Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunny beach on the Black Sea - BULGARIA

Dear reader,

Do you still wonder where to go in Bulgaria during the summer?

Sunny beach is the biggest resort, with the longest and widest beach strip, with hotels spread along the beach and among the dunes, the sunniest resort for the sunniest people.

This fine beach resort was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag International prize for proven ecological advantages.
Sunny Beach has more than 100 hotels, 2 campsites, over 130 catering establishments: restaurants, taverns with folklore shows, bars with floor shows, night clubs, casino, discos and cafes, providing culinary pleasures and a good mood. Every conceivable opportunity for sports: surfing, water skis and parachutes, hang-gliding and banana, sailing, yachts, paddle boats, cutters, scooters, rowboats, tennis courts, beach volleyball, playing grounds, mini-golf, skittle alley, bowling, riding ground, fitness halls, sports tournaments for amateurs and professionals.

A genuine children's paradise - plenty of fun and games, children pools, slides, carting, Rolba water slide, inflatable trampoline, sport schools. In addition: special discounts, children's menus, 24-hour kindergarten, etc. You can find - a wide semi-circular bay facing east an over 8 km long beach strip, 30-60 m wide fine golden sand, natural dunes ,a clean and gently sloping sea no dangerous fish 1700 hours of sunshine from May through September. - The average daily temperature in summer is 27°C.

Still there? If I was you, I will book my flights to one of the most famoust tourist destinations in Bulgariia NOW!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Places to visit in Bulgaria (all seasons)

Despite its small territory, this country has collect some amazing natural and historical sites. The clam climate allows the country to be visited during all seasons. Summer is a perfect place to visit Bulgaria's summer resorts and if you are a beach fan, this is the place where you can enjoy long sandy beaches and the warm waters of Black Sea. When skiing is your passion, the winter resorts are ideal for you. The months from November to March can offer you over 2 meters snow cover, as well as the tracks have different difficulties for beginners and professional skiers. Autumn and spring are two much beautiful seasons in Bulgaria. They are perfect time for sightseeing. The nature is colorfully decorated and weather is pleasant. If you are enthusiast about hiking and trekking, Bulgaria' mountains can offer you high mountain treks and steep slopes. Religious tourists also will find amazing monasteries and churches. There are so many things which you have to visit besides the great summer and winter resorts. Here are some ideas which attractions to visit during your vacation. (see the video below)
-Bulgarian mountains
-The Black Sea
-Historical monuments
-Orthodox churches


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More to know about Bulgaria

In Bulgarian culture a nod of the head actually means “no” and shaking the head from side to side means “yes.” This has confused many tourists over the years and led to some comical, and not so comical, misunderstandings.

Bulgaria is one of the oldest European countries.

Bulgaria and Denmark were the only two countries to save their Jews during the holocaust.

The only nations in the world that use the bagpipe as an instrument are Scotland, Ireland and Bulgaria.

Name Days" are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or "Saints Day" is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint (eg. everyone named Peter celebrates Saint Peter's day).

A ticket for the city bus and for the subway in Sofia costs about 30 Euro cents. A one month pass for all Sofia public transport lines costs 19 Euros. Sofia enjoys four different means of public transport, as tram, busses, trolley busses and underground. It covers most of the city from 5 a.m. till midnight.

Making a toast when drinking liquor is de rigeur. When toasting, raise your glass and lightly clink it with all the others present, while looking the people with you in the eye (to not look them in the eye is rude) and saying, (naz drave) (good health to you).

There are around four thousand mapped caves in Bulgaria.
The Devil Throat

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Interesting facts about Bulgaria! Did you know?

The Rila Cross, a wooden cross with 140 microscopic scenes from the Bible featuring more than 1,500 figurines, the largest of them no bigger than a grain of rice, was carved by a monk over a period of 12 years.

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, the bacterium that is responsible for giving Bulgarian yoghurt its unique flavour and consistency, can be found only in Bulgarian air.

The Voyager spacecraft, launched in the 1970s on a voyage to meet and communicate with other planets, carried a laser disc of ten songs believed to be representative of Earth. One of these songs was the Bulgarian tune Izlel e Deliu Haidutin from the Rhodopes region.

The famous Bulgarian rose-oil, produced in the region of Kazanlak, is a component of French and of other world-famous perfumes.

The largest bay is the Bourgas bay at the Black Sea coast. It stretches 31km into the land. At its widest, it measures 41km, and its deepest point is 25m.
The only Bulgarian volcano, long extinct, is Kozhukh (281m above sea level). It is not far from the southwestern town of Petrich.

The longest river running across Bulgarian territory alone is the Iskar (368km).

One of the most famous opera bass singers (Boris Christov and Nickolai Guaurov) and the beautiful soprano Raina Kabaivanska are Bulgarians.

The highest waterfall is Raiskoto Praskalo (Paradise Sprayer) at 124m. It is not far away from the Botev peak in the Balkan range. The total number of falls in Bulgaria is nearly 300, 70 of which are looked after by the state.

The largest lowland in this country, and in the Balkans, is Upper Thrace. Plovdiv is the metropolis of the region. It is about 180km long and 50km wide.
Its overall area is 6,032 square km.

Elias Canetti was born in Bulgaria. 1981 Nobel Laureate in Literature for writings marked by a broad outlook, a wealth of ideas and artistic power. 1905-1994. Place of Birth: Rouse, Bulgaria.

The oldest tree is an oak growing in the village of Granit in the vicinity of Stara Zagora. Its age is estimated at about 1,650 years. The crown of this oak tree covers 1,017 square metres; the circumference of its trunk is 7.45m and its height 23.40m.The tallest tree is the 62-metre Baikusheva Mura (white fir) in the Pirin Mountains. Its age is about 360 years.

The greatest number of mineral springs is to be found in the town of Velingrad (more than 70).

The inventor of the first electronic computer John Vincent Atanassoff is of Bulgarian origin. Professor John Atanassoff, together with graduate student Clifford Berry, built the world's first electronic digital computer, at Iowa State University, between 1939 and 1942. The Atanassoff - Berry Computer represented several innovations in computing, including a binary system of arithmetic, parallel processing, regenerative memory, and a separation of memory and computing functions.

The longest mountain range is Stara Planina, known also as the Balkan Mountain (530km). The whole peninsula is named after it. The highest are the Rila mountains; the peak Moussala rises to an altitude of 2,925 m above sea level. This is the highest point in the Balkans. The first written evidence of the peak being climbed refers to King Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great.

The largest coastal lake is Varna Lake, covering an area of 18 square km. It is also the deepest at 19m.The largest glacial lake is Smradlivoto in the Rila Mountains. It covers 21.2 hectares. The highest glacial lake is Popovoto, in the Pirin Mountains, situated at 2,715 m above sea level.

The mightiest karst spring is Glava Panega in the vicinity of the town of Lovech.
Its average capacity is 4,178 litres per second.

The longest cave is close to the village of Bosnek, in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia (over 15km). Six underground rivers have cut labyrinths in its galleries. As many as 4,000 caves have been investigated and mapped in Bulgaria.

The lowest temperature, measured in an inhabited locality, was registered in the winter of 1947 in the town of Tran, west of Sofia (minus 38.3 degrees centigrade). The highest temperature was measured in the summer of 1916 in Sadovo, near by Plovdiv (45.2 degrees centigrade).

The most rain was recorded on 21 August 1951 in the neighbourhood of the port of Varna, where in only 24 hours there was rainfall of 342mm. By way of comparison: the average annual precipitation for the country is 650mm.

The longest lasting fog occurred in December 1948 in Sofia (29 days and nights). At that same time, the fogs in Plovdiv and Lom stayed for 28 days. The capital of Bulgaria is also its foggiest city (33 days annually on average).

The hottest mineral water is found in the village of Separeva Banya, near the town of Dupnitza - its temperature is 103.8 degrees centigrade. According to some sources, this is the hottest spring in Europe.

The tallest cactus grows in the botanical garden of the town of Balchik, at the Black Sea coast. The height of this 'hedgehog' is 7 metres.

The last lion in Bulgarian lands was killed during the campaign of the Persian king Xerxes (as evidenced by Xenophon).The last lynx was shot in 1941, in the Rila Mountains.The largest bear in Europe fell victim to man in 1936, in the neighbourhood of Brevets, a resort in the Rila Mountains. This record was recognised at an international hunting exhibition in Berlin.

The last recorded snake bite that led to a human death occurred in 1936.

Bison in Bulgarian lands disappeared as early as the Middle Ages. In 1961 the reserve near the town of Razgrad acquired two pairs of bison, and settled them in the Voden forest. Nowadays there are several dozen bison in different Bulgarian preserves.

The largest amphibian is a turtle, which was caught and then set free near the town of Krumovgrad in 1987. It weighed 5kg, was 35cm long, of the same height, 29cm wide and 100-120 years old - i.e., at the age limit of European fauna. Another turtle of similar dimensions was caught some 80 years ago in the neighbourhood of Kotel, a town in Central Bulgaria.

The rarest animal species is the Black Sea seal, of which only 5 or 6 specimens are left now. They inhabit the caves along the shoreline around the Black Sea capes of Kaliakra and Masslen.

The farthest migration is that of the eels, which live in Bulgarian rivers, but spawn as far away as the Sargasso Sea, east of Florida, U.S.A.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tourism in Bulgaria

Tourism in Bulgaria

Why Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe famous with its inexpensive, good food, friendly people and beautiful nature!

General Information

Time - Bulgaria is +2 hours GMT. Get the time in Bulgaria now.

History - read about the long and rich history of Bulgaria:

Religion: Orthodox

Language: Bulgarian 

The weather in Bulgaria is not too extreme. Unless you visit for skiing, summer is the most comfortable time in Bulgaria, with low humidity and temperatures averaging 75°F (24°C); winter temperatures average around 32°F (0°C).

Airports Sofia, Varna, Bourgas

Harbours on the Black Sea - Varna, Bourgas, Balchick, Nessebur;
on the Danube - Vidin, Lom, Oriakhovo, Nickopol, Svishtov, Rousse, Toutrackan, Sillistra

Monetary unit: LEV (BGL) (1 BGL = 0.5 EURO), with bank-notes (bills) of  1, 2, 5, 10, 20 50 and 100 leva

Explore Sofia

Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 15th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.2 million people.

Most popular places in Sofia

Vitosha mountain, located only few kilometers from the center of Sofia is a natural decor of the city. Its stone river, and numerous of ski tracks chalets, hotels, picnic places, cable lines and the highest peak Black Peak (290m) makes the mountain a favorite place for many people from Sofia or other tourists and an attraction for its visitors. At tre area of the mountain is the Nature Park Vitosha - the 1st Nature Park in Bulgaria and some nature reserves. The mountain is very popular destination for ski or walking tourism.


Everybody in Sofia knows Eagle’s bridge. It is a starting point of many explanations how to reach a place in Sofia. Probably the reason is because many public transport buses have a stop there. The bridge is built in 1891. It is a symbol of freedom because at that place for the first time in 1888 the prisoners from Diarbekir are welcomed (in that Turkish town figures from the Bulgarian National Freedom Movement of the 19th century have been sent in exile).

Eagle’s Bridge

The Neo-Byzantine-style Alexander Nevski Cathedral is one of the most famous monuments in Sofia and is named after the Russian saint Alexander Nevsky who became famous by the expulsion of German knight orders of Russian territory in the 13th century.

In the crypt of the cathedral is an exhibition space where icons are displayed in the ninth to the nineteenth century.

The architect of the cathedral, Pomerantsev, at the building include Italian marble, Brazilian onyx, African carvings and alabast of Bulgarian and Russian masters of that time, was used. The building covers 3170 square meters, is 75 meters long, 50 meters wide and 50 meters high.

Alexander Nevski Cathedral

Nightlife in Sofia is something that everyone should experience! After ten o’clock at night, the streets of Sofia become alive. Groups of young people go out to have fun in dance clubs. It is popular to start night in one club, after that to go to another and at five in the morning to have a late dinner (or early breakfast) in one of many nonstop pizza restaurants. Sofia is full of young people, especially in the Students’ town – which is a Sofia district with hostels for students. Most of the Universities in Sofia are located in the Sudents’ town, which is calm only in the morning when all students are still asleep after regular partying.
Student’s town

Bulgarian women are beautiful. I like very much to sit in a café, drinking cocktails and enjoying nice view of girls walking down the main street of Burgas (my native city). Especially in the summer you can see tanned shoulders, legs and smiling teenagers who fill the main street with laugh and hubbub – a very inspiring and recharging view.
Restaurants and Cuisine
Dinner is a social occasion, with traditional music and dancing in many restaurants, especially in resorts and in some Sofia eateries. Food is hearty and good. Meals usually start with a salad, from which there are many to choose from on the menu.

There is a wide variety of national dishes, as well as Western European standard dishes, which can be chosen on the spot at any restaurant. All good hotels have restaurants and there are many attractive folk-style restaurants and cafés throughout the country.

National specialties:
Tarator (cold soup made from cucumber, walnuts and yogurt).
Shopska salata (huge salad starter with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese).
Kavarma (individual casseroles of pork or veal, onions and mushrooms).
Surmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat).
Kebapche (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls).


Traditional salads

National drinks:
• Coffee, served espresso style, is particularly popular.
• Drinks made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime.
• White wines include Evksinograde, Karlouski Misket and Tamianka.
• Heavy red wines include Mavroud and Trakia.
• Liquors include mastika (aniseed spirit, usually diluted) and rakia (local brandy).

Legal drinking age: 18.


Airlines and terminals in Sofia

Make sure you check the terminal that you are arriving at or departing from carefully.

Terminal 1 (T1) is used by budget airlines like EasyJet, Germanwings and Wizz Air; and by charter flight operators.

Terminal 2 (T2) handles all 'traditional' carriers, and serves as a hub to Bulgaria Air, the national carrier.


Terminal 1 (T1) has postal and banking services, a news stand, two coffee shops and one duty-free shop.

Terminal 2 (T2) is larger and has more duty-free shops, three coffee shops with some food offers. Before passport control there is only one coffee shop and a news stand.

Airport in Bulgaria

By car

All highways in Bulgaria are often under construction.

Access to Bulgaria's Capital is via several entry points:

1. From the North & South via E79/A6

2. From the East - via Thrace Highway E80/A1-A3 or from the old road paralelling the E80 Highway - Zlatitza - Pirdop - Pazardzhik route.

3. From the West - via A1/E80 Liking the city and the Bulgarian-Serbian Border point of Kalotina.

A1 is planned to be from Sofia to Burgas, but ends at the outskirts of Stara Zagora.

A2 is planned to be from Sofia to Varna, but ends around Pravets and continues from Shumen to Varna.

*  A3 is planned to be from Varna to Burgas, but currently has only a few kilometers built.

Otherwise coming from Greece the road E79/A6 is in very good shape, so the 300 km from Thessaloniki are done fairly fast if you don't happen to fall into Friday/Sunday traffic jams in the area of Sofia or Pernik.

Other place to visit in Bulgaria

Summer Resorts

Protection of Nature Protection of the natural world is one of the country’s major concerns.
àThe protected territories are 49,
àthe biospherical reserves - 17
(the greatest recorded number in Europe),
àthe national parks - 7,
àthe reserves - 82,
àthe protected natural sites - 3055,
àthe protected plants - 63 and
àthe protected animals - 419.
àThe air and water resources of the country  are some of the purest in Europe.

The wonders of Bulgaria

Foreigners usually associate the word Bulgaria with the beaches on the Black Sea or with the ski runs in the high Bulgarian mountains Rila, Pirin and Vitosha. However, the country’s real charm is in its millennial cultural and historical heritage.

1.One of the World’s Heritage Sites, a Wonder of Nature, the complex of Belogradchik Rocks is situated in Bulgaria, close to Danube River. The complex consists of several 200 meters high reddish rocks and about 100 different caves. The legend tells that the rocks are connected. The Horseman’s name was Anton (Anthony). He was a poor shepherd. The Madonna (the lady with child in hands) bore the name of Vitinya. She was very beautiful and belonged to a rich family. The two of them fell in love, but Vitinya’s father didn’t allow them to marry and sent his daughter into the Nunnery on the mountain’s slope. Nevertheless, the two beloved continued to meet in secret and soon conceived a child. The nuns ousted Vitinya with her child and Anton came, riding a horse, and rescued them. In this moment a storm aroused, one thunder stroke, the earth shook and everything around turned into stone!

Belogradchik Rocks

Architectural reserve, part of the UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage list, the ancient city of Nessebar stands on a small peninsula on Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

People say that about 5500 years ago the miniature piece of land was an island but Ancient Thracians turned it into a peninsula, mounding a road to carry the wheat easier from their fields on the continent to the fishermen’s settlement. 2300 years later the settlement was a city-state, named Melsabria after its governor – the Thracian ruler Melsa. Its fortress walls were so fearful and strong that no one could take the city over during the next 500 years. Its government was arranged the same way as nowadays democratic countries are.


In the middle of a sheer cliff in the Еastern end of the Balkan Mountain Range, close to the Danube River - Black Sea Road, the oldest stone relief in Europe – the Madara Horseman was carved. It is one of the most enigmatic monuments in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. May be the suggestion that the relief is a stone horoscope of Bulgaria is closest to the truth. This theory states that the relief shows the exact position of stars and planets (depicted as a human figure, a lion and a dog) on the sky in the very moment of Bulgaria’s establishment in Europe: April 8, 165 AD. The Madara Horseman, according to this statement, is the way Proto-Bulgarians marked their ownership of the near lands and predicted many years of superiority over the territories on the south of the Danube River.

The rock relief “Madara Rider” is an unusual and the only one of its kind in Europe monument dated to the early Middle Ages.

Rocks Madara Rider

One of UNESCO’s World Heritage List sites, the severe and magnificent Rila Monastery, towers in Rila Mountain, only 35 km away from Transeuropean corridor No. 4 (North-South). About 1100 years ago a young man, an orphan, came to Rila. He had given all his properties to the poor, had taken monastic vows and chose to hide away from the world’s vanity in the deep woods. His name was Ioan.

The legend tells that some of his fellow-villagers went hunting and saw by chance the only thing Yoan had left for himself - a cow with a calf. The villagers slaughtered the animals and put the meat into their bags.

Afterwards they found Ioan who was eating some dry bread and water. He invited them to join. Villagers ate much but the piece of bread on the stone table did not lessen. When they went home the meat in their bags started smelling bad. They threw it into a bush but snakes came out and chased them to the very village.

Rila Monastery

People started living on the small Black Sea peninsula, where nowadays the famous city of Sozopol stands, about 7500 years ago. In Greek, the word Sozopol means “The saved city”, probably because it has survived devastating barbarian attacks in the first centuries after Christ. Nowadays, the ancient city-port’s citizens walk along the same streets and catch fish in their wooden boats the same way as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. When they try to build something, they find past ages’ remnants (pottery, timber pieces, copper ore, gods’ statuettes, even a skull full of coins) in their excavations. The majority of findings are dated back to Antiquity when Sozopol, bearing the name of Apolonia Pontica, was a flourishing polis, a colony of Ancient Greek city of Millet in Asia Minor.


Tatul , Thracian Shrine

According to the Ancient Greeks, to the North of their territory, there was a Land of Happiness, where Gods lived. This was the magic Rodopi Mountain, in the Southern part of nowadays Bulgaria. Today, one of the most enigmatic ancient sanctuaries rests in ruins there. It is named after the nearby Village of Tatul (Thorn Apple).

In the middle of a sunny broad-leaved trees forest, between the Earth and the Sky (on top of a truncated pyramid rock) a stone grave has been carved. The scholars presume that once the remnants of Orpheus – the great Thracian ruler, philosopher, poet, and singer – had been laid there. Thus, even after his death, he could fulfill his role - being the mediator between the people and the Gods.