Things to do
Rural tourism is the best way to get to know the traditions of Bulgaria. Through their stay in a village house, tourists can come to appreciate traditional Bulgarian lifestyles and the culture of the country. The hospitability of Bulgarians, the unique local cuisine, the well-preserved folkways, customs and crafts, the architectural reserves settlements and the beautiful surroundings all contribute to make rural tourism in Bulgaria memorable. Usually guests are accommodated in an house built in the 19th or early 20th century, and a part of the rich experience is the delicious food that hosts prepare with vegetables picked fresh from the garden and seasoned with herbs gathered in nearby forests and fields. There are many interesting things to do in the villages – visitors can help the hostess prepare some special dish according to a traditional recipe, take part in farm work, rent a horse to visit nearby landmarks, pick aromatic herbs and a basket of forest berries or mushrooms, or ride a mountain bike along the country roads and trails. Tourists may want to milk a cow, cut hay, prepare yoghurt, help make white and yellow cheese, or put up jam. Almost every family in the villages engages in distilling rakia and making wine. The Bulgarian countryside abounds with wineries that have earned international recognition. In the evening, tourists are often invited to have a meal with their hosts. Traditional dishes are served, folksongs are performed, and local legends are shared. In most cases, guests can help prepare the food. Some villages offer lessons in pottery making, icon painting or folksongs and dances, and there are demonstrations of sewing and embroidering.
Adventures and Activities
For those seeking new adventures for which sport occupies an important part of their daily lives, whose idea of relaxing includes stays in motion and conquering high peaks and new territories, Bulgaria is an extremely attractive destination.
There are excellent opportunities for sports and outdoor activities along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast- diving, surfing, kite-surfing and other outdoor sports. There are jet-ski rental and boats for tours or exciting fishing. Black Sea offers conditions for diving and spearfishing.
Mountains of Bulgaria cover a third of the country with a well developed network of trails allow you to appreciate their remarkable beauty visitors. Fully equipped climbing facilities have been established in some mountain areas – for example, near the town of Vratsa, Lakatnik rocks Maliovitsa and elsewhere.
You can also explore the mountains of Bulgaria on horseback. There are equestrian facilities throughout the country, offering two types of short walks and trips with a guide, both in the mountains and plains. Along the Black Sea coast, visitors will find such services.
Those looking jolt of adrenaline can try rafting on fast rivers in Bulgaria as of Struma, Iskar and Mesta. Rafting and kayaking are also popular rivers in areas of the Iskar and Kresna Gorge. It is extremely exciting to ride the rivers in May and June when water levels are highest.
Two of the routes network Eurovelo, created by the European Federation biking, also pass through the country.
Bungee jumping is organized on the higher bridges in the country, and the cave passages. Jump into the abyss of the cave is an unforgettable experience ..
In recent years, Bulgaria has begun to establish itself as a golf destination first class. Modern golf courses designed by world renowned players like Gary Player and Ian Woosnan are now open for play.
Hunting and fishing are also quite well developed in the country. animal population includes red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild boar, deer, chamois, grouse, bear, pheasant and partridge. Black Sea offers unique opportunities for fishing turbot, mullet, bluefish, cod, mackerel, bonito and others, and rivers in Bulgaria also abound in fish. many dams in the country also afford excellent opportunities for sport fishing.
Bulgaria is a country with thousands of years of history and a cultural heritage that embraces ancient civilizations. Visitors will find much to interest them in the country’s history, culture, ethnography, religion, architecture and the arts. Unique archaeological sites abound throughout the country – ancient settlement mounds from the Neolithic age, Thracian sanctuaries and tombs, remains of Roman cities, Byzantine and Medieval fortresses, architectural reserves, ethnographic complexes, churches and monasteries, Tekkes (mosques), among many others. Many of Bulgaria’s monasteries have been instrumental in preserving the Bulgarian Orthodox faith and culture. Some of them are the Rila Monastery, Bachkovo Monastery, Troyan Monastery, Zemen Monastery, Rozhen Monastery, Kilifarevski Monastery, Sokolski Monastery, among others. In the country there are also many churches that house unique examples of the Bulgarian iconographic, woodcarving and painting schools and that possess valuable manuscripts. There are also opportunities to observe traditional economic activities in our lands, such as the manufacture of rose oil and wine production.
Exceptionally rich biodiversity, natural parks, unique natural landmarks, impressive caves and canyons, glacial lakes – it is difficult to describe how multi-faced and wonderful is Bulgaria’s nature. Here every admirer of beautiful views and the close touch of nature can find their paradise. Excellent conditions have been established for all kinds of ecologically friendly activities – hiking, mountain crossing, observation of birds, animals and plants, visiting of natural landmarks and many others.
Besides the combination of sun, sand and sea, the Black Sea resorts offer hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as ecotourism, photo safaris, and excursions to natural, cultural, and architectural landmarks. In the northern part of the Black Sea, there are three world-class golf courses. Along the coastline, there are also mineral springs, and the combination of these natural resources has led to the popularity of tourism that combines visits to spas, balneological centers, and wellness resorts with sea holidays. Visitors to the Bulgarian Black Sea can enjoy many cultural events, such as the Kavarna Rock Fest, Varna Summer, Apolonia, Spirit of Burgas, the International Folklore Festival in Burgas, and demonstrations of fire dancing.
Mountain & Ski tourism
Bulgarian winter resorts have always been a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports. The fascinating combination of great nature and modern sports facilities attract thousands of visitors every year; many international competitions are being held on the slopes of the Bulgarian winter resorts. Bulgaria is considered as a paradise destination for skiing, snowboarding and extreme winter sports.
Besides the sport activities, the Bulgarian winter resorts offer a wide range of entertainments for active relaxation. There are a number of mineral thermal springs, which make the country a popular destination for spa and wellness treatment. Spa centers offering a variety of classic and exotic procedures are built in most winter resorts across the country.
The best time to visit Bulgaria depends on the purpose of the trip. For skiing, the most suitable are the winter months – December, January and February. If you want to visit the sunny Black Sea beaches, you should book your trip for the summer – June, July, August. If you are keen researchers and lovers of activities, the most suitable time would be late spring, early summer and early autumn.
After the cold winter, the colours of the trees will signal the beginning of spring at some time in March. Then gradually the temperatures will increase, the snow will melt, the fields and meadows will become green and fresh again and the landscapes during that time can be very picturesque. In spring you may expect the temperatures to reach 15-25°C and they continuously increase from March to June. The sunlight is not as strong as in summer, but usually it is not very rainy. I general the weather can be quite foggy and stormy, especially in March, when it is the most unpredictable. The mountains higher than 2000 m remain snow-capped until June-July so that tourism in the country is rich in spring. The Black Sea waters are still too cold for bathing until mid-June, but the rivers are ideal for activities like rafting, kayaking, etc. There are great opportunities for canyoning, rock climbing and descent, also for hiking and biking, mountainous marches.
Sea emotions and passions
The Bulgarian summer begins in early June, when the temperatures are around 30°C. July and August are the hottest months and the sun may be quite strong with temperatures around 35°C. It is not uncommon for the thermometer to hit 40°C during these hot months. Summer days are usually clear and sunny. Although it rarely rains, the rain pours briefly. It may seem very hot, but fortunately, Bulgaria offers many ways to avoid the summer heat. The gentle sea breeze and the refreshing waters of the Black Sea (which in summer are around 20°C and more) will make your summer vacation very enjoyable. And remember, during the summer the mountains are most attractive with their moderate temperatures and cool nights around the fire!
The magic season
September and October may still be quite warm and pleasant in Bulgaria.
The summer ends in the middle of September, when temperatures drop slightly and the days become shorter. In general, autumn is not particularly rainy as compared to the rest of Europe.
Bulgarian autumn is characterized by temperatures around 10-25°C, which are gradually reduced at the beginning of the winter from late November and early December. Early September may still be a good time to show up on the beach or enjoy the majestic mountains, but by early October it is usually too cold for that. Autumn is the best season if you want to visit Iskar Gorge because of the numerous trails and routes you may follow. The forests are beautifully colored, but the heat is gone, which in the summer can be unbearable. And why not wine tourism or relaxation in the mountains, the options are endless …
Weather conditions during the winter often are perfect for winter sports in Bulgaria.
The winter starts with in the beginning of December when the temperatures start to fall below zero. The end of December usually brings the first snow of the year and it usually snows till March, and it does not rain. Although the temperatures could remain below zero for weeks (about -5 to -15°C are common), the days are almost always clear and sunny. In fact, in many places in Bulgaria, the winter is one of the driest seasons.
Clear and sunny weather with freezing temperatures and snow for a long time – sounds like the perfect opportunity for skiing and snowboarding, don’t you think so? In fact, by the end of December till March (when there is snow) the winter season in Bulgaria welcomes in its resorts (Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo) local and foreign tourists, offering them their ski runs.