BULGARIA Travel Tools

 COUNTRY WEB-GUIDES || Getting There >by Air >BY RAIL || top PASSPORTS & VISAS || PLACES TO STAY|| GETTING AROUND THERE > Cities || FOOD & DRINK || BEACH || Snow Holidays || WATER SPAS || MOUNTAINS & RIVERS || CULTURAL || FESTIVALS  || Weather || MAPS || FAST FACTS || MONEY || HEALTH & SAFETY || COMMUNICATIONS || FORUMS || HISTORY || Directories || LINK LISTS || Business

 
 

Exploring Bugaria
by Roughguides

Balkan Range
Black Sea Coast
Kazanlâk
Plovdiv
Rhodopes
Shipka Pass
Sofia
Southwest
Sredna Gora
Stara Zagora
BG Portals
  All.bg
  Guvech
  Hit.bg
  Dir.bg
  Top.bg
 Info.bg
  Need.bg
  Portal.bg
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  Techno-link
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With 354 kilometers of Black Sea coastline, 37,000 kilometers of marked hiking paths in the Balkan and Rhodope mountain ranges, exceptionally diverse summer and winter resorts, mineral baths and spas, and fascinating ancient archeological remains dating back to when the Tracians competed with the Greeks for European domination,  Bulgaria is an increasingly discovered tourist destination in Europe enjoying 20% annual growth since the year 2000.  

Bulgaria contains some of the richest wildlife in Central and Eastern Europe, has over 1,600 mineral water springs, and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the famous Rila Monastery. With 8.5 million people living in 111,000 square kilometers, making Bulgaria the least densely populated country in Europe.
Most visitors head for the Black Sea Coast where over 60% of the hotel rooms are located but increasingly many are discovering the pleasures of the outdoors and smaller towns.

Heirs to one of Europe's great civilizations, and guardians of Balkan Christian traditions, Bulgarians have a keen sense of national identity distilled by centuries of turbulent history. Dating back to the fourth century BC, the capital Sofia has buildings in many architectural traditions including Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Turkish. The city of Sofia boasts notable theatres and museums, opera houses and art galleries. The Bulgarian Black Sea Riviera resorts, with their wide bays and golden beaches, are ideal for family holidays.

COUNTRY WEB-GUIDES ||TOP||
Travel Bulgaria - http://www.travel-bulgaria.com/
Provides listing visitor attractions, resort information, tourist services and discussion forum.

Bulgaria || Where To Go And When || Getting Around || Holidays, Festivals And Entertainment || Outdoor Activities And Eco-tourism || Museums, Churches And Mosques || Books || Red Tape And Visas || Health || Costs, Money And Banks || Communications || Eating And Drinking || Best Of || Explore Bulgaria

Bulgaria by Lonely Planet at travel.yahoo
Culture|| Activities || Events ||Getting There and Away ||Economic Facts ||Recommended Reading ||When to Go ||Getting Around ||Environment ||Relative Costs ||Travel Facts ||Money Advice ||Offbeat Attractions ||Offbeat ttractions ||

In the beginning of the 13th century BC, some Thracian state formations comprising the territorial and ethnic borders of the individual tribes are already mentioned by ancient authors with relation to the Trojan War. They were linked with the lands of Southern Thrace and were allies of the Trojans with whom, as it looks, they had economic, political and, perhaps, ethnic relations.Download Among the Thracian rulers in this zone, there lived King Rhesus who was famous for his influence, treasures and tragic fate. He was killed by Ulysses in his camp before joining the battles near Troy.

Also during the 5th century BC, the Wends suppressed the attempts of Macedonia to come up the big political stage. However, in the middle of the next century (4th century BC) the Macedonians, headed by Philip and his son, Alexander the Great, took their revenge. The Wendish kingdom suffered severe blows and its borderlines shrunk into the relatively small region of the Upper Thracian Valley.  bulgaria.com/history/bulgaria/thrac.html

Kulari: Myth & Mystery

Getting There ||TOP||
 By Air

Sofia Airport (SOF)
Tel: (02) 937 2211/12
Airport information tel 02/7932 3211.
E-mail: [email protected] ||  www.sofia-airport.bg

Sofia’s principal airport is located ten kilometres (six miles) east of the city centre. Recently renovated, Sofia Airport is now bright, modern and smoke-free (except in designated café areas) and has the capacity to serve 2.5 million passengers.
Approximate flight times to Sofia: From London is 3 hours 20 minutes; from New York is 10 hours 10 minutes; from Los Angeles is 14 hours 20 minutes; from Toronto is 11 hours 35 minutes and from Sydney is 26 hours 30 minutes.
Airport facilities: Facilities include several 24-hour bureaux de change and an ATM, located in the customs building some distance from the main entrance, as well as left-luggage facilities, bars, fast-food outlets and car hire from Avis and Hertz.
Arrival/departure tax: None.
Transport to the city: The public transport bus 84 runs a frequent service every ten or 15 minutes, 0500-2400 –from the airport to Orlov Most, close to the city centre (journey time – 20 minutes). Tickets cost Lv0.40 and can be bought from the kiosk near the bus stop or directly from the driver. Taxis are also readily available. Foreign visitors are sometimes overcharged, so a price should be agreed beforehand – approximately Lv40 is standard.

 Bulgaria’s national airline News
Bulgaria
Air replaced bankrupt one-time national carrier Balkan Airlines.

Bulgaria Air (FB) 1, Brussels Blvd., tel. 987 3169, fax 937 3254, , e-mail:[email protected]
Hemus Air (DU) Sofia Airport, tel. +359 2 9420 202, fax +359 2 945 9147 Airport office tel./fax 9420213
Aeroflot (SU) 23, Oborishte St., tel. 943 4489, 946 4529, fax 946 1703; Airport office tel. 704 353
Aero Svit 4, Trapezica St., tel. 987 3181, fax 980 8280; Airport office tel. 981 5937, Only Mon and Wed
Air France (AF) 2, Saborna St., tel. 980 6150, 981 7830, fax 981 9783; Airport office tel. 937 3207
Air Malta (KM) APG-Bulgaria  44, Vitosha Blvd., tel. 933 1033, 933 1044, fax 933 1030, e-mail:[email protected]
Air Moldova 38, Hristo Botev Blvd., tel. 980 6673, fax 980 6673
Al Italia (AZ) 40, Graf Ignatiev St., tel. 981 6702, fax 981 6704; Airport office tel. 7932 2328
Austrian Airlines (OS) 41, Vitosha Blvd., tel. 981 2424, 980 2323, fax 981 4434; Airport office tel. 937 3131, 937 3132
British Airways (BA) 56, Alabin St., tel.981 7000, 981 6999, fax 981 1771; Airport office tel. 937 3111
Czech Airlines (OK) 9, Saborna St., tel. 981 5408, 988 5568, fax 981 1386; Airport office tel. 7932 2040
Hungarian Airlines (MA) 19, Patriarh Evtimii Blvd., tel. 981 5091, fax 981 5096; Airport office tel. 720 790
Israel Airlines (LY) 50, Stamboliiski Blvd., tel. 986 5790, fax 980 8058
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL) 14, Uzundjovska St., tel. 981 9910, fax 981 9912
Lauda Air (NG) 6, Dostoevski St., tel. 876 647, fax 883 748; Airport office tel. 7932 2109, 7932 2749
LOT - Polish Airlines (LO) 27A, Stamboliiski Blvd., tel. 987 4562, fax 980 3293; Airport office tel. 720 644
Lufthansa (LH) 9A, Saborna St., tel. 980 4101, fax 981 2911; Airport office tel. 937 3142, 937 3143
Romanian Air Transport (RO) 38, Hristo Botev Blvd., tel. 980 2562, fax 980 6673
Olympic Airlines (OA) 55, Stamboliiski Blvd., tel. 980 1040, 981 4545, fax 980 1050; Airport office tel. 945 9288
Swiss International Air Lines (LX) 1, Angel Kanchev St., tel. 980 4459, fax 981 7732; Airport office tel. 988 2630, 7932 2749
Syrian Airlines (RB) 36, Stamboliiski Blvd., tel. 981 2499, fax 987 6657
Turkish Airlines (TK ) 11A, Saborna St., tel. 980 3957, fax 980 4151
Yugoslav Airlines (JU) 1, Vasil Levski St., tel. 981 2167, fax 981 2167

 

bulgariaflights.com/  on-line reservation system  seeking the lowest ticket prices for your destination. Huge cargo flight database too
EuropebyAir.com no flights to Bulgaria as of April 2004 but does do nearby Greek airports

Car rental Avis, bul. Vitosha 3 tel 02/981 1082, at the airport tel 02/738023; Budget, at the Balkantourist office, bul. Vitosha 1 tel 02/987 1682; Europcar, at the airport tel 02/720157; Hertz, bul. Vasil Levski 47 tel 02/980 0461, and at the airport tel 02/791447.

Train information tel 02/931 1111, tel 932 3333.

Travel agents Try Balkantourist, Vitosha 1 (tel 02/980 2324, ), for tours, airline tickets, and reservations in upmarket hotels; Lyub Travel, ul. Milin Kamâk 11 (tel 02/702287), for weekend trips to Bulgarian towns and villages; Odysseia-In, bul. Stamboliiski 20 (tel 02/989 05 38, ), for hotel reservations and hiking tours in Bulgaria; USIT Colours, bul. Vasil Levski 35 (%02/981 1900, ), for discount international air tickets.
Taxis Inex Taxi tel 02/91919; OK Supertaxi tel 02/973 2121; Yes Taxi tel 02/91119.

What's New?
TRANSLATE TOOlS by etaco
a Pop-up page

English <-> Bulgarian
TRANSLATION

BultraTranslates up to 200 characters; technology by Pro Lang
SA Dictionary 2002 Dictionary by Stefan AngelovSA Dictionary
Bulgarian
 Rechnik Enter Cyrillic or transliteration
University of Plovdiv Morphological analysis of sentence
English to Bulgarian
Webtrance
Page is in Bulgarian; input limited to 1,000 characters; technology by Skycode
WebtranceBrowser plug-in translates webpages; technology by Skycode
More about the Cyrillic language also used in Russia  no standards for translation

GETTING THERE BY RAIL ||TOP||

RAIL Europe A trail of ancient cities, mosques, and natural wonders can be made most affordable through a Balkan Flexipass, granting you unlimited travel through Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, and Serbia/Montenegro.

PASSPORTS & VISAS ||TOP||

ll visitors to Bulgaria require a full (not visitors') passport, although citizens of most Western countries no longer need a visa to enter the country. However, as the rules change every year, it's wise to check with a Bulgarian embassy or consulate, whatever your nationality.
Visa extensions Available at the Interior Ministry (MVR) building at bul. Knyaginya Mariya Luiza 44 or a police station but Rough Guides recommends leaving the country officially for a few seconds then reentering to get an extra 30 days and avoid a major hassle and US$50

All visitors to Bulgaria are required to register as a foreigner ( registratsiya na chuzhdentsi ) within 48 hours of arrival. If your staying more than a few days the simple way is to register at a hotel and be sure they give you a dated registration slip in case the border guards check
.
Consular Information Sheet - http://travel.state.gov/bulgaria.html
Provided by the US State Department.
Red Tape And Visas

Bulgarian Translate Tools by Etaco including voice <->
voice for English

PLACES TO STAY
Book budget accommodation in cheap hostels in Batak || Elena | Gabrovo | Plovdiv | Russe | Sinemoretz | Sofia (16)| Varna | Veliko Turnovo
bookings made through these carnaval.com links  are processed by Bookhostels.com - the leading provider of hostel accommodation on the web. In the unlikely event you encounter a problem with your booking, the friendly staff at Bookhostels.com will be more than happy to assist you in finding a swift resolution. They can be contacted via email at [email protected], phoned on +353 1 498 0700 or visited on the web
GETTING AROUND THERE ||TOP||
Getting Around || By Train || By Bus || By Taxi || By Car || Hitching || By Air

Bulgarian State Railways ( BDZh ) can get you to most towns, but are generally slow with frequent delays on the longer routes. Intercity ( intersiti) and express ( ekspresen vlak ) services only operate on the main trunk routes, but most lines feature rapid ( bârz vlak ) trains.

"one hopes there is no connection between the filthy seats and the soft-porn wallpaper."
Getting Around lonely planet at yahoo-travel

car-hire-centre.co.uk/resort-directory/bulgaria/
AVAILABLE in 3 largest cities Sofia, Plodiv & Varna

Bulgarian Cities by Rough Guides
Ahtopol
Albena
Aleko
Apriltsi
Arbanasi
Asenovgrad
Balchik
Bansko
Batak
Belogradchik
Berkovitsa
Blagoevgrad
Borovets
Botevgrad and Pravets
Bozhentsi
Burgas
Byala and Obzor
Chepelare and Zabârdo
Cherni Osâm
Chiprovtsi
Delchevo
Dobârsko
Dobrinishte
Dolen
Dospat
Dragalevtsi and Simeonovo
Dryanovo
Dupnitsa
Elena
Eleshnitsa
Etropole
Gabrovo
Golden Sands (Zlatni pyasâtsi)
Gotse Delchev
Govedartsi and Malyovits
Hisar
Isperih
Kârdzhali
Kavarna
Kavatsite and Dyuni
Kazanlâk
Kiten and Lozenets
Koprivshtitsa
Kranevo
Leshten and Kovachevitsa
Lovech

 

 
Madara
Malko Târnovo
Manastir
Melnik
Mogilitsa
Montana
Mugla
Nesebâr
Pamporovo
Panagyurishte
Petrich
Pleven
Plovdiv
Pomorie
Preslav
Primorsko
Razgrad
Ribaritsa
Rozhen
Rupite

 

Samokov
Sandanski
Shabla and Durankulak
Shipkovo and Chiflik
Shiroka Lâka
Shumen
Sinemorets
Smolyan
Sofia
Sozopol
Stara Zagora
Sunny Beach
Sveshtari
Sveti Vlas and Elenite

 

Cities by travel-bulgaria.com including Varna, Veliko Turnovo,
FOOD & DRINK ||TOP||
The main meal is eaten in the middle of the day. Dinner is a social occasion, with dancing in many restaurants. Food is spicy, hearty and good. National dishes include cold yoghurt soup with cucumbers, peppers or aubergines stuffed with meat, kebapcheta (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls). Fruit is particularly good and cheap throughout the year. Banitsa is a pastry stuffed with fruit or cheese. There is a wide variety of national dishes, as well as Western European standard dishes, which can be chosen on the spot at any restaurant.
Menus are usually printed in both Bulgarian and English.
DRINK: Coffee, heavily sweetened, is particularly popular. Drinks are also made from infusions of mountain herbs and dried leaves, particularly lime.
adopted from car-hire-centre.co.uk/resort-directory/bulgaria/
BEACH  ||TOP||

BLACK SEA

Bulgaria has the best beach resorts on the Black Sea. 
Known as a beach holidays destination for many years now Bulgaria was constantly developing the existing resort facilities, so finally there is a huge variety of holiday places from huge international beach resorts to small yet undiscovered villages along the coast.
The sea is safe, clean and calm, without any dangerous animals. The sea bottom is mostly sandy and slopes gently, making the swimming a pleasure. The sea saline is low.
Most of the Bulgarian beaches have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for their environmental excellence.
The two international airports of Varna and Bourgas connect the Bulgarian beaches to the rest of the world.
30 resorts along 380 km of marvelous sandy beaches. From big modern places like:
Sunny Beach ,, Albena ,  Golden Sands, to destination resorts like Riviera   and St. Ellias to ancient sea coast towns with interesting architecture: Nessebar, Sozopol, smaller towns and villages like Kiten, Pomorie, Primorsko, Balchik, Sveti Vlas and Varvara with tradition and old world charm.
beachbulgaria.com 
well done mega-site where many of the above links connect

Varna a seaside resort. Population of 301 000. Third in population after Sofia and Plovdiv, called the seaside capital of Bulgaria. Terminal station on the railway lines Sofia-Varna and Rouse-Varna, a sea port, an international airport, second in traffic after Sofia. Long sand-covered beach strips

Bourgas fourth largest city is the biggest sea port in the country . A Duty Free Zone with an international airport. It is known as gateway to the Black Sea resorts with few beaches of its own. A cultural center supported by over 7,000 students attending 2 universities and 4 colleges. Well known annual International folklore festival; there's also a rich variety of colours and odors to be found at the annual National exhibition FLORA  held under the motto "Nature - Man - Harmony";

For your Best Beach-hopping go to SinmoretsDownload according to roughguides
"The southern Black Sea coast is lined by vast stretches of white sand, best of all at Sinemorets.
It's a strange mixture of bucolic village and building site, the kind of place where expensive cars trundle down the dirt tracks that serve as streets, and imported drinks are doled out from hastily erected shacks. Sinemorets's new-found fame rests on its two beaches : the south beach, accessible by a track which leads eastwards through the village towards the headland before veering south, is a dazzling expanse of fine white sand bordered by rocky promontories. It's the kind of place that attracts younger, liberal-leaning Bulgarians - bathing nude here will hardly raise an eyebrow. More spectacular still is the beach to the north, a kilometre-long sand bar that slows the progress of the River Veleka towards the sea. Framed by low green hills, it's one of the most beautiful spots on the Black Sea coast.

Sinemorets Discover this border artist colony before everybody else does.

 villaphiladelphia.com/sinemoretz1.htm 

Winter Snow Holidays  ||TOP||
Bulgaria's 3 best ski resorts are Borovetz, Bansko and Pamporovo There are a few smaller places like Chepelare and Vitosha and smaller still like Malyovitsa  Panichishte  Dobrinishte   Semkovo  Tsigov Chark

Borovet-Cam

Download

Bulgaria Ski - bulgariaski.com/
Ski guide to all Bulgarian mountain resorts. Information about the hotels and skiing conditions.

 Borovets is the oldest international and most popular mountain resort in Bulgaria. It is located at 1350 above the sea level (with highest peak at 2600 m), on the Northern slopes of Rila mountain among age-old pine woods. Borovets is amodern high class ski resort with luxury hotels, restaurants, discos, shops.
Borovets is easily accessible, only 70 km from Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) and 126 km from Plovdiv. The nearest town is Samokov which is 10 km from the resort.

Pamporovo is a modern ski resort on the Rhodopi mountain associated with Orpheus. It is the most southern skiing resort in Europe. It is the sunniest Bulgarian mountain resort with wonderful snow throughout the whole season. Pamporovo is situated on 1650 m above the sea level at the foot of peak Snejanka (1926 m). It is 240 km far from Sofia and 85 km from Plovdiv. Pamporovo particularly suitable for beginners but there are also difficult ski runs like the Giant Slalom run. Nearby sites include the Bachkovo Monastery
Bansko in the Pirin Mountains is the least commercialized ski resort of the big 3

FORUMS: tell the world about Borovets, Pamporovo, Bansko or Vitosha.

MINERAL WATER SPAS  ||TOP||
The Black Sea coast's moderate climate combined with the curative mineral springs and curative mud offer excellent conditions for treatment, recuperation and holidays throughout the year. The best known Black-Sea spa centers are: Dobroudja Hotel at Albena resort, Ambassador Hotel at Golden Sand resort, Riviera Holiday Club, Sunny Day and Grand Hotel Varna at St. Constantine resort, and Pomorie Hotel in the coastal town of Pomorie.
Bulgarian mountain resorts also offer a variety of  prophylactic and therapeutic treatments as well as lovely scenery and clean air. ,

Bankya.Spa Resort by travel-bulgaria.com
Just 17 km away from the capital city of Sofia, BANKYA is one of the country's best know and most frequented spa resorts. It is situated in the green foothills of the Lyulin Mountain, at an altitude of 630-640  Balneological sanatoria, spa, a pool with mineral water. 

Hotel Augusta
In Hissar situated in the centre of Bulgaria, in the southern folds of Sredna Gora Mountain. The site originally chosen by the Romans is nearest to the Krumovo airport - 52 km, Sofia airport - 160 km. Plovdiv is 42 km away
The Spa and Health Centre offers sauna, fitness, balneology, acupuncture, massage, light therapy, more. Treatments are based on the curative properties of the famous Hissar mineral water

Hotel Varna - St.Constantine Spa Resortby travel-bulgaria.com
Located 10 km. northeast of the Black Sea city of Varna- Mineral waters & slightly mineralized, curative mud for treatment of chronic inflammatory and degenerative disturbances of the locomotory system and the peripheral nervous system, hypertonia, bronchial asthma, more.
Also in Varna with large spa operation is Grand Hotel varna

Kyustendil Spa Resortby travel-bulgaria.com
In Kyustendil Situated at the foot of the Ossogovska Mountain, Kyustendil (ancient Pautalia) is one of Bulgaria's best known clmatic and spa resorts- Curative mineral water springs. Treatments include procedures with mineral water and peat, electric and light paraffin applications, massage, reflexology, laser, acupuncture, kinesitherapy.

Pomorie Spa Resortby travel-bulgaria.com
The Pomorie is one of Bulgaria's best known mud treatment and seaside resorts, was founded during the 5th century B.C., when it was known as Anhialo. It is situated on a peninsula which juts out 2 km into the Black sea, 20 km north of the city of Bourgas- Curative mud used to treat disturbances of he locomotory system, arthritic, rheumatism, gynaecological diseases, disturbances of the male reproductive system, neurological disorders, and skin diseases.

Sandanski Spa Resortby travel-bulgaria.com
SANDANSKI SPA HOTEL boasts a modern CLIMATO - BALNEOTHERAPY CENTER. The town of Sandanski is located at an altitude of 224 m in the foothills of the Pirin Mountains, along Sandanska Bistritsa river.

Velingrad Spa Resort by travel-bulgaria.com
In Velingrad which is in southerm Bulgaria located amidst one of the most picturesque part of The Rhodope Mountains - the Chepin valley. The resort's mineral water well up from 70 springs with a total flow of over 150 l/sec or 9.000 l/min.

Spas in Bulgaria-Ancient Roots
Ancient mineral complexes were built near the mineral springs: Hisarja- ancient Augusta; Kyustendil – ancient Pautalia, Bourgas mineral baths – Aque Kalite, later Thermopiles; Sapareva Banya – Germaneia; Sliven Baths – Tanzos and Sofia – Ulpia Serdika.

Spas of Eastern Europe
by Travel Lady.com; an overview of the spa zone so important to Roman culture.

MOUNTAINS & RIVERS ||TOP||
The mountains of Rila, Pirin and Balkan are attracting climbers from different parts of the world.
The Rhodopes, an extension of the Carpathians, swing southward and then eastward along Bulgaria's border with Greece. They are part of the great mountainous uplift that covers much of the Balkan Peninsula. The Rila and Pirin ranges contain the Rhodope's most impressive high mountain landscapes. Musala in the Rila range rises above conifer-clad foothills to the roof of the Rhodopes at 9,597 feet. Large portions of the Rila and Pirin ranges are protected in national parks. The Pirin National Park is a World Heritage Site containing the Baevi Doupki-Djindjiritza Biosphere Reserve.

 From central Sofia, the bulk of Mount Vitosha (whose name means "twin peaks") dominates the view to the south.
 The most popular areas with mountaineers and rock-climbers are Mt Malyovitsa in the Rila Mountains; the karst region to the north of Mt Vihren in the Pirin range; the Iskâr Gorge, Vratsa and Belogradchik in the Stara Planina; and the Blue Rocks outside Sliven

 
"Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. "
--JOHN MUIR

 Hikers also enjoy being in the mountains of Vitosha, Rodopa and many other mountains. This is some of Europe's finest highland scenery where the valleys harbour the kind of picturesque  villages with living traditions and folklore. that have all but disappeared in Western Europe.
Rodopi Mountains & Rila Mountains by Lonely Planet

Small Group Hiking Adventures 

Pictures from peak Todorka, up the mountain from the city of Bansko

Rivers of Bulgaria - Wikipedia

Outdoor Activities And Eco-tourism || Hiking || Climbing And Caving || Mountain-biking || Birdwatching || Wildlife Organizations || Adventure Tourism || Zoology, Botany And Geology ||

CAVES: .balkan-speleo.org/ Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and Montenegro, Sloveniain cavers held their 1st meeting Set-2002
bats-bulgaria.org cave group for
Bat Research and Protection  

CULTURAL ||TOP||
 
Culture by travel-bulgaria Monasteries by bulgaria.com
History, Old Capitals, Monasteries, Museum Towns, UNESCO Heritage, Traditions, Folklore, Arts and Crafts, Festivals and Customs, Cuisine,
Culture, Treasures, Icons, Pictorial Art, Music,
Nature,
Rila Monastery
Bachkovo Monastary
The Zograph Monastery of St. George
Preobrazhenie Monastery
Troyan Monastery
Dryanovo Monastery
Sokolovo Monastery
Sts Kyrik and Yulita Monastery
FESTIVALS  ||TOP||

Festivals and Customs

Full of beauty, gaiety and a healthy love of life, the Bulgarian festivals and customs date back to ancient times when mail tried to appease the natural elements and trembled before their power. One of the merriest and richest festivals in a ritual aspect are Christmas and the New Year, when the so called 'sourvakari' make the round of houses with wishes for health and prosperity. Other major festivals include "ladouvane" - a festive ritual for young girls on New Year's Day or Midsummer Day (24 June), Shrovetide and Mummers' Games which take their beginnings from the Dionysian festivals of the Thracians and mark the start of spring, 'lazarouvane' - an Orthodox festival dedicated to love and the family, Trifon Zarezan (Vinegrower's Day) and St. George's Day, linked with health and abundance. And among them, the
widely popular and typically Bulgarian customs and festivals - 'martenitsas' and rose-picking.The National Emblem

NATIONAL CALENDAR OF CULTURAL EVENTS 2003
In
English, German, French and Russian prepared by the Ministry of Culture
 

The main urban centre in the east is Shumen ,  the great city at the base of the Balkan Mountains in a valley filled with nature. It holds  a fine medieval fortress and close to Bulgaria's first two capitals at Pliska and Preslav , and the enigmatic rock sculpture of the Madara Horseman
. [F] Fertility Carnival in Shoumen in October of even years  shoumen.bg/enghtml/shoumenen.htm official guide in english
Shumen || The Town || || Eating And Drinking || Arrival, Information And Accommodation || Explore Shumen || Hotels in Shumen


Every year on the 1st of March, the Bulgarians give each other 'martenitsas' - small figures made of white and red threads, a symbol of the awakening, of spring, health and happiness.

http://roussefestival.mlnk.net  March Music Days International Festival- Every spring during the second half of March, the town of Rousse welcomes elitie Bulgarian and foreign musicians for one of the oldest international music forums in Bulgaria. Since its foundation in 1961, the festival has given Rousse the reputation of a major cultural and music centre on the Danube.

 

Gabrovo May Carnival  Gabrovo || The Town || Typical Gabrovo Jokes || Practicalities ||
Explore Gabrovo ||
 
<
Balkan Range > Central Balkan Range > South of Veliko Târnovo
DownloadIn Gabrovo they let a cat down the chimney rather than hire a sweep;
Dock the tails of their cats so they can shut the door a fraction sooner and not let the heat out.
To open their wild Days of Carnival they also begin with the screech of the official cat loosing its tail to a leading citizens blade
Download

Celebrate the blooming of hundreds of thousands of roses are in bloom in May and June.!

 In late May and early June every year, the rose-picking season starts in the Valley of Roses which is tucked between the Balkan Range and the Sredna Gora Mountains.Rose-picking starts at dawn, before sunrise and before the rose fragrance has had a chance to disappear. The Bulgarian oleaginous rose yields 70 percent of the world's attar of roses used by every well known perfume company as an essential component of its products. This is the time of the Festival of Roses, celebrated with carnivals, processions, folk songs and dances in Karlovo and Kazanluk on the first Sunday in June.

Downloadwww.balkanfolk.com/ 
best and most current info

 

Holidays, Festivals And Entertainment

Festivals and CustomS BY travel-bulgaria.com, Calendar of Events,

http://www.culture-universal.com/festivals/europe/festivals_bulgaria.html
booking contact info

mytravelguide.com/./Bulgaria/Holidays,-festivals-and-entertainment/Festivals

National Holidays

  • Jan 1 New Year's Day
  • March 3 Liberation of Bulgaria (anniversary of San Stefano)
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • May 24 Day of Slavonic Education and Culture
  • September 6 Unification Day
  • September 22 Independence Day
  • Dec 25 Christmas Day
Weather When to Go ||TOP||
Bulgaria has a temperate climate, with cold damp winters and hot dry summers. July and August can be very hot in the big cities, and a crowded on the Black Sea coast. The Black Sea/Varna climate remains mild year round, but the atmosphere is a bit deserted outside the very crowded June-Sept main tourist season.Spring (April to mid-June) is a good time to visit, with mild and pleasant weather and a host of cultural events taking place. Summer (mid-June to September) has reliable weather, perfect for hiking and outdoor festivals  It rains frequently during spring and autumn.The ski season begins in mid-December and can last until April.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Borovets
°F 30 33 41 48 59 65 71 74 61 54 42 33
°C -1 1 5 9 15 19 22 23 16 12 6 1
Plovdiv
°F 33 34 44 54 62 73 74 76 65 55 45 36
°C 1 3 7 12 17 23 23 24 19 13 8 3
Sofia
°F 30 33 41 51 60 66 73 75 61 54 42 33
°C -1 1 5 10 15 19 23 24 16 12 6 1
Varna
°F 36 43 43 54 62 70 75 74 68 60 49 39
°C 3 6 6 12 17 22 24 23 20 16 10 4
The average annual temperature is 10.5°C.  The average January temperature is around O°C. Average summer temperatures rarely exceed 30°C.
 http://weather.meteo.bg/indexen.html
The Bulgaria weather portal

Bulgarian Climate by travel-bulgaria.com

MAPS ||TOP||
Maps and Facts in our image server

google.com/search=maps+bulgaria

lonelyplanet.com//bulgaria.
with click thru to a few cities descriptions

http://www.multimap.com/index/BU7.htm
Nearly 100 city maps

Maps by travel-bulgaria.com

FAST FACTS ||TOP||
  • Important Telephone Numbers Police - 166
    Ambulance - 150 ||  Road assistance - 146
  • Tips of 10% of the bill are appropriate for waiters; hotel employees also should receive tips
  • Bulgarian is the official language and the Cyrillic alphabet is used. English, German, French and Russian are spoken in major tourist resorts and hotels. Bulgarian tourism is booming and English is increasingly spoken and accommodated throughout the country but may be hard to find off the beaten track.  While there's no particular danger, it can be frustrating when no one speaks English. Inexperienced travelers may be happiest on tours.
  • Time: GMT/UTC +2
    Dialling Code: 359
    Electricity: 220V ,50Hz
    Weights & measures: Metric
  • Demographics of Bulgaria - Wikipedia
  • Maps and Facts in our image server
MONEY ||TOP||
Lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki. Notes are in denominations of Lv50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 stotinki. Despite a 20% value-added tax Bulgaria is one of Europe's better travel bargains

Currency exchange There's no shortage of exchange bureaux on bul. Vitosha and neighboring roads, which will exchange cash only, but beware of high commission rates charged by those on the central boulevards (even though many of them display "no commission" signs).

 Costs, Money And Banks by roughguides

Banks, Currency and Credit Cards, by travel-bulgaria.com

Money Advice by Lonely Planet for travel.yahoo
"
ATMs are a common sight in Sofia and at Black Sea resorts, and cash advances on credit cards are also available in these areas. Still, it's best to bring plenty of cash to Bulgaria."

With non-metered taxis you needn't add a tip to the fare you agreed on beforehand.

HEALTH & SAFETY ||TOP||
"While salads and fresh fruit are quite safe, it's risky to eat grilled snacks in provincial restaurants with a slow turnover. Tap water is safe to drink in all parts of the country." Rough Guides 2002

Urgent cases go to hospitals ( bolnitsa ) courtesy of the bârza pomosht or ambulance service (tel 150 in most towns, service free), and emergency treatment is free of charge although you must pay for medicines .

COMMUNICATIONS ||TOP||
Get a free yahoo (we recommend) or hotmail account to get fast efficient access to your e-mail from any computer in the world

google.com/search?=internet+cafes+bulgaria not too much to choose from best was globaltrekk.com/ic.bulgaria.htm for # of internet cafes (8)

FORUMS TALK ABOUT IT ||TOP||
travel-bulgaria.com/phorum/list.php3?num=2
Ask your travel question here

Among the most active English speaking are the sister sites .beachbulgaria.com/phorum/?f=2 & bulgariaski.com/phorum/list.php?f=1  php is open source or "peopel's" software

HISTORY ||TOP||
"Directly or indirectly the Thracians were involved in the evolution of ancient Mediterranean civilization (Graeco-Hellenic and Roman). The Thracian cultural heritage has left us many examples of gold, silver and bronze ornaments, tools and arms, household objects and vessels. Thracian culture, which preserved what was traditional and at the same time assimilated ideas from other nations, was a link between Europe and the East. Such outstanding finds as the Vulchitrun gold treasure of the eighth century B.C., the Panagyurishte gold treasure of the fourth century B.C., the tombs near the town of Kazanluk and the village of Mezek, Haskovo region, belonging to the same period, and the Rogozen treasure (North-Western Bulgaria) - all testify to refined tastes and consummate craftsmanship and art. Particularly indicative of the rich spiritual make-up of the Thracians, of the freedom-loving spirit of this land-tilling and stock-breeding population, was the multiplicity of religious cults it upheld: they worshipped the Horseman and his female counterpart Bendida; they partook of the Dionysian orgies (mainly the southern Thracians); upheld the Orphic teaching, based on the Dionysian cult, which was born in Thrace but later spread to and further developed in the Greek world. The Thracian Horseman (given the Greek name Heros in many reliefs and inscriptions) in his many forms became an almost universal deity during the Roman epoch: a deity of hunting, fertility, life and death, of God the Almighty, the omniscient, the omnipresent. Over 1500 stone reliefs and more than 100 bronze statuettes of the Horseman have been uncovered on the territory of present-day Bulgaria.

"The Dionysian cult was also very widespread, primarily in the mountainous regions of the Haemus, Rhodope and Pirin mountains. In his original, popular conception Dionysus was the god of infinite creativity, of omnifarious Nature, of each tree and flower.

"Without underrating the primary importance of ancient Greek culture and of Greek mythology, it would help the better understanding of this culture if we pointed out that Hellas benefited to a great extent from its contacts and interaction with its Thracian hinterland. It has been established that the author of 'The Pelopones War' was of Thracian extraction. The name of Orpheus, whose Thracian origin is indisputable and who is believed to have really lived as a singer, preacher and oracle, is related to the transformation of the Dionysian cult to something superior, of higher spiritual value. Enriched through Orphism, the Dionysian cult and the related orgies, supplemented and fecundated Greek thinking and it was from the Dionysian cult that the ancient Hellenic tragedy and comedy developed. It is known that Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher and mathematician (580-500 B.C.) was influenced by Orphism and through his teaching helped its dissemination. The first three centuries following the conquest of the Thracians by the Romans were a time of great confusion as regards religious concepts and cults. Parallel with the traditional religious beliefs, the divine tributes paid to the Roman emperor and the divine city Dea Roma, Serapis and Isis of Egypt, Doliheus of Syrian Comatena, which on occasions became one with Magna Mater Deorum - the Great Mother, also called Cybele, were worshipped.

Orpheus although by some he was held to be a Greek, the record is clear that his  tradition is Thracian in origin was most generally accepted.

 

Orpheus like Dionysus celebrate life in the Carnival tradition. He may have been originally a god of darkness; or the liberator from the power of darkness by his gift of song.  From the 6th century onwards he was looked upon as one of the chief poets and musicians of antiquity, the inventor or perfecter of the lyre, who by his music and singing was able not only to charm the wild beasts, but even to draw the trees and rocks from their places, and to arrest the rivers in their course. As one of the pioneers of civilization, he was supposed to have taught mankind the arts of medicine, writing and agriculture. As closely connected with religious life, he was an augur and seer; practiced magical arts, especially astrology; founded or rendered accessible many important cults, such as those of Apollo and Dionysus; instituted mystic rites, both public and private; prescribed initiatory and purificatory ritual. He was said to have visited Egypt, and to have become acquainted there with the writings of Moses and with the doctrine of a future life.
Learn more by clicking
Orpheus& Eurydice

Download
Maenad & Dionysis

 The Thracians also adopted through various channels Christianity, which was officially imposed in the towns after it was made the official religion of the empire in the year 313. In 330 the capital of the empire was moved from Rome to the ancient Byzantion. The centre of the ancient Mediterranean world was moved from West to East. Emerging with-in the former boundaries of Thrace, Constantinople remained the city of glittering magnificence, attracting the eyes and desires of all conquerors throughout the Middle Ages.

"Various tribes continued to cross the Danube from the north-east. The native population neither hastened to unite with them, nor resisted them. The newcomers and the natives, burdened with heavy imperial taxes and multitudinous duties, cooperated in a unique manner. By the end of the third century and especially during the fourth century the lands along the Lower Danube were the target of incessant invasions by various tribes - Goths, Vandals, Huns, etc. By the end of the fifth century and the turn of the sixth century the Slavs also began to infiltrate the Balkan Peninsula on a mass scale."
http://www.eunet.bg/books/history/thracians.html
BULGARIA - a brief history outline BY Dimiter Markovsk

 

Macedonia & the Celts: The state of Philip II (359 - 336 B.C.) and his son Alexander of Macedon (336-323 B.C.) resembled more closely the classical form of slave ownership. Both kings were involved in Greek and BalkanRoman Ruins in Sofia affairs. Alexander of Macedon took the Greek world out east, drafting into his army many Thracians. The Celts, too, took possession of some Thracian lands. Their state, with the capital of Tile (near the present-day town of Kazanluk) existed from 279 to 211 B.C. Thus the Celts left their trace on these lands, after which they dispersed to settle over the entire continent, reaching the British Isles.
Download

Hear the slave master call Spartacus "You Thracian dog!" and Tony Curtis sing "I turn home"

 

It took  the Romans till 45 A.D. or  two centuries to succeed in their quest to conquer the Thracians.
Spartacus
, the Thracian who rose the biggest uprising of slaves in the  antique world (74-71 B.C.) and thus, nearly brought to the downfall of Rome, was captured in the vicissitudes of this nearly two-century-long resistance and was made a gladiator.

It fell under the Byzantine domination in 1018, which date marked a period of decline thereafter.  
 

From 1048 to 1078 Sredets was altered to Triaditsa and was plundered by the Pechenegues.   In 1096 during the first Crusade the knights stopped at it and set up a military camp. Later, in 1183 the city was pillaged and devastated by the Magyars and Serbs, and in 1189 it was recaptured by the crusaders led by Frederick Barberus. In 1194 the town was included in the boundaries of the second Bulgarian Kingdom and its old name remained until the 14th century when it was changed to Sofia, after the name of the “St Sofia” Basilica.

The 500 year Turkish occupation In 1328 Sofia was tacked by the Turks and finally captured in 1396 after the battle at Nikopolis.The city had a crucial geographical position for the Ottoman Empire.   After the liberation from the Turkish domination in 1878 it was proclaimed capital of Bulgaria and became the biggest political, administrative, cultural and university center of the country.

During World War II, Bulgaria became part of the Axis and Sofia was heavily bombed in British and American raids – 3000 buildings were destroyed and 9000 damaged, which accounts for its newness today. When the war ended in 1944, Russian soldiers took the capital and Bulgaria became part of the Eastern Bloc. Under Communism, Sofia underwent a period of rapid industrialisation – new factories and high-rise apartment blocks grew up to form extended suburbs and the city’s population escalated as thousands migrated from rural areas.

History by roughguides || 

 

 

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Directories ||TOP||
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LISTS of LINKS ||TOP||
GoogleBulgarian language web sites by google.com/intl/bg/

WorldLingo Translator 
10 Portuguese <-> pairs!  inc.
Espańol, French, German Italian, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, but slow
 

google.com/search=site:wikipedia.org+bulgaria = 1800+ pages and growing The site is a WikiWiki, meaning that anyone, including you, can edit any article right now by clicking on the "edit this page" link that appears in every Wikipedia article
Open Directory  Bulgaria || Similar pages || [ More results from dmoz.org ]
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BULGARIAN CITY LINKS by DMOZ     (link count as of APR04)
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Real Estate, Investment,  Trade & Business Climate ||TOP||

Bulgaria is among one of the most industrialized former Eastern Bloc countries. The main industries based in Sofia are machinery, including farm machinery and car assembly, as well as textiles and food products. The city was also the centre of former Soviet Bloc high-tech industry and excels in electronics, particularly computers, software development and the creation of some very nasty viruses, due to the underemployment of young workers.

Since 1989, market economics have been introduced more cautiously than in the more developed former Communist states, but the steady growth of private enterprise is making its mark nonetheless. Unemployment and underemployment have led to a declining population as the highly educated former high tech region of the Soviet Union loses highly skill individuals to out of the country jobs. The bureaucratic complexity and inertia of Bulgarian government has led to the election of reformers to replace the old school network of former communists.  In mid 2001, King Simeon Saxe-Coburg II, previously exiled in Spain, was elected Prime Minister on an anti-corruption platform  

 Bulgarian Tourist Opportunities by mac.doc.gov
"There are many reasons to invest in Bulgaria: stable socio-political environment, favorable legal and regulatory environment for businesses, access to markets, highly skilled work force, and competitive labor costs. The investment climate has also been improved by positive changes in the tax legislation. In terms of income tax and corporate tax rates, Bulgaria has become one of the most attractive locations in Central and Eastern Europe.
"
There are no restrictions on land acquisition by local foreign-owned companies; foreign persons or entities can acquire full land ownership rights by setting up or joining a company incorporated under Bulgarian legislation. Bulgaria's legal framework on foreign investment complies with accepted international standards and provides for an attractive investment regime.
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