10 things that make Bulgaria the best country to relax
Bulgaria offers cozy beaches on the Black Sea shores, medical and ski resorts of European scope, as well as picturesque panoramas of Sofia, Varna, Golden Sands and the Valley of Roses. Anyone who rested in this part of the Balkan Peninsula certainly wants to return. Unusual cuisine, colorful life and traditions of the natives attract travelers.
Today we will tell you about 10 facts, after which you decide to personally get acquainted with the land of roses – beautiful Bulgaria.
1. Resorts with ancient excavations
Bulgaria ranks third among European countries in the number of archaeological sites. There are ruins on the territory of the country, whose age reaches 6000 years.
If you bought a tour to Bulgaria, be sure that you will have a visual excursion into history: the ancient necropolis in Varna, ancient masonry in Nessebar, the ruins of the fortress on Cape St. Atanas in Byala. Due to the high concentration of historically important sites, many territories are protected by UNESCO.
2. The legacy of the Bulgarian “Silicon Valley”
Bulgaria was once called the “Silicon Valley” of Eastern Europe. In 1980, Bulgarian developers introduced the world to their individual microcomputer, released at that time in triplicate. The very next year, they raised production to a more massive level – 50 pieces of IMKO-1.
In 2017, the country occupies one of the leading positions in the number of IT specialists.
3. Banitsa – local favorite food
A popular local dish is pastry made from leafy dough with feta cheese, spinach or cottage cheese. It is called “banitsa” and served even on holidays. On Christmas Eve, they make a special banitsa: they put notes, coins and other surprises in the dough.
In modern Bulgarian cuisine, variations with meat and vegetables are permissible.
4. The biggest house in Bulgaria
A popular tourist point in Bulgaria is the house of the Kordopulov clan. The mansion is considered the largest not only in Melnik, but also on the entire Balkan Peninsula. Its layout consists of three floors: bay window, semi-underground and cellar.
In addition to the old stained-glass windows and walls with baroque patterns, the building impresses with a basement for 250-300 tons of wine. The location of the windows in the reception room, their shape and number are fundamentally different from the usual entrance hall. Window openings are arranged in two rows, each of which has 12 windows. The lower one is characterized by the features of the Renaissance, the upper row is distinguished by oriental and Venetian ornaments.
To date, the house is recognized as a national treasure and is open to viewing for tourists.
5. Bulgarian gesture, which is difficult to understand
If in a conversation with a Bulgarian you notice how he shakes his head up and down, do not rush to rejoice at his consent. In the country, this gesture is regarded as the answer “no.” When your interlocutor shakes his head to the side, he demonstrates a firm “yes.”
6. Bulgarian “Stonehenge”
In the area of Staro Zhelezare, archaeological excavations of the ancient Thracian observatory are underway. The Bulgarian “Stonehenge” is a 24 stone slabs arranged in a circle. In the past, people from the Odris tribe made observations of space from here and performed rituals in honor of the god of the Sun, thereby appeasing him for a rich harvest.
The local fund has developed a project that will help to elevate these lands. It is planned that the cromlech will be covered with a glass dome, and around will create an infrastructure for tourism. The organizers want to put signs informing about the past of the observatory, and hold demonstrations of the одdris rituals.
7. Wine making in the country
Thanks to the warm climate and traditions that local winemakers carry through generations, excellent wines are made in Bulgaria. The most popular grape variety on the local plantations is Cabernet Sauvignon. It is also worth paying tribute to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Muscat Ottonel.
8. Melnik – the smallest city
Melnik is considered the smallest among the cities of Bulgaria. But this does not prevent him from being a popular tourist resort. Located in the southwest of the country, it has 230 inhabitants. Only one street stretches along the river, and each of its buildings is of architectural value. Stone arches, spacious balconies and openwork carvings – all this does not deprive homes of practicality.
You can easily get to Melnik from Sofia, which is 186 kilometers away. A half hour drive from the city is the Sandanski spa resort with balneotherapy centers and thermal waters.
9. The cult of the rose
Rosa is one of the symbols of Bulgaria. In the Kazanlak region, south of the Balkan Mountains, lies the Valley of Damask Roses. At the beginning of June, at dawn, you can watch the buds of delicate flowers open, and at the end of the month, you can take part in the harvest and visit the traditional festival. Today, Bulgaria is one of the largest producers of rose oil in the world.