Where to go/what to do between Sofia and Thessoloniki?
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 5, 2012 1:19 AM Last Post By: neckervd
Aug 4, 2012 1:22 AM
Where to go/what to do between Sofia and Thessoloniki?Hello all, I'm planning on taking a trip down to Bulgaria on the 19th of September and then meeting a friend in Thessaloníki on the 28th. So, I've got 9 days of free schedule to explore Bulgaria and northeastern Greece.Currently I'm thinking 3-4 days in Sofia, 2-3 days in Plovdiv, and then somewhere in southwestern Bulgaria or northeastern Greece for another few days. So, my question is this: would you guys recommend Sofia and Plovdiv, or would you suggest other places to spend my short time in central/southern Bulgaria? And, of course, if Sofia/Plovdiv do sound good, what to do for the last bit? For a bit of info,I'm an 18 yo male going on my first solo trip and looking for places with cool history, city atmosphere, the possibility of meeting other travelers, and good potential for nature/hiking day trips. Thanks for any help!
Aug 4, 2012 2:51 AM
1Plovdiv is a gem.
Along the direct Sofia - Thessaloniki route, visit Rila Monastery and Melnik; good short and longer hikes at both places.
You may also to down the Marica Valley up to Edirne/Adrianoupolis (Turkey) and enter Greece from there, via Alexandroupoli - Xanthi - Kavala.
Or go directly from Plovdiv to Greece across the Rhodopes.
Or try a loop Sofia - Velika Tarnovo - Tryavna - Kazanlak - Stara Zagora - Plovdiv ...
Google for these places
There are so many possibilities!
Aug 4, 2012 4:06 AM
Aug 4, 2012 6:10 AM
3Thanks for the suggestions, guys! Neckervd, those several routes look tempting, but I think they involve a little too much traveling for only 9 days and on my first solo trip. Melnik, however, looks like a pretty cool place. I can't find any hostels there, however. Could anybody recommend any cheap accommodation? Thanks.
Aug 4, 2012 7:35 AM
4You will find very cheap hotels on the road between Sofia and Melnik.
Last year I stayed just off the main drag in Sadanski - and (including brekky) it was 30Levs (€15) a night.
Dinner was extra, but just superb. The service and room were equally excellent.
So sorry I can't remember the name of the hotel.
There are good hotels in Melnik itself - that for single occupancy, will be no more than around 30Levs.
Aug 4, 2012 9:20 AM
5I second seeing melnik and rila monestary. However you might want to consider using blagoevgrad as your base. Its a great provincial town with a ton of restaurants, clubs and bars. There are cheap accomodations. Also, you should know it is the home of several universities, including american university bg, so there will be a ton of students and people your age to hang out with. Its definitely off the tourist track, but I always have fun there.
Aug 4, 2012 10:26 AM
Aug 4, 2012 7:43 PM
7I would cut back a day or two from Sofia -- you definitely don't need 4 nights unless you were really interested in exploring its lively nightlife on an extended basis (at least that's my opinion). Instead, spend a couple of days seeing the Rila Monastery and Melnik, as suggested.
One tricky thing: how to get from Melnik down into Greece. The train that used to stop in nearby Sandanski is no longer running. Perhaps some of the Sofia-Thessaloniki/Athens buses stop in Sandanski, but I'm not sure how many.
Aug 5, 2012 1:19 AM
8As far as I know, there are trains up to Kulata border station. Change at General Todorov
If there is no public transport from Kulata onward, you may take a taxi up to Sidirokastro
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