With lots of things to see and do in Bulgaria, there’s no shortage of good reasons to make it your next destination. Not only is it notoriously cheap, but it’s easily reached from practically anywhere in Europe. Home to the breathtaking Rila mountain range, flowing rivers, glacial lakes, gushing waterfalls and a delicious cuisine, there’s no reason why Bulgaria shouldn’t feature on your to do list. Believe it or not, there’s much more to Bulgaria than it’s infamous Black Sea beaches. Here are 5 things to see during your stay.
5 Things To See…
These towering sandstone formations resembling legendary faces and objects overshadow the vast lush hills surrounding the town of Belogradchick. Covering some 90 sq km and reaching heights of up to 200 meters, these unique formations were formed over millions of years. Climb to the top of the Kaleto fortress for spectacular views over this geological marvel.
Cheap parking, places to eat and overnight accommodation are available at Belogradchick. The drive from Sofia takes roughly 2.5-3 hours. A few hours here is more than sufficient to explore.
7 Rila Lakes
Visit one of Bulgaria’s most noteworthy national parks for breathtaking views over the famous lakes of the Rila mountain range. Only an hour and a half from Sofia, it’s undoubtedly one of the most visited locations in Bulgaria.
A 20 minute chairlift ride will take you up to the starting point of this breathtaking hike. 4×4’s are also available and will transport you to the top for roughly the same price as the chair lift (roughly 15 lev return per person).
There is a circular hiking route starting and finishing at the chair lift station. The Rila area hosts blissful mountain scenery, mellow glacial lakes, gushing waterfalls and thick ice sheets, ideal for hiking enthusiasts. Be warned, the route isn’t paved and can take a several hours to negotiate depending on ability.
The rugged and alternating terrain demands good footwear and plenty of water. A hike to a viewpoint in the Rila mountain range offers a spectacular view over all seven lakes. Be sure to gauge your time as the chair lift station closes during the early evening – it’s a long hike back down!
These heavenly waterfalls are well worth a visit. Situated 34 km from the city of Lovech, fresh water flows along the multiple levels of this dazzling waterfall system.
Park at the entrance and take a peaceful stroll along the four main water features at Krushuna. There is a small entry fee payable next to the car park, including all day parking, but an hour here will be more than sufficient. Conveniently, these picturesque falls are a mere 10 minute drive to the Devetashka cave, making it even more of a day trip worth taking.
The caves of Devetashka are situated in close proximity to Krushuna falls. This dome cave system is home to local bird and bat populations. With nearby parking and an entry fee of 3 lev, it’s a good spot to spend half an hour cooling down from the midday sun.
Other popular caves in Bulgaria include Prohodna cave, Magura cave, Devil’s Throat, and Ledenika cave to name a few. Devetashka is a small but impressive landmark. It’s well worth stopping off if you’re in the area.
Black Sea beaches
Bulgaria is famous for it’s gorgeous Black Sea beaches, the largest and most popular of which is Sunny Beach. Situated close to the picturesque town of Nesebar, it boasts 1700 hours of sunshine between May and October. This 8km long golden sand beach offers a wide variety of water sports, bars, restaurants and a buzzing night life. Other beaches include Golden sands, Albena and the nudist beach at Irakli.
For more of Europe’s outstanding natural beauty, check out our guide to Scotland!