Height of the resort: 936 m Height of the ski runs: 1100 - 2500 m The highest ski point: 2500 m Marked ski runs: 14 km The longest ski run: 2.6 km The newest Bulgarian winter resort, recently discovered by the foreign tourists. Bansko provides an interesting combination between the beautiful nature of Pirin Mountain and the atmosphere of the ancient Bulgarian small town. Bansko ski resort is situated in southwestern Bulgaria, at the foothills of one of the most beautiful Bulgarian mountains - Pirin - a national reserve included in the World Natural Heritage list. Bansko is 160 km away from Sofia. The town itself attracts visitors with its 120 cultural monuments - old houses turned into museums and the ethnographic school of icon painting.
Bourgas is the largest city in Southeastern Bulgaria. It spreads on four terraces near the Bourgas creek. Bourgas is a town without running rivers. The surrounding lakes take in water from the rivers Aitoska, Russokastrenska, Sredetska and Fakiiska. Port Bourgas is the biggest Bulgarian sea port The amazing combination of sea, sun and virgin nature make Bourgas a favourite spot for many holiday- makers. The artistic spirit of the local people adds up to the unique atmosphere of peace and isolation from the hectic city life.
The town of Gabrovo is situated in Northern Bulgaria, along the River Yantra, in the north Sredna Stara Planina mountain spur, 392 m above sea-level. Gabrovo is 220 km north-east from the city of Sofia. In the immediate vicinity of Gabrovo is the geographical centre of Bulgaria. Because of its locality the town is a busy road junction. There are a lot of roads leading from Gabrovo to the other towns and municipalities in Northern and Southern Bulgaria. Due to its clean mountain air, historical and ethnographical complexes Gabrovo has become an attractive tourist centre. Municipality and the surrounding area is considered to be one of the most ecologically clean regions in Bulgaria. The rich flora and fauna come to prove that. Some of the best hunting trophies such as bear, red deer and mouflon can be found in the game reserves. The most picturesque place in Gabrovo is the architectural and ethnographical complex Etur - a unique open-air museum. The Bulgarian Renaissance atmosphere is reserved there in the old workshops of traditional Bulgarian arts and crafts. The visitors can watch the craftsmen doing everything by their own hands and by water- driven machinery
Kotel - a town which is a legend and a history! It is situated amidst the picturesque natural scenery of the Eastern Balkan Range and is not only a place with majestic nature, fresh air and pure mountain water, an important cultural and historical centre. Kotel is also called the Stronghold of Bulgarian Spirit, the Cradle of the Renaissance which has weaned and given to its motherland over 120 eminent National Revival Figures. Kotel is a town with beautiful architectural models from the Late Revival and one of the most important centers of the weaving art. The name of the town is mentioned for the first time in a Turkish document in1486. In the second half of the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth Centuties more than 450 000 heads of sheep were said to have been raised by the Kotel shepherds up there, far to the north east, in the rolling planes of Dobroudzha where from endless oxteam caravans of shorn wool kept coming back to Kotel to be turned into homespun abas and hoddens. Long term contracts for cloth deliveries to the Ottoman Army had provided the population with considerable privileges and had given them self - confidence and a spirit of freedom loving and independence. The enchanting highland scenery, the ancient neighbourhood of the town with its woodwork houses and narrow, cobblestone streets, the park with its gushing springs, the four museums, the Folk-music school, the preserved atmosphere of the past attract lost of visitors to Kotel.
MELNIK The town attracts lots of Bulgarian and foreign tourists with its whimsical pyramids shining golden-yellow, shaped on the background of magnificent Pirin mountain. Its wine is worldwide known. The tradition in wine production has been maintained since 1346. The famous Melnik vine was imported here from Syria. During the XIII century MELNIK passed through a great political, economic and cultural upsurge, when despot Slav, a descendant of Assen dynasty, ruler of the Rhodopes and Pirin mountain in 1209 turned the town into a capital of an independent feudal principality. Building developed to a great extent. Most of the ruins are of that time. Among the attractions of Melnik are: The Historical Museum of Melnik, located in Pashov's House, the Boyar's House, the Kordopulov's House, etc. Melnik is an architectural reserve. The houses are amphitheatrically placed on the famous golden Melnik's rocks. There are narrow and crooked streets with many little shops and wine cellars. A man can't pass with indifference by the Yankov's House, the Daskalov's House, Lambov's House or the Sandakchiev's House. But the most remarkable one is the Kordopulov's House, built in 1758.
NESSEBUR is one of the most ancient towns in Bulgaria. It is situated on a small rocky peninsula. The beginning of human life here dates back to the 2nd millenium BC. There was a Thracian settlement called Messambria. The presence of Thracians is confirmed by the presence of the discovered Thracian fortress walls. In 513 BC Greek colonizers from Megara, Vizantion and Halkedon settled in Messambria. They built the fortress walls, theatre, gymnasion, temples of Apolon, Zeus and Dionissius. The prosperity of the town began from 4th century BC and continued till the conquest of the Blacksea colonies from the Romans. In 72 BC the legions of Mark Lukul conquered Messambria and in the course of four centuries of Roman dominance the town declined. After the decline of the Roman Empire in 395, the sea town remained within the boundaries of Byzantium and gradually turned into a church and economic centre with an important strategic significance. In 5-6 century Messambria (the Byzantine name of the town) was encircled by a new fortress wall. It has been preserved until present. During the early Byzantine period a lot of churches were built. Such are the three-ship basilicas "St Sofia" and "St Mary Eleusa". In 681 the Bulgarian State was found. For the first time in 812 Khan Krum conquered after two- weeks siege Messembria and it was included within the boundaries of Bulgaria. The contemporary name of the town - Nessebur dates back since then. The main means of living of the population were fishing and trade with fish, vine-growing and extraction of salt. During the Renaissance (18th - 19th century ) in Nessebur beautiful two-storey houses were built - wonderful examples of the so called " blacksea house " - with broken up facades, bow windows, balconies and a lot of windows. After the Liberation (1878) the rich historical past of Nessebur attracted the attention of archaeologists and historians.
Pazardjik was found during the second half of the ХV century, on the left bank of the river Maritza, near the place of the market of the region. The favourable geographic position of the settlement-an important crossroad in the centre of a productive region-favoured its quick development. While it was a very little settlement at the beginning of the ХVІ century, it became an administrative centre of the region at the end of the century and remained as such until the Liberation. The Historical Museum in Pazardjik with its over 33 000 exhibits reveals the rich historical past of Pazardjik region form ancient times until the present. The exposition is displayed in seven halls. The enthnographic exposition of the Historical Museum is in the biggest building for living in the town from the epoch of the Bulgarian National Revival. It was built in the style of a Plovdiv Revival Baroque house in 1850 form made from Bratzigovo masters. The owner of the house Nikola Hristovich was a rich tradesman. The exposition acquaints the visitor with the rich traditional material and spiritual culture of the population in Pazardjik region. Winter Musical Evenings - Festival with more than twenty-year tradition for symphony music, found from and now bearing the name of Prof. Ivan Spasov - conductor, composer and public figure. It is held annually at the end of January. The holiday of the town is held annually at the beginning of June. It is accompanied with a rich cultural and entertainment programme.
Plovdiv Plovdiv is one of the oldest centres in Europe. It has kept the traces of many ancient cultures. Thracians, Macedonians, Romans, Sla vs, Byzantines and Bulgarians demonstrated their skills and craftmanship on the hills where Plovdiv is situated today. Public and pr ivate buildings with impressive dimensions have been preserved. So are the marble stadium, the open-air theatre and other monuments Trimontium, Julia, Ulpia, Flavia, Poulpoudeva, Filipopolis - these are different variants of one and the same name - Plovdiv.^M Friends and enemies came and went. Some of them contributed to the prosperity of the town, others ruined ruthlessly the created. Som e came, others went, years passed but the town has always been alive with the people who have created a lot and who will create in t he future. Today, Plovdiv is the major administrative centre of Plovdiv region. It is the second important cultural and economic centre of Bulg aria. Plovdiv begins from the excavations of the forum of the central square in front of Trimontium Hotel and includes a street formed as a pedestrian zone with a lot of taste and leading to the ancient stadium.
SEVLIEVO SEVLIEVO MUNICIPALITY The town of Sevlievo is located at the road between Sofia and Varna. CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL HERITAGE The earliest traces of life in the region date back to the late neolithic period (about 8000 years B.C.). There are still some Thracian tombs left. Hotalich Fortress In the middle of the XIX c. the development of crafts led to the concentration of large sums of money in the crafts' societies. Commercial trips far and across the Ottoman empire, Europe and Russia enriched general knowledge. The need for enlightenment occurred. In 1834 St Prophet Eliah Church was restored. In 1836 the medieval Batoshevski Monastery was re-built. In the middle of the 50s the prominent master of the National Revival Period Kolio Ficheto built the stone bridge over the river Rossitsa. In 1870 under the direct guidance of the Apostle of Freedom - Vassil Levski, a revolutionary committee was created. It prepared the population of Sevlievo for the April uprising in 1876. The Bulgarians from this region took an active part in it.
Shoumen is town with hundred thousand inhabitants (a population of 100 000) with rich history and traditions, center of education and culture, with developed industry and communications. It is situated at the foot of natural reserve Shoumen Plateau. Shoumen Region is situated in the central part of northeast Bulgaria. It occupies some parts of the eastern Danubian Plane and the eastern part of the Balkan mountain. In Shoumen and the lands around it, unique monuments of culture are preserved from ancient times to the present. Here are the first Bulgarian capitals - Pliska and Veliki Preslav(Great Preslav), here is Madara - the Bulgarian Troy, with the unique Madara horsemen. In 1979 it is declared as a monument with world significance and it is placed under the eegie of UNESCO, here is the old Shoumen Fortress, here are numerous evidences of the role of the town of Shoumen in 13 century history of the Bulgarian people.
Sliven municipality is one of the biggest in the country. Its territory is 1366 sq. km and it comprises of 48 settlements. Its population is 148 000 people, 110 000 of whom live in Sliven. The town of Sliven is situated at the foot of the unique rock massif "Sinite Kamani"(The Blue Stones), very close to mineral springs. Sliven is famous for its clean fresh air, clean water sources, meak winter and cool summer. The town is situated on the international highway Е-773 which connects Sofia with Bourgas. Sliven is only 110 km away from the biggest commercial port of Bulgaria - Bourgas. Alongside with this road route, there is a railroad. The east part of the Balkan Range (Stara Planina), where the town is situated is cut by passages which are very important for the communications between northern and southern Bulgaria. There is an airport with the necessary facilities for passengers and cargo service Sliven is a town with cultural traditions starting from the epoch of the National Revival, with significant contribution in the cultural treasure of the country. Three state Cultural Institutes work in Sliven - a Drama Theatre, a Puppet Theatre and a National Museum of the textile industry. The Municipal professional cultural institutes are: The Historical Museum, The Art Gallery, Folk Song and Dance Ensemble, The Symphony Orchestra, the Universal scientific library and community centres, some of which have over a 100-years history.
SMOLIAN The construction of the new town centre was completed in 1983. Buildings, like the Planetarium, Post Office, Municipality, and the Rhodopean Dramatic Theatre make up the core of the town. The town of Smolian is the most important location in the Central Rhodopes, lying in a scenic valley about 1000 m above sea level. The town boasts a fascinating combination of old and new architecture. The experts say that the best of the typical folk houses, from the time of Bulgarian national revival in the 19th century, are to be found in the Rhodopes. An excellent example is Pangalova's house (built in 1860). Other notable buildings include the palace of Ali Bey in Raikovo quarter, whose oldest part was constructed in 1780, and the old houses in the neighborhood of Cheshitev. The famous Smolian lakes, "the emerald eyes of the Rhodopes", line up in the close proximity of Smolian. Once there were about twenty but only seven of them still remain now. The highest lake, called "The Muddy Lake", is the deepest and the most beautiful. On a small plateau, near the two lakes, there is the chapel of the Holy Spirit which is still in use. Camping "Panorama" is located close to the lakes.
SOFIA Among the attractions of the city are the Rotunda St. George which is the oldest cultural monument of the city, built in 4th century B.C. Other monuments are the cathedral St. Alexander Nevski, the fortress's walls of ancient Serdika, the church St. Petka Samardjijska (14th century), the church St. Sofia (6th century), the Russian church St. Nicholas - built in typical Moscow architectural style. The National Theatre, built in neoclassical style, has a very interesting architecture. The Parliament is also here. It has been built in three steps: in 1884, 1890 and 1928. Other places to visit are The National Historical Museum, The Museum of Natural Science and History, The People and the Earth Museum, The National Gallery. Sofia boasts the biggest on the Balkans Congress Center - National Palace of Culture. It is equipped with modern high-quality facilities. It has to offer 16 halls and more than 5000 seats. Ideal place for congresses, meetings, festivals, concerts, etc. Sofia is the biggest city of Bulgaria and its capital since 3 April 1879. It is one of the ancient European cities. (Roman's name Serdika, Slovenian's name Sredetz, Greek's name Triaditza). Sofia has its name since 14th century when it was renamed after St. Sofia church.
... an 8 000 year old town Stara Zagora is situated in southern Bulgaria. It is one of the biggest towns in the country, with a population of 150 000 inhabitants. It is situated at the foot of Sredna Gora mountain, 197 m above sea level. The climate of the town is temperate continental with average annual temperature +13 o C. Stara Zagora region is rich in fertile land. It is a strategic crossroad between the East and the West, the North and the South. The first inhabitants of the town date back from the end of the VII and the beginning of the VI millenium B. C. In the outskirts of the contemporary town, there are five prehistorical settlements from this time. During the IV century B.C. there was a big ancient Thracian settlement famous with the name Beroe. About the year 107 AD, not far from Beroe, Emperor Mark U. On the 5th October 1879 the first symbolic stone of the foundations of the restoration of Stara Zagora was placed, according to the plan of Lubor Bayer. Thus, the town turned to be the first Bulgarian postliberation town with contemporary architecture. A rapid economic and cultural progress followed. The first provincial opera and radio was opened in Stara Zagora The town is full of organized musical and theatrical life. Today Stara Zagora is one of the most modern contemporary towns of Bulgaria. It is an important industrial, cultural and education centre. There are a number of secondary schools, technical schools and specialized secondary schools, a lot of Research and Cultural Institutes. There is the Thracian University in Stara Zagora.
Feeling the beauty, with faith towards centuries-old traditions and love towards the Bulgarian Heritage, the Tryavna masters gain popularity in the field of building, woodcarving and icon painting, which they handle to perfection and transform into art. Thus comes into being, develops and flourishes the oldest Renaissance Art school in the Bulgarian land - the Tryavna school. In Tryavna and the surrounding vicinity there are many places where one can find the unique beauty of the Renaissance period. Such are the architectural and historical ensembles The Old Square, P. R. Slaveikov street, Kachaunska neighbourhood and the place Tepavitsite, Skortsite village, the temples St. Archangel Michael and St. George, the unique museums - Daskalov's house, Raykov's house, Angel Kunchev's and P. R. Slaveikov's houses, Staroto Shkolo (the old school) and the Museum of Icon Painting and Wood-carving, art exhibitions of Dimitur and Nikola Kazakovi, Nikolai Maistorov and Ivan Kolev, the Gubenskies' collection of pictures. Tryavna is situated 400 meters above the sea level. A good road and railroad network connects the town with all farther spots of the country.
VARNA Varna is the third biggest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv. It is situated on nearly 29 sq. km and its population is 335 000. Varna is one of the most dynamically developing Bulgarian towns with good road communications, well organized air, sea and railway transport. There is a ferryboat line Varna - Ilichovsk, Ro-Ro lines Varna - Ilichovsk and Varna - Poti. The town is the third biggest industrial center in the country with busy shipping, shipbuilding and ship-repair activities. Varna hosts some prestigious cultural events: the Varna Summer International Music Festival, the International Ballet Competition, the International Print Biennale, the Prof. G. Dimitrov International Choral Competition, the Love is Folly International Film Festival, the Golden Rose Festival of Bulgarian Feature Film, the Golden Dolphin Festival of Puppet
VELIKO TURNOVO Firstly, you will be greatly impressed by Tsarevets - the site of the patriarchial church and royal palaces, the hill where Boudouin's Tower rises majestically and tells the legendary story of the Latin Emperor Baudouin of Flanders who was captured by Tsar Kaloyan. Then you will admire the beauty and charm of another hill - Trapezitsa. You will marvel and enthuse over the Bulgarian National Revival period architectural ensembles along Gurko Street, the old Nikoli Inn and the St. Constantine and Helena Church. The original Samovodene Market has been brought back to life. As in old times, skilful craftsmen work out and sell exquisite objects in the small restored workshops. At night, proud Tsarevets lends the natural decor to a fantastic sound and light show. Veliko Turnovo is the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 - 1393). Do not miss the unique chance to visit this unusual city, whose pretty whitewashed houses seem to have perched one above the other on the steep bank of the Yantra river.
VELINGRAD Velingrad is the most beautiful and most famous among the Bulgarian Balneological resorts. It lies at the western end of Chepino Valley, one of the most attractive part of the Rhodopean Mountains in Southern Bulgaria. There are 70 sources of mineral water with curative and preventive properties. The mineral waters (from springs and wells) vary considerably in temperature, mineralization, radon, silicic acid and fluorine content, and are suitable for treatment of a wide range of diseases. 9000 litres of water per minute spring from the five thermal and mineral deposits in Ladjene, Kamenitza, Chepino, Rakitovo and Kostadinovo. Velingrad is situated at 750-850 m above sea level. Summer is warm, winter is mild. The average annual temperature is 10C; and the average July temperature is 19C. The annual duration of sunshine is about 2,000 hours. The relative air humidity ranges from 65 to 75 per cent.Surrounded by age-old pine tree woods, the town favors abundant sunshine. This exclusively rare and valuable combination has a beneficial influence on the process of ionization (negative ions are prevailing) and are of definite therapeutic importance
ALBENA Albena is the newest and the third biggest resort in Bulgaria. It is situated in the northern part of the Black Sea coast, 45 km away from the International airport of Varna. The resort lies very close to a magnificent forest and it offers its visitors a perfect combination of fresh air, fine sands, clean water and plenty of verdure. The coastline is 7 km long. The climate is temperate continental.
SHIROKA LUKA – a village in the valley of river Shirokolushka Reka, 20 km north-west of Smolyan; architectural and ethnographic reserve. Population of 910. Settled at the time of mass conversion to Mohammedanism of the Rhodope population during the years of Ottoman domination. Revival town planning construction has been preserved. 90 sites have been proclaimed monuments of culture. Many houses have been preserved, also 6 bridges and the complex of the old school "Sveti Panteleimon" (1888) and church "Sveta Bogoroditsa" (1834). The oldest houses date back to the beginning of 19 c. (1802, 1829). The houses built towards the middle of 19 c. are bigger, varied in design by the introduction of overhanging bays and forthcoming protrusions. These resemble fortresses – the ground floors of economic importance are built of stone, leveled by means of wooden girdles (santrachi); topmost one will see the residential quarters – glazed, with protruding bays, whitewashed and framed in wood. Roofs are stone-tiled, and chimneys – of original versatile design. Here in Shiroka Luka there is a musical school teaching national instruments. The village is a starting point to peak Golyam Perelik. Sgourovski Konak is a big house, typical of the Revival period, former property of a local notable. It is named konak (town hall) because her owner was an administrative officer. Built in 1851 – 1853 on a rocky terrain. The house raises in height on a comparatively small ground. It bears the peculiarities of Rhodope architecture. A museum exhibition of Rhodopean style of life has been arranged.
Dupnitsa (Bulgarian: Дупница, sometimes transliterated Dupnitza or Dupnica) is a town in western Bulgaria. It is located in Kyustendil Province, at the foot of Rila, about 65 km south of Sofia. The town has been existing since Antiquity. The names Tobinitsa, Doupla and Dubnitsa were originally mentioned, the last one surviving until the Liberation of Bulgaria, when the official name was changed to Dupnitsa. In 1948 the town was renamed to Stanke Dimitrov, for a short period in 1949 was called Marek, but the name was once again changed to Stanke Dimitrov in 1950. After the democratic changes, the old name Dupnitsa was adopted.BulgarianBulgariaKyustendil ProvinceRilaSofiaAntiquityLiberation of Bulgariademocratic changes Dupnica