17 Jul 2013

10 Top Places To Visit In Bulgaria

As one of the most interesting of the historic nations of Eastern Europe, Bulgaria is also a wonderful store of natural wealth. Bulgaria has a population of approximately eight million people and is filled with mountains, lowlands near the river Danube, rich farmland and sandy beaches along the Black Sea Coast. Visitors to Bulgaria are provided with plenty of room to enjoy their time and explore all the hidden treasures of this extraordinary country. Let's take a look at some of these treasures in our 10 top places to visit in Bulgaria...

10. Veliko Turnovo
The historical city of Veliko Turnovo is famous for serving as capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire during the Middle Ages. Attracting many tourists with its unique architecture, the Tsarevets fortress is one of the main tourist destinations in Bulgaria.

9. Plovdiv
Plovdiv's beautiful Old Town has many homes from the 1880's which have been carefully restored, many of them now serving as museums and art galleries. The most beautiful house in the Old Town has now become the Ethnographic Museum. The Old Town is also home to a Roman ampitheater.
8. Melnik
Melnik is known for its robust red wine, impressive old-style houses and beautiful natural surroundings. The town is an architectural reserve and 96 of its buildings are cultural monuments. With a population of just 385, it is the smallest town in Bulgaria, retaining its city status today for historical reasons.
7. Sozopol
Located 34 kilometers south of Bourgas on a small peninsula, Sozopol is one of the oldest towns in Bulgaria. The town is known for its resorts and beaches, fishing boats and wooden houses dating back to the 18th Century. Since 1984 Sozopol hosts the Apollonia art festivities every September, which include theatre shows, exhibitions, movies, musical and dance performances, book presentations and other cultural events.
6. Seven Rila Lakes
Situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, these glacial lakes are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria. The lakes are located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades creating an inspiring natural beauty for visitors to the area to enjoy.
5. Balchik
Located on the Black Sea coast, this picturesque town was the summer home of Queen Marie during Romania's administration. After the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, Balchik developed into the centre of a rich agricultural region and later as a major tourist destination with the beachfront resort of Albena to its south.
4. Kaliakra
Cape Kaliakra, situated on a rocky, narrow peninsula extending into the Black Sea north of Varna is highly regarded by the locals for its beautiful scenery more than its history serving as a fortress in both Roman and Byzantine times. Kaliakra is a nature reserve, where dolphins and cormorants can be observed. Sitting on the Via Pontica, a major bird migration route from Africa into Eastern and Northern Europe, many rare and migrant birds can be seen here in Spring and Autumn and, like much of this coastline, is home to several rare breeding birds.
3. Sofia
As Bulgaria's capital, Sofia is far from being considered beautiful when compared to the rest of the country, however after spending time in the city you will grow to appreciate its charm as you walk its streets, visit its museums and eat in its restaurants. Highlights of the city include its stunning synagogue, spacious parks and the old world feel of the houses.
2. Nessebar
Nessebar is not only one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria, but also one of the oldest towns in Europe. Its brick churches date back to the Middle Ages and before. The town is recognized as a World Heritage Site with its beautiful wooden homes having remained since Bulgaria's Revival period in the 1800's. Nessebar has become one of the most prominent tourist destinations and seaports on the Black Sea with the largest resort, Sunny Beach, situated immediately to the north.
1. Rila Monastery
First built in the 10th Century and reconstructed a few times since, the Rila Monastery is considered the Jerusalem of Bulgaria, probably due to the fact that it attracts both pilgrims and tourists. Any visitor to the Monastery will be sure to appreciate the different aspects of the artwork on display. The Monastery is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural, historical and architectural monuments and is a key tourist attraction for both Bulgaria and Southern Europe. In 2008 alone, it attracted 900,000 visitors.

Book your next summer or winter holiday to Bulgaria with Balkan Holidays by visiting www.balkanholidays.co.uk