With its golden beaches combined with dramatic mountain scenery, Bulgaria is a gloriously diverse nation. Many towns and villages have preserved the authentic way of life, rich in traditions of folklore and hospitality. But Bulgaria's main cities have shrugged off their weary Communist-era image to become vibrant, attractive places with delightful boulevards, great shopping and pulsating nightlife.
Bulgaria's beautiful beach and ski resorts are rapidly growing as more and more visitors realise they are a viable alternative to more expensive European destinations, with affordable lift passes and a range of comfortable but low-cost accommodation options.
Bulgaria is a fantastic destination at any time of year. While ski-ing may appeal more to the novice and intermediate rather than the Olympic-standard whizz of the slopes, resorts are great value and family-friendly.
Outside the winter season, the mountains offer fantastic walking and trekking, while Bulgaria has a wealth of national parks which are a delight to visit. Then there are sights like Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and founded in the 10th century.
How about an energising trip to the spas of Bankya or Belchiniski Bani? There's also plenty to see and do in the capital, Sofia, with its lovely parks, alfresco bars and fascinating museums. The nation's third largest city, Varna, is a beach resort with a vibrant scene after dark. There are other stunning beaches and picturesque bays along the Black Sea Coast as well the most popular holiday destination Sunny Beach. And the city of Plovdiv is bursting with architectural treasures and Roman remains.
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