Called the ‘Florida of the Balkans’, Bulgaria has some of Europe’s loveliest ranges, pine forests and fairytale villages
Bulgaria is not a country that figures on many holiday wish-lists or one that appears much in the news. So, why go there? Sunny beaches and golden sands, beautiful vistas, historic ruins and a large dollop of culture – Bulgaria is an excellent and most affordable destination for family holidays. And now is the perfect time to visit Bulgaria for you can be sure of the sunshine from May to September.
Called the ‘Florida of the Balkans’, Bulgaria has some of Europe’s loveliest ranges, pine forests and fairytale villages. And Bulgaria can be exotic. For centuries conquerors and migrants swept across Bulgaria leaving behind churches, monasteries, mosques and well preserved old villages by the Romans, Byzantines and Turks.Yet this country, rich in history and natural beauty and bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, is now best known for its sixth border – the Black Sea – a 235-mile stretch of sandy, safe beaches, coves, cliffs, a dozen or so resorts and Varna, queen of the Black Sea coast.
One of Bulgaria’s greatest treasures is a superb collection of gold jewellery. Much of it over 6,000 years old and discovered in 1972, is in Varna’s Archaeological Museum, an austere 19th Century building
Although Varna is a thriving commercial and maritime centre, the beach is only a ten-minute walk from the traffic-free and attractive main square, alive with cafes and restaurants, walkers and talkers.
One of Bulgaria’s greatest treasures is a superb collection of gold jewellery. Much of it over 6,000 years old and discovered in 1972, is in Varna’s Archaeological Museum, an austere 19th Century building. For those who love shopping, the capital Sofia boasts six new shopping centres where prices are cheaper than in most other countries in the European Union. The new international airport at Sofia is similar to Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The city itself reflects the fact that it stands at the crossroads of civilisations – here you will find classic Greek and Roman architecture alongside shiny gold domed cathedrals influenced by the Russians.
Bulgaria enjoys four distinct seasons and the climate is influenced by the proximity to two seas – the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Lengthy cold winters, especially in the mountains where it is usually possible to ski well into April. Winter temperatures are below zero, but slightly milder on the coast. Summer temperatures average 25-30C (77-86F). Springs and autumns are pleasant.
Austrian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines all have flights to Sofia. There are flights from most European capitals to Sofia and Varna. Many agents operate package holidays to Bulgaria which can work out cheaper. There are train and bus links from the surrounding countries, but lengthy delays are possible on road crossings from Romania.
Embassies & Visas
Consulate General in Dubai
Jumeirah Road, Villa 18, 72535, Dubai, UAE
requirements: EU and US citizens do not need a visa;
Canadian, New Zealand and Australian do not need a visa.
Additional information www.mfa.bg/en/pages/109/index.html