24.07.2007 SUMMER IN BULGARIA – THINGS TO DO DURING YOUR HOLIDAY HERE (PART 3)
Polina Stoykova, BulgarianProperties
Bulgaria is famous for its variety of landscapes. Which part of Bulgaria is best? It is really hard to say. Each area has its own charm and something different from the others and it is best to explore Bulgaria to find out your favourite places.
SUMMER IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
The city itself is a big and busy trade centre but it has an atmosphere of calmness and relaxation, especially in the central pedestrian zone and the surrounding small streets with many intriguing shops, as well as an emblematic souvenir and paintings market in the old part of the town. For a summer change we offer you to visit Plovdiv and dip yourself into the modern-ancient atmosphere, visit the Old Town - scattered on one of the seven hills of the town, it takes you back to the time of the Renainsance period of Bulgaria with its romantic cobbled streets, interesting old houses with remarkable architecture - and its museums, buy a few souvenirs and try the nice bars and restaurants in the central lanes.
The area of Plovdiv offers a whole range of interesting things to do – water skiing at the Orizare Dam about 20 km from Plovdiv, fishing at the area called ‘The 40 Lakes’. With the huge number of lakes, swimming pools in the villages and beautiful views to the Rhodopi Mountains it can become a suitable location for your family vacation.
Being at the foot of the Rhodopi Mountains, the region also offers the option for HUNTING - many different species of birds and animals can be found around. A lot of villages have their own local teams and go hunting in the mountains and forests around.
Bachkovo Monastery, Asen’s fortress and others are among the sights to see in the area.
In case you are keen on EXTREME SPORTS – just about 20 – 30 km away from the town of Plovdiv close to the Rhodopi Mountains you may try tracking, mountain biking, rock climbing and even paragliding. Enjoying sports you will also get the opportunity to get familiar with the countryside, the beautiful scenery and all friendly people that live around.
SPA lovers will also find their best place – the town of Hissar 40 km from Plovdiv. Lying on an aincient Roman town, it is in the same time an interesting, calm and modern town. Hissar is famous with its mineral springs and the curing qualities of the water itself. Also the town can offer its visitors beautiful and charming ruins of a fortress that dates centuries B.C.
Stara Zagora - a big and lively trade center - is further to the East of Plovdiv. There are lovely cafes, pedestrian zones and parks to enjoy.
For those who don’t know it, Kardjali is a town situated in the eastern part of the Rhodopi Mountains. The town itself is a calm rural location with nice hotels scattered around it where you can stay during the trip. What makes this location unique is the hundreds of outdoor entertainment options it offers.
Fishing, hunting, water sports – rafting, kayaking, boating, speed boating, water skiing, surfing will capture the sports lovers. You can be amazed to find that you can also go to a photo safari for black stork and other rare species.
Rock climbing, offroad driving, hiking, mountaineering and many more. Additionally to all these here you can find medieval fortresses and Thracian monuments – Perperikon, Tatul, Vulvata, Orlovi Skali are among the sights you shouldn’t miss visiting.
After a long day outdoors you can have a traditional dinner in the restaurants in the town or at the holiday complexes a few kilometres out of Kardjali.
This is a small town which has turned into the most popular rural location among foreigners over the past few years. A calm town with pretty pedestrian zones, cafes, small church and nice people, situated in the South-Eastern part of Bulgaria just at the entrance from Turkey, Elhovo surely has what to offer.
You can enjoy walks in the local parks and natural reserves, or have fun driving buggy off-road, go fishing at the local lakes (Popovo , Granitovo, Sinapovo, Kirilovo, Malko Sharkovo). Hunting is available close by in the villages of Razdel, Golyam Dervent as well as around the town of Yambol. Biking is very popular as the terrains are suitable and the roads are not very busy. Ecotourism is being developed in the area as this location is considered to be one of the cleanest areas without any heavy production and pollution.
If you wish to change the scenery and meet another culture, you can make a journey to Turkey through the check point at Lesovo. Edirne - the biggest European town of Turkey after Istanbul - is just 60 km from Elhovo and is within about an hour and a half driving. You can enjoy the traditional markets for a great shopping and try Turkish tea and coffee for a change. All you need is your passport and a car.
Svilengard chek point is a place from where you can go out to Turkey and to Greece – it gives both options and is about 100 km from Elhovo and even closer to Haskovo.
If you are a keen golfer, this area will also offer suitable conditions – 60 km to the north of Elhovo is the town of Sliven, where there is a golf course just out of the town. Sliven also offers spa centers and horse riding is available in the town of Nova Zagora, 40 km from Sliven.
In the evenings the centre of Elhovo is full of people sitting at the cafes, restaurants, telling stories of how they have spent the summer day.
The far end of Bulgaria from Elhovo close to the Romanian and Serbian border is where the pretty town of Vidin is situated. Vidin combines quietness and increasing economic activity. The second bridge across the Danube is being built and this attracts a lot of initiatives and investments, including a brand new shopping mall to be opened till the end of 2007. Visits to Romania will soon be among the attractions.
Sightseeing is interesting as there is a fortress-museum called Baba Vida, a walking zone besides the Danube and lots of small cafes and restaurants. Public swimming pools offer water ball and the river is a nice opportunity to try swimming, sunbathing, boating and fishing in this part of the country. There are several ship restaurants where you can enjoy unforgettable evenings at sunset. You can taste traditional Bulgarian dishes as well as Italian and Chinese food.
The rural country side outside the town is famous for its fresh air and beautiful nature. Hunting, hiking and fishing are only some of the things you can enjoy. The natives are kind and hospitable.
A weekend or a whole holiday in a village nearby will make you feel completely relaxed and ready for the rush of the urban life.
The old capital of Bulgaria has preserved the splendid ancient atmosphere and developed a modern look of the town situated in the mountains. It has traditionally been one of the main tourist attractions and has long been well-known among foreigners and Bulgarians. The town offers traditional restaurants, cafes, small shops and sloping streets with romantic atmosphere.
You can go out of the town enjoying the magnificent landscapes, the horse riding at Arbanasi, sightseeing at some of the nearby monasteries and caves. If you go further away towards Lovech, you can enjoy the nature following some eco paths that are turning into more and more popular attraction.
The whole area including Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Lovech, Pleven and Vratsa is full of historical monuments, museums as these settlements have played a central role in the Bulgarian Renaissance and have helped preserving the Bulgarian culture over the centuries. So, most of the small towns are full of house-museums, traditional restaurants and hospitable people.
The valley of roses – this is how they call Karlovo and the area and this is how it is popular abroad. It is also known for its traditional architecture, small museums and centers of crafts. Of course, the modern trends have now brought extreme sports and even meditation facilities to this area.
This is a small town to the north of Sofia, which is popular for rural tourism and eco tourism. For the sports lovers there are parachute jumps and mountain hiking.
The area NORTH OF SOFIA is becoming more and more popular for people to live and invest in and this is why entertainment is also an intriguing issue for the growing number of visitors. This area offers rafting and kayaking in fast waters. You can also enjoy the small restaurants in the villages, which offer fresh trout and cold beer. And of course, there are lots of attractions in Sofia itself.
These are only some of the rural locations, click here to see more.
See also SUMMER CITY BREAK IN SOFIA
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