|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.
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.
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
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
Sofia Airport (SOF)
Tel: (02) 937 2211/12 Airport information tel 02/7932 3211.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org || 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.
on-line reservation system
seeking the lowest ticket prices for your destination. Huge cargo flight
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.
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.
|PLACES TO STAY|
|Book budget accommodation in cheap hostels in
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@example.com, phoned on +353 1 498 0700 or visited on the web
|GETTING AROUND THERE ||TOP|||
|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
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/
Bulgaria has the best beach resorts on
the Black Sea.
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";
Sinemorets Discover this border artist colony before everybody else does.
|Winter Snow Holidays ||TOP|||
|Bulgaria's 3 best ski
Pamporovo There are a
few smaller places like Chepelare and Vitosha and smaller still like
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,
|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 Varna - St.Constantine Spa Resortby
Kyustendil Spa Resortby
Pomorie Spa Resortby
Sandanski Spa Resortby
Spas of Eastern Europe
|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
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.
NATIONAL CALENDAR OF CULTURAL EVENTS 2003
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.
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.
Festivals and CustomS BY travel-bulgaria.com, Calendar of Events,
|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.||
|The average annual temperature is 10.5°C. The
average January temperature is around O°C. Average summer temperatures
rarely exceed 30°C.
The Bulgaria weather portal
Bulgarian Climate by travel-bulgaria.com
Maps and Facts in our image server
|FAST FACTS ||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
Advice by Lonely Planet for travel.yahoo
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 .
|Get a free yahoo (we recommend) or hotmail account to get fast efficient access to your e-mail from any computer in the world|
|FORUMS TALK ABOUT IT ||TOP|||
Ask your travel question here
|"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.
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."
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 Balkan 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.It fell under the Byzantine domination in 1018, which date marked a period of decline thereafter.
It took the Romans till 45 A.D. or two
centuries to succeed in their quest to conquer the
From 1048 to 1078 Sredets was altered to Triaditsa and was
plundered by the Pechenegues.
The 500 year Turkish
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
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.
How to reach Bulgaria, General Information, Useful Information, Passports and Visas, Airlines,
Bulgarian Vacation and Holiday Ideas
Holiday Ideas, Sea, Mountain, Spa, Resorts, Sea Resorts, Hobby Tourism, Business Tourism, Hunting, Casinos
Hotels, Touroperators, Tourist Organizations, Book a Hotel, Travel Reservations System
|Phone and post
by city in crillion
|LISTS of LINKS ||TOP|||
|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
|COUNTRY WEB-GUIDES || Getting There >by Air >BY RAIL || top PASSPORTS & VISAS || 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|