Bulgaria is a small country in Eastern Europe with a population of a little more than 7 million people.
It has a very long and exciting history and is considered to be one of the oldest countries in Europe.
With its spectacular mountains, vibrant cities, golden beaches and famous ski resorts, this crossroads between the Mediterranean and Easter Europe is becoming a preferred place to visit.
The former Communist cities are changing their image, growing vibrant, modern and attractive spots full of places to walk, shop or experience the lively nightlife. In contrast, the smaller villages have preserved their authentic spirit, rich folklore traditions and the hospitality of the people, which the country is very proud of.
Bulgaria has something for everybody.
Passionate hikers, adventurers, explorers, culture and art lovers, wildlife viewers, etc. If you are a nature lover or a hiker, you will find a lot of opportunities as there is a variety of mountain ranges in the country with well-mapped trails through forests, past lakes, and waterfalls. There are great places for kayaking and caving as well.
If you are looking for a place to relax and soak some sun, Bulgaria is an excellent idea. The sandy beaches are one of the main attractions in the country during the summer. The Black Sea coastline offers excellent facilities for water sports, recreation and tourism. Along the shore, you will find everything from party towns, full of young people, clubs and bars to ancient places with traditional cobbled streets and historic buildings.
Bulgaria is a haven for those interested in history. There is a lot to see regarding Orthodox churches, monasteries and religious art, rich cultural and folklore heritage as well as ruins from different periods and peoples.
So, Bulgaria is a great option if you want to have a bit of everything at a very affordable price.Having said all that, it comes as no surprise that over the past few years this little country has turned into an attractive destination for many tourists.
Bulgaria has a lot to offer and below we will share some of the must see places in this beautiful country.
The Black Sea Beaches
A good place to start your trip is the famous Black Sea coastline with long stretches of sandy beaches, traditional fishing villages, and ancient towns. There is a huge choice of accommodation options ranging from small and cozy, family hotels to luxury, five-star complexes. Young people flock to the glitzy resorts Sunny Beach and Golden Sands, those interested in culture and history go to the small towns of Sozopol or Nessebar and the ones who do not want to go too far away from the city life stay in Varna or Burgas.
Sozopol cannot surprise you with sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife. It is a place you should put high on your must-see list. It is one of the oldest towns along the coastline and a favorite resort. Sozopol is easy to reach if you head south from Burgas. The ancient name of the city is Apollonia (named after a temple of Apollo), and it dates back to around 6th century BC. If you want to experience some culture and history, visit this charming, little town for a casual walk.
Another pearl on the Black Sea coast is the historic town of Nessebar, a Unesco World Heritage Site. It was a Thracian settlement named Melsambria or Mesembria in Greek. Bulgarians, Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Crusaders and Ottomans all left their marks on the narrow peninsula on which the town is located. A walk through the cobblestone streets of the city will bring you back to the 5th century with remains from forts and more than 40 brick churches.
Bulgaria has many monasteries worth visiting, but the biggest and most popular one is the Rila Monastery complex close to Sofia. It was named after St. Ivan Rilski, who lived in a cave nearby in the 10th century. The monastery has been burnt and rebuilt, but now it stands in all its glory and attracts tourists from all over the world.
This is an oasis perfect for pilgrims, people interested in history, religion, and art, as well as for everybody who wants to enjoy this stunning place. When you enter the courtyard, you will be amazed by this majestic monastery with its tiled roofs and five domes set on the background of the Rila Mountains.
The Rose Valley
Bulgarians have planted roses for centuries. The Rose Valley is a magical place transformed in the month May and June by the breathtaking view of thousands of blossoming roses. Each year the towns of the region celebrate the Festival of Roses when they choose the Queen of the Roses among the local girls and young women.
The rose oil produced here is used in perfumery and cosmetics by big brands. If you come here, you will also have the opportunity to try various products made from roses like syrup, jam, and even chocolate.
Plovdiv Old Town
Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria. It has a beautiful old town with great examples of traditional architecture. It is best known for its well-preserved Roman amphitheater as well as typical Bulgarian Renaissance architecture characterized by colorful houses and unique exterior decorations. Walking in the old town is a delight because the atmosphere is special. There are a lot of galleries, house museums, little shops and restaurants worth visiting.
Koprivshtitsa is located two hours east of Sofia, but once you get there, you will be taken back to the year 1876 when the Bulgarians fought against their Ottoman rulers. This town has preserved the traditional architecture and atmosphere of the time with its colorful houses typical for the National Revival style.
This is a place where you can learn a lot about the history of the country and its people. There are also many memorials, museums, and houses where you can see some ethnographical treasures, national costumes, jewelry, artwork, weapons and much more.
This town is located in central Bulgaria and is a popular tourist destination. It is the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and offers an exciting trip back. Here you can see the reconstructed fortresses and palaces of the Bulgarian tsars, who ruled until the Ottoman defeated them in 1393. Here you can still sense the greatness of these times when walking through the picturesque town.
With all it has to offer Bulgaria will attract more and more tourists shortly. Will stop being an off the beaten track destination reserved for travelers and explorers. Art, culture, history, nature as well as great opportunities for outdoor sports and leisure. Bulgaria is the perfect place to enjoy all of this and more.