Because of their excellent climate, Druzhba (the oldest sea resort) and Varna are very popular as sea resorts. Albena, Bulgaria’s newest seaside resort, is named after a village beauty and is situated on the edge of the forest. This prime example of modern Bulgarian architecture offers excellent restaurants and a lively nightlife. 15 km from Varna is the Golden Sands, the second largest resort on the Black Sea. Hotels and entertainment are excellent. Sunny Beach is ideal for family holidays with small children. Eco-tours in natural areas are also offered. Nearby is the fishing town of Nessebar, which was founded in the 7th century. Wooden fishermen’s cottages and 48 Byzantine churches can be visited here. Sandansky
in southern Bulgaria on the Greek border holds the sunshine record.
- Andyeducation.com: Introduction to education system in Bulgaria, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
Beach vacation at the Black Sea
Black Sea resorts are great for family vacations. The coast consists of kilometers of sandy beaches such as Albena, Golden Sands, Sunny Day, Elenite, Smokinya, Sunny Beach, Pomorie, Sozopol and Dyuni, among others. The best thing to do is to find out which of the beaches is currently flying the blue flag. Densely forested mountains rise behind inviting bays. Numerous luxury resorts, including many holiday resorts of international chains, attract with relatively low prices. Many resorts are ideal for children because there are no tides and the beach slopes gently. Even 150 m from the shore, the water often only reaches shoulder height. Where there are currents, these are clearly marked on the beach. The salinity is only half that of the Mediterranean. Bathing areas for children are equipped with playgrounds. Many water sports are available in most resort areas. From Sofia you can get to Burgas on the Black Sea via the Thrace highway and even faster by plane. The port city of Varna also has an airport. There are numerous charter flights to the Black Sea from Western Europe in the summer.
The architecture of the capital Sofia dates back to the 4th century BC. It is rich in examples of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian and Turkish architecture. Numerous theatres, museums, opera houses, art galleries, the university, weekly markets, numerous churches and mosques as well as over 300 parks and sports stadiums are popular attractions in Sofia.
An example of modern architecture is Prince Alexander von Battenberg Square. Here you will find numerous museums and the former royal palace, which houses the National Art Gallery. The Kvadrat 500 is the new part of the National Art Gallery, which has been exhibiting foreign art and Bulgarian art since the mid-19th century.
121 km from Sofia lies the Rila Monastery, high in the mountains and surrounded by dense coniferous forest. There are murals, wood carvings, old weapons, coins, manuals written on parchment and bibles. The hermit and monk Ivan Rilsky founded it in the 10th century. During the Turkish occupation (1396-1896) the buildings served as storage for masterpieces of Bulgarian art. Most of the buildings were destroyed by fire in the 19th century and rebuilt, only the 14th-century Hrelio Tower survived. On the outskirts of Sofia lies the nature reserve Vitosha Mountains, which offers good hiking and winter sports opportunities. Chair lifts and cable cars lead to the 2000 m high mountain peak. There are several ski centers. The medieval Boyana church can also be visited here. Their fresco paintings from the year 1200 are said to be the oldest in Bulgaria.
Plovdiv, the country’s second largest city, was founded in 342 BC. founded. The Marica flows through the old town. The modern business center forms an interesting contrast to the Renaissance buildings of the old town. Picturesque houses from the Middle Ages stand in the narrow streets, the upper floors of which incline so much that they almost touch the houses opposite. There are numerous Roman ruins and an ancient amphitheater. The Archaeological Museum offers an excellent collection of golden Thracian artifacts and kitchen utensils. The Museum of Ethnology and the Churches of St. Marina and St. Nedelya are also worth seeing. Plovdiv was European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Sofia’s places of worship
The gold domes of the impressive Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church are visible from afar. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century after the end of the Russo-Turkish War as a thank you for the liberation from the Turks and is considered one of the most important buildings in the Balkans. In the crypt there is a museum with numerous icons of the Orthodox Church, and the church has an excellent choir. The Byzantine St. Sophia Church dates from the 6th century and has a crypt and an excavation site. St. George’s Church built in Roman times in the 5th century(Sweti Georgi Rotunda) in the city center has great fresco paintings (14th c.) and houses art from the Middle Ages. The small Sveta Petka Samardjiyska Church was built in the 14th century. The interior of a former mosque, the Grand Mosque of Sofia (known for its nine domes), houses the National Archaeological Museum. The Banja Bashi Mosque, the largest mosque in Sofia, is particularly impressive.