Summer holidays in BulgariaVenture somewhere different this year
It’s the same every year. As summer approaches, thoughts begin to turn to your holiday, a week or two away from the pressures of home and working life. Everyone wants something different from their getaway, be it sun, adventure or a healthy dose of culture. And whilst there are plenty of already popular destinations that offer all of these aspects and more, Bulgaria is a somewhat overlooked gem. With a rich variety of history, scenery, weather and nightlife on its side, this is a country that really should enter into the equation every time.
If you’re not entirely convinced, our guide to the best that Bulgaria has to offer may change your mind. And you needn’t look any further than HomeAway for a selection of varied rental properties across the country to make you feel at home when you finally arrive.
Top five attractions on a Bulgaria summer holiday
At first glance Sofia may look like your archetypal Eastern European capital city, awash with orthodox churches and dazzling architecture, such as the majestic Alexander Nevsky cathedral. Far from a one trick pony, however, you can also find some stunning green places amidst the ancient streets, not least Yuzhen Park and Vitosha Mountain if you feel like a stroll. If you do choose this option, head to Vitosha Street afterwards for a range of pubs and clubs to take the edge off after a hard day's hiking.
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It seems that every European country needs a seaside resort these days, and in Sunny Beach Bulgaria has one to be proud of. As the name probably indicates, this coastal paradise has pretty much everything you could hope for in a conventional summer holiday, with golden sands and nightspots as far as the eye can see. If you’re with the kids, they'll love Action Aqua Park, which consists of multiple water slides and a mini zoo, as well as several bars and restaurants.
If you prefer to blend your time lazing by the sea with a few more substantial activities, Burgas may be a better option for you. Situated on the east coast of the country, the one time industrial stronghold boasts the Black Sea and no less than three lakes among its natural beauty. Music lovers would do well to visit in August, when the Spirit of Burgas Festival transforms the central beach into a wall of joyous noise.
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Commonly known as the summer capital of Bulgaria and with good reason, Varna is a popular hotspot for tourists looking for sun, scenery and a cultural fix. For the latter, you can’t miss the Varna Archaeological Museum, housing the famed Gold of Varna. On top of the usual coastal commodities one might expect, you will also find a quaint but entertaining aquarium in the city, along with a dolphinarium and beautiful Sea Garden that incorporates the waterfront promenade.
Rila National Park
If strapping on your hiking boots sounds preferable to sunning yourself on the beach, don’t miss the chance to visit Rila National Park. Aside from the climbing - Musala Mountain is the highest in the country - the area is blessed with a range of diverse and truly unique wildlife and beautiful lakes. The park is also famed for its religious heritage, evident in the monasteries that can be found throughout the mountainous terrain.
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