In 2016, I spent several weeks travelling through the beautiful Balkan country of Bulgaria. As my first Bulgaria trip and with not much information on hand, I really didn’t know what to expect. Like much of this corner of Europe, Bulgaria is only just starting to get the kind of attention it deserves from tourists. I’m definitely thinking about when I can next visit.
What really stood out to me about Bulgaria was that it wasn’t one particular aspect that blew me away. Instead, Bulgaria has an enviable balance of nature, geography, antiquity and cities. that means there should be something for all tastes. I’ve already shared some of the things I think you should know before visiting, but if you need some extra convincing, hopefully these photos will inspire your first Bulgaria trip.
Old World Atmosphere
One of the real charms of Bulgaria is that there are parts that have truly managed to escape the tests of time. Cities like Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo, not to mention plenty of towns and villages, have retained their historic centres and are all the better for them. A trip to Bulgaria can show you a side of Europe you’ve never seen.
Thanks to its mountainous geography, Bulgaria is blessed with some astounding natural landscapes. This is never more clear than the areas around the Balkan and Pirin Mountains. If you’re looking to be truly wowed on your Bulgaria trip, then look no further than the stunning sand pyramids that surround the village of Melnik.
Dazzling Urban Cityscapes
A memorable first Bulgaria trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the country’s intriguing and diverse cities. The nation’s capital of Sofia has a wonderful jumble of everything, from gigantic churches to immense soviet buildings. The student city of Plovdiv has an infectiously fun atmosphere, with some of the country’s coolest bars and restaurants. Plus, who doesn’t want to watch the sun set over the city from hilltop ruins?
Bulgaria is a large enough country that it has quite a few pockets that have been untouched by people. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle, there are plenty of chances to get amongst nature and let the world slow down. The rivers and forests around Dryanovo are particularly peaceful.
Sun and Sand
Finally, who can forget Bulgaria’s beautiful beaches. With a coastline that stretches along the Black Sea, in many people’s minds Bulgaria is first and foremost a beach getaway. Not to mention it has to be one of Europe’s cheapest summer destinations while still having plenty of choice.
Where would you choose to start your first Bulgaria trip? Have you already visited Bulgaria and are looking to return? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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