Particularly recommended are Danube cruises on one of two modern luxury steamers (each for 236 passengers) that sail down the Danube through seven countries. The journey begins in Passau or Vienna and ends in Ruse (Eastern Bulgaria). Shore excursions are part of the offer. After completing the Danube trip, you can either take a bus tour of Bulgaria or continue your vacation at the Black Sea or in the mountains.
Hiking holidays are becoming more and more popular. You can also travel overland by horse-drawn carriage or narrow-gauge railway. Painting and photography courses are held in Plovdiv and in the museum town of Koprivstiza (east of Sofia).
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In addition to the obvious tourist attractions, Bulgaria also has recognized spas and over 500 mineral springs with a rich history that lend themselves to a “holiday”.
The popularity of Bulgaria as a winter sports country is constantly increasing. The Bulgarian ski resorts may not be as extensive as the traditional winter sports regions, but the existing slopes are excellent for beginners and advanced skiers and are among the best in Europe. Cross-country skiing is becoming increasingly popular; marked cross-country trails lead through tall spruce forests.
World Ski Championships have already been held in Borovets, just 70 km from Sofia. The spa town of Borovets is located in the Rila Mountains and in the Rila National Park at an altitude of 1350 m. From November to April, skiers can use the slopes of the 2400 m high winter sports center Yastrebets (“Hawk’s Nest”) and excellent ones Slopes of the winter sports centers Sitnyakovo and Markudjik. Half-timbered houses (up to 6 people) can be rented. Most of the nightlife takes place in hotels. A special attraction in the Rila Mountains is the Rila Monastery, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highest mountain not only in Bulgaria, but on the entire Balkan peninsula, is the Musala, located in the Rila Mountains, with a height of 2925 m.
The huge modern ski resort of Pamporovo, south of Plovdiv in the Rhodope Mountains, has slopes for all levels of difficulty. Snowboarders also get their money’s worth in this magnificent landscape. The main ski slopes start below the Snejanka peak. Pamporovo is one of the southernmost ski resorts in Europe. From the restaurant of the TV tower in Pamporovo you can see as far as Greece and the Aegean Sea.
Aleko and Vitosha Tulip ski centers and the Konyarnika ski slope are located on the 1800 m high Vitosha Mountain overlooking the capital Sofia.
The small town of Bansko in southwestern Bulgaria lies at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bansko Ski Resort is one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in Bulgaria. It has pistes that cover all levels of difficulty, as well as slalom and giant slalom runs, cross-country ski runs and floodlit skiing is also possible here. In good weather, the panoramic view extends to the Aegean Sea.
There is a wide choice of restaurants and mehanas (local taverns) throughout Bulgaria. Characteristic of the lively Bulgarians are the friendly service, the excellent food and excellent wine. There are discos, cabarets and bars to suit all tastes and budgets. The “Khan’s Tent” on Sunny Beach is worth a visit, as is the Gorski-Zar (“Forest King”) in Albena.
Batchkovo Monastery (11th century) is located 8 km from Plovdiv. Murals, icons, old manuscripts and coins can be admired here. The monastery is located in Thrace, which also includes the Rhodope mountain range. During archaeological excavations numerous Thracian gold objects have been found here. There is a museum of rose oil production in Kazanluk. Rose oil, one of Bulgaria’s most important exports, is still produced here today. Throughout the valley are ruins from Greek, Roman, Thracian and Turkish times. Turnovo was in the 13th and 14th centuries the capital of Bulgaria. Interesting collections of historical works of art can be visited here. In the vicinity of the city are the Preobrazhenski Monastery and the Etur Open -Air Museum.
Bulgaria has nine sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. These include the Madara Rider, a horseman carved into the rock who stabs a lion with a spear. This is located on the Madara Plateau in the Danube plain.
Near Boyana, a suburb of Sofia, are the famous murals, which also contain replicas of the icons of Constantinople.
The Ivanoho Rock Monasteries near the town of Ruse stretch for more than 5km and consist of monastic cells, churches and chapels carved into the rock by hermit monks between the 11th and 14th centuries.
That Nature reserve at Lake Srebura is located near the Danube, 16 km west of the town of Silistra.