Located at the foot of Pirin at an altitude of 925 m, Bansko is considered to be Bulgaria's fastest growing winter resort. The mountain peaks near the town, the numerous lakes and the old pine woods make it a popular site for recreation. The town has gained international popularity after the start of the annual Bansko Jazz Festival and consequently the annual Bansko pop-star concert featuring top pop stars. Bansko is also the only Bulgarian ski resort that is centered around a historic old quarter - a tangle of cobbled streets lined with thick stone walls and metal-studded gates behind which half-timbered double-story homes can be glimpsed. The nearby village of Banya, located only 5 km from the town, is known for its 27 thermal mineral springs.
Bourgas is the biggest sea port in the country and the fourth largest city in the country. The amazing combination of sea, sun and virgin nature make it a favourite spot for many holiday-makers. Bourgas's unique atmosphere of peace and isolation from the hectic city life, along with the artistic spirit of the local people will charm you. Here, you can enjoy the breathtaking folklore show of the Balkan countries in the International folklore festival; the rich variety of colours and odours in the annual National exhibition FLORA - Bourgas excite every citizen and visitor of the town. The emotional Bourgas nights will remain a never-to-be-forgotten experience; no other spot of Bulgaria is so close to sea and its romantic atmosphere as Bourgas.
Zlatni Pyasatsi (Golden Sands) is the largest resort on the northern Black Sea coast. The area is famous for the purest sand on the Black Sea coast and also abounds of trees and bushes. The favourable climate, scenic landscape, and reasonable prices along with the hot mineral water springs and lush woodlands cascading from the Frangen Plateau, forming the Golden Sands Nature Park, turned the town into one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe. This modern holiday resort offers its visitors casinos, restaurants, clubs, spa centres, attractions, shopping centres, and sports facilities, including yacht marinas, equestrian base and the Aquapolis water park. In 2007, a 1:10 replica of the Eiffel Tower was erected with an observation deck and a restaurant.
Lying at the eastern end of the famous Rose Valley, Kazanlak is especially marvellous in May when rose fields blossom. The beautiful celebrations for the blossom of the roses take place in the first week of June. The whole week is filled with different attractions every day. On the last day of the celebrations, the most beautiful girl in the city is chosen. The Kazanluk Thracian Tomb dating back from the end of the 4th century BC is listed on the UNESCO's World Heritage List. Kazanluk's vicinities abound of historical sights such as the Shipka-Buzludzha National Park and Museum. The complex includes the Shipka monastery, the Memorial to Freedom on Mt. Shipka, the memorial outside the village of Sheinovo, the Monument to Victory, and historical sights at Mt. Buzludzha.
Founded in 510 BC by the Greeks, previously known as Mesembria, Nessebar is nowadays a major tourist attraction on the Black Sea coast. The ancient part of the town is situated on a peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made isthmus. In 1956 the town was proclaimed an architectural and archeological reserve. The remnants of an antique fortified wall with a gate dating from III-IV century, the churches from V-VI century and the ones dating from the medieval period (X-XIV century), which are fine works of the medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine architecture, the 60 houses of the revival period, give the town unique appearance and atmosphere. Its abundance of historic buildings prompted UNESCO to include Nesebar in its list of World Heritage Sites in 1983.
Pamporovo, the pearl of the Bulgarian mountain resorts, nests in the heart of the Rhodopes, 260 km from the capital Sofia, and 85 km south of the city of Plovdiv. Since ancient times these mountains have been a source of legends and stories told through the centuries. This is the cradle of the mythical singer Orpheus. Magnificient pine forests, green meadows and mountain peaks bathed in sunlight will make your vacation here unforgetable. The resort boasts 25 km of excellent ski-runs and 38 km of cross-country skiing tracks served by 18 lifts with a total capacity of 8500 persons per hour. All ski runs are safeguarded and maintained in very good condition.
Internationally known for the Siege of Pleven of 1877, Pleven is today a major economic centre of the Bulgarian Northwest. The Pleven Regional Historical Museum is a popular tourist attraction, while the Svetlin Rusev Donative Exhibition, situated in the former public baths, exhibits works by Bulgarian artists, as well as noted Western European art figures like Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya, Honoré Daumier, Marc Chagall, Maurice Denis, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Salvador Dalí, Renato Guttuso and Eugène Delacroix, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas. Another popular attraction is Pleven Panorama, created after (and reputedly larger than) the Borodino Panorama in Russia on the occasion of the anniversary of the Siege of Pleven.
The region named "Valley of Kings," is rich in archaeological finds (of which the UNESCO-listed Kanaznluk tomb is the most famous), but the most popular destination in the region is the town of Plovdiv. Described during Thracian times as "the biggest and most beautiful towns in all of Thrace," this town is still the jewel in Bulgaria's crown, with diverse culture and millennial history. Plovdiv has more than 200 known archaeological sites, 30 of which are of national importance. Some of the most famous sites include the Roman theatre (early 2nd century AD) and Stadium (late 2nd century AD), the magnificent colored mosaics of the villas, the ones of the episcopal temple, the Nebet Tepe archaeological complex and the noted samples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture.
Located in a valley at the foot of Pirin Mountain, on both banks of the Sandanska Bistritsa River, Sandanski enjoys the best climate in the whole of Bulgaria. The concentration of mineral water springs in the area is the main reason for the town's fame as a centre for relaxation and recreation. Macedonia Avenue is the main shopping street, where you will find most of the towns' art galleries. Take the opportunity to visit the attractions in the greater Sandanski area - Melnik with its famous sandstone pyramids, traditional houses and delicious red wine, The Rupite volcanic crater with its hot thermal springs, the impressive Rila Monastery, and the wild and beautiful Rila Mountains.
Sevlievo region has been blessed by nature with a lot of beautiful places and sights. The town of Sevlievo is known as one of the wealthiest in Bulgaria owing to the well developed local economy, high employment rate and major foreign investments. There are very good sports and tourism facilities: modern stadium, four auxiliary playgrounds, sports hall, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, fishing and hunting tourism areas in Lugut Hunting Unit. The recreation facilities at the artificial lake Alexander Stamboliyski are suitable places for the admirers of the water-motor sports, as well as for sport fishing. The Medieval Batoshevski Monastery with its splendid architecture and marvelous frescoes, altars and fret iconostasis is extremely attractive.
One of the oldest capital cities in Europe, the history of Sofia dates back to the 8th century BC, when Thracians established a settlement there. This is the administrative, cultural, economic, and educational centre of the country. Historic landmarks include the 10th century Boyana Church (one of the UNESCO World Heritage protected sites), the Alexander Nevski Cathedral (one of the world's largest Orthodox churches), and the early Byzantine Church of St Sophia. Sofia houses numerous museums, notably the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men. Sofia is one of the hippest cities in Bulgaria. It has a lively nightlife scene with many different night clubs, live venues, pubs, mehani (Bulgarian traditional taverns), and restaurants.
Located approximately 35 km north of Burgas, Sunny Beach is the biggest and the liveliest sea resort of Bulgaria. Attractions for tourists include the beach, watersports, nightlife, and the nearby historical site of Nesebar. Sunny Beach is mainly popular among young people. The Golden Orpheus International Festival of Popular Song, the Decade of Symphonic Music, part of the International Folklore Festival, fashion-shows and various beach competitions are held there. A genuine children's paradise - plenty of fun and games, children pools, slides, carting, inflatable trampoline, sport schools. In addition: special discounts, children's menus, 24-hour kindergarten.
The marine capital (or summer capital) of Bulgaria, Varna is a major tourist destination, university centre, seaport, and headquarters of the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine. City landmarks include the Varna Archaeological Museum, exhibiting the Gold of Varna, the Roman Baths, the Battle of Varna Park Museum, the Naval Museum in the Italianate Villa Assareto displaying the museum ship Drazki torpedo boat, the Museum of Ethnography. The Sea Garden is the oldest and perhaps largest park in town containing an open-air theatre (venue of the International Ballet Competition, opera performances and concerts), an aquarium, a dolphinarium, the Nicolaus Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium, the Museum of Natural History.
Dating back to first half of the 3rd millennium BC, Veliko Turnovo is a symbol of Bulgarian statehood and a source of national pride for every Bulgarian. The picturesque panoramic view of the town, its rich cultural and historical heritage wins Veliko Tarnovo the recognition as a historical, cultural and tourist center of Bulgaria. The palaces and towers, spectacular museums, ancient columns with writings left by our proud rulers, monasteries with unique murals and the Arbanassi fortress-houses will make your visit here unforgettable. The "Tsarevgrad Turnov - Sound and Light" audio-visual show is a unique attraction. The best place to watch it is the "Tsar Ivan-Asen II" square in front of the Tsarevets Fortress.
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