About Bulgaria section is a place where you will find more information about the country that you plan to visit. With no doubt your Bulgarian guide will tell you all these interesting facts about Bulgaria. But if you are eager to learn in advance summerized information, here you will find it. All over the web you will find tons of information about Bulgaria, but here we have tried to present the most essential. The rest you will see and feel personally on spot.
Geography of Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Mountains
Noted for its diversity, Bulgaria’s landscape ranges from mountainous peaks covered in snow to valleys and lowlands giving way to the coast of the Black Sea. The Balkan Mountains cut across the central part of the country, while the Rhodope Mountains run through southern Bulgaria, along its border with Greece. The highest point in the country, located in the Rila Mountains, is Musala Mt., at 9,594 ft. (2,925 m).
The Bulgarian Rivers
Moving on north of the Balkan Mountains the fertile lowlands of the Danubian Plain slope gradually down to the Danube River. The south-eastern lowlands (Maritsa Basin), drained by a series of small rivers, slope to the Black Sea. Major rivers include the Danube River, as it forms the northern border with Romania, and the Iskur, Maritsa, Struma, Tundzha and Yantra rivers.
The Climate in Bulgaria
The climate of Bulgaria is temperate continental, with a Black Sea influencein the east and a Mediterranean influence in the south. The Average January temperature is from -2 to +2C or 28 -35F (down to -10C or -14F in the mountains). The average July temperature is 19-25C or 66-77F. The plains receive snowfall from mid-October to mid-May with an average of 25-30 days with a snow-cover. Hail falls between May and August.
|total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km
Area – comparative:
|slightly larger than Tennessee|
|total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia and Montenegro 318 km, Turkey 240 km
|territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
|temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers|
|mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast|
|lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
|bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land|
|arable land: 40.02%
permanent crops: 1.92%
other: 58.06% (2001)
|8,000 sq km (1998 est.)|
Environment – current issues:
|air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes|
Environment – international agreements:
|party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Geography – note:
|strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia|
Note: The information tabled directly above was researched by and provided by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Brief Historical Facts About Bulgaria
Civilizations in the Bulgarian Lands
The lands of today`s Bulgaria are one of the centers of the ancient civilization, they represent a crossroad at which different cultures and ethnical communities meet. In the 5th – 4th millennium BC, the ancient societies were on the threshold of civilization and their cultural achievements of that time serve as evidences for how close they were to it.
The Chalcolithic necropolis, found in 1972 near Varna has left on the territory of Bulgaria, a mark of the first civilization in Europe, called “Varna culture”. The golden items found in it are considered the oldest processed gold in the world. They show that a civilization preceding even the ancient Egyptian civilization has existed in these lands.
Over the following centuries, it was the Thracians, who mostly inhabited the lands of Bulgaria.They created unique monuments of their culture. From time immemorial, the lands of this country keep the secrets of the antiquity. It is almost a century now that the archaeologists have been looking for the famous sanctuary of Dionysus. It is considered that its Discovery will equal in value that of Troy and Mycenae. Unfortunately, the research has been quite limited and the only thing that we know for sure is that the Sanctuary was situated in the Rhodopes.
The Rhodopes mountain is located in Southern Bulgaria, today, 20% of its territory is part of the Greek state. The archaeological researchers over the recent years have led to an area, where shrouded in mystery is the Thracian sanctuary of Perperikon – a large megalith sanctuary that takes you back in time to a distant epoch of riddles and mysteries.
The Thracian Treasures
The uniquely crafted items serve as an evidence for the material and spiritual achievements of this ancient people. Considering their unique and exquisite workmanship the Valchitran, Panaguyrishte and Rogozen Treasures, one cannot but think of them as a symbol of the wealth of the Thracian kings who ruled as early as 3000 years before the Trojan war.
The Valchitran treasure is the largest golden treasure known to the Bulgarian archaeology. It consists of 13 golden vessels with total weight of 12.5 kg. These precisely crafted items, used in the spiritual rituals of the Thracian kings, raise many questions, the answers of which allow us to feel the remote past in a unique way.
A very important source for the study of the Thracians and their way of living and relations with the Hellenic culture is the Panagyurishte golden treasure. It represents a golden set of dishes decorated with multiple ornaments, probably used for feasts and spiritual sacraments. Another proof for the increased cultural exchange between the Thracian tribes and the ancient Greeks back in those days are the 165 items of the Rogozen treasure. The decoration of the dishes found depicts multiple scenes from both the religion of the ancient Thracians and the ancient Hellenic mythology.
Sites Protected by UNESCO in Bulgaria
Seven cultural and two Natural objects, located in Bulgaria are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The Madara Rider
It is a bas-relief carved in the rocks, is an archaeological monument. The triumphing ruler hewn out on it, is a symbol of the power of the First Bulgarian State. The composition, symbolizing victory over the enemy, reminds of the triumphal scenes and is in line with the ancient artistic traditions. The Madara Rider was included in the List of UNESCO in 1983. You can see some of our tours including the Madara Rider here: Bulgraia Tours
The Thracian tomb of Kazanlak
It is a round-domed brickwork tomb, a part of a large necropolis, situated in the town of Kazanlak. The tomb owes its worldwide popularity to its unique mural paintings covering the corridors and the domed premises. These are some of the best-preserved frescoes of the Early-Hellenic epoch.
The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtary
About 2300 years ago, a Thracian ruler ordered his eternal home to be built while he was still alive. His slaves constructed a huge stone tomb for him. While the interior was still being decorated with paintings and sculptures, the ruler died. He was laid in the tomb together with all the precious gifts and the tomb was closed. A tumulus as high as a 4 story building was raised above it. In 1982 archaeologists dug up the mound, and found a unique synergy of sculpture, painting and architecture. The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtary was included in the list of UNESCO in 1983.
We strongly recommend you take a look at our Bulgaria Tour – Nature, History and Villages including the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtary.
The Rock Hewn Churches of Ivanovo
It is a religious complex, dated back to the 12th century. It owes its intransient importance to its beautiful and well-preserved frescoes. The Rock Hewn Church of Ivanovo was included in the list of UNESCO in 1983. Most of our tours include this site. It is located near Ruse, close to the Border with Romania. All our combine Bulgaria and Romania Tours include this site. Also you will find it in other programs including Bulgaria only. You can check our Bulgaria Tour – Hiking and Treasures.
The Boyana Church
The church is known as one of the best and completely preserved symbols of the East European Mediaeval art. Its mural paintings differ from all the other frescoes to be met in the Christian world. Here you can see our Tour of Sofia including the Boyana church.
The Rila Monastery
It is a real mediaeval place of spirituality which embodies glory and at the same time is a symbol of solitude. The church of the monastery has unique frescoes, icons, wood-works and the biggest iconostasis in Bulgaria. The Rila monastery is one of the must-visit sites of Bulgaria. You can see our Tour to the Rila monastery for more details. Do not miss to visit this unique and magnificent sites, telling so much about the turbulent historical past of Bulgaria.
The Old town of Nessebar
Nessebar is one of the oldest towns in Europe. Its initial name was Messemvria. Over the entire period of the Antiquity, the Roman and the subsequent Byzantine reign, the town was developing and accumulating wealth that transpires even today, despite the dark centuries the town had to undergo.
The natural properties of Bulgaria on UNESCO World Heritage list are the Pirin National Park and Srebarna Nature Reserve.
Contemporary Arts and Cultural Events
The dynamics of the modern life influences modern Bugarian culture too. The Bulgraian towns become stages for different cultural events, such as exhibitions, concerts , theater plays, opera and ballet spectacles and film shows.
Every month there are exhibitions of artists, working in the field of painting, black and white drawing, sculpture, decorative arts, modern art design etc. In the numerous galleries of Sofia City, Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora and other big cities.
Every season there are new performances on the opera and theater stages, attracting a growing number of spectators. Bulgarian world renown opera stars take part in gala-concerts and specatcles; some of them have started their celebrity careers on the stage of the Opera of Sofia. Some of them are Anna Tomova-Sintova, Rayna Kabaivanska, Alexandrina Milcheva, Nikola Guyzelev, Stoyan Popov, Dimitar Petkov, Kaliudi Kaliudov and many others. The musical art of Bulgaria offers the lovers of music a unique style. One of the big names of the modern Bulgarian music is that of Teodosii Spasov. The virtuoso player of wooden flute has developed his own, unique style.
The Greatest Voices of the Bulgraian Folklore
The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices create a new dimension of sounds, a heavenly melody incomparable to anything else you might have ever heard. The authentic folklore songs sung by the vocal ensemble never let the listeners stay indifferent. Every year the country turns into a place at which international cultural dialogue is held.
“The Vanya Moneva” choir celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.
“The choir has been constantly developing and enriching its repertoire, reaching to a broader genre spectrum,” Vanya Moneva says. “Twenty-five years are enough to show that you deserve your place on the scene and that you meet the trust of the audience. It is important for an artist to go on stage when they really have something to say in order to prove professional development. The choir is young as the average age of the singers. They come from different regions – Dobrudzha, Rhodopes, Thrace, northwestern and southwestern Bulgaria, as well as northern Bulgaria. We have a wide variety of styles and voices – soft and tender, ‘sharp’, wide… All this is gathered in a nice bouquet that is the face of our choir.”
The International Festivals Varna Summer, Apolonia, Sofia Music Weeks, Bansko Jazz fest, Sofia Film Fest, Kinomania, etc. provide scene for the multiple art talents.
Nature, Flora and Fauna of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a small country, but it boasts unique and highly varied geographical relief. Broad plains and fertile fields merge into mountainous areas cut by deep river defiles.
Natural Parks in Bulgaria
The Natural Parks of Bulgaria are Pirin, Rila and The Central Balkan, Their total area accounts to 193 049 ha, which is above 1/3 of the area of all protected territories in the country.
Rila National Park
It is the biggest national park in Bulgaria. The major part of its territory is covered by centuries-old forests of spruce, white fir and white pine. This is where one can find Moussala, the highest peak in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula (2925 m).
Pirin National Park
It is the oldest park in Bulgaria. It covers the most beautiful and majestic part of the Pirin mountain. Its rocky peaks attract with their magnetism. Due to its unique diversity of land shaft forms, plants and animal sorts, The Pirin National Park is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO aiming at keeping and protecting the world natural and cultural heritage.
The Balkan Range (Stara Planina) Natural Park
If there is a place that fully represents the image of Bulgaria, this is the Balkan. Called “the source of life”, the National Park Central Balkan lies at the heart of Stara Planina (the Balkan Range). It is among the most valuable and the largest natural territories in Europe. It preserves unique, self-regulated mountainous eco-systems with specific varieties of species. By its beautiful nature, majestic landscapes, turbulent rivers, amazing precipices, numerous waterfalls and old forests, the Balkan Range is a center of attraction for many tourists.
The Rhodopes Mountain
The Rhodopes is the most extensive mountain in Bulgaria occupying one seventh of the territory of the country. The Western Rhodopes offer lot of tours and routes allowing hiking through diverse nature for days and weeks. While hiking you will inevitably become familiar with the most precious treasure of the mountain – good, warm-hearted and hospitable people.
In the northwestern territory of Bulgarian near town of Belogradchik there is a natural rock fairy-tale called the Belogradchik rocks. Every stone in this area has its history and legends full of suffering and heroism, explaining their incredible petrified beauty. The rocky phenomenon was nominated for one if the New Seven Wonders of the World. It did not win the competition, but it is still as beautiful as it has always been.
The fairy atmosphere created by the Bulgarian nature would not be so unique if it missed the diversity of its flora and fauna. There are approximately 12,000 plant species making Bulgaria one of the richest country in this aspect.
Via Pontica and Via Aristoteles, the passages of migratory birds cross Bulgaria. Around 70% of the birds inhabiting Europe could be found on the territory of Bulgaria, too. The Biospheric Reserve Srebarna is also part of the list of UNESCO as a natural treasure, while Shabla and Durankulak lakes are protected properties having international importance.
The Bulgarian Flora
The Flora of Bulgaria is rich and varied. There are 3600 species of mountain plants. Five separate plant zones exist. In the high mountains there are Northern European coniferous woods and the highest mountai zone has arctic-alpine vegetation. The commonest trees are beach, oak, poplar, willow, ash, and hornbeam. 70% of the forests are important to the national economy, 30% of special importance, the latter occupying the greater area. The forestry wealth is one of young woods, low average and slow growth. The forest eco-systems in the West Rhodopes, Pirin, Rila and Strandzha Mountains are of higher quality, edible fungi and rare herbs are plentful.
The Bulgarian Fauna
The great diversity of the Fauna in Bulgaria is a result of its geographical location and the landscape. There are two known species of invertebrates, 80 species of fish, 27 species of birds, 18 species of mammals, one speice of amphibian and one of reptiles recorded. More than two thirds of the fresh water fauna is concentrated in the Danube river and its tributaries. The rivers Maritsa (crossing Plovdiv) has 1263 species, the Tundzha 662 species, and Arda 602 species. The coastal lagoons are remarkable for their unique fish. The reservoirs of the Balkan Rage Mountain (Stara Planina) teems with fish as well.
Bulgaria is situated in a temperate climate zone and is located at the junction of two continents. This important fact accounts for the great diversity of flora and fauna. Some of the areas with the greatest diversity of species are Strandzha, the Rhodopes and Pirin Mountains. The great variety of birds, which pass through Via Pontica give an idea of the large number of species which inhabit our country. They include the pink flamingo, rock eagle, shining ibis, three toed woodpecker, fallow deer stag, wild goat, prickled-tailed turtle and mountain chub. Of the Bulgarian Flora there are the Red anemone, Caucasian primrose, Papilionaceae orchid, Hagerovo and Thracian tulip. There are different types of medicinal herbs and teas, such as the famous Mursalski (Sideritis Scardica) tea, also subject to a conservation order.
The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast
The Bulgarian coastal line covers the entire eastern bound of Bulgaria stretching from the Romanian border to the north to the border with Turkey to the south, along 370 km of coastline. White and golden fine sand beaches occupy approximately 135 km. Sunny summer, warm sea water and vast beaches of fine sand attract tourists from all over the globe to the Bulgarian summer resorts. Located around the towns along the entire Bulgarian coastline are resorts such as Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Sveti Vlas, Nessebar, Sozopol, St Constantin and Helena, Albena, Kavarna, Balchik, Kranevo, Varna, kamchia, Biala, Obzor, Pomorie, Bourgas, Duni, Primorsko, Kiten, Lozenets.
The mineral springs and pools, the aqua parks at the Golden Sands, Sunny Beach and Nessebar, the sports facilities offer just about anything you may need such as calmness and relax or water adventures.
Ski Resorts in Bulgaria
The mountains in Bulgaria extremely diverse. They are accessible during the four seasons of the year and provide various options for recreation, sports and tourism. There are many ways of having a nice and wholesome holiday in the Bulgarian mountains. For those who have chosen to have ride, there is a branched travelling network providing access to the most interesting natural, historic and cultural sights, as well as to all the towns and resorts in the area.
The opportunities for pedestrian tourism are unlimited throughout the year. There are good conditions for other modern mountain sports – mountain marathon, mountain bike, delta- and paraplanerism, rafting and kayaking. The Bulgarian mountains also offer ideal conditions for one of the most attractive and emotional sports in the open – alpinism.
Numerous alpine sites in Bulgaria attract the interest even of the most renowned European climbers. Of course the mountainous resorts provide also extreme opportunities for the ski-sport lovers. The main four ski -centers offer breathtaking sights and unforgettable experience to their visitors.
It is the oldest winter resort in the country. Today, it is the biggest Bulgarian ski center considering the length and capacity of the ski-tracks and facilities. It is situated along to the northern slopes of Mount Moussala (2925 m), which is the highest mountain top on the Balkan Peninsula situated in the eastern part of the Rila mountain. Borovets is located 1300 m above sea level. It is one of great spots in Bulgaria for winter sports and recreation. The resort is easily accessible. The ski-tracks are over 40 km in length. The place offers excellent opportunities for recreation or year-round. There are many restaurants, taverns, cafes where tourists can taste different traditional Bulgarian dishes.
It is situated in southwestern Bulgaria at the foot of Pirin Mountain, which is one of the most beautiful mountains ridges, 150km away from Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. Being one of the largest mountain resorts of Bulgaria, Bansko offers excellent conditions and unlimited opportunities for the tourists such as mountains with predominant alpine features, ski-tracks with different level of complexity, excellent climate and heavy snowfall. The snow cover in Bansko reaches 2 meters. In Bansko the winter season starts in December and continues until April.
Bansko is not an ordinary resort, but a fascinating ancient town with rich history, traditions and culture. The central part of the town is a living architectural museum of the Bulgarian National Revival. Today Bansko is in no way inferior to the world-famous alpine resorts. The combination of the beautiful National Park Pirin with the new modern hotels turns the the small town of Bansko into one of the most prestigious resorts in Europe. Every winter Bansko hosts a round of the Female Alpine World Championship.
The modern mountainous resort of Pamporovo is situated in a breathtaking region in South Bulgaria. It occupies parts of the extremely picturesque Rhodope Mountains. The captivating beauty of this area was praised in songs of the renowned ancient singer Orpheus. Pamporovo delights its winter guests with heavy snowfall, mild weather, mountain air, and the enchanting pine-tree scent.
The entertainment in Pamporovo begins well before the sunset. During your winter holiday in Pamporovo you should taste the delicious meals of the local cuisine and the Bulgarian wines famous all over the world. Pamporovo is the ideal place for those who are willing to spend a memorable and splendid winter holiday. One day at the ski-tracks of Pamporovo is enough to acquire marvellous suntan as it well-deserves its name as one of the sunniest mountainous resorts in Bulgaria and in Europe – the sunny days over the year in Pamporovo are more than 240.
It is the highest ski resort of Bulgaria. It is situated only 22 km away from the center of Sofia. The bright sunshine, fluffy snow, marvellous ski-tracks and hotels are preferred place to enjoy skiing for those who want to combine their addiction to ski sports and the desire to dive into the busy cultural life of the metropolis.
Eco Routes and Outdoor Activities
The diverse relief and the Beautiful nature of Bulgaria attract many followers of the pedestrian tourism. Breathtaking sights and a great variety of flora and fauna could be seen alongside the thousands kilometers long well maintained and blazed trails. All 37 mountains on the territory of Bulgaria have specific nature and spiritual energy. The fascinating small mountain villages, crystal clean air, icy streams and limpid lakes attract the seekers of adventures. One can find many opportunities for pedestrian tourism in Vitosha Mountain, The Balkan Range, The Rhodpes Mountain, Rila and Pirin.
Best Eco Routes in Bulgaria for Hiking – the Negovan eco-Route
Should you prefer a relaxing day-walk in the forest, you must take one of the numerous eco trails the country has to offer. The first eco-route in Bulgaria is the Negovan eco-route. It is situated in Northern Bulgaria, not far from the town of Veliko Tarnovo. In this part of its flow, the river has created a picturesque gorge, known as Emenski canyon. The over 50 meter-high precipices, the wreaths, niches, arches, waterfalls and the caves are a surprising sight for the even terrain of the surroundings of the canyon. There is a wonderful view towards the valley from the places intended for picnic. In the end of the canyon, the waterfall Momin Skok is splashing its waters.
The Dryanovska Eco-Trail
One of the most picturesque eco-trail is the Dryanovska eco-trail. It is close to the Dryanovski monastery. It starts from the valley of the Andashka river, where the Bacho Kiro cave is. The trail goes along several types of caves (aquatic and dry, horizontal and vertical), rock wreaths, niches, thresholds and waterfalls. Here one can see more than 200 plant species, including some very rare plants of scientific value, included in the Red Book of Bulgaria and in the European List of the rare and endangered species.
The Krushuna Cascade
Despite being the shortest among all eco-trails, this trail offers unforgettable moments. The beauty of the nature is untouched. The wooden bridges and the stepping-stones all around the area are fascinating. From Krushuna cave the water pours down through dozens of scattered lakes, one below the other. It is only the murmur of the falling water that disturbs the calm greenery of the rare ferns and mosses. The Krushunksi waterfall is the highest limestone cascade in Bulgaria, at the height of around 200 meters.
Mineral SPAS Health and Beauty- the Mineral Water in Bulgaria
The balneological resorts in Bulgaria have a long history. In the ancient times the Thracians made a cult of the spring waters, which became the core of their medicine. The ancient Greeks also used the Bulgarian mineral water quite extensively. They worshipped it. Over the Roman epoch, the balneological centers in Bulgaria were a preferred place for recovery and treatment. The Romans were the first to cultivate the areas around the creative springs. There are preserved ruins of therms of that period near the springs in Kuystendil, Sofia, Hissarya, Sapareva Banya, Velingrad, Pomorie, Pavel Banya and many other towns of Bulgaria.
Now-a-days Bulgaria boasts a number of beautiful, richly planted with trees and ecologically clean resorts with valuable mineral waters. Every year they are visited by thousands of people who believe in the healing power of the mineral water. Besides the wellness procedures – massage of the body or face, sauna, steam bath many of the Bulgarian resorts have developed their own procedures. One can have mud-curing therapy, chromo therapy (healing via colors), thalassotherapy (cleaning via seaweeds) and other health and self-confidence improving programs.
Most Popular Balneological Resorts in Bulgaria
In the majority of the centers, there are public health stations and resort polyclinics open all year round. Over the summer months, tourists enjoy hydro-thermal pools. Some of the popular balneological resorts in Bulgaria are Bankya, Velingrad, Varshets, Hissarya, Pomorie, Sandanski. In Bulgaria, you can also find water with healing properties in many of the seaside resorts, such as Albena, Golden Sands, St Konstantin and Elena, the Sunny Beach, Pomorie. The power of water and its components combine aroma, air and energy. The essence of each SPA and wellness experience is the water with its magical properties.
Festivals in Bulgaria
Bulgarian Festival #1 – The Rose Festival in Kazanlak
The Rose Festival in Kazanlak takes place during the first weekend of June. The culmination of the festivities is on Sunday when the visitors enjoy the parade organized by the Kazanlak Municipality.
Bulgarian Festival #2 – The Rose Festival in Karlovo
The Rose Festival in Karlovo takes places during the last weekend of May in the town of Karlovo.
Bulgarian Festival #3 – The Festival of the Costumes in the village of Zheravna
The Festival of the Costumes in the village of Zheravna takes place in mid-August. During the three festival days, according to the rules, all participants must be dressed in a folk costume, which can be authentic, stage or stylized. Also allowed are clothing from the early 20th century, old military uniforms, as well as traditional ones of other countries. No cameras are allowed ;))).
Bulgarian Festival #4 – The Nestinarstvo Festival (Fire Dancing or Dancing on Hot Coals)
The Fire Dancing is a unique fiery ritual practiced in villages in southeastern Bulgaria, not far to the Black Sea coast. The performers dance barefoot on hot coals. The festival takes place every yaear around May 21, when in Bulgraia we celebrate the St. Constantine and Helena day.
Bulgarian Festival #5 – The Festival of the Cherry in Kuystendil
The Festival of the Cherry takes place every year in the town of Kyustendil, usually in the last weekend of June. Kyustendil is the region where the best-quality cherries are produced and people are impatient to see well-ripen cherries. They are regarded as heralds of summer and the gate that leads to fertility in the whole Kyustendil region.
Bulgarian Festival #6 – The Surva Festival in the town of Pernik
The Surva Festival takes place in the town of Pernik. It is the biggest event of this type not only in Bulgaria but also on the Balkan Peninsula. It promotes variations of ancient Bulgarian customs that are still alive today. For two whole days groups from the country and abroad will show you their unique traditions, masks and costumes.
Bulgarian Festival #7 – The International Bagpipe Festival in the village of Gela
The International Bagpipe Festival in the village of Gela takes places every year in the beginning of August. The greenfields and vast pastures around the village of Gela gather thousands of people who take part in this festival of Bulgarian music and traditions. Participants enjoy the magnetism and the magnificence of the sound of the Bulgraian Bagpipe.
Bulgarian Festival #8 – The Festival of the Yougurt in the town of Razgrad
Every summer in July, the Bulgarian town of Razgrad becomes a center of the unique Yoghurt Festival. This festival is combined with the Festival of Old Bulgarian traditions and Authentic Bulgarian Folklore.
Famous Bulgarian yoghurt companies offer their production at the festival as well as home made yoghurt. Visitors have the chance to taste the special Bulgarian yoghurt and try different dishes based on it. Traditionally every year at the Bulgarian Yoghurt Festival the participants take part in the “Best home made yoghurt” competition.
Bulgarian Festival #9 – The Rozhen Festival (Rozhen National Folklore Fair)
Bulgarian Festival #10 – Pirin Sings Folklore Festival
Pirin Folk Festival is an international festival of creativity in digital cultures, bringing together the world’s most talented creative coders, innovators, artists and designers. It takes place every year in September in the town of Sandanski, southwestern Bulgaria, near the border with Greece. Participants from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and Romania take part in the contest.
Wine and Culinary
The art of winemaking was bequeathed to the Bulgarians from the ancient Thracian times. The Thracians believed that wine possesses a magic power to change the state of the soul. The art to enjoy life and wine are among the most precious aspects in our geographical region. The warmth of the Southern sun, which enhances the growth of the vines and the aroma of the old barrels, in which the wine matures, add to the taste of Bulgarian wines thickness and harmony in its flavor.
Bulgarian Local Wine Sorts
It is only in Bulgaria that you can enjoy the unique taste of Mavrud – the only wine of that type in the world, for which the experts firmly claim that the longer it matures, the better it becomes. In the Northern parts of Bulgaria, you can dive into the magic of the typical wines for that region, such as Muscat, Gumza, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. South-Western Bulgaria with its specific climatic conditions offers to the wine connoisseur a specific type of quality wine. Its name is Broad Melnik Wine, a sort that the Bulgarians cultivate only in this part of the country. The wine of this sort is fruity, with soft tannins and typical taste.
Some of the wines made of this local sort have tobacco and leather aroma; they are suitable for maturing in oak barrels, which adds warmth and subtlety to its taste. The sun, the mountains and the rich in herbs meadows, influence not only the wines but the traditional Bulgarian dishes too. Some of them that the Bulgarians consume every day are the yoghurt, white brined cheese, the Shopska salad.