Bulgaria is a country full of surprises, with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From natural wonders to historical sites and charming towns, there is something for everyone in Bulgaria. In this article, we will take a closer look at ten must-visit places in Bulgaria, and suggest some fun activities to do in each of them.
Belogradchik Rocks is a unique rock formation located in the northwestern part of Bulgaria, near the town of Belogradchik. The rocks are made of red sandstone and have been shaped by wind and water over millions of years, creating a stunning natural landscape. In addition to admiring the rocks, here are some fun activities you can do in Belogradchik:
- Hiking and rock climbing: The Belogradchik Rocks offer a variety of hiking trails and climbing routes suitable for all levels of experience.
- Visit the Belogradchik Fortress: This 19th-century fortress is built among the rocks and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Rila Monastery is one of Bulgaria’s most famous landmarks, located in the Rila Mountains, about 120 km south of Sofia. Founded in the 10th century, the monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a symbol of Bulgaria’s spiritual and cultural heritage. Here are some fun activities to do in Rila Monastery:
- Explore the monastery’s interior: The monastery’s museum houses a collection of rare and valuable icons, manuscripts, and old printed books.
- Hiking in the Rila Mountains: The Rila Mountains offer a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes.
Melnik is a small town located in southwestern Bulgaria, known for its unique architecture and wine production. The town is surrounded by sand pyramids, natural formations of yellow sandstone that create a unique and surreal landscape. Here are some fun activities to do in Melnik:
- Visit the sand pyramids: The sand pyramids, also known as “pyramids of Melnik”, are a unique sight to behold.
- Wine tasting: Melnik is known for its wine production, and there are several wineries in town where you can taste and buy local wines.
Balchik Palace is a beautiful palace located on the Black Sea coast, about 35 km northeast of Varna. The palace was built in the early 20th century for Queen Marie of Romania, and features a botanical garden with over 3,000 plant species. Here are some fun activities to do in Balchik Palace:
- Walk through the gardens: The palace’s botanical garden is home to over 3,000 plant species and is a must-see for nature lovers.
- Visit the Ethnographic Museum: The museum showcases the lifestyle, crafts, and customs of the local population in the early 20th century.
Devil’s Bridge is a stone arch bridge located in the Rhodope Mountains, about 10 km south of Ardino. The bridge dates back to the 16th century and is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Here are some fun activities to do in Devil’s Bridge:
- Take a hike: The Devil’s Bridge is accessible via a hiking trail that takes you through the beautiful Rhodope Mountains.
- Enjoy the views: The bridge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery, and you can take stunning photos from the top.
Madara Rider is an ancient rock carving located in northeastern Bulgaria, about 20 km from the city of Shumen. The carving depicts a horseman and is believed to date back to the 8th century AD. Here are some of the fun activities to do in Madara Rider for tourists:
- Visit the Madara Horseman: The rock carving is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique piece of Bulgarian history and culture.
- Explore the surrounding area: The area around Madara Rider is rich in archaeological sites, including a medieval fortress and a Thracian sanctuary.
Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second-largest city and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, dating back to the 6th millennium BC. The city is known for its ancient Roman ruins, Ottoman-era architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Here are some fun activities to do in Plovdiv:
- Visit the Old Town: Plovdiv’s Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets, colorful houses, and historic buildings, and is a must-see for architecture and history lovers.
- Attend a cultural event: Plovdiv is known for its cultural events, including the annual Plovdiv International Fair, the Night of Museums and Galleries, and the Opera Open Festival.
Seven Rila Lakes
The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of glacial lakes located in the Rila Mountains, about 100 km south of Sofia. The lakes are named after their shapes and range in altitude from 2,100 to 2,500 meters above sea level. Here are some fun activities to do in the Seven Rila Lakes:
- Hiking: The Seven Rila Lakes are accessible via several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
- Camping: There are several camping sites around the lakes where you can spend the night and enjoy the peaceful mountain scenery.
Koprivshtitsa is a small town located in central Bulgaria, known for its well-preserved traditional architecture and rich history. The town played a significant role in Bulgaria’s struggle for independence from Ottoman rule in the 19th century. Here are some fun activities to do in Koprivshtitsa:
- Visit the local museums: Koprivshtitsa has several museums that showcase the town’s history, culture, and traditions.
- Attend a folklore festival: Koprivshtitsa hosts several folklore festivals throughout the year, featuring traditional music, dance, and crafts.
Vitosha Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers, located just outside of Sofia. The mountain offers a variety of activities year-round, from hiking and skiing to mountain biking and paragliding. Here are some fun activities to do in Vitosha Mountain:
- Hiking: Vitosha Mountain offers over 240 km of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs.
- Skiing: Vitosha Mountain has several ski resorts, offering a variety of slopes for all levels of skiers.
Bulgaria is a country full of hidden gems waiting to be explored. From natural wonders to cultural landmarks, there is no shortage of must-visit places in Bulgaria. We hope this article has inspired you to plan your next adventure in this beautiful country and discover its unique and fascinating attractions.