Churches & Religious Art

Rila Monastery This millennium-old monastery in Rila Mountains is decorated with frescoes by 19th-century master Zahari Zograf.

Boyana Church A Unesco-listed 13th-century sanctuary houses rare and movingly realistic murals of saints and royals.

Aleksander Nevski Church & Crypt Beneath the domes of Sofia's neo-Byzantine masterpiece lies Bulgaria's biggest collection of religious art.

Sveti Stefan Church Sixteenth- to 18th-century murals cover virtually the whole interior of this church in Nesebâr.

Nativity Church Arbanasi's five-chamber church, dating to the 17th century, has frescoes and remarkable hand-carved iconostases.

Church of Sveti Konstantin & Elena A copper-domed landmark for Plovdiv's old town, this whitewashed church has sumptuous 19th-century murals.

Beaches

Primorsko This laid-back resort town has the best beaches and its family-friendly shores are ideal for paddling.

Sunny Beach Bulgaria's most popular destination for foreign visitors, with soft sands and plenty of nightlife.

Sinemorets A far-southern town with white sandy beaches, clean water and a slow pace of life.

Varna Bulgaria's 'maritime capital' has a long sandy beach within easy walking distance of some big-city buzz.

Sozopol Distract yourself from Sozopol’s ancient history at sun-kissed beaches or the excellent diving centre.

Albena Splash in the crystal waters lapping this resort's 4km-long beach, before unwinding at a spa.

Fortresses & Ruins

Tsarevets Fortress The seat of medieval tsars in Veliko Târnovo impresses with mighty walls and towers.

Roman Amphitheatre Plovdiv's theatre was built in the 2nd century AD, and still hosts drama and music performances.

Kaleto Fortress Almost blending into Belogradchik Rocks, this citadel was built over Roman-era foundations.

Baba Vida Fortress Originally a Roman fort, this fortress was built up by medieval Bulgarians and 17th-century Turks.

Hisar Vast Roman gateways and expansive ruined walls dominate this captivating little spa town.

Roman Thermae In the port of Odessos (modern-day Varna), see the remains of a huge public bathing complex.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Bansko Bulgaria's biggest and most popular resort also has by far the best après-ski fun.

Pamporovo A fast-developing modern resort with slopes for learners, though there's not much to the town.

Borovets Zoom down tree-lined runs to this sprawling resort, well-suited to intermediate skiers.

Chepelare This small ski area in a low-key Rodopi Mountain village has easy, family-friendly trails.

Mt Vitosha Not snow-sure, but Vitosha's well-connected slopes allow for an afternoon’s skiing followed by Sofia nightlife.

Malîovitsa Get off the beaten piste at this rickety, pocket-sized ski area in the Rila Mountains.

Architecture

House-Museums Admire National Revival period mansions with delicate frescoes and carved wooden ceilings in Koprivshtitsa.

Belle-Époque Buildings River-port Ruse has been dubbed 'Little Vienna' for its rococo and neo-baroque buildings.

Revival Mansions Merchant traders and writers left a trail of lovely 19th-century buildings in Plovdiv's old town.

Soviet Monument Riotous mosaics glitter beneath hulking concrete statues in Shumen's Soviet-era hilltop masterpiece.

Covered Bridge Central Bulgarian Lovech does its best Florence impression with a covered bridge and quaint houses.

National Palace of Culture Sofia's octagonal cultural complex is the largest in the country, and has a space-age vibe.

Hiking & Climbing

Rila Mountains This forested range has walking routes for all abilities, plus a school for climbers and mountaineers.

Pirin Mountains This landscape of glacial lakes and valleys has challenging climbs and remote hiking routes.

Rodopi Mountains Hikes in these mountains pass lush countryside, villages and wonders such as Trigrad Cave.

Stara Planina Bulgaria's 'Old Mountains' offer breathtaking scenery and a variety of peaks and valleys.

Blue Rocks Trek in the footsteps of Bulgaria's anti-Ottoman rebels in the craggy outskirts of Sliven.

Vrachanska Mountains Peaceful trails extend from quiet Vratsa, with more challenging routes toward Ledenika Cave.

Myths & Legends

Belogradchik Rocks A geological wonderland infused with the tragic folk tale of a heartbroken nun.

Stob Pyramids Ecotrail Stories say these stone towers are the remains of a wedding procession frozen in shock.

Museum of Folk Craft & Applied Arts Some Bulgarian villagers don kukeri costumes, displayed in this Troyan museum, to chase spirits.

Halkata Rock This 8m rock formation near Sliven is thought to exert magical, gender-bending power.

Historical Museum Learn the mysteries of the Kibela (Cybele) Temple, unearthed in Balchik in 2007, at this local museum.