Sharing its borders with Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, as well as a coastline with the Black Sea, Bulgaria has a total population of 7.5 million people, and its capital, Sofia, is located in the west of the country. Reaching up to the highest point on the Balkan Peninsula, Musala at 2,923 metres, the country is a mix of plain and hill, with a temperate climate, and around 540 rivers. Bulgaria is a member of the UN and the European Union, and most of its people live in one of the urban areas of the country. The country is predominantly Christian, and its president is Rosen Plevneliev. With a beautiful, diverse landscape, beaches, churches and winter sports, there are many reasons to head to this incredible European haven.
Sofia, Bulgaria’s principal city is one of the oldest in Europe, as it was founded over 2,500 years ago, and it has a population of 1.4 million citizens. Located close the Vitosha mountain, it’s also rare for being a capital in close proximity to a ski resort. Home to the country’s busiest airport, Sofia is well linked to London, Paris, Vienna and other major European cities. The city was also built on 7 mineral springs, so there’s always somewhere to grab refreshment! Museums, galleries and churches gracefully mingle with open parks, and shopping ranges from upmarket in Vitosha Boulevard, to vibrant in the Market hall. There are also plenty of Wi-Fi hotspots in most cafes and bars around the city. In winter, visitors flock to Vitosha, or to the nearby Rila monastery.
The beautiful little town of Pirin, in Sothwest Bulgaria is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its natural beauty, and the area has its own ski resort, Bansko, which can be reached by train. There are also mountain hiking trails leading through fragrant pine forests for campers. For architecture, head to Rousse, located on the southern banks of the Danube, where the Regional Historical Museum houses open air exhibitions like the Medieval City of Cherven. There’s also the Pantheon of National Revival Heroes, with its own ossuary. Nearby, Ivanovo has medieval frescoes and a monastery, also recognised by World Heritage. For sun-worshippers, the apptly-dubbed Sunny Beach is the perfect spot on the Black Sea coast to frolic on the sands, with its laid-back resort atmosphere.
The best way to travel around Bulgaria is by bus links, which are fairly efficient between the largest cities, while coastal locations are best reached by minibus. The principal form of currency is the Lev, and is vastly preferred to foreign coin, though the Euro is acceptable in many places. In more remote, wooded areas, there have been sightings of wolves and bears, so vigilance is always sensible, and while begging is fairly common, crime towards tourists is minimal.
Last Edit by Site Administrators on 7/05/2012 EDIT NOW >>