Bulgaria is a country that’s full of surprises. Did you know that its patchwork heritage encompasses influences from the Romans, Greeks, Thracians and Persians – and has the vestiges to prove it? Or that its beautiful mountains are home to brown bears, wolves and lynx? You may have heard about the affordable beach resorts on the Black Sea coast, or that it’s one of the cheapest places to go skiing in Europe, but it’s not just easy on the wallet; Bulgaria is intriguing, picturesque, and bursting with opportunities for plenty of adventurous and cultural experiences alike.
This Balkan nation is sandwiched between Greece to the south, Romania to the north and with the Black Sea on its eastern frontier, where many luxury Bulgaria holidays are enjoyed thanks to long stretches of honey-hued sand. As well as beach breaks in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria is also a prized destination for cultural trips. Start by delving into its capital, Sofia, which has roots in the 4th century and is brimming with exquisite architecture such as the domed St Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral. Discover hundreds of monasteries across the country, including the UNESCO-stamped Rila Monastery tucked into the mountains of the same name. Bulgaria’s heritage is also showcased through numerous castles including the Belogradchik Fortress, Roman archaeological marvels like Plovdiv’s amphitheatre, Neolithic sites such as Devetashka Cave, and Kazanlak Thracian tombs, to name just a few.
Bulgaria holidays then promise plenty of adventure too. Carve your way down the snow-carpeted peaks of Pirin National Park on a skiing trip, or hike along snaking trails through the Rila Mountains, scattered with jewel-like lakes and flower-laden meadows to make for a stunning backdrop indeed. Go on a bear-watching safari or birding tour, try your hand at watersports in the Dead Sea, catch some thrills mountain biking – or anything else that piques your interest! And for something slower paced, simply take a stroll through rural villages and stop for a rakia, the heady national drink traditionally made from plums. Sip Bulgarian wines on a tasting tour, and savour lip-smacking cuisine at charming little restaurants; we particularly love the Zornitza Family Estate, which flaunts an eco-farm and produces wine too. There really is so much to love about luxury Bulgaria holidays, that may at first not spring to mind.