By Matthew Anderson

Bulgaria may not be the first location that springs to mind when thinking of European holidays, but with elegant mountainous regions, sunny black sea beaches and breath-taking monasteries, it’s an explorer’s paradise.


Sights and highlights

Bulgaria boasts a variety of landscapes ready to be explored. The capital, Sofia, sits comfortably at the foot of the Vitosha mountain, ideal for hiking enthusiasts to take in the views. Vitosha is also famous for its snow-capped mountain, so hire a pair of skis and take to the slopes! There’s no need to worry about making your way up, as the mountain is easily accessible via multiple buses & lifts.



For a more cultural insight, take in the country’s unique architecture. Monumental monasteries are one of Bulgaria’s specialities. In the afore mentioned city of Sofia you’ll find the Alexander Nevksy Cathedral, its dome shaped roof makes it hard to miss! Alternatively, you could visit the Rila Monastery not too far from the capital. A vastly unique site with clear eastern influence, dating back to the 10th century, it is regarded as one of Bulgaria’s most important cultural monuments.



Bulgaria is also home to many great lakes, most of which are surrounded by mountainous terrain, with so many throughout the country it’s hard to highlight just one. But there is one vastly uncommon that it had to be mentioned – the Atanasovsko lakes. These pink lakes (yes PINK lakes) found in Burgas are a local favourite for their curative mud and lye. This location is also a well-known bird watching spot where over 300 different species of bird can be found, perfectly topping off the serene experience.




Weather in Bulgaria can differ due to the variations of terrain and time of year. As you can expect, the cooler regions are found in the north and mountainous regions, the warmer climates are found in the south.

But generally, the winter months range from 0-5°c.

The summer months range from 25-30°c.

Low season: November – March

High season: June – August

Best time to visit: April – May / September – October (Fewer visitors with still good weather)

Best time to Ski: December – February




The local currency is the Bulgarian lev, here’s what you can expect to pay daily:

Double room hotel – £40-£140

Restaurant meal – £14-£25

Taxi from airport to Sofia centre – £7

Spa treatments – from £15




Bulgarians love their spices; dishes are commonly complimented with dairy products to contrast the heat. The most common meats used are pork and chicken, although seafood is also common. You'll find plenty of colour on your plate when dining in Bulgaria, here are some dishes you can expect to find on the menu.


Musaka – This potato-based dish comes in many varieties across the Balkans. The Bulgarian version makes use of eggs, minced pork and plenty of diced potatoes. Traditionally this dish is served with thick yoghurt on top.



Kebapche – A piece of grilled mincemeat in the shape of a sausage, typically a mix of pork and beef complimented by black pepper and cumin to add a subtle spicy flavour.



Shopska salata (Bulgarian Salad) – Cucumber, tomatoes, onions and peppers – topped off with sirene cheese (similar to feta). Funnily enough the green cucumbers, red peppers/tomatoes and white cheese are the exact colours of the Bulgarian flag, just a hint towards the dish’s cultural significance.



Shkembe chorba – Also known as “The Dragon’s breath” a dish definitely not for the faint hearted! A tripe-based soup that is generously spiced with vinegar, oil, salt and crude pepper. Shkembe chorba is also used as a miracle hangover remedy but is usually consumed with a beer or Rakia (Bulgaria’s national drink, a fruit brandy) on the side (Hair of the dog is another popular hangover cure in Bulgaria!)




A few words and phrases that may come in handy on your travels:

Hello: Добър ден (Doh-bur dehn)

Thank you: Благодаря (Blah-goh-da-rya)

Goodbye: Довиждане (Doh-veezh-dah-nay)

Excuse me: Извинете (Eez-vee-neh-teh)

Cheers/Bless you: Наздраве (Naz-drah-veh)

Please/Welcome: Моля (Moh-lya)


Bring on Bulgaria! Call Inspire’s travel experts on 0161 440 6735 to book now or find out more!