Wednesday, 26 August 2015

How To Save Money Off Your Winter 2015/16 Holiday

1. Find A Holiday You Like.

By visiting our website you can check the availability and book online with total peace of mind, at your own convenience. Search through hundreds of our latest holiday deals to Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo, Bulgaria from 6 UK airports.

2. Grab Your Online Discount.

Look out for the Online Discount amount shown on the result pages, to see how much you are saving by booking online. The online discount applies to all elements within your package holiday, with the exception of taxes such as airport taxes and fuel surcharges, which cannot be discounted.

3. Get An Extra Discount.

If you are booking with us before the 30th September 2015, you can save £30 per booking Winter 2015/2016 by entering voucher code SLS2016 at the payment stage before confirming your package holiday.

If you are travelling from London Gatwick, good news, for a limited time only we have reduced the flight supplement to zero saving you £25pp off your holiday! This offer is valid for all departures from London Gatwick to Sofia between the 19th December 2015 and the 6th February 2016.

 4. Travelled With Us Before?

To show our appreciation to our loyal customers, Balkan Holidays are delighted to offer an extra 5% discount to customers who booked their previous winter package holiday with us within the last two winter seasons (2013/14 or 2014/15).

To qualify for the 5% Loyalty Discount a copy of the previous and new reference numbers must be provided to us within 2 weeks of confirming your new booking (Winter 2015/16). The offer is valid for a limited period and expires 30th September 2015. Not combinable with voucher codes.

5. Reserve Your Spot On The Slopes With Just £70pp Deposit.

Now that you’ve found your perfect holiday and secured yourself those extra discounts, it’s time to book your spot on the slopes. In order to do that, you only need a £70pp deposit when booking with Balkan Holidays. After that, it’s up to you how little or how much you pay and when, providing your holiday is fully paid up no less than 8 weeks before departure. Deal!

6. Looking For Some Ski or Board Equipment And Lift Passes?

No problem, We've got that covered (at reduced prices too!). In addition to our fantastic value for money package holidays we also offer a wide choice of deals & discounts to help ease the pressure on your wallet. We know that saving for a holiday can already be tough so we have put together some fantastic deals & discounts just for you. Find out more here.

7. Relax And Begin Counting Down The Days Until Your Awesome Ski Holiday...

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A Tasty Look At Bulgarian Cuisine

Food lovers have long since appreciated the merits of Bulgarian cuisine with the verdict that is it tasty, spicy and varied. Abundant in fresh vegetables and fruit, juicy meat, grilled or served with piquant sauces, mouth-watering vegetarian dishes, banitsa that melts in your mouth or Bulgarian yoghurt, there is something appealing for everyone.

Food lovers have long since appreciated the merits of Bulgarian cuisine

The Bulgarian culinary “geography” overflows with delicious meals: Bansko style Kapama (meat and vegetables stewed in a clay pot), Rhodope Cheverme (lamb roasted on a spit over an open fire), Thracian Katmi (a special type of salted pancake served with Danube fish soup or Black Sea mussels).

Rhodope Cheverme (lamb roasted on a spit over an open fire)

So why exactly does the Bulgarian cuisine taste so good? Well the answer is simple, Bulgarian food is organic food. The dishes are prepared using natural products which is an important factor in bringing the unique taste to Bulgarian meals. There are also a number of distinctive features of the Bulgarian cooking methods that contribute to the exceptional taste. 

When preparing meals that include meat for example, Bulgarians start by cooking the meat gradually before adding the rest of the ingredients gradually. In this way they save time and effort as the entire meal is prepared using only one pot or saucepan containing all the flavours that have developed during the process. The inclusion of milk or yoghurt with other produce is also very typical for the Bulgarian national cuisine. It enriches the technology of food preparation and makes the dishes healthier. 

Another distinctive feature is the thermal processing of the ingredients as they are slowly simmered on a low heat enabling their nutritive qualities to be retained and make the food taste much tastier.

Below is a selection of tasty Bulgarian dishes you may come across at any of the local traditional restaurants during your stay in the resorts:
Shopska Salad
Shopska Salad » Chopped tomato, onion, cucumber and pickled red or green peppers, seasoned with salt, sunflower oil and vinegar and topped with a unique crumbled white cheese. 
Tourshia » A salad made from pickled tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, cauliflower, celery and carrots.
Mlechna Salad
Mlechna Salad » Made of yoghurt, gherkins, garlic and walnuts. 
Bob Chorba » A delicious thick bean and tomato soup.
Tarator » A cold soup made with yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and dill. Very refreshing!
Mish-Mash » A vegetarian dish with egg, cheese, red and green peppers and tomatoes.
Sarmi » Vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with mincemeat and rice.
Kebap » Meat cut into small pieces and simmered in a rich sauce.
Kebapcheta » Grilled mincemeat portions usually served with a rich tomato purée.
Guvech » A stew with vegetables, herbs and small pieces of meat.
Kashkaval Pane
Kashkaval Pane » Yellow cheese deep fried in batter, a very popular snack!
Kavarma » A spicy stew made with onions, peppers and mushrooms, cooked in an authentic earthenware casserole pot.
Dreboliyki » Shepherd's pie Bulgarian style, made with rice, egg and Lamb innards! Topped with thin layers of filo pastry and almonds before being covered in honey and sugar sauce. 

So whether you're visiting the north or south of Bulgaria this summer, make sure you try the delicious local cuisine and take home the true flavour of Bulgaria!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Bulgaria Aquaparks - Treat The Kids This Summer!

Going to an Aqua Park must be one of the most universally loved activities for children and a great way to keep cool in the sun. If you want to make it part of your holiday in Sunny Beach then there are several options within easy reach of the resort.

Action Aquapark

Spread over 24,000 square metres, this wonderland of all things water-related has something to suit every member of the family - children and adults alike. The younger kids can benefit from a large shallow pool, but won't be jealous of their older siblings, as it has its own attractions.

These include a wrecked pirate ship with two small slides leading into the oval pool, as well as a lifesize toy crocodile to climb on and three replica turtles. Older kids will no doubt want to get their adrenaline pumping, such as the vertical Kamikaze and the bendy Hydrotube.

Many adults appreciate being able to have a good swim, so the full length pool is particularly popular, but don't be fooled - it holds a secret. A special sound system plays music underwater so you have tunes to keep your pace up. At the end of the day, gather all the family members together and race each other down the four lanes of the Multislide. It's amazing how competitive dads can get!

Aqua Paradise

This is probably the flashiest of all the Aqua Parks in the Balkans and the biggest. There are over 40 attractions in a 46,000 square metre space, including a large castle, from which many of the slides emerge and disappear.

Some of these snake and wind all over the park, giving a great bird's eye view of the surroundings, while others are completely dark or decorated in a zebra print pattern.

Smaller Aqua Parks

There are also two smaller Aqua Parks in the very heart of Sunny Beach that are cheaper. They have fewer of the high profile fast flowing rides, but could be good for younger children.

One is the Kuban Aqua Park in the gardens of the Hotel Kuban and the other is the Pirates of the Caribbean Mini Aqua Park, which can be found within the vicinity of the Hotel Kotva.

Other Aqua Parks in Bulgaria

In addition to these fantastic Aqua Parks in Sunny Beach, a number of other popular Bulgarian holiday resorts are also home to some brilliant Aqua Parks including:

Aquapolis in Golden Sands (northern Bulgaria)
Attraction Park 'Aquapolis' is considered the most beautiful Aqua Park in Eastern Europe.

Aqua Paradise in Nessebar (southern Bulgaria)
This paradise is situated on area of 30 000 sq. km. to the west of the seaside resort Nessebar.

Atlantida Aquapark in Elenite (southern Bulgaria)
Located in the Holiday Village of Elenite. Free Entrance for residents of Elenite. Non Residents can pay locally.

Aquapark Aquamania in Albena (northern Bulgaria)
This truly magical Aqua Park is located in the western part of the Albena resort between Variety Casino and the Hotel Ralitsa, covering an area of about 30 acres within the park area. Aquapark Aquamania features a variety of high quality water slides including the family adventure and family thrill Mammoth, The Plummet, 4 Lane ProRacer & Kidz Zone. Free entrance to the Aquapark Aquamania is included for guests to the resort staying at selected hotels, food and drinks are at local charge.

Kids love Aqua Parks and Bulgaria has a great selection to choose from. Secure your next summer 2015 or 2016 holiday to Bulgaria now by visiting our website.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Which type of holidaymaker are you?

"The Adventureman" - He considers himself cut from the same (waterproof) cloth as Bear Grylls and his adverturous ilk. With his Gortex coat, zip off trousers and money belt, he's prepared for any eventuality - You never know when you might chance across a poisonous snake or quicksand on a city break in Brussels...

"The (Anti)Social Media Enthusiast" - With an iPad under the arm, a camera around their neck, a phone in their pocket and a veritable arsenal of chargers, their main goal of the holiday: share EVERYTHING. Even if it means, well, missing out on some of the actual experience. They'll be reliving it through those 200 sunset pictures anyway. Holiday slideshow anyone?

"The British Lobster" - What's red, white and blue and smells like eggs and bacon? That'd be your classic British Lobster; the burned chap in the Union Jack swim shorts and the healthy appetite for all things Blighty. He can appreciate a good sangria, ta very much, and the sunshine isn't half bad, but even 30 degree heat won't keep him from his daily English brekkie.

"The High Maintenance Girl" - She wears heels to the beach, takes a wheelie case on a backpacking trip to Asia and half her luggage allowance is taken up by 'essential' beauty products plus curlers, straighteners and a volume diffuser. After all, looking glam is a full time job and she's not taking ANY time off - even on, well, her time off!

"The Honeymooners" - Think great love affairs, Johnny and June, Romeo and Juliet, Barbie and Ken and... the honeymooners. We're all really happy they've found each other. Really. But do they have to smugly feed each other heart-shaped slices of pineapple off the breakfast buffet?

"The Lads On Tour" - Usually trailed by an aromatic bouquet of beer, sweat and three-day-old hangover and as noisy as Saturday at Stamford Bridge, these boys have one obvious objective for their holiday - and it's not visiting ancient monuments. After all, seeing actual sunshine is an optional extra when there are 50p shots of Jagermeister to be pulverized nightly on the strip. 1-2-3-LADS!

"The Lilo Loafer" - They've booked their all inclusive holiday at their favourite resort and come hell or high water, they're getting their money's worth. The closest they get to adventure on holiday is replacing their usual mojito with a raspberry daiquiri. By the end of the holiday, their favourite sun lounger needs its own getaway to recover from the constant pressure.

"Mr Off The Beaten Track" - If it's not the most offbeat local joint in the wrong part of town, then this guy does NOT want to know about it. He considers the use of guide books a hideous crime against his maverick spirit and if he had a penny for every time he uttered the words 'oh, I know this great little place', he'd be able to buy at least twenty bottles of locally brewed craft beer. If that wasn't so predictable.

Whichever type of holidaymaker you are, you will be sure to find the ideal holiday to suit your needs with Balkan Holidays. Visit our website today and find out why we are the leading specialists of holidays to Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro for over 49 years.

Content kindly provided by SeSoMe

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Introducing FairFX MasterCard - the smarter way to take control of your money abroad!

Balkan Holidays have partnered with FairFX to help you take control of your money and family spending when you are abroad. Do you know most banks and credit card companies charge an extra 2.75% on every international purchase you make? To help you spend less on these charges Balkan Holidays have partnered with FairFX who charge only 1.4%. You can top-up online before you travel using FairFX’s website, mobile app or SMS, then just use your FairFX card in shops, hotels and restaurants displaying the MasterCard acceptance mark or withdraw cash from ATMs.

Why should I get one?
  •     The card is FREE for Balkan Holidays customers (usual fee is £9.95)
  •     Convenient to use - just load and spend
  •     Manage your FairFX MasterCard from your mobile phone
  •     Use it anywhere where you see the MasterCard logo 

What are customers saying?

"The FairFX card was very convenient and easy to use"
"Good website and easy to top up"
"We chose the card to avoid carrying too much cash for a 6 week trip"
"I purchased my currency card after seeing the rate"

To find out more details and get your FairFX MasterCard just click here.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Join The Fun With Mr Bear's Kids Club!

Looking for a summer holiday where you can relax completely while your children are engaged in fun and exciting activities in a safe environment? Mr. Bears Kids Club in Sunny Beach might be that one thing that puts your mind at ease this summer!
With Mr. Bear's Club your kids will never get bored on your holiday.

Our Mr Bears kids’ clubs create safe, happy places for children to make new friends, learn new skills and, most importantly, to play. With a sign in/sign out policy you can be sure of your children’s safety at all times.

Mr Bear's Kids Club is based at Hotel Fenix, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria and it is open to all Balkan Holidays children, regardless of which hotel or apartment you are staying in. It is split into, two age groups, between 4-7 years “the cubbs” and 8-12 years “the bears”. The Club is FREE, however additional charges may apply for a limited number of activities.
With activities 5 days a week, 4 hours a day, Mr. Bear's Club is definitely not to be missed!

Time to get creative!

Below is a weekly schedule example of our Kids Club summer fun.

On Monday morning we enjoy various arts & crafts with paper mache, sculpting and painting. Outdoor games will be organised in the afternoon, including football, dodge ball and more.

On Tuesday, your kids can design their own T-shirts and paint them with 3D paint. T-shirts are charged at 10 Lev. In the afternoon an exciting quiz show begins to learn about the world and to find the winner of the day.

Wednesday morning is the time for garden games, such as cricket, garden Ludo, tennis and other ball games. Movie and popcorn provide the entertainment in the afternoon as the kids watch the film of their choice on comfortable bean bags.

Arts and crafts session awaits on Friday, where your kids can make their special bracelets and there is a chance for face painting as well to surprise mom and dad in the evening! In the afternoon we make our own souvenirs for the family at home.

On Saturday there is a choice between a full day Family Picnic in the village of Erkech, and activities in the resort. On the daytrip we learn about local culture, travel on horse and carts and learn how lemonade used to be made, then enjoy a picnic in the meadow.

In the resort, Saturday is the day of drama: kids make their masks and then tell a story on stage. The dance floor will be open in the afternoon for some dancing fun and music.

On Sunday morning a team quiz will test the combined knowledge of the teams, and then in the afternoon a ten pin bowling competition starts to find the best bowler in resort. This activity costs 15 Lev.

Surprise mom and dad in the evening with face paint!

reps also attend the Sun and Fun Pirates Cruise so if you were looking to take some time out and soak up the sun, the Balkan Holidays Kids Club team are on hand to take care of the little ones for you.

Book a
summer holiday to Bulgaria in the vicinity of our Kids Club in Sunny Beach resort and your kids will be guaranteed action, activity and adventure and a family holiday in Bulgaria they won't forget.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

5 Fun and Crazy Skiing World Records

When it comes to winter sports, sometimes going up and down the slopes simply isn't enough for some individuals. Whether it was by accident or on purpose, these individuals have given us some of the most unbelievable world records around and it is in this article where we will highlight five of these record-breaking achievements for your reading pleasure...
1. Most Fingertip Pull-Ups While Wearing Skis
On the 21st December 2013 in Big Bear, California, ski enthuasist Andreas Weaver set the record for the most fingertip pull-ups while wearing skis when he set a record of 13 during a holiday to improvise a workout while skiing.

Check out Andreas setting the record here
2. Most Countries Skiied in 20 days
On March 21, 2014 in Riddarholmen, Stockholm, Jamie Stevenson set the record for the most countries skiied in 20 days in order to raise money for Disability Snowsport UK. Covering most of Europe, Jamie even skiied in Spain during the challenge.

You can watch each day of Jamie's record here
3. Most Vertical Feet Skied Uphill In 24 Hours (Female)

Dina Mishev climbed 34,546 feet in 24 hours, a new world record. Using climbing skins, she repeatedly trekked up a 1502-foot trail, checking in with officials at the top off the trail, before skiing down and checking in with officials at the bottom. She did this 23 times in 24 hours. The record was set on February 8, 2009 during the 24 Hour Sunlight Challenge at the Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

4. Longest Time To Ski On One Foot

On Mars Hill in North Carolina on January 8, 2008, experienced skiier Alex Kleinschmidt set a new world record using only one ski for 25.1 seconds. As most of us struggle to stay up on two feet, this record is certainly worthy of the praise it receives.

Check out Alex's record breaking video here

5. Most Consecutive Days Skiing

Paul Schipper's skiing "streak" began in 1981 at age 57 and continued through until 2005 at age 81. He skied every single day that Sugarloaf ski resort in Carrabassett, Maine was open for 3,903 consecutive days. He skied through bouts of cancer, pneumonia and near blindness in one eye. Sadly Paul Schipper, known as "The Ironman of Skiing" died on February 16, 2009 at age 85. Sugarloaf named a trail in his honor on April 4, 2005, by calling a section of the famous Narrow Gauge Trail as “Schipper’s Streak".