Black Sea Coast
For most foreign package-tourists, the Black Sea coast is Bulgaria, and the big, purpose-built resorts here are becoming serious rivals to Spain and Greece in attracting international holidaymakers.
Sofia & Around
By far Bulgaria’s biggest city, Sofia (So-fia) is one of Europe’s most compact and walkable capital cities, although it’s still one of the least known by foreign travellers.
The Danube and Northern Plains
The vast territory of the ancient Thracian tribes, now encompassed by modern Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, remains a wild region of varied and dramatic landscapes and remote villages.
With its art galleries, winding cobbled streets and bohemian cafes, Plovdiv (Plov-div) equals Sofia in things cultural and is a determined rival in nightlife as well – it has a lively, exuberant spirit befitting its status as a major university town.
The stark Pirin Mountains, with peaks surpassing 2900m, rise dramatically out of Bulgaria’s southwest; their dark, portentous appearance has affected the human imagination since well before the ancient Slavic tribes named the mountains after their...
Bulgaria’s third city and maritime capital, Varna is by far the most interesting and cosmopolitan town on the Black Sea coast.
One of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, Ruse (roo-seh), sometimes written 'Rousse', has more than a touch of mitteleuropa grandness not seen elsewhere in the country.
The evocative capital of the medieval Bulgarian tsars, sublime Veliko Târnovo is dramatically set amidst an amphitheatre of forested hills, divided by the ribboning Yantra River.
For most visitors, the port city of Burgas (sometimes written as ‘Bourgas’) is no more than a transit point for the more obviously appealing resorts and historic towns further up and down the coast.
Vast stretches of serene pine forests, perilously steep gorges and hundreds of remarkable caves characterise the enthralling Rodopi (rod-oh-pee) Mountains, which cover some 15,000 sq km of territory, spilling across into Greece.