly wooded location, is the highest resort here, featuring skiing that matches that of Bulgaria’s other great winter destinations. Additional recreational opportunities are available at neighboring Chepelare, Yundola, Belmeken, Batak, and Byala Cherkva. Tourists may admire the Rhodope villages of Momchilovtsi, Gela, Dolen, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, and Shiroka Laka, among others, and try traditional Rhodope cuisine. The Rhodope Mountains are filled with hotels that provide trekkers with decent lodging. Golyam Perelik is the tallest summit in the Rhodopes (2,191 meters above sea level).
Mount Vitosha is situated near the country’s capital, Sofia. It is ideal for mountain ecotourism due to its stunning natural surroundings and several well-marked hiking paths and cultural monuments. Additionally, the mountain is home to the Balkan Peninsula’s oldest natural park, the Vitosha Nature Reserve. On the mountain, there are two ski areas, Aleko and Konyarnika, which both provide great conditions for skiing and snowboarding throughout the winter months. Cherni Vrah is the highest summit (2,290 meters above sea level).
Additionally, skiing is available in the Osogovska Mountains at „Lyudmil Yankov,“ and the ski area „Valchi Dol“ is located in the range’s northeastern section. Ruen is the region’s tallest summit (2,251 meters above sea level).
The Belasitsa Mountains are renowned for its mountain hiking. There are two tourist lodges. Radomir is the highest summit (2,029 meters above sea level).
Strandzha is unique from the other Bulgarian mountains due to its lower peaks and warmer temperature. Strandzha is rich in vegetation and animals.
While the mountains of Bulgaria are welcoming throughout the year, it must be recalled that in order to fully appreciate their beauty, tourists must arrive prepared, which includes gathering information about the routes they want to take and the weather conditions. Additionally, visitors should exercise caution in order to maintain the pure beauty of Bulgaria’s breathtaking mountains.
Black Sea coast Tourism
Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is an idyllic summer vacation destination. Cape Emine is the point at where the Balkan Mountains meet the sea, and it is here that the Black Sea coast is conditionally divided into a northern and southern section. The coastline is 378 kilometers long, with a total of 209 beaches covering an area of 16 square kilometers. Several are rather large, while others are quite tiny and nestled in lovely maritime coves. The beaches and sea provide ideal conditions for a variety of water activities, including surfing, water skiing, diving, underwater exploration, and fishing, both above and below the surface. Albena, Bunite (Varna), Dyuni, Elenite, Pomorie (east beach), Harmanite (Sozopol), St. Vlas (central beach and Venid beach), Sunny Beach (north and south beach), and Sunny Day beach all received awards for excellence in 2011.
The Black Sea’s salty content is modest, ranging between 16% and 17% in coastal waters, and its high and low tides are negligible. During the summer, the water temperature averages 22° to 24° C, and in shallower parts, it may reach 26°, making it ideal for swimming.
Several luxury marine complexes and resort communities have established yacht terminals in recent years. The towns of Rusalka, Tyulenovo, Balchik, Golden Sands, and Varna all provide excellent boating options along the northern Black Sea coast. On the southern Black Sea coast, yacht tourist options include Burgas and the resorts of St. Vlas, Nesebar, Sozopol, and Dyuni.
Apart from the sun, sand, and water, Black Sea resorts include opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding, as well as ecotourism, photo safaris, and excursions to natural, cultural, and architectural treasures. Three world-class golf courses are located in the northern portion of the Black Sea.
Several Bulgarian rivers empties into the Black Sea. Their mouths are surrounded by lush, windy woods that thrive on wetness. A few rivers (the Ropotamo, Kamchia, and Veleka) are navigable by small motor boats, providing visitors with unique excursions. The rivers Batova, Kamchia, Ropotamo, and Veleka are known for their deep woods, which provide a shelter for nature lovers. Visitors to the Southern Black Sea may enjoy the mild temperatures of Strandzha and the centuries-old traditions of the mountain communities. Tourists can also enjoy the magnificent Black Sea lakes at Alepu, Arkutino, Atanasovsko, Beloslav, Burgas, Durankulak (where an eneolithic settlement mound dating from 4600–4200 years BC, as well as a temple dedicated to the goddess Kibela, have been discovered), Ezeretsko, Pomorie, Shabla, Varna, the Balchik tuzla, the Nanevska t Numerous uncommon flora and animals may be found in these coastal lakes’ lagoons and firths, and deposits of medicinal mud (firth mud) have been discovered in the Pomorie lake, the Varna lake, the Balchik Tuzla lake, the Shabla lake, the Rusalka lake, and the Atanasovsko lake.
Mineral springs are also found along the coastline, and the combination of these natural resources has contributed to the popularity of tourism that combines trips to spas, balneological centers, and wellness resorts with sea vacations.
Additionally, tourists may visit the five Black Sea islands of St. Anastasia, St. Ivan (where recently discovered remains of St. John the Baptist), St. Peter, St. Kirik and Yulita, and St. Tomas.
The Black Sea resorts are well suited for family vacations as well as solitary getaways and entertainment. Albena, Rusalka, St. Konstantin and St. Helena, Riviera, Obzor, Elenite, and Dyuni are just a few of the family-friendly resorts. Younger visitors like Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Primorsko, Kiten, and Lozenets due to the abundance of clubs and bars and other forms of entertainment. Sunny Beach is the country’s biggest resort complex, and it often stages parties including internationally renowned DJs and entertainers.
Sozopol and Nesebar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are well-known for their mix of stunning seaside scenery and ancient sites. Both of these villages have a thousand-year history and draw a continuous stream of summer visitors.
Kranevo, Chayka, Sunny Day, St. Iliya, St. Vlas, Ravda, Pomorie, Chernomorets, Tsarevo, Ahtopol, and Sinemorets all provide excellent leisure opportunities.
Bulgarian Black Sea resorts provide a variety of lodging alternatives, ranging from expensive four- or five-star hotels to modest romantic family hotels that adhere to international standards.
Several hotels in Black Sea resorts operate throughout the year, hosting meetings and congresses and hosting a range of special events and promotions. Visitors visiting Bulgaria’s Black Sea region may take part in a variety of cultural events, including the Kavarna Rock Fest, Varna Summer, Apolonia, Spirit of Burgas, the Burgas International Folklore Festival, and fire dance displays.
Exceptionally diverse biodiversity, natural parks, one-of-a-kind natural sites, stunning caverns and canyons, and glacial lakes — it’s impossible to put into words how diverse and wondrous Bulgarian nature is. Every fan of breathtaking landscapes and a close encounter with nature will find their heaven here. Excellent circumstances have been provided for a variety of environmentally friendly activities, including hiking, mountain crossing, bird, animal, and plant observation, and visiting natural monuments. However, fundamental and guiding is always the notion of maintaining and safeguarding nature.
Bulgaria is Europe’s second most biodiverse country. There are around 12,360 species of plants, with 3,700 of them being higher species. Bulgaria’s Red Book contains 763 species. Around 750 plants have been listed as medicinal, with 70% of them being commercially viable, and the nation exports around 15 thousand tons of herbs each year. The forest fund encompasses around 4.0 million hectares. This equates to around 36.85 percent of the country’s total land area. The oak and beech woods are the most widespread of the leaf-fall broad-leaved forests. Oak woods are found across the nation at elevations of up to 1,000 meters, whereas beech forests are found mostly in the country’s central mountains. Dense woods have formed along the rivers Batova, Kamchiya, Ropotamo, and Veleka’s lower currents. Natural coniferous woods cover an area of up to 2,200 meters above sea level. They are the most numerous species in the Rhodopes. They are mostly made up of spruce, fir, and white pine. Slavyanka and Pirin mountains are home to black fir, whereas the Middle Balkan Mountains, West Rhodope, Middle Pirin, Rila, and Vitosha are home to white fir.
Bulgaria is home to about 27,000 species of invertebrates, and over 750 species of vertebrates, including 397 species of birds, 207 species of freshwater and Black Sea fish, 94 species of mammals, and 52 species of amphibians and reptiles. The country’s seven zoo geographic areas are distinct. Four of them are part of the Mediterranean subregion, while three are part of the Euro-Siberian subregion. The nation is home to European, Euro-Siberian, and Mediterranean species, and numerous relic species may be found in areas influenced by the Mediterranean Sea’s climate. Bulgaria’s cave fauna is home to more than 100 species. The Black Sea is a topic of sport and commercial fishing due to its fish richness.
Three national parks – Pirin (UNESCO), Rila, and Central Balkan – and eleven natural parks – Belasitsa, Balgarka, Vratsa Balkan, Golden Sands, Persina, Rila Monastery, Rusenski Lom, Sinite Kamani, Strandzha, and the Shumen Plateau – have been created in the country. To protect the biodiversity, 89 reserves have been established (17 were designated biosphere reserves under the UNESCO program „Human and Biosphere“ – Ali Botush, Bayuvi Dupki – Dzindzhiritsa, Bistrishko Branishte, Boatin, Chervenata Stena, Chuprene, Dzhendema, Dupkata, Kamchia, Kupena, Mantaritsa, Marichini Lakes, Uzun Two of the natural sites – Natural Park Pirin and Srebarna Reserve – have been included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Pirin national park is a protected area intended to conserve the Pirin mountain’s distinctive scenery. Within the park’s boundaries stands the country’s oldest tree, the Baykusheva Mura, which is more than 1,300 years old. The park is home to several distinct eco systems and uncommon plant and animal species, the majority of which are included in Bulgaria’s Red Book.
The biosphere reserve Srebarna encompasses the lake Srebarna and its environs. It is home to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal species and is one of Europe’s most intriguing wetlands. It is traversed by one of the migratory bird routes between North Europe and Central Africa — the so-called Via Pontica. Via Aristotelis is another bird passage that runs across the Struma river valley.
Four of the reserves have been designated as wetlands under the Ramsar Convention – Arkutino, Atanasovsko Lake, Durankulak, and Srebarna. Birdlife International designated 22 sites as important bird areas in Europe: the natural landmark Alepu swamp, the Atanasovsko Lake reserve, the Belene Island reserve, the Burgas Lake, Cape Emine, the Kaliakra reserve, the natural landmark Durankulak, the natural landmark Zaskoto, the Nameless island in the Danube river near Nova, Cherna, the Kamchia reserve, the Malko Sharkovo dam, the Mandrensko lake, and the Ovcharits
Hundreds of kilometers of marked eco paths have been created to provide access to many of Bulgaria’s hidden treasures (Negovanska path – along the Negovanka river gorge in the village of Emen, Veliko Tarnovo; Tran eco path in close proximity to the Erma river gorge in Western Bulgaria; Dryanovo eco path near the Dryanovo Monastery; Vratsa eco path in the natural park Vratsa Balkan, etc.) equipped with various relaxation In the mountains, trails totaling more than 37,000 kilometers have been established. Several international tourist routes travel through the country, including the European tourist route E-3’s last stretch (Kom – Emine), the European tourist route E-4 – Vitosha – Verila – Rila – Pirin, and the European tourist route E-8 – Rila – Rhodope.
Anyone interested in learning about nature and rare plant and animal species is welcome to visit any of Bulgaria’s protected areas or tourist centers. Not only do the country’s national and natural parks give access to untamed environment, but they also provide particular education programs. Visitor centers are located throughout the communities around the parks. The Bulgarian Tourist Union, the Mountain Rescue Service, and the Bulgarian Red Cross are all responsible for visitors’ protection and safety.
Bulgaria is a nation steeped in thousands of years of history and endowed with an old cultural legacy. Visitors will discover a wealth of fascinating information on the country’s history, culture, ethnography, religion, architecture, and arts. Throughout the nation, unique archaeological monuments abound – Neolithic settlement mounds, Thracian sanctuaries and graves, Roman ruins, Byzantine and Medieval strongholds, architectural reserves, ethnographic complexes, churches and monasteries, and Tekkes (mosques), to name a few.
Despite occupying less than 2% of Europe’s land area, Bulgaria has recorded around 40,000 historical monuments (7 of which are included on the UNESCO list of global cultural heritage sites), 36 cultural reserves, 160 monasteries, and approximately 330 museums and galleries. This comprises ancient artifacts, Thracian graves, Greek-era structures, Roman fortifications, historical monuments from the First and Second Bulgarian Kingdoms, and architectural highlights from the Age of Revival.
Bulgaria’s UNESCO-listed monuments include the Kazanlak Tomb (4th–3rd centuries BC), the Thracian Tomb near Sveshtari village near Razgrad (3rd century BC), the Madara Horseman (8th century), the Boyana Church (10th–11th century), the Ivanovo Rock Churches near Ruse (10th–14th century), the Rila Monastery (10th century), and the Old Town in Nesebar.
The Karanovska village mound enables the determination of the Karanovska Neolithic eras and serves as a model for the evolution of European ancient civilizations. The Valley of the Thracian Kings, where more than 15 tombs have been uncovered, is of particular importance. Perperikon is likewise situated in our country’s territory. It is believed to be the temple of Dionysus, with a prophesy chamber comparable to that at Delphi devoted to Apollo. This is said to have been the capital of the Odryssian Kingdom. The greatest Thracian royal structure in Southeast Europe, complete with a tomb temple, was unearthed near the settlement of Starosel. In the Varna necropolis, the world’s oldest gold was uncovered. Numerous golden treasures from Thrace have also been discovered, including the Panagyurishte, Valchitran, and Rogozen riches. Numerous traces of Thracian, Hellenistic, and Roman civilization survive. At Augustra Trayana, Trimontium, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Pautalia, Akre, Mesemvria, Apolonia, and Serdika, for example, whole Roman city complexes have been discovered.
Numerous monasteries in Bulgaria have played an important role in maintaining the Bulgarian Orthodox religion and culture. They include the Rila Monastery, the Bachkovo Monastery, the Troyan Monastery, the Zemen Monastery, the Rozhen Monastery, the Kilifarevski Monastery, and the Sokolski Monastery. There are also several churches around the nation that hold remarkable specimens of Bulgarian iconographic, woodcarving, and painting schools, as well as precious manuscripts. St. John the Baptist’s remains were discovered on the island of St. John, off the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.
Numerous cities, towns, and villages around Bulgaria have cultural monuments from the Bulgarian Revival period, including Kotel, Koprivshtitsa, Karlovo, Kalofer, Sopot, Elena, Tryavna, Bansko, and Melnik. Gela, Shiroka Laka, Momchilovtsi, Orehovo, Smilyan, Arda, Dolen, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Pletena, Bozhentsi, Ribaritsa, Zheravna, Oreshak, Medven, Skandalo, Arbanasi, Balgari, Kosti, Brashlyan, and Mladezhko. Visitors may admire Bulgarian crafts in a variety of methods, including woodcarving, embroidery, ceramics, and knitting. There is, for example, the architectural and ethnographic open-air museum at Etara near Gabrovo, the ethnographic complexes The Old Dobrich and Chiflika near Albena, Bansko, the ethnographic complex Kulata – Kazanlak, the ethnographic complex Zlatograd, Varosha – Blagoevgrad, and the ethnographic complex Brashlyan – Malko Tarnovo, among others.
Additionally, visitors may watch traditional economic operations on our grounds, such as rose oil manufacturing and wine production.
Bulgaria’s calendar is unusually varied, preserving the country’s folk traditions and customs – Surva (St. Vasil’s Day), St. Jordan’s Day – Epiphany, St. John’s Day, St. Anton’s Day, Trifon Zarezan, Martuvane (giving martenitsas), the first Sunday before Lent, Mummer’s Day, St. Todor’s Day, the Annunciation Day, Easter, St. George’s Numerous Bulgarian village festivals and folkways retain historical traditions and practices, including St. Lazar’s Day, Palm Sunday, the mummers, carol singing, and fire dance. The folklore festivals and gatherings are particularly appealing – for example, the International Mummers Festival „Starchevata“ (Razlog), the International Masquerade Games Festival „Surva“ (Pernik), the Ethnicities Gathering (municipality of Beloslav), the International Folklore Festival (Veliko Tarnovo), the National Folklore Festival „Rozhen“, and the International Bagpipe Festival in the village of Gela.
The country is home to over 200 museums, including the unique Museum of Yogurt in the village of Studen Izvor (Tran region), the Museum of Roses in Kazanlak, the Museum of Transport in Ruse, the Museum of Fretwork in Tryavna, the Museum of Humor in Gabrovo, the Museum of Medical History in Varna, the Museum of Mosaics in Devnya, the Museum of Salt in the town of Pomorie, the Polytechnic
The country’s cultural calendar is jam-packed with activities. Among them are the Sofia Film Festival, the „Varna Summer“ festival, the „Music Days in March“ in Ruse, the „Sofia Music Weeks,“ and „Apolonia.“
Sofia’s airport has just four terminals. One of them is referred to as the former airport. The second was completed around 11 years ago and handles approximately 2.5 million people yearly. The third port is a VIP-class aerial harbor, and as such, the terminal infrastructure is state-of-the-art. Generally, the fourth terminal is closed to the general public and only handles government planes. Burgas is Bulgaria’s next major international airport. There are more planes servicing foreigners during the tourism season. Two terminals are operational on airport property. One of them is quite young; it opened less than three years ago. Burgas has a large pleasant waiting area for travelers, a VIP lounge with a high degree of luxury, currency exchange offices, international bank offices, ATMs, and restaurants serving not just vibrant native specialities, but also conventional European food. Additionally, you may hire a vehicle or arrange for transportation to a hotel on the terminal’s property.
The last international airport is at Varna. The airport is just 7 kilometers from the city center. As a result, you may reach there fast by taxi or public transportation. Three terminals have been identified as operational at the airport. The airport’s administration has established high-quality circumstances for passengers’ pleasure and comfort. You may browse around the stores and bright souvenir shops here. Additionally, duty-free retail complexes and currency exchange offices are available. Additionally, you may relax in the café or sample many masterpieces of international cuisine at nearby restaurants. Additionally, the airport has a nursery and a nice resting area for those with impairments.