Bulgaria! One of the most heavenly pieces of land in the world! And yes, I do not overstate that statement, why? Have you ever thought about what treasures Bulgaria has? It has some of the most picturesque landscapes that hide magnificent storeis. They have given birth to inspirational customs passed down from generation to generation. But enough talking, you need proof for all of this.
We have here a collection of stories of various trips to some of the favorite places of the Bulgarian travel bloggers from ASTOM (Association of travel online media owners), which will not only prove you how rich our country is, but will also inspire you to embark on your next trip and rediscover your love and appreciation for Bulgaria!
Table of Contents
Rosie from Trips with Rosie: Matenitsa village
The rock formations above Matenitsa village (about an hour away from Plovdiv) is very unpopular – it’s located in the Southern parts of the Balkan mountain and you are not likely to see other tourists there. Once you’re at the village, you can ask a local to direct you to the Large Mound (Golyamata Mogila). It’s located right above the village, and there are a few other mounds close to it, each with its own beautiful rock formations.
This photo represents two of Matenitsa’s unique rocks – as I like to call them, the “Night Keepers”. Don’t miss this favorite 2019 place in your visit!
Dario from Exploring beyond Sofia: Dragoman Marsh
Bulgaria is undoubtedly rich in a variety of natural features but did you know that one of the most unique of those is located only 40 km away from Sofia? I am talking about the Dragoman marsh, the biggest karst swamp in Bulgaria a place of great admiration, both from historical and natural point of view.
I do not know how to best describe Dragoman swamp beyond the scientific terms, but it is somewhat full of mysticism and beauty, a beauty that you can not see in many places neither in Bulgaria nor in Europe. Is it because of the simple fact that the marsh area is a mixture of wetlands and karst hills that are home to rare plant and animal species, or because with every step on the built wooden path, you are instantly transported into a totally different and unknown world.
So do not hesitate to visit Dragomanskot swamp, where you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different and fabulous world!
Rado from Deca na planina: Rock phenomenon Stolo, Ponor mountain
Rock phenomenon Stolo is still widely unknown, but exceptionally attractive destination in Ponor mountain. Reaching the cut stone rewards with amazing 360 degree view. The place is suitable also for family trip and can be combined with other sightseeing in the region.
Elеna from Drumi v Dumi: Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall
Kademliysko Praskalo Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and well-visible waterfalls I’ve ever visited. It is located in central Stara Planina Mountains and with its height of 70 meters is among the highest waterfalls in Bulgaria. The route to the waterfall takes about 4 hours in the direction. It starts on the outskirts of the village of Tazha. The village is located about 30 km northwest of Kazanlak and about 170 km east of Sofia.
Aleksandrina from Sanyа’s world: Fotin Falls
My favorite spot in Bulgaria this year is the Fotin Falls. I don’t know if the waterfalls themselves impressed me the most or the path to them. The village of Fotinovo is located about 25 km. from Peshtera city, and about 65 km. from Plovdiv. The road to Peshtera is good, but after that many turns follow until you reach the village. The nature there is simply unique. There are no words to describe these tall trees that are in all their beauty in May. The route is beautiful and easy, about 3 km long. There are three waterfalls in total. The good thing is that there are sighns throughout the way. To get to the waterfalls themselves, the steep is large, so you must have hiking boots. In the village of Fotinovo there is also a hotel where you can stay. The village is very small, but the beauty,positive vibes and fresh air that surrounds you, will fill you with energy.
Lyubomira from Bulgarian On The Go: Tryava
I recently had the opportunity to visit Tryavna – a small Bulgarian town, hidden away in the outskirts of the Balkan mountains, which has preserved the National Revival spirit till today. Tryavna is not just cobbled streets, shops of local craftsmen and numerous interesting museums, but it also offers stunning architecture and beautiful nature. The options of how to spend your time here are endless.
Tryavna is located roughly 3 hours by car from most major cities in Bulgaria, and only 45-minute drive from Veliko Tarnovo. This makes it a perfect weekend getaway, especially for those of you, who’d like to experience something traditional Bulgarian.
Tryavna is famous for its school for crafts, which has strongly contributed to the development of mainly three types of handicrafts – carving, painting and construction. The exceptional work of many local craftsmen can be seen in museums like the Daskalov house or the Raykov house.
Lilyana from Lilyana Uzunova: Golubovitsa Water Cave, Rhodope Mountains
A visit to the Golubovitsa Water Cave in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains is an adventure that I dreamed of when I first heard about this cave several years ago. Equipped with a waterproof jumpsuit, boots, warm clothes, a jacket and a headlight, I am heading to one of the most exciting destinations for 2019. Visiting Golubovitsa is not like most famous caves. I enter the cave with a guide, who helped visitors to go through a deep cave lake on a boat and then the beauty of Golubovitsa cave reveals.
Beyond the lake, the cave becomes bigger and more beautiful. Among the images on the rocks, I find a squirrel, a goat’s head, strange formations that resemble some mushrooms, others like umbrellas, and some other images with a little more imagination.
If you decide to embark on the same adventure, plan your visit in advance. The best time is mid-summer and early fall before the autumn rains begin and the water level in the cave is not too high.
Bistra and Nace from The magic of traveling: The Young Wine Festival in Plovdiv’s Old Town
The Young Wine Festival in Plovdiv’s Old Town is a combination of a great place and an amazing experience. The Young Wine Festival combines the charms and romance of the Old Town of Plovdiv with some remarkable wine tasting. You walk around Ethnographic Museum, Encho Pironkov Gallery, Hebros Hotel-Restaurant, Georgiades House, Balabanov’s House, Birdas House, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery and other historical and architectural places of interest.
Wineries from all over Bulgaria present their newest young wines, as well as some of their older ones. You taste and hear stories that complement the whole elevated experience. The Old Town’s atmosphere is revived and seasoned with smiling faces walking on cobbled streets, holding glasses of wine in hand. This vibe that must be felt, heard, seen, smelled, touched, but most of all – tasted.
The festival will take place on November 15-17, 2019 and all you need to do is show up and let those wines do the rest.
Nadezda from Traveler diary: The sand tunnel near the village of Lyubovishte
Village of Lyubovishte – a small village in southwestern Bulgaria, surrounded by extremely beautiful nature. A village in which timelessness and silence seem to have settled for a long time, and at the same time its name screams forgotten stories and provokes a great curiosity for every traveler. Nature has made sure that access to the village is difficult, but whoever gets there, he is immediately inspired by the overall experience. Why? First, because there is almost no road to the village, and secondly – in order to reach the village we have to go through a sand tunnel. This is what makes the tunnel unique – it does not pass through rock but through a crumbling sand pyramid.
We have all heard of the Melnik Pyramids and they are one of the first things we notice in the beautiful Melnik Region. Few actually know about the tunnel underneath one of the sand pyramids in the region. I assure you that you will be speechless!
Julia from Ophree way: Kukerlandia Festival in Yambol
Kukergrad (Yambol) and Kukerlandia Festival enchanted me with its mythical and mystical atmosphere, the sound of the huge bells that echoed from every corner of the venue and the giant masks you could see from far away.
Kukerlandia Festival celebrated its 20 th anniversary in 2019 and for that occasion, the 6-meters high masks came in from Sofia. Kukerlandia Festival is mind-blowing and very well organized. The scenes are envisioned is such a way that everybody can see the groups’ performances, the masks, and the costumes. The best of it is that it’s not overcrowded. This masquerade is as well-known as Surva Festival in Pernik and
participants from every region of the country take part in the festivities. The costumes and the masks differ from region to region and are made of different materials. The City Park where the event takes place is big enough to welcome all the guests who want to ‘’fight the evil’’.
Panayot from Trips journal: Kamenititsa peak
Every time after a hike in the Tran region I say “Wow!” and I think there is nothing more to impress me. But I’m always wrong! I discover more and more magical places, where purposefully, where by accident. The same happened with the Kamenititsa peak in the Erul mountain. It is a very unpopular destination, most probably completely unknown at the moment. Well, I am happy I stopped by! I was hustling along the VeloErul cycling route and decided to go for a short hike nearby. Along the route, I found the path to the top. It was one of the easiest and most scenic climbs I have ever made! It’s only twenty minutes long hike but in the end, it is simply stunning. The infinite Kraishte range is all around you, but the view extends beyond! And below our feet is the warm picture of the village of Erul, huddled in the mountain. It was an autumn fantasy – I discovered such a colorful beauty that I will remember for a long time.
Nadezda and Panayot from Family Travel Spirit: Sozopol
Sozopol is the pearl of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, and since Nadya loves jewelry we decided it was the perfect summer gift for her. A stroll in the Old Town is enough to keep the small seaside town in your heart. Every step along the narrow streets brings you back in time from ancient Apolonia to medieval Sozopolis. Here, history blends with the romantic architecture that lay on the rocky Scamni Peninsula. The spirit of the sea shakes the fig trees at the rhythm of the summer, while the sound of the seagulls accompanies the old fisherman’s songs. In the evening you are greeted with the aroma of delicious fish in some cozy restaurant on the sheer shore. And the night walk after is glamorous!
Lyubomira Danova from Оgledaloto na Mira: Pumpkin Festival in Sevlievo
Picture it as orange, tasty, fun and festive. That’s how it really is. Every year, for a couple of days in October, Sevlievo becomes the Capital of Pumpkins. Let yourself amble along the main square under the music and be astonished by the pumpkins appearing everywhere in all shapes and forms. Concerts, illusionists, competitions for floating pumpkin gondolas, folklore performances, various creative art workshops crafting and carving pumpkins are just to name a few of the numerous festival events. The festival stalls are abundant with pumpkin souvenirs – vases, jewelry, dolls, fridge magnets, handbags. Some of the stalls are even in a pumpkin shape. While making your choice there, you can have a treat with pumpkin ice cream or pumpkin candy-floss.
During the festival chefs from all over Bulgaria are there to delight us with pumpkin specialities – strudel, pastry rolls, ‘tikvenik’ (a traditional Bulgarian pastry with pumpkin filling), ‘petmez’ (pumpkin treacle), ‘rachel’ (pumpkin jelly), roast pumpkin filled with dried fruit, and even savoury foods like pumpkin bread, salads, ‘lyutenitsa’ (typical Bulgarian relish) and pickles. Drinks at the festival are quite intriguing too – pumpkin ‘rakiya’ (a strong spirit), beer with pumpkin and many other alcoholic cocktails featuring pumpkin.
Sevlievo Pumpkin Festival started in 2006 and ever since it has become a beloved tradition and a real festival for the city.
Ivan Petrushev from With a backpack without borders: Village of Sitovo
30 km of road full of potholes feel like 300, but at the end trip is worth the pain. We are greeted by clean air and green peaks, pulling us out like a magnet. And indeed, there is a lot to see around. Rivers and waterfalls, old religious shrines, remains of ancient fortresses, mysterious rock inscriptions over thousands of years old… And there is just simply the green Rhodopian forest, overtaking the landscape like a sea before the beholder.
Giorgia from Saveti.bg: The rock arch near Tyulenovo
Most of you have probably heard of the Azure Window in Gozo, symbol of the island, that unfortunately collapsed in 2017. It turns out that in Bulgaria we have a place that is very similar to this marvel of nature – the rock arch near Tyulenovo. It is located in Northern Bulgarian seaside, near the lighthouse of Shabla. If you have not visited it, I highly recommend that you do so.
The Rock Arch near Tyulenovo attracts photographers from all over the country because of the interesting shapes, rocks and colors that the area offers. As you will see for yourself, the place is great for taking pictures, as well as jumping off rocks or climbing if you are into extreme experiences. There is no beach but the Arch is very beautiful and definitely worth seeing. It is interesting to mention that Tyulenovo is the first oil field in Bulgaria – opened on May 31, 1951, the date on which the feast of the village is held every year.
I hope I have inspired a desire in you to visit this natural landmark.
Ivelina from Piralkova travels: Urdini Lakes
Nestled in the embrace of the beautiful Rila, drowned in its green beauty, are hidden the
wonderful Urdini Lakes. Touched by God, but not touched by people, they are hiding secretly in her mountain embrace. The hike to them is long and difficult, but that’s why there is no unpleasant crowd of people like the Seven Rila lakes. The lakes are amazingly beautiful, the views are breathtaking, and the emotion up there is completely indescribable. It cannot be (re) told, but only – felt.
The Urdini lakes are a lake group of glacial origin, located in the most inaccessible parts of Northwest Rila. They are located in the western part of the Urdin Circus between Damga Peak (2670 m) to the northwest and Dodov Peak (2661 m) to the south. The lakes are 6 and they have the following names – Dry, Fish, Triangle, Widow, Big and Little Pan.
As I always say – to be a Bulgarian who is not going to the mountains is like to have a chocolate that you don’t eat. So, people – eat!