Bulgaria travel | Europe – Lonely Planet

Soul-stirring mountains rival golden seashores, whereas cities hum with nightlife and artwork. Within Bulgaria’s beguiling mix of nature and historical past, unforgettable adventures are assured.

Black Sea Beaches

Long, sandy seashores and nice climate reel holidaymakers into Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts every summer time. Bulgarian inlanders are helplessly drawn to the freshening sea breeze and miles of turquoise water. Foreign guests, too, are sensible to Bulgaria’s coast, due to beautiful seaside resorts similar to Primorsko (and costs that compete nicely with Western Europe). Even the coast’s two massive cities, Varna and Burgas, have engaging seashores inside minutes of their city hearts. And whereas Sunny Beach, Sozopol and different favourites are totally developed, there are nonetheless loads of undiscovered coves north and south of the key hubs.

Churches & Religious Art

No customer to Bulgaria can fail to be impressed by its spiritual artwork, from huge gold-domed church buildings to miniature icon work. Sofia’s Aleksander Nevski Church and tenth-century Rila Monastery draw guests and pilgrims galore, whereas Tryavna’s wooden carvings and Bachkovo’s apocalyptic murals are gathering fame. But Orthodox church buildings in even the tiniest villages have a lot to admire: emotive work of saints, usually set in carved picket screens (iconostases), seem magical when bathed in flickering candlelight. Almost as spectacular are the settings of many sacred buildings: granite cliffs, thrashing streams and lonely mountain passes.

Mountains & Forests

Bulgaria’s untamed landscapes quicken the heartbeat of hikers, mountain bikers and skiers. Seven mountain ranges ripple throughout the nation; glacial lakes sparkle between these snow-dusted peaks, and tangles of forest conceal wolves, bears and lynx, a glimpse of Europe’s primeval previous. Networks of trails and hizhas (mountain climbing huts) enable entry to such uncooked magnificence as mist-cloaked panoramas within the Stara Planina vary and dawn from Bulgaria’s second-highest peak, Mt Vihren (2915m). Between trekking amongst Rodopi villages, thundering throughout ski fields in Bansko or birdwatching in Pirin National Park, Bulgaria has a lot to please (and exhaust) lovers of the good outdoor.

Ancient History

Whispers of historical past emanate from Bulgaria’s fortresses and ruins. Caves secreted in Bulgaria’s river-sculpted wilds maintain traces of Neolithic settlements. The mysterious Thracians left behind dazzling hauls of gold and silver, and tombs that may be explored to today. The Romans constructed cities of breathtaking scale, the bathhouses, partitions and amphitheatres of which sit nonchalantly within the midst of recent cities similar to Varna and Plovdiv. Successions of tsars strutted alongside the ramparts of Tsarevets Fortress at former capital Veliko Târnovo. And these histories aren’t any much less related at the moment, with Thracian artwork and Bulgaria’s victory over the Ottomans persevering with to encourage.

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