1 July 2021

10 Amazing Places to Visit in Bulgaria, Other Than the Black Sea

10 Amazing places to visit in Bulgaria, other than the Black Sea

Bulgaria is one of the most underrated countries in Europe. Most tourists who choose Bulgaria as a holiday destination focus only on the Black Sea coast, not knowing how beautiful and culturally rich Bulgaria actually is. Yet the country offers so many diverse attractions and the list of best places to visit in Bulgaria is really long. Today we selected for you 10 of the best places to visit apart from the Black Sea coast



An ancient Thracian city

OF ALL THE ANCIENT CULTURES, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Thracians are some of the most mysterious.
Perperikon (also Perpericon) is the largest megalithic archeological site in the Balkans. It sits on a high, rocky hill some 15 kilometers to the north of the present-day town of Kardzhali in Bulgaria.
While the first traces of civilization at Perperikon go back to 5000 B.C. what is of most interest to archeologists is the more recent (1500 B.C.), and only known example, of a huge Thracian city called “the European Machu Picchu” or the “Stone Pompeii.” Complete with buildings, rooms, streets, squares, and a water supply system, it is unlike anything that anyone had ever associated with the “barbaric” Thracians.


Belogradchik rocks and fortress


Bizarrely shaped rock formations in northwest Bulgaria come with equally bizarre legends. 

The combined efforts of wind, rain, and time have crafted these beautiful rock shapes near the town of Belogradchik, while the man-made fortress was built into the rock by using the rock face as its walls. Local people here have unleashed their imagination over the years, creating numerous legends about the rocks based on their similarity to animal and human forms.
EACH ROCK FORMATION BEARS A name: Adam and Eve, The Schoolgirl, The Bear, The Shepherd boy, The Dervish, The First slabstone, The Camel, The Mushrooms, The Cuckoo, The Red wall, The Madonna, The Horseman, The Monks, The Mental stone, Rebel Velko, The Pine stone and so on, and each one comes with a story.


Rila Monastery


The most famous monastery in Bulgaria and a stunning place to explore in Bulgaria

Tucked in the Rila Mountains, Rila Monastery is simply stunning. Known as the Jerusalem of Bulgaria, this picturesque Eastern Orthodox monastery in the forested mountains less than two hours south of Sofia is definitely worth a visit. Named for St. Ivan of Rilski, a tenth-century hermit who lived in a nearby cave, the monastery has been built, burnt, and rebuilt over the centuries, with the latest construction dating to the 1800s. And while you are there, in the Rila Mountain, you simply cannot miss the Seven Rila Lakes!


The Seven Rila Lakes


A group of stunning glacial lakes

One of Bulgaria’s main tourist attractions is a group of glacial lakes located high in the Rila Mountains. The appropriate time to visit the lakes is in the summer months, as even in June the lakes can be frozen, with the terrain alternating between deep snowdrifts and patches of brilliant wildflowers.
The gorgeous lakes are located one above the other in a mountain valley, interconnected by streams and waterfalls. Access to the lakes is not easy, although riding a ski lift shortens the distance up the steep mountainside. Legends say the lakes were formed by the tears of a female giant, crying for her beloved.


Plovdiv’s Old Town


A cultural gem of Bulgaria

If you read about Plovdiv’s Old Town, it might sound a little too good to be true – winding cobblestone streets, old houses in bright colors, and small tucked-away cafés and restaurants. Sidestep the clichés, though, and put on your comfortable shoes to explore it for yourself. No words or photos can accurately convey the feeling of being there on a warm summer evening when the streets are full of carefree people enjoying a drink in a bar under the stars.


Pirin National Park


Impressive nature formations

Most travelers don’t realize how picturesque the natural environment is in Bulgaria until they see the Pirin National Park. It encompasses most of the Pirin Mountains – a vast mountain range covering through the southwestern part of the country.
Pirin National Park has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983 and the park is a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Park is home to more than 100 glacial lacks, with the largest being Popovo Lake. There are also many stunning glaciers located throughout the mountains.




A beautifully preserved architectural reserve and one of the prettiest places to visit in Bulgaria

Located in the rolling hills of Balkan Mountain Range is the magical village of Zheravna. The village is an architectural reserve consisting of more than 200 houses built during the Bulgarian National Revival period in the 18th and 19th centuries. Walking through the village is like traveling back in time. You will marvel at the wonderful buildings with their detailed carpentry, red ceramic roof tiles, and elaborate timber decorations.


Veliko Tarnovo (Tsarevets fortress)


One of the oldest cities in Bulgaria

This charming and old town was the historic capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire between the 12th and 14th centuries. Veliko Tarnovo is located in central Bulgaria, situated on hills, the town has unique amphitheater urban planning and is a popular tourist attraction.
The reconstructed Tsarevets fortress bears no resemblance to the medieval palaces of the Bulgarian tsars who ruled from the hilltop until their defeat by the Ottomans in 1393. Still, one senses Bulgaria’s former greatness when walking through the gates of this picturesque stronghold. Visit Tsarevets and you’ll fall in love with this restored Bulgarian fortress, whether by day or by night, when it hosts a sound and light show telling stories from Bulgaria’s past.



A charming and pretty wine town

Melnik is known for two reasons. It is the smallest city in Bulgaria and it is home to some of the best wineries in the country. It will take you minutes to walk up the town’s one main street, but you’ll sit for hours at a local tavern, your head spinning under the intoxicating spell of the rich red wines. If you manage to get up from your seat, the nearby pyramidal Melnik Rocks and the Rozhen Monastery are worth a visit. 


Devetashka Cave


One of the deepest caves in Bulgaria

Devetashka cave is one of the deepest caves in Bulgaria, but just a small part is accessible to tourists. It’s located in the Lovech region, 85 km from Veliko Tarnovo and 170 km from Sofia.
Archaeological findings proved that humans have lived here since the late Paleolithic era, as early as 70,000 BC. Other fauna species traces were also found. Nowadays, it’s still inhabited by amphibians, reptiles, birds, and bats. The cave was declared a natural landmark and is closed to the public in June and July, the bats’ breeding season. Devetashka cave is known for its sinkholes, an underground river, miniature waterfalls, and eleven lakes. Several large holes in the rocky ceiling allow sunlight to illuminate the spacious main hall, reaching 60m in height.

We hope today's article has inspired you to travel and explore the beauty of Bulgaria and why not take a part of the Yource Bulgaria Travel Challenge? 

Sources: www.atlasobscura.com

Pictures: internet