A Couple's Guide to a Romantic Getaway in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a versatile and off-the-radar destination for couples where you and your better half can have a perfect romantic getaway. Here are some of the best destinations and a few tips for when you get there.
When to Visit
Summer is by far the best time to visit Bulgaria for a romantic vacation. Choose between the seaside, which has party clubs and remote beaches, or the hiking routes in the mountains. June is perfect if you want to take part in the Rose Festival in the Rose Valley, and winter is for the snow lovers who will enjoy the ski slopes and off-piste opportunities at Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets ski resorts. Whatever the season, take advantage of the thousands of mineral springs in Bulgaria and at least one of the many spa hotels.
The Rose Valley
Bulgaria is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world, and there is a month-long annual Rose Festival dedicated to the flower of love. It takes place in Kazanlak and the surrounding villages, where the Rose Valley is located, and every weekend a traditional rose-picking is organized (which means waking up before dawn and picking the roses while they still are covered in dew). A road trip in the Rose Valley makes for a perfect weekend for two, especially because there are many lavender fields here, too.
The Black Sea Coast
In spite of being internationally notorious for out-of-control pub crawls, the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast has many other facets that the international media has yet to uncover. Visit the city of Burgas with its pier, which is now an iconic place for couples to share special moments. You can also sail to tiny St Anastasia Island in just an hour from the Burgas coast, where you can have a glass of wine (or tea infusion of local herbs) with a sea view and spend the nights with the sound of the crashing waves outside.
The Southwest, especially around the town of Melnik, is known as one of the best wine destinations in Bulgaria. It is rich in mineral water and offers many wineries, as well as family and luxury hotels. Uva Nestum Wine & Spa is a brand-new hotel complex set among vineyards near the town of Gotse Delchev that provides a spa center, winery and a great restaurant with Bulgarian and international cuisine at very affordable prices.
Uva Nestum Wine & Spa, Gotse Delchev, Bulgaria, +359 887 021 020
In the winter, few things are better than an active day out on the slopes, followed by a cozy night by the fireplace or in a hot sauna. The biggest winter resorts in Bulgaria all have hotels offering spa centers and guesthouses where you can rely on your hosts to warm up your room and cook a traditional meal for you.
If you are a spiritual couple, you can discover another little-known side of Bulgaria—the yoga retreats. The mountainous town of Aprilitsi is home to one of the best, the Trinity Retreat House, set in an Eastern atmosphere with a meditation hall that has a view of the peaks of Stara Planina (Balkan) Mountain.
Trinity Retreat House, Malina 7, Apriltsi Bulgaria, +359 89 448 8804