An evolving country
With dramatic mountain ranges, superb Black Sea beaches, numerous historic towns and a web of working villages with traditions straight out of the nineteenth century, Bulgaria has a wealth of attractions crammed into a relatively compact country.
More than anything else, a holiday to Bulgaria can be an adventure: once you step off the beaten track, road signs and bus timetables often disappear (or are only in Cyrillic), and few people speak a foreign language, but almost everyone you meet will be determined to help you on your way.
Bulgaria’s image has altered dramatically in recent years, thanks largely to the modernization of the country’s tourist infrastructure coupled with soaring foreign interest in inexpensive rural and coastal properties. Romantic National Revival era architecture, featuring timber frames and floral motifs, is a particular draw, with Koprivshtitsa, Bansko and Plovdiv foremost among examples of the genre.
The monasteries are stunning, too – the finest, Rila, should be on every itinerary, while for city life aim for Sofia, Plovdiv, and the cosmopolitan coastal resorts of Varna and Burgas which are the ports of call on your MSC Mediterranean cruise to Bulgaria.