Belogradchik rocks and fortress
The combined efforts of wind, rain and time have crafted these beautiful rock shapes near the town of Belogradchik, while the man-made fortress was built into the rock by using the rock face as its walls. Local people here have unleashed their imagination over the years, creating numerous legends about the rocks based on their similarity to animal and human forms.
Belogradchik rocks, Bulgaria, +359 93 630 01
Shiroka Laka village
Shiroka Laka is a small village in the Rhodope Mountains famous for its wonderfully old-school black and white houses with stone roofs. If you’re lucky, you may hear students from the National School for Folkloric Arts rehearsing traditional Bulgarian melodies. Visit at the beginning of March to see the Kukeri dance featuring local dancers dressed as monsters with heavy bells and masks, performing to chase evil away and usher in the spring.
Nessebar is a UNESCO-listed seaside resort with a number of well-preserved medieval churches in its Old Town. The beaches around the town offer all kind of experiences – from the 24/7 party Sunny Beach, to the Kavatsi Beach and affordable Ravda village. The windmill at the entrance of the Old Town peninsula makes a perfect backdrop for photos.
Pirin National Park
Pirin National Park is a year-round favorite destination for all Bulgarians. It is a UNESCO biosphere reserve, quite rocky and Alpine-like, with little greenery in its high parts. One of its most prominent ridges is called Koncheto (translated as ‘small horse’), and is a must-visit spot to tick off on the list of every Bulgarian hiker.
Plovdiv’s Old Town
If you read about Plovdiv’s Old Town, it might sound a little too good to be true – winding cobblestone streets, old houses in bright colors, and small, tucked away cafés and restaurants. Sidestep the clichés, though, and put on your comfortable shoes to explore it for yourself. No words or photos can accurately convey the feeling of being there on a warm summer’s evening, when the streets are full of carefree people enjoying a drink in a bar under the stars.
Veliko Tarnovo used to be the capital of Bulgaria almost 1,000 years ago, having being declared as such right after the country regained its liberty from the Byzantine Empire. The tsars (kings) of the Assen dynasty created a spectacular capital with fortresses and churches towering on the two major hills (Tsarevets and Trapezitsa). Visit Tsarevets and you’ll fall in love with this restored Bulgarian fortress, whether by day or by night, when it hosts a sound and light show telling stories from Bulgaria’s past.
The sinuous curves of Arda River
Arda is the biggest river in the Rhodope mountains, but that’s not what makes it so special. Every year, hundreds of professional and amateur photographers flock to its meanders to capture astonishing sunsets and sunrises from the nearby hills. It’s perfect for sunbathing, kayaking, and bird-watching, as wild vultures live in the area.
Golyam Beglik reservoir
Golyam Beglik is an enchanting Bulgarian reservoir located among evergreen forests in the soft embrace of the Rhodope mountains. It makes for a wonderful visit for those in search of the great outdoors, and is full of kayakers, mountain bikers, and other nature-lovers. There are picturesque bungalows on its banks.