Tourism types

Cultural Tourism:
  • Bulgaria is a country with thousands of years of history. Ancient settlement mounds from the Neolithic age, Thracian sanctuaries and tombs, remains of Roman cities, Byzantine and Medieval fortresses, architectural reserves, ethnographic complexes, churches and monasteries. Despite the fact that it occupies only 2% of Europe’s territory, about 40,000 historical monuments have been registered in Bulgaria (7 of which are included in the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites), 36 cultural reserves, 160 monasteries, and roughly 330 museums and galleries. This includes prehistoric finds, Thracian tombs, sites from the Greek Age, Roman fortresses, historical monuments from the time of the First and the Second Bulgarian Kingdoms, and architectural landmarks from the Age of Revival. Emblematic for Bulgaria are the monuments included in the UNESCO List: the Kazanlak Tomb (4th – 3rd century BC), the Thracian Tomb by the village of Sveshtari near Razgrad (3rd century BC), the Madara Horseman (8th century), the Boyana Church (10th – 11th century), the Ivanovo Rock Churches near Ruse (10th – 14th century), the Rila Monastery (10th century), the Old Town in Nesebar.

Ecological Tourism:
  • Exceptionally rich biodiversity, natural parks, unique natural landmarks, impressive caves and canyons, glacial lakes. Excellent conditions have been established for all kinds of ecologically friendly activities – hiking, mountain crossing, observation of birds, animals and plants, visiting of natural landmarks and many others. In terms of biodiversity, Bulgaria is on the second place in Europe. The plants are over 12,360 species, as 3,700 of them are higher species. 763 species have been included in the Red Book of Bulgaria. About 750 plants have been registered as medicinal, and 70% of them are economically valuable species, and the country exports about 15 thousand tones of herbs per year. The forest fund amounts to about 4.0 million hectares. This is about 36.85% of the country’s territory. 27 thousand species representatives of the invertebrate fauna live in Bulgaria, and the vertebrates are represented by more than 750 species, 397 of which are birds, 207 freshwater and Black Sea fish species, 94 mammal species, 52 species of amphibians and reptiles. Seven zoo geographic regions are differentiated in the country. Three national parks have been established in the country – Pirin (UNESCO), Rila, Central Balkan, and 11 natural parks.

Balneology, SPA and Wellness:
  • “The Holy Springs of Thrace” were famous throughout the Roman Empire. There are more than 550 known sources with 1,600 springs. The climate in the country is exceptionally favorable. The Republic of Bulgaria has 48 mountain resorts, 15 marine resorts, and 38 balneological resorts. The most famous balneological, climatic and mud curative Black Sea resorts are the resort complexes of Albena, Golden Sands, St. Konstantin and Helena, Sunny Day, Sunny Beach, Riviera, Balchik, Tuzlata, Varna Mud Curative Baths (Varnenski Kalolechebni Bani), Pomorie, Primorsko, Kiten, Sozopol, Ahtopol, among others. The most famous resorts located in thecountry’s foothills and mountains are Hisar, Velingrad (the spa capital of the Balkan Peninsula), Sandanski, Bankya, Kyustendil, Narechen, Pavel Banya, Kostenets, Varshets, Burgaski Mineralni Bani, Momin Prohod, Slivenski Mineralni Bani, Slivenski Mineralni Bani, Starozagorski Mineralni Bani, Haskovski Mineralni Bani, Sapareva Banya, Banya, Pamporovo, Borovets, Teteven, Tryavna, Apriltsi, Kotel, Elena, Govedartsi, Dryanovo, among others. The country is also known for its highly qualified personnel, excellent accommodations, and diverse programs and services that include massage, baths with mineral water, pearl baths, reflex therapy, traditional needle therapy, medicinal exercises, acupuncture, laser therapy, acupressure, paraffin treatment, apitherapy, phytotherapy, mud treatment, aroma therapy, anti-stress programs, dieting programs and programs for losing weight, balneo-cosmetics, sauna, solarium, fitness, and medical cosmetics.

Rural Tourism:
  • Through their stay in a village house, tourists can come to appreciate the unique local cuisine, the well-preserved folk customs and crafts, the architectural reserves settlements and the beautiful surrounding. The delicious food that hosts prepare with vegetables picked fresh from the garden and seasoned with herbs gathered in nearby forests and fields. Usually guests are accommodated in an house built in the 19th or early 20th century, and a part of the rich experience is the delicious food that hosts prepare with vegetables picked fresh from the garden and seasoned with herbs gathered in nearby forests and fields. There are many interesting things to do in the villages – visitors can help the hostess prepare some special dish according to a traditional recipe, take part in farm work, rent a horse to visit nearby landmarks, pick aromatic herbs and a basket of forest berries or mushrooms, or ride a mountain bike along the country roads and trails. Tourists may want to milk a cow, cut hay, prepare yoghurt, help make white and yellow cheese, or put up jam. Almost every family in the villages engages in distilling rakia and making wine. The Bulgarian countryside abounds with wineries that have earned international recognition, such as those at Asenovgrad, Burgas, Brestovitsa, Pomorie, Bessa Valey, Villa Lyubimets, Ruse, Damyanitsa, Domain Boyar, Evksinograd, cellar Todorov, cellar Khan Krum, Katarzhina Estate, Menada, Pomorie, Sakar, Lyubimets, Tera Tangra, among many others.

Mountain/Ski Tourism:
  • About 30% of Bulgaria is mountainous. The country’s mountains are exceptionally diverse in relief and offer abundant options for relaxation, along with sports and entertainment for tourists, since conditions are exceptionally conducive for tourism in both winter and summer. There are well-marked hiking routes. The highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula is located in Bulgaria – Mount “Musala” (2,925 m). The Balkan Mountains are the longest range in Bulgaria. They are also known simply as the Balkans, the source of the name for the entire peninsula. The mountains Rila and Pirin are alpine, characterized by steep ridges, high peaks, deep valleys, and gorges. Here is located one of Bulgaria’s landmarks – the seven glacial lakes that are located at an altitude of 2,095 m to 2,535 m. The largest resort in the Rila range is Borovets. It possesses excellent ski runs and mountain hotels. The Rhodope Mountains, known as the home of Orpheus, is divided into the alpine western part and the lower eastern part. The highest resort here is Pamporovo, located in a densely forested area, boasting skiing that rivals Bulgaria’s other premier winter resorts.Mount Vitosha is located in close proximity to the nation’s capital, Sofia. With its beautiful natural setting and numerous well-marked hiking trails, and cultural landmarks, it is excellent for mountain ecotourism. The mountain also is the site of the oldest natural park on the Balkan Peninsula, the Vitosha Nature Reserve. There are two ski areas on the mountain, Aleko and Konyarnika, both of which offer excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding during the winter months. The highest peak is Cherni Vrah (2,290 meters above sea level).

Sea Tourism:
  • The Bulgarian Black Sea coastline is 378 km long, with 209 beaches. The beaches and the sea offer excellent conditions for various water sports. Along the coastline, there are also mountains and mineral springs. The Bulgarian resorts offer various accommodation options, from luxurious 4-5 star hotels to small romantic family hotels, all of which are up to global standards. During the past few years, some the elite marine complexes and resort towns have built yacht ports. The ports in the resorts Rusalka, Tyulenovo, Balchik, Golden Sands and Varna offer fine opportunities for yachting along the northern Black Sea coast. Options for yacht tourism on the southern Black Sea coast are offered in Burgas and at the resorts St. Vlas, Nesebar, Sozopol, and Dyuni. Besides the combination of sun, sand and sea, the Black Sea resorts offer hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as ecotourism, photo safaris, and excursions to natural, cultural, and architectural landmarks. In the northern part of the Black Sea, there are three world-class golf courses. Along the coastline, there are also mineral springs, and the combination of these natural resources has led to the popularity of tourism that combines visits to spas, balneological centers, and wellness resorts with sea holidays. The resorts located on the Black Sea are preeminently suited to family vacations as well as to individual holidays and entertainment. Albena, Rusalka, St. Konstantin and St. Helena, Riviera, Obzor, Elenite and Dyuni are some of the most preferred for families with children. Younger tourists prefer Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Primorsko, Kiten, and Lozenets, because of the many clubs and bars, and other entertainment options. Sunny Beach is the largest resort complex in the country, and it often hosts parties that include world- famous DJs and performers. Sozopol and Nesebar (a UNESCO heritage site) are famous for their combination of beautiful coastal nature and historical landmarks. These two towns both have thousands of years of history, and attract a steady stream of summer tourists.

Lifestyle and Culture:
  • The country is located at the crossroad between Europe and Asia, and the lands of Bulgaria have been populated since antiquity. The remains of the Thracian, Hellenistic and Roman culture are many and varied. World’s oldest golden treasure in the world was discovered in Bulgaria. It is no accident that the earliest European civilization grew up here. Bulgaria is popular as land of Orpheus, Spartacus and the Rose valley.

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