Wednesday, 16 December 2015

5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Sunny Beach Next Summer!

Sunny Beach by the Black Sea is the most popular summer holiday resort in Bulgaria for holidaymakers from all around Europe. Let’s see why thousands of people choose Sunny Beach for their holiday destination for Summer 2016.

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

1. Value For Money

Just compare the market! According to the latest Holiday Costs Barometer published by Post Office Travel Money in April 2015, Bulgaria was this year’s best holiday bargain. This means that meals, drinks and other tourist staples are cheapest by far in Bulgaria. It is much cheaper to have a Summer Holiday here than in Greece, or the Adriatic, or maybe Spain, let alone the French Riviera.

2. The Beaches

The beaches are ideal for a family holiday with children, as they are safe and clean. The water of the Black Sea is much less salty than for example the Adriatic, and the beaches are sandy, not covered by pebbles. You won’t encounter sea urchins or other dangerous creatures while having a splash, and there are no sudden deep trenches. Out of 11 Blue Flag beaches in Bulgaria two are in Sunny Beach: both Sunny Beach South and Sunny Beach North have been awarded by the official international certification that it meets its stringent standards.

3. Balkan Holidays Hotels

Balkan Holidays have their own hotels in Sunny Beach, so that you can have an incredible value for holiday package deals including BH Air flights, accommodation and transfer. The four star Hotel Globus, the four star Hotel Fenix and the three star Hotel Pomorie in Sunny Beach both belong to the BH Hotels chain, and are very popular amongst British holidaymakers.

4. The Widest Choice

An incredible choice of entertainment is at your disposal while on summer holiday to Sunny Beach. Restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs, cafés and 2 Aqua Parks await those wishing to spend a day or night out. Yachting, windsurfing, water ski and other water sport facilities are also available at Sunny Beach, as well as tennis, mini golf, equitation, go-kart and beach volley ball for those wishing to stay on the shore.

5. Plenty to See & Do

There’s plenty to see and to do in the area! The famous UNESCO World Heritage town full of byzantine monuments, Nessebar is very close and is well worth a daytrip. Another point of interest nearby is Pomorie, founded by Roman conquerors, famous for its salt works.

For fantastic value for money and a perfect family holiday, book one of our package deals to Sunny Beach for Summer 2016 today!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

TripAdvisor Crowns Bansko Best Value For Skiing This Season

Bansko in Bulgaria offers the best value ski holiday for British families this season, according to an annual TripAdvisor cost comparison study of 42 selected destinations conducted by independent research firm, Ipsos MORI.

Located in southwestern Bulgaria at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, a week on the slopes of Bansko, including hotel, ski passes, ski hire, ski lessons, evening meals and drinks for a family of four will set you back £1,279, almost four times less than the price of a similar holiday in the most expensive destination, Switzerland’s Zermatt, which costs £4,809.

Not only has Bansko once again retained its position as Europe’s cheapest ski destination since last year’s TripIndex study, but overall costs for a holiday in Bansko have actually fallen by £352 since last year. Zermatt however, has jumped three places from last year to knock Austria’s St. Anton off the top spot as the most expensive resort on the list.

The results were taken from TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Ski 2015, an annual report that compares the cost of a ski holiday across 42 ski destinations in Europe. The study takes into account the cost of one week’s hotel accommodation, ski lessons, ski passes, basic ski hire and a week’s evening meals and drinks for a family of four this ski season (15 December 2015 – 15 April 2016).

Bansko and Eastern Europe in general have been revealed as offering the best value for ski travellers this year with the region home to three of the top six cheapest destinations; Bansko, Bulgaria; Sochi, Russia; and Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. When it comes to comparing the cost of the individual aspects that make up a week long ski holiday, prices can vary dramatically from destination to destination. For a week’s stay in a ski resort hotel, families will find that Val Thorens in France is the most expensive destination at £3,091. Travellers could stay in Bansko for over a month at that price. A week’s stay in a Bansko hotel comes out at just £636.

When it comes to ensuring you’re prepared and equipped to take to the slopes, Bansko once again comes out as the cheapest in most cases. One week’s basic package for skis, boots and poles will set a family back just £125, and a weekly ski pass for two adults and two children is only £214. Of the 42 ski destinations studied, Verbier, in France, is the priciest for ski hire, coming in at £450, while the Swiss resort of Zermatt offers the most expensive weekly ski pass at a staggering £880.

Sochi in Russia is revealed as the cheapest place to grab a bite to eat in this year’s study, with dinner for four over seven days costing just £105, compared with £762 in Verbier, Switzerland. A daily beer for two people over the course of a week is most affordable in Bansko at £21, while at £59 for the week, Zermatt is the most expensive. It’s Oberstdorf, Germany that offers the best value soft drinks for the kids at just £14 for the week, over £40 cheaper than Zermatt where it will cost £56.

TripAdvisor spokesperson, James Kay said “Skiing can be an expensive holiday, however, British families can reduce their costs by carefully selecting the best value resorts, which as the TripAdvisor TripIndex Ski 2015 study shows, can be found in Eastern Europe. For those who prefer the resorts in the Swiss and French Alps that are more expensive, comparing hotel prices using the PriceFinder tool on TripAdvisor is a great way to bag and book a better deal.”

To find out more about our range of Bulgaria and Slovenia Ski Holidays or to book please visit our winter holidays page.

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.