Bulgaria - a country for all seasons. Beach lovers and beach tours can appreciate the Black Sea resorts in Bulgaria, and those who want to present a winter fairy tale, will be pleasantly surprised at what ski resorts in Bulgaria provide quite a good level of service at very competitive prices. Bulgarian Black Sea coast attractive to holidaymakers throughout their beach - it reaches 384 kilometers, the coast is surrounded by greenery. Wide sandy beaches gently down to the sea. The shallow depth near the shore, the bright sun and a refreshing breeze - a guarantee of popularity among tourists.
The Republic of Bulgaria is situated in South-Eastern Europe, in the north-eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula, in an area of 110,993.6 square kilometers. The northern part of the country's borders with Romania, South - with the Turkish Republic and the Hellenic Republic, west - with Serbia and Macedonia, east by the Black Sea. The duration of the state border - 2,245 km, including 686 km - 378 km and the river - the sea. The relief of Bulgaria is diverse - plain and hilly lands cover about 70% of the land, the mountains - about 30%.
The highest mountain ranges - Rila (top Musala - 2925 m), Pirin (top VIHREN - 2,914 m) and Stara Planina (the top of them. Hristo Botev - 2376 m). In the south lie the Rhodope Mountains, which forms the border with Greece. Vast plains area is hilly Danube Plain. For the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria is characterized by extensive beach strip, intermittent cliffs. The main rivers in Bulgaria - the Danube, the Iskar, Tundjia, Maritza, Yantra.
Key Bulgarian resorts - Sunny Beach, St. Constantine and Elena, Golden Sands, Albena, Kranevo - separated from the bustle and stress of big cities, and in this case are located near important tourist attractions
On the main Bulgarian resorts sandy beaches, general and free. Umbrellas and sun beds - surcharge. Cost of sunbeds - 4 BGL, umbrella - 2 BGL. Most Bulgarian beaches awarded "cinego Flag" of the European Union - a sign of ecological purity.
In Sofia, one of the oldest cities in Europe, a lot of great samples of church and historic architecture. Most city tours start from the walls of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (Alexander Nevsky Lavra, 1882 - 1912.), Built in honor of the 200 th. Russian soldiers who died in the struggle for the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish rule. It is the largest cathedral in Bulgaria (area - 2600 square meters. M., Height - 52 m., The bell tower of the cathedral has 12 gold-plated bells, the largest of which weighs 11,758 kg.) And the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans. In the crypt of the cathedral is the Museum of Icons, and the interior of the Cathedral impresses with its lavish architectural forms, magnificent paintings, icons and mosaics. Behind the cathedral is a building of the Foreign Art Galleries with an extensive collection of European, African and Oriental art.
Through the square from the cathedral is the church of St. Sofia (VI cent.), Gave its name to the city. During the Turkish rule to the temple were added minarets and a long time it functioned as a mosque until two earthquakes of the twentieth century did not destroy the minarets, then the mosque was closed. The walls of the church of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
One of the most interesting sights of the capital is built of red bricks on the site of the Roman rotunda church of St.. George - the oldest temple of Sofia. On the inside of the dome frescoes, the earliest of which date back to the X century, and outside the preserved remains of ancient Serdica streets (the Roman name of the city). Under the hotel "Rila" discovered the ruins of a Roman residence with superb mosaics.
On the area of the National Assembly of the majestic building of the National Assembly (1884) installed in front of her equestrian statue of Russian Emperor Alexander II. Boulevard King Osvoboditel walking past the Russian church of St. Nicholas (1913) and the Museum of Natural Sciences, to the area of Battenberg, is considered the center of Sofia. On the square is a building of the former mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov, which are located opposite the National Art Gallery and the National Ethnographic Museum in the former Royal Palace (1887). The park is located east of the mausoleum National Theatre. Ivan Vazov (1907) in the Baroque style. On the western side of the square, the building of the Bulgarian National Bank, is Buyuk Mosque Jami (1496). In the street of Largo are the National Archaeological Museum, Church of St.. Peter Samothrace (XIV c.), The mosque of Bani Bashi (1576), the Sofia Synagogue (1909), an underground shopping center and the market (1911).
The most beautiful avenue of the city - Vitosha Boulevard, going from church Easter, past numerous underground shopping malls, to the area of the Palace of Culture with the Monument to 1300 Years of Bulgaria. In lying close to the Palace of Justice (1936) is the National History Museum - one of the largest history museums in the Balkans, famous for its collection of gold finds the IV. BC. e. of excavations at Panagyurishte. The museum contains also the only copy of the Bulgarian medieval chronicles - "History" John Skylitzes - an important source of the history of the First Bulgarian Kingdom.
On Graf Ignatiev street is rebuilt from the "Black Mosque" Church of St.. Sedmochislennitsy (1528). Interesting are also the Botanical Museum at the National Botanical Garden, Zoological Museum at the Zoo, the National Museum of Natural History, Museum of History, Sofia City Art Gallery in Central Park, the building of the Sofia University. Kliment Ohridski and the Sofia Mineral Baths, built on the site of the Roman baths.
Bojana - suburban quarter in the south-west of the city, adjacent to the foot of Vitosha (2290 m.). In the upper part of it is entered in the list of "UNESCO World Heritage" little Boyana Church with magnificent murals XIII century. Vitosha mountain itself is a traditional place for a winter holiday, there are plenty of mountain hotels, lifts, viewing platforms and a well-developed recreational infrastructure.
At 119 km. south of the capital lies the famous Rila Monastery (X c.) - one of the spiritual centers of the country. On its territory there are such unique structures as the five-storey tower (1335) with the Church of the Transfiguration, church gate (XIV c., Now kept in the historical museum of the monastery), numbering 16,000 volumes of the monastery library, Hrelova tower, five-domed Cathedral of the Assumption the original "magernitsa" - monastery refectory, etc.. Near Sofia, Pernik, are the ruins of a Byzantine fortress, and in the Bank (17 km. west of the capital) - the best of the Bulgarian spa resorts with odes "universal" composition. In the valley of the Struma River (76 km. Southeast of Sofia) is Zemen Monastery (XIII c.) With a unique church of St. John, famous for its beautiful paintings.
In a city-reserve Veliko Tarnovo, the ancient capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 - 1393 gg.), You should definitely call in for inspection of the royal palace, picturesque towers Patriarchal and Baldwin in Tsarevets fortress on the hill of the same name, near which regularly show "Sound and Light "tells the story of the city. Interested in the picturesque quarter Varusha, the Monastery of St.. Peter and Paul (XIII c.) And Kapinovsky, as well as the Church of St.. Demetrius (XI., The oldest in the city) and St.. Forty Martyrs (1230). The city is the University. Cyril and Methodius - the second largest in the country, as well as great museums of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the Museum of the Renaissance, numerous art galleries and a variety of colorful houses in the traditional style.
In the vicinity of the city lie the picturesque foothills of the Stara Planina ("ancient mountain") with lots of caves and perfect conditions for climbing and trekking. At the top of 1306-meter Shipka Pass is a monument to the Russian forces and Bulgarian volunteers who became famous during the heroic defense of the pass of the Turkish troops in August 1887 in the most Shipka Pass (13 km. From the pass) is a unique church (1896 - 1902.) whose dome cast in sleeves gathered on the battlefield near the pass (the largest bell weighs 12 tons.). In the crypt of the church are buried the remains of Russian soldiers, and 34 marble slabs inside the temple are carved the names of Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who died on the Shipka Pass and Kazanlak.
7 km. north of Veliko Tarnovo is carefully restored Transfiguration Monastery (XIV c.) with wonderful frescoes and icons Zograph master Dospevski (1864). On the other side of the gorge p. Yantra is the Monastery of St.. Trinity (1847), and 12 km. south of Veliko Tarnovo is a unique monument of medieval architecture - Kilifarevski Monastery (1348 - 1350 years., rebuilt in 1718) with a lovely church of the Nativity of the Virgin (restored and rebuilt in 1840), the chapel of St.. Ivan Rilski and St. Theodosius Turnovo, which are decorated with icons of the best representatives of the Tryavna school of painting.
3 km. to the north-east of Veliko Tarnovo stretched ancient village Arbanassi, famous for picturesque stone houses XVI - XVII centuries., and Church of the Nativity and the Archangel (XVII century.), is considered a monument of national culture. A 30 km. from the city is located spa complex "Voneshta water" with their own sources of healing mineral water.
Gabrovo - the world "capital of laughter" and interesting for its tradition in the city 49 km. Veliko Tarnovo. In The four (9 km. Gabrovo) is an ethnographic open-air museum where you can learn about traditional arts and crafts, a kind of traditional cuisine and customs.
Shumen - large city, which lies between Varna and Veliko Tarnovo, and one of the centers of the Bulgarian Middle Ages. There is certainly worth a visit to the famous brewery, Shumen Fortress (XII - XIV centuries., Now in her museum), the Regional History Museum, and is also considered the largest and most beautiful mosque in Bulgaria Tombul (1744), behind which is the Turkish Market Hall .
20 km. south-west of Shumen lies Preslav (821) - the former capital of the First Bulgarian Empire. The most famous building of ancient Veliko Preslav was a round church Gold (908 g, recently renovated), interested in the Archaeological Museum, the ruins of the fortified walls of the citadel, the royal palace and monastery of the city.
National Historical Reserve Madara is located 18 km. east of Shumen. The city is famous for its caves and rocky 25-meter relief "Madara Horseman" (VIII cent.), Roman villas and walls of the medieval fortress on the cliff top. In Pliska (681) are interesting restored Eastern Gate (IX cent.), The Grand Palace, Palace Church, Inner City and the ruins of a huge three-aisled basilica Great (865 AD).
In Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, be sure to check Trimontsium ("three hills", the old town) - Roman Forum, Theater 3 thousand. Places and gates Hisar Kapija (II c. N. E.), And the Juma Mosque (XV c.) and Imaret (1445), Constantine and Helen Cathedral (1832), with a lovely gallery of icons, the ruins of a Thracian city Evmolpias (II c. BC. e.), an amphitheater of Philip II of Macedon, as well as unique church - St. Weeks, St.. Dimitra and St. Marina (1854). Plovdiv Archaeological Museum is considered one of the best in the country, are also good Ethnographic Museum in the house Koyumdzhoglu with excellent collection of costumes, art gallery at the House of Baklanov and Museum of the National Revival.
30 km. Plovdiv is the Monastery of Bachkovo (Bachkovo Monastery, 1083) with the beautiful churches of Archangel Michael (XII century.), Assumption of the Virgin (1604) and the Chapel of St. Nicholas, the interior of which is painted with the famous Zahari Zograf.
To the north-west of Plovdiv is a resort area Hicarya (ISAR, Roman August), a well-known healing properties of its mineral springs (27 - 51 C) since the days of ancient Rome. Now there is a large spa complex with numerous baths and fountains with mineral water. Also remarkable ruins of Roman buildings and the Turkish fortress of Hissar.
In the southwestern part of the Pirin Mountains is "the smallest city in the country" - Melnik, famous for its wine cellars, the rocks "Melnik Pyramids" Rozhen monastery and church of St.. Nicholas. Valuable monuments Rozhen Monastery (XII - XIII centuries.) Are the Church of St.. Dame, the southern wall paintings (1661), as well as unique carved wooden iconostasis and Lecterns.
Golden Sands - the pearl of the Bulgarian Riviera, a real godsend for those who want peace and quiet, and for those who prefer leisure.
The lush greenery of the National Park, the emerald beautiful sea, sparkling in the sun golden beach - all Golden Sands. Rainy days are very few. In summer the air is heated to +27 * C, and the water - to + 24 * C. Infrastructure of the resort so developed that every tourist can find best deals for your taste and wealth. Golden Sands built about 65 hotels, 2 suburban village, 10 houses, more than 70 restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs, which is a reliable guarantee that the pleasure you will not be bored. For tourists - more than 100 shops, a great opportunity to practice virtually any sports, rich excursion program and much more.
For a great environment, the resort is annually awarded the prestigious international award "Blue Flag"
Therapeutic programs you can order representation "Solvex" at a reduced price.
Albena is situated 40 km from the airport of Varna. The resort - 42 hotels and camping 4 different class to the total number of seats - 14 900 Lovely natural conditions, mild maritime climate, the beautiful warm sea with a flat sandy bottom, and 7 km. strip of beach with fine sand, ideal for children and adults. Hotel services - a wide variety of entertainment, from the restaurants to the elite equestrian sports base. Well developed the visible water sports: scuba diving, boating, surfing, water skiing, etc..
Every year held a festival of children's song festival "Golden Antenna" competition in football, volleyball, tennis, boxing, sailing regattas, and much more. Between hotels, resort center and the beach constantly ply mini-train. Transfer time: Airport Varna - Albena - 50 min.
Paradise for vacation, Sunny Beach, a crescent-shaped bay, open to the east for a summer breeze and gentle waves. It is located 35 kilometers from the airport of Burgas. Transfer time to the resort takes 40-50 minutes.
The beach strip is 8 km from the golden-yellow fine sand and gently sloping seabed is ideal for families with children. The climate is temperate in the resort - from May to October, about 1,700 hours of sunshine. The average summer temperature - 28C; water - 25C. Over the past 2 years the infrastructure at the resort changed. Many new hotels, restaurants, bars. Shops, a water park. Restaurants with live music and dancing will make your vacation fun and varied, and the prices will be pleasantly surprised. Mini-train will take you anywhere in the resort.
Local activities include water sports, tennis, horseback riding, and on the beach there are many water rides - "banana", boating, parasailing, jet skis, water skiing, surfing. Resort "Sunny Beach" was awarded the international award - the "Blue Flag".
The resort complex of St.. Constantine and Helena - the oldest on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Located 9 km. from the city of Varna, in the green woodland of beautiful pine trees. Presence of mineral springs, provides an opportunity not only to sunbathe and relax, but also to improve their health. Whereas "Joliot Curie" and "Saint Helena" operate modern spa center. The resort complex of St.. Constantine and Helena has a well-developed infrastructure, a large number of entertainment venues, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. At your service - mini train that will take you anywhere in the resort.
Golden Sands is located near the tourist complex Riviera. Here reign peace and quiet. In the midst of exquisite shady park with unique views of vegetation and old trees on the sea coast, built 6 hotels with 1,000 seats. "Riviera" is created on the basis of the former government residence, host of the Federal Chancellor of Germany, the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of India. This oasis of comfort - five star "Imperial", the famous elite center for business tourism. Guests of the resort, a seafood restaurant, a beach bar, a snack bar, cafe, playground, 2 tennis courts, bicycles, table tennis, bowling, water sports and much more.
Small resort town located about 20 km north of Varna, on the Black Sea coast between the resorts of Golden Sands (8 km) and Albena (3 km), in a magnificent park with centuries-old cypress trees, lime trees, oaks and ivy, so that contributes to pleasant walks. The resort offers a wonderful combination of fresh air, mineral water, crystal clear sea and beautiful beaches. Clean, golden beach, calm sea, the proximity to the two largest spa complexes in the northern Black Sea coast, are regular bus lines to Albena, Golden Sands, Varna, spectacular low prices and, of course, last but not least, a variety of restaurants Chinese, Indian and traditional Bulgarian cuisine - here is a list of special advantages Kranevo. Currently Kranevo turned into a new resort, with a predominance of small and cozy hotels, family hotels and private apartments, along with preserved base of hotels. Kranevo is predominantly a family resort where children are given special attention. The complex has a large number of sports grounds (volleyball, basketball, soccer field, tennis courts), summer theater, playground with slot machines, a computer room, a disco, a children's garden, a children's club with qualified teachers, who are always available to younger guests. Beautiful beaches, reasonable prices, proximity to Albena and Golden Sands - an advantage Kranevo !!
The ancient town of Pomorie is situated on a narrow and rocky peninsula, 10 km south of Nessebar, 20 km from Bourgas and 18 km from the resort "Sunny Beach". The town was founded in the IV century BC as a Greek colony called Anchialo, which means "around the salt." It is interesting for its historical monuments of antiquity and typical for this part of Bulgaria's residential architecture, typical of Nessebar and Sozopol. Pomorie is known more as a spa center. The city is famous for its excellent white wines, brandy, cognac production famous Bulgarian "Pliska", "Pomorie", "Sunny Beach" and production of sea salt, with the production of a number of therapeutic drugs. Currently Pomorie is a seaside resort and mud treatment center. South of the city is domed Thracian tomb of III century. In the new part of town is the monastery "St.. George" kept its kind since 1856 th year. Climatic conditions are exceptionally favorable, sunshine duration is from 2137 to 2360 hours per year, the average temperature in July is 24 - 25C. Seafront flat, spacious and clean beaches with fine sand, the sea is shallow, without rocks and stone breakwaters waylaid by cold currents in the navigation zone. Small hotels and restaurants, rest and relaxation away from the hustle of big cities - that's all you need for a pleasant stay.
Bulgaria has a continental climate in the south - the transition to the Mediterranean. In general, it is cooler than in other parts of Europe at the same latitude. The average temperature in July in Sofia 16 + 27 ° C, in Varna 19 + 30 ° C. The average temperature of the sea water in the summer +21 .. +23 ° C.
Far from Moscow at 1:00.
Official - Bulgarian. At the heart of the letters - Cyrillic. At all the resorts in the tourist centers and hotels staff speaks Russian, English, German, French.
Bulgarian lev, 1 lev = 100 stotinkas. In everyday bills in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 leva coins - 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 stotinkas. Import and export of BGN prohibited. Import and export of foreign currency is not limited (declaration required).
Required documents: passport with the personal signature of the owner, which is valid for 3 months after the end of the trip, 1 color photo 3.5 to 4.5, a questionnaire with personal signature tourist. Visa for children under age 16, issued free of charge. For children under 18 years traveling with one parent (without parents), a notarized authorization from the second parent (s) need only a passport control at the airport.
Religion: Bulgarian Orthodox Church - 85%, Islam - 12%
Public holidays: January 1,2 (New Year), March 3 (Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule), Easter Monday, April 8, May 1 (Labor Day), May 24 (Feast of Bulgarian Culture and Slavonic Literature, day Saints Cyril and Methodius), December 25 (Christmas).
Bulgaria - a bridge between Europe and Asia. Tourists are served by the younger generation of Bulgarians. It does not speak Russian. Before the trip to learn the basics of useful Bulgarian language and use it. In Bulgaria, the price for foreigners is higher than for locals. If you do not show the documents and speak Bulgarian, it is possible to avoid discrimination.
Expression of consent-dissent in Bulgaria opposite adopted in Russia, ie assent Bulgarians shake their heads, and by denying the nod.
Traditional cuisine Bulgaria
Deserves special attention. It has a lot to do with the cuisines of other Balkan countries and Turkey: hot spices, plenty of vegetables, savory taste. Traditionally Bulgarians prefer to cook food on open fires - Skara. Popular dishes such as "kebab" (meat on a skewer), "kebabche" (grilled meat sausages), "Sheppard's salad" (tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, onions, seasoned with grated cheese, vegetable oil, vinegar, spices) "gyuvechi" - a stew with potatoes and vegetables, "kavarma" (a dish of meat with mushrooms, onions and potatoes), "kashkaval Pan" (breaded soft cottage cheese), "fractional-Sarma" (stuffed sheep's gland) "byurek pig "(fried in egg sweet peppers stuffed with feta cheese and tomatoes). A snack is Banica - pies of flaky pastry with cheese. Banica is usually eaten with the famous Bulgarian yoghurt. Very unusual and cool Bulgarian soup "tarator" (finely chopped cucumber, dill, garlic and walnut filled with diluted Bulgarian "sour mlyako") And, of course, in a country where the grapes are grown in 1300, is always on the table fine wine. Prices in Bulgaria on the food and wine are low (glass of Bulgarian beer - 80 cents, a glass of local wine - a little more than $ 1, a portion of Sheppard's salad - $ 1.5, a hot meal is worth, on average, $ 4). Especially famous tavern in the folk style called "tavern" - they are fed exclusively national dishes.
To drink red wine in a few months, the title of which is the letter "p", and the rest - white. Therefore, in the summer in hot weather drink cold white wine.
Political system Bulgaria
Political system: parliamentary republic. The Republic of Bulgaria - a unitary state - are not allowed the formation of autonomous territories. The political life of the Republic of Bulgaria is based on the principles of political pluralism. No political party or ideology can not be considered or declared state. Unacceptable formation of political parties on ethnic, racial or religious grounds, as well as the parties, the purpose of pursuing the violent seizure of state power.
In Bulgaria, about 9 million people. In addition to the main part - the Bulgarians are ethnic Turks live (which account for approximately 10% of the population), Armenians, Greeks and other nationalities.
Import and export of foreign currency is not limited (declaration required), import and export of local currency is prohibited. Unspent levs can be redeemed before leaving the country. To do this, you must submit a certificate of the initial exchange of the exchange office.
Foreign tourists are entitled to a refund of VAT (20%) in "tax free" with the purchase in the amount of not less than 1000 BGL in one shop. VAT refund is made in paragraph return at the airport when leaving the country.
Medical aid Bulgaria
Medical insurance is mandatory. Certificate of vaccination is required. First aid will be provided free of charge, for follow-up treatment will be charged.
Working hours Bulgaria
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00, lunch break from 12:00 to 13:00. On weekends and public holidays banks do not work. Credit cards, travelers checks and Eurocheques do not yet have widespread and accepted only at banks and major hotels. Payment is most often done in cash.
Shops are open from Monday to Friday. Saturday - "short day", many shops are open seven days a week (at the resorts often to 22:00). Groceries often working around the clock (as evidenced by the sign "Non-stop").
In Sofia, the best shops are located along Vitosha Boulevard and in the gallery in front of the Palace of Culture NDK.
Trains in Bulgaria is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, for 10 USD you can drive across the country. Trains are divided into "Express" (express) and "ptnicheski" (passenger). For trips to the resort areas are advised to reserve tickets in advance. Train from Sofia to Bourgas or Varna is 7 hours.
In the cities, buses, trolley buses and trams. The cost of a single ticket is in the range 0.25 BGL per day pass for five days - 4.4 BGL, for a month - 21 BGL. At some resorts, there are also long-distance single tickets of different periodicity.
Taxis in Bulgaria - yellow to the traditional "checkered", on the side window must be fixed price list with the prices, and most taxis can even get a check. Operate day and night (22:00 - 06:00) rates. Base prices (day / night tariff): landing - 0.29 / 0.39 BGL, 1 km run - 0.48 / 0.58 BGL, wait a minute - 0.16 / 0.19 BGL, additional piece of baggage - 5 BGL.
On the coast, the bus service between the cities and resorts established well enough. Directions from Varna to Albena costs about 3 BGL.
In order to take in Bulgaria rent a car, you must be over 21 years and have an international driver's license.
At the resorts taxi drivers often offer "bargain prices", in this case, it is possible and you have to haggle. Drivers, rent a car, but do not have an international driving license, often wrongly fined. Roads in Bulgaria, as they say, leave much to be desired: the often missing markings and lighting, road works signs are usually not fenced, many drivers drive with dim lights or redeemed, is often on the road meets rustic cattle or horse-drawn carts.
Mains voltage - 220 volts across the country.
Tips are given Porters, maids. Waiters tip rounding account. Money should not be left on the table.
Helpful information Bulgaria
Road assistance: 146
Reference Desk: 144
Service weather forecast: 175
Exact time service: 180