Bulgaria is a destination that offers tourists with both recreational and historical tours all year round. In the summer there are beautiful beaches at the Black Sea and in winter there are non- expensive ski resorts and top class health treatment resorts.
The Republic of Bulgaria is located in South-Eastern Europe, in the east of the Balkan Peninsula. To the east, the Black Sea area, the neighboring countries are Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia. The capital city is Sophia and the parliamentary head of state is the President.
The country offers alternates of both high and low terrain (east-west), with plains, lowlands, canyons, valleys, hills and high and low mountains.The climate is Mediterranean and continental with colder winters, with heavy snowfalls in the mountains and temperatures of -5C or less (due to the Balkan Mountains), yet Mediterranean summers, with hot and dry weather up to +30C on the coast.
The population is more than 7 million, of which most are Orthodox Christians. The national language is Bulgarian (which is considered to be only the Cyrillic language recognized by the European Union). The Official Gazette of the European Union is also printed in Bulgarian! Some words sound the same as in Russian, but their translation mean quite something different.
In recent years, following the success of the countries reforms, Bulgaria's economy was recognised as marketable and there are well-developed international relations. This has lead to the development of agriculture and tourism, including well developed wine and tobacco production and reserves of gas and oil. While the Danube River is only used for navigation, many other rivers are the source for hydroelectric power plants and irrigation for soils.
The official currency is the Bulgarian Lev (BGL) (2 BGL = 1 Euro). You can carry unlimited foreign currency into and out of Bulgaria but you must declare it. However, Bulgarian currency can not be taken out of the country. The Lev can be exchanged at banks and also in hotels, although exchanging in hotels is expensive. Credit cards and checks are only accepted in major hotels. Make sure you have local currency on hand when you visit resorts.
All forms of transport are well developed with the most convenient and fastest being the rental car. Traveling between cities is easier using buses and trains are the cheapest form of transport. Trains offer connections connections with all neighboring countries except Macedonia. There are 8 main airports. Water transport is mainly used for commerce although there are modern ferries and also cruise travel. Public transport offers buses, trolleybuses, trams and minibuses, where a single ticket for the day is 2BGL, on 9 BGL for the week. Taxis prices vary but you can negotiate at the resorts.
Tourism is a very important part of the income in the country and Bulgaria was noted as having very elegant resorts and much cheaper than in Europe. There are a wealth of cultural and natural attractions that can be visited all year, although October and November is not popular as the temperatures suit neither beaches nor skiing. The health resorts can be popular at all times and can be found at Hisar, Sandanski and Velingrad.
Sunny beaches and golden sands can be enjoyed at Riviera, Albena, Obzor, Sozopol, St. Constantine and Helen, St.Vlas and Elenite. The beaches are free and you will pay 6 BGL for a beer and 4 BGL for an umbrella.
The main ski resorts are in Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets. Most of the ski resorts have slopes of low and medium complexity, which is more suitable for beginners or fans of leisure butd not not extreme skiing.
When visiting Sophia, you must visit Sophia Church, St. George and Boyana, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Also, the famous Rila Monastery and the Royal Palace in the city reserve of Veliko-Turnovo. In ancient times, the need for monasteries led to the emergence of a self-Bulgarian style in architecture, such as the Ril'skiy Monastery and Boyana Church. The basis for the painting of icons served as the Byzantine style, where they were painted on ceramics and not the traditional wood. Over time the architecture and the art is gaining a European look.
Another popular attraction are the stone houses in the village of Arbanassi. The village of Melnik is very well known for its wine cellars, the mountain, the monastery and the church. In Bulgaria there are many beautiful excursions to choose from.
The city hotels are beautifully upgraded as are the hotels of the Black Sea coast. They offer good service and at the end of each season there is redecorating and reconstruction being carried out. Consequently the number of luxury hotels is growing although there are still many budget hotels and cottages.
The cuisine of Bulgaria is similar to Turkish and Greek due to the historical ties, similar location and foods. The most popular dishes use an open fire and pottery. Cegetables, fruits and herbs are mainly used with lots of salads and soups. Vegetables are used in all foods, especially with the preparation of meat. The most popular seasoning being onions, garlic, bay leaf, mint and peppers. The national dishes can simmer for a long time and many resemble a porridge.
National dishes include "Kapama", a stewed sauerkraut with several kinds of meat and sausages, "Chushka" and "Sarma" (Dolma is stuffed vegetables), stewed peppers, lamb, fish, dishes of sauerkraut and "cozonac" (Easter bread) . Bulgarians love Brynza (cheese) and eat a variety of different cheeses. Cold soup "Tarator", containing yogurt, nuts, cucumbers and garlic is very popular, as is various types of meat on the fire, sausages, mushrooms, potatoes and pies.
A glass of wine in a restaurant will cost about 1EUR, salad 1.505EUR and the main dish about 4EUR.
The most popular souvenirs include local vodka (2-7BGL), embroidered and linen products, handmade leather and metal products and perfume.
Enjoy the new discovery and life!