The avid travellers know for sure that Bulgaria ranks first in almost every survey of the cheapest destinations in Europe. However, the Eastern European country has something more to offer than its price list. Let me introduce you to the reasons why Bulgaria should be your next travel destination for the long-awaited vacation. For starters, let's understand where is Bulgaria!
Bulgaria on the map
Map of Bulgaria shows that the country occupies 22% of the total area of the Balkan Peninsula. The plan also indicates that the country borders with Greece, Serbia, Turkey, Romania and Macedonia. By geographical location, Bulgaria can be seen on the map as quite advantageous, as it is located at the crossroads of Western and Central Europe, as well as the Middle East. Moreover, the Black Sea connects Bulgaria with Ukraine and the Dardanelles and Bosporus with the Mediterranean countries. The largest cities of Bulgaria are Sofia (capital of Bulgaria), Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Ruse. Where is Bulgaria clearly, so let's begin the reasons for your soon vacation in Bulgaria!
1. Very nice prices
First of all, let's deal with the price. Sunny Beach Bulgaria, one of the most popular beach resorts in the country on the Black Sea, for the fourth time in the last four years, the tourism press called it the most budget beach holiday in Europe. Using as a barometer a basket of necessities for recreation, including three meals a day for two with a bottle of wine (here only 18 euros), Sunny Beach Bulgaria was far ahead of the second place, which took the Algarve resort in Portugal.
2. The beaches here offer much more than just Sun
What about the beaches? Sunny Beach Bulgaria sound idyllic. "It's cheap and fun, with some pretty rough and ready-made utilities in the background," Travel Adriana Bridge told the Telegraph newspaper, after visiting the resort of Varna, north of Sunny Beach. "There are many good cafes and restaurants here. We had a couple of beers (1.30 euros for two) and ordered fresh fish caught in the Black Sea".
3. There are cute coastal towns
Approximately one-third of 378 km of the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria consists of golden sandy beaches. Along with it are charming coastal outputs such as Nessebar, "The Pearl of the Black Sea" and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Amazing epic mountains
Bulgarian beauty does not stop at the beaches. Indeed, it barely begins, given the amazingly picturesque mountains of the country. Take the Rila Ridge, the highest in Bulgaria and full of tempting hikes. Its ancient Thracian name means "well-poured mountain", which explains why it is dotted with shining lakes.
5. Not exactly paradise on earth, but very closeMusala Mountain
- the highest peak - 2925 meters. As Paul Bloomfield, writing for Telegraph Travel last year, commented: Well, heaven is not a place on earth. But if it were, you could reasonably place it about 40 miles south of Sofia because the top of Musala is as close to the monastery of angels as it is between the Alps and the Caucasus.
6. Pirin National Park
If you think: "where to go in Bulgaria?" do not forget the Pirin. This national park occupies a large part of the Pirin Mountains in South-Western Bulgaria. The park includes seven settlements subordinated to the regional administrative centre Blagoevgrad. These are Bansko, Gotse Delchev, Razlog, Sandanski, Strumyani, Kresna and Simitli. The Pirin National Park was established in 1962 and was initially called the Vihren National Park (the highest peak of Pirin), covering 6212 hectares in more top places such as Demyanitskaya and Vihrenskaya parts. Over the years, the territory of the park has been repeatedly expanded, and nowadays the Pirin National Park stretches over 40,000 hectares. Since 1983, it has been taken under UNESCO protection.
7. Bulgaria has over 120 monasteries
One of the most popular is Rila Monastery, which is located in the Rila Mountains. Founded in the 10th century and protected by UNESCO, the monastery was destroyed by fire in the early 19th century, after which it was restored and is now a "masterpiece of the creative genius of the Bulgaria people," according to UNESCO.
8. The relics of the communist past are kept here
However, this is not all glitz and glamour, Bulgaria, as a former member of the Eastern Bloc, also boasts a healthy dose of Stalinist architecture. In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is Largo, a glorious communist ensemble of three buildings of socialist classicism, commissioned in 1951 and completed in 1957. The statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was replaced in 2000 by the figure of St. Sophia.
9. Beautiful frescoes in the Monument House
The house-monument of the Communist Party of Bulgaria, built on top of Mount Buzludzha in the Central Balkan Mountains, is another stupid one. Opened in 1981, it recalls the early beginning of the Bulgarian Communist Party on a hillside in 1891. The interior decoration of the now ruined building is truly a landmark worth seeing.
10. It also boasts stunning cathedrals
Behind the brutalism of the communist era, how about the serene, majestic domes of St. Alexander Nevsky's Cathedral? The building is one of the largest Orthodox temples in the world, the second-largest in the Balkan Peninsula and can accommodate 10,000 people. In a showcase to the left of the altar, there is a rib of St. Alexander Nevsky.
11. Bulgaria goes back in time
Let us return to the question "where to go in Bulgaria?", and the answer is Plovdiv. As evidenced by two outstanding Roman amphitheatres, Bulgaria has a Roman past (after Thracian and Persian). The theatre in Plovdiv, built in the second century AD, is one of the best-preserved in the world and is still used for performances, accommodating up to 3500 spectators. The Plovdiv Amphitheatre has 14 rows of monolithic marble seats, and below there is an underground passage that leads to the street. It is one of the many preserved buildings from the times of Ancient Rome in Plovdiv. The Ancient Philippopolis Stadium is one of the most remarkable objects of the ancient city. In 1995, it received the status of national cultural heritage. You can get here every day from 9 to 6 pm with an entrance ticket for five lions.
12. It would help if you tried delicious and healthy local dishes
With so many places, recreation in Bulgaria will require Bulgarian fuel. Be sure to try the kufte, Bulgarian meatballs, where you can also see the influence of Turkish cuisine. Residents also like fresh fish, especially caught along the Black Sea coast, gyuveche, spicy vegetable stew, as well as traditional bread such as roast or travail.
13. Try the water of fire in Bulgaria
The national drink of Bulgaria is paradise - fruit cognac, which is most often made from fermented grapes or plum. Even though the offers for purchase in the store are likely to be about 40 per cent ABV, make sure that a homemade brew that can stretch to 80 per cent ABV does not confuse you at the time of purchase.
14. You can also ski here
Bulgaria is also home to some of the best - and cheapest - ski resorts in Eastern Europe. Bansko is the most popular (and often appears at the top of the polls, given the most affordable ski resorts of the continent). "Bansko is an old town located on a flat valley floor in the picturesque Pirin National Park, which was catapulted in the 21st century by installing modern elevators on its slopes and building many new residential buildings, many of which are close to the base of a new access gondola to the slopes," - say Chris Gill and Dave Watts for Telegraph Ski and Snowboard.
15. Bulgaria nightlife
"Held on top of a mountain, over fields full of cows and wildflowers, three hours from Plovdiv, this tiny family festival makes everything better", - writes Natalie Paris, an expert on festivals, about the festival Meadows in the mountains. "People are those who offer massage and face painting to new friends, music is under the radar, but it is necessary, and the environment is as isolated as you could wish". What else stops you from having a rest in Bulgaria?
16. Bulgarian Guest EntertainmentBulgaria people
are famous for their friendliness and light character throughout the world. Bulgarians are very open, kind and generous people, who, despite not the most comfortable life, manage to charge everyone around with their positive attitude. After a month of growth in Etropole, a small town near Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, I can confidently confirm this fact. The kindness of this nation is worth learning. Agree with the beautiful nature, incredible history, delicious cuisine and such lovely people, Bulgaria is beginning to seem paradise on earth. Bonus reasons:
You can see real bears
This fact should have been on top of the list, but there are bears in Bulgaria. You can see bears. It is said that in the wild, there are about 400-700 brown bears, according to the Balkan Wildlife Society, divided between the Rilorod-Rhodope and Central Balkan regions. There are tour operators who specialize in trips in search of bears. Very few castles can tow with the strength of the Bulgarian fortresses. This magnificent fortress, more precisely Belogradchik Fortress, is located on the northern slopes of the Balkan Mountains and dates back to Roman times. Last time it was used in military operations during the Sebo-Bulgarian War of 1885. Visit from the nearby town of Belogradchik. And even fewer caves in terms of the number of caves inside... Do not let 30 000 local bats prevent you from visiting the cave Devetashka on the bank of the Osam River. The natural chamber was occupied continuously for tens of thousands of years, but it was discovered only in 1921. Sometimes it is 100 meters high and is home to many stalagmites, stalactites and speleothems, whatever they may be.
Getting access to the Internet in Bulgaria is the easiest way. 4G mobile Internet is high-speed and affordable. You can buy a SIM card directly on arrival at the airport and do not even need a passport. Ready-made kits are also sold at the stores of the resort. If you are flying to Bulgaria and don't want to stay out of touch, take a spare smartphone (or modem) with 4G network access and use it as a modem. The speed will be enough for a laptop and a couple of mobile devices. If it is not essential for you to keep your phone number permanently, change the SIM card in your smartphone. The location of Bulgaria and what it has to offer for travellers make it an incredibly successful option for rest of body and soul after a stressful winter!