On a vacation in Bulgaria, you get to discover a sunny paradise with fresh air, beautiful landscapes, and relaxing mineral spas. This is why for many travelers, Bulgaria is the ideal location for a tranquil and healthy lifestyle. Therefore, it’s no wonder that Bulgaria’s tourism figures are increasing at a fast pace. Over the past decade, this country has invested heavily in its leisure industries, producing several highly attractive tourist resorts.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, The Travel Bunny will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase for your vacation in Bulgaria. Thank you!
Vacation in Bulgaria by the Black Sea
Usually, when you think about going on vacation in Bulgaria, you probably dream about its luxury holiday resorts by the Black Sea. There, you can enjoy great health and leisure activities at a fraction of the price you’d pay in most other tourist destinations.
Warm sunshine, nice temperatures, comfortable hotels, sandy non-tidal beaches, and water sports are just some of the perks you’ll enjoy on Bulgaria’s seaside. There’s always plenty of entertainment in the hotels, including active nightlife in all resorts. In addition, you can also find yourself a short distance away from Bulgaria’s picturesque mountains, ski resorts, and golf courses.
Here are the major seaside resorts you should consider for your vacation in Bulgaria:
- Golden Sands
- Saints Constantine and Helena
- Varna (Bulgaria’s sea capital)
- Sunny Beach
Modern aqua parks can be found in Golden Sands and Sunny Beach if you’re looking for some extra entertainment. And, if you’re searching for nudist beaches in Bulgaria, here’s where you’ll find them:
- Between Albena and Kranevo, after the Gergana Hotel in Albena
- Golden Sands resort, past the marina, in front of the Hotel Glarus
- Kamchia, the largest nudist beach on the Bulgarian seaside
- Bourgas, north of the town, after Hotel Burgas, towards Nessebar
- Sozopol, south of the beach of Harman.
Skiing during your vacation in Bulgaria
When you go on vacation in Bulgaria in the cold season, you’ll discover is a highly attractive ski destination, with some of the best value ski and après-ski in Europe.
The top winter travel destinations in Bulgaria are:
- Bansko, the most developed ski resort in Bulgaria, but also a travel destination with a rich history and culture
- Borovets, the largest ski resort in Bulgaria
- Pamporovo, with the highest point at 1,926 meters
- Chepelare, a picturesque resort near the longest Bulgarian ski route,
- Mechi Chal, with the longest ski slope in Bulgaria (5,200 meters)
- Vitosha, located in a National Park and overlooking Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital.
Besides the winter months, there are some ski resorts in Bulgaria that run from mid-December to April, thanks to the favorable weather conditions. Here are the average temperatures in Bulgaria’s main ski resorts:
Hiking in Bulgaria and the local culture
To really understand Bulgaria, you have to move away from the resorts to where the locals live. (We’ve already discussed more on this subject in yesterday’s travel article.)
The Balkan Range is 700 kilometers long that crosses Bulgaria and offers some of the best hiking in Europe. Here are some travel destinations to consider for your next hiking vacation in Bulgaria:
- The Rhodope Mountains for simple hikes in green forests
- Jeravna or Kotel for more strenuous hiking in the eastern Balkan mountains
- National Parks for hikes of various difficulty levels in the Pirin, Central Balkans, or Rila.
The mountain ranges of Bulgaria vary from high, snow-covered peaks to gentle green slopes covered by forests. They harbor thermal springs and mineral spas and their valleys are rich in Balkan flora and fauna.
Mountain dwellers have their own distinctive customs, crafts, vibrant traditions, religious beliefs, and speech. They welcome travelers with typical Bulgarian hospitality and are pleased to share their ancient traditions and cuisine.
Vacation in Bulgaria at mineral spas
Travelers come from far and wide to explore the health benefits of the Balkan Mountains mineral spas. The major ones are:
- Hissary, with 22 mineral springs for the treatment of urological and liver diseases
- Touzlate, for diseases to the bone matter
- Sandanski, to alleviate bronchial asthma
- Velingrad, for treating respiratory tract problems and locomotive system disruptions, neurological disorders, gynecological symptoms, mild diabetes and obesity
- Kystendil, for bone, joint, and tendon issues, nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, reproductive system disorders, and sterility.
Healing mud in Bulgaria
The Black Sea resorts of Saints Constantine and Helena, Pomorie, and Albena are renowned for their mud treatments.
The best known Black Sea spa centers for mud treatments are:
- Dobroudja Hotel in Albena
- Ambassador Hotel in Golden Sands
- Riviera Holiday Club, Sunny Day, and Grand Hotel Varna in Saints Constantine and Helena
- Pomorie Hotel in the coastal town of Pomorie.
The growth in tourist amenities has led to many of the luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels to offer spa centers with pools, saunas, jacuzzis, solariums, and fitness centers. Some of the best can be found in:
- Château Hrankov Hotel and Kempinski Zografski Hotel in Sofia
- Grand Hotel Veliko in Lovech
- Plovdiv Novotel in Plovdiv.
Golf vacation in Bulgaria
The establishment of world-class golf facilities in Bulgaria is growing at a steady pace, not only to helping the sport become more popular in the country but also to serve as a tourist attraction.
There are several golf courses to consider for your vacation in Bulgaria:
- Ihtiman, 40 kilometers from Sofia
- Sliven, 90 kilometers from the Black Sea
- Dolna Banya, between Kostenets and Borovets
- Razgrad, in the north-east, also around 90 kilometers from the Black Sea
- Kaliakra, where the Kape Kaliakra Open was supposed to reach its 7th edition this year. (Not to worry, it will happen in 2021!)
Whatever you choose for your vacation in Bulgaria, chances are it will be absolutely amazing and you’ll want to return soon to see more of this beautiful country. You’ll also want to return to see the lovely and welcoming Bulgarians, not just for the sights.
Other travel articles you should read on The Travel Bunny blog
Visit seaside cities in Bulgaria (with map)
Day trip from Bucharest: What to see on the way to lovely Lovech
Veliko Tarnovo: Street art you’ll love and some unexpected findings