One country more than any other, took its moment to step out of the shadow from the iron curtain during the last property boom and regain its own identity. Bulgaria offers rich character fused by thousands of years of both east and west influences, combined with a new found confidence in its own value as a beautiful country that can offer skiing, climbing, countryside and horse riding, alongside first class beach holidays, great food, wine and a rich seasonal climate, all helping to ensure this country became the European runaway hit of the last decade.
It’s true that most tourists holidaying in Bulgaria are attracted to the Black Sea coast, which now boasts a similar allure that Spain once had during its initial days of growth, attracting tourists back in the 1970’s. There has been an infectious energy along the Bulgarian coastline due to a new found feeling of prosperity caused by the free market and like the Spanish, the commercial undertaking of catering to tourism is something that the Bulgarians do so naturally and very well indeed.
The property boom on the coast has been staggering, the expanse of building developments and construction work went from a standing start to the kind of speed of progress that has not been seen anywhere else in Europe for a long time. Managing to attract tourists and property buyers from all over Europe, due to the country’s proximity to both east and west, Bulgaria has now become a package holiday Mecca, as there are many huge purpose built resorts that cater for the one stop solution summer vacation.
The city of Varna is the maritime capital of Bulgaria and is unofficially also considered to be the capital of the south. Varna has undergone somewhat of a transformation over the last ten years, as much of the money made along the coastline has its business roots in this city. As such, this is one of the fastest growing cities in Bulgaria, offering both holiday resorts and a working port alongside much culture and nightlife.
For those travelers senderismo en wishing to combine their sun and sea with more cultural leanings, there are many beautiful small beaches and bays, with idyllic guest houses off the beaten track. Also popular with the more discerning tourist are the Burgas Lakes, an attraction for bird lovers due to the many rare birds that are found there. There are many historic towns in Bulgaria, including the well loved towns of Nesebar and Sozopol. These old towns feel like stepping back into the past with their olde worlde charm and character. Here you will find wonderful traditional home made foods consisting of some tasty meat and vegetable stews such as Kavarma and Kyuvech. Kyufteta is Bulgaria’s answer to meatballs and hamburgers, also a Bulgarian spicy sausage kebab known as Kebapcheta. As you can imagine, there are many good beers to choose from and Bulgarian wine is now well respected around the world.
When going slightly inland, thankfully much of the country is still largely untouched and unvisited. There are some wonderful hiking trails and horse riding is very popular as a way to relax and discover the beautiful countryside and wildlife, including rare birds, lynx and bears. For those on a budget, thankfully Bulgaria has very good and affordable public transport to help travelers move between cities and into the countryside.