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Destination Fly4free: Bulgaria

Asia | 4/29/2017 11:00 AM | Liu Yang | Add a comment

Considering its small size, Bulgaria has a great variety of topographical features. This diverse country, located in the eastern Balkan Peninsula, features massive mountains, golden beaches, plains, plateaus, gorges, and deep river valleys.

How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Bulgaria:

Where to stay:
For example in Sofia we encourage you to stay in 3* Forum Hotel from €28 per night with excellent reviews and breakfasts. Each of the rooms features a TV or a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. The en-suite bathroom is fitted with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. Hotel Forum also features an on-site spa centre, where massages are offered as well. Further services, provided by the property include car rentals and bike hire.

In Sunny Beach we recommend you to book 4* Ivana Palace Hotel from just €20 with breakfast included or €32 for half board. This well-reviewed hotel is situated near the town of Burgas, just 300 m from the beach. The hotel services include a 24H front desk, elevator, lobby bar, restaurant, outdoor swimming pool with children’s section, pool bar, fitness room, sauna, jacuzzi, conference facilities, exchange desk and gift shop. The room have bathroom, air-conditioning, cable TV, telephone and minifridge.

What to do:
Visit Melnik, a tiny mountain town that has developed a winemaking tradition. It is located in the Pirin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Bulgaria. Surrounded by the sandstone pyramids, Melnik offers amazing mountain vistas and picturesque valleys. This sleepy town is also famous for the medieval Rozhen Monastery.

Hike to the Seven Rila Lakes in the north-western Rila Mountains. Travel to Rila, the first and largest monastery in Bulgaria, a sacred UNESCO-listed structure nestled in the mountains. This historic black and white building, that dates back to 927 AD, continues to draw thousands of visitors despite its remote location. Marvel at vivid pre-Renaissance frescoes that decorate the walls within the Boyana Church.

Explore the Devil’s Throat Cave in the Western Rhodopes or Prohodna Cave in the Iskar Gorge. You can also go and see the Pobiti Kamani stone formations near Varna or the stone mushrooms near the village of Beli Plast in southern Bulgaria. Head to Ravadinovo (5 km from Sozopol) to explore a fairy-tale castle filled with different kinds of animals. Winter sports enthusiasts should pay a visit to one of the Bulgarian ski resorts, like Borovets or Bansko.

History enthusiasts might want to see the art and architecture of the Sozopol Old Town or discover historic traces of the Romans, Thracians and Byzantines in Plovdiv. Continue to Koprivshtitsa, a charming town that was the site of the Liberation of Bulgaria, leading to its release from Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War. Visit the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites, like Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak (northeast), the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari (north) and the Ancient City of Nesebar with the Church of Christ Pantocrator (east).

Culturally enriched, head to the palace and botanical gardens of Balchik. You can also sail to Saint Anastasia Island in Burgas bay. In this rocky islet, located 1.5 km off the coast, you can visit a lighthouse, old wooden buildings and a monastery. In the summer, the island is accessible from Burgas via boat services running back and forth multiple times a day.

If you love nature, see the pelican colony in the Srebarna Nature Reserve, north-eastern Bulgaria. This freshwater lake adjacent to the Danube is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you like archaeology, go to Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city with the largest cult altar in Southeast Europe. It is the largest megalithic archaeological site in the Balkans.

If you’re looking for the architectural oddities, go to the remote Buzludzha peak. High in the Bulgarian mountains stands an unusual abandoned monument commemorating socialist communism.

In the town of Shumen you’ll find the Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria (the Founders of the Bulgarian State Monument), a massive concrete sculpture that stands at a height of 450 m above sea level and can be seen from 30 km away. This cubist-styled memorial is officially the heaviest communist monument on Earth.

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Start planning your next trip with Lonely Planet’s travel guide >>

Welcome To Bulgaria! | Aerial Shots from Alexander Babak on Vimeo.

Photo: Shutterstock
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