To get straight to the point, Bulgaria is a wonderful holiday destination! Because you can easily travel and spend the night here, the people are friendly, there is plenty to do and it is cheap too.
Tip! In high season the border crossing from Serbia to Bulgaria is very busy, so be sure to go early in the morning!
The Rila Monastery was founded by John van Rila in the 10th century. It has already been rebuilt once and still looks great. Behind the monastery lies the beautiful Rila National Park. The drive through the park is great and so is the walk! A good walking trail with views of the mountains and the river. What more can you ask for?
In Blagoëvgrad I find a bank where I can withdraw cash. And that is necessary because payment is often only made in cash in Bulgaria.
On top of the hill there is a large cross, a small chapel and you have a wide view of the city. It is very hot on this hill and I decide to drive a bit further to Pirin National Park.
Pirin National Park
A long winding road up takes us to the mountains at Pirin National Park, the temperature drops by as much as 20 degrees, bizarre!
This is a perfect walking area! Walking paths through the forest, grass, flower fields and open area with beautiful views of the mountains. You can park your camper for free in several places and spend the night or pitch your tent.
Old town Plovdiv
Plovdiv is a nice city where modernity is combined with historical antiquity. I first look at the old town, Ancient Theater, Roman Stadium, amazing murals and a few beautiful churches. Then we walk through the shopping street and along the many terraces, you can easily fill a day here!
The Bachkovo Monastery is a half-hour drive from Plovdiv. From the parking lot we walk past tourist sales stalls to the monastery. You can enter in shorts and take photos everywhere, great!
Lots of gold inside, old frescoes and a very kitschy chandelier. The garden is a relaxing courtyard even with the many tourists.
A 2.5 hour drive takes me to the Black Sea in Burgas. The sand on the beach here is black, which is appropriate! With a view of the sea on one side and a field full of sunflowers on the other, this is a great overnight spot.
Nesebar is an old UNESCO town with narrow streets and many shops. Touristy but fun, after an 8 km walk we go back with the small train. The weather is very nice in Bulgaria, so in Sunnybeach we enjoy the beach, the sea and Emi’s Ibiza bar for a few days.
City of Varna
On to Varna for my broken iPad. Unfortunately, the Apple store in Bulgaria cannot make this iPad, which is a pity. Now that I’m there, I take a look at the city, the cathedral and drive to the ancient Stone Forest, where we can take a nice walk and I have forgotten all about my iPad hassle.
In the Kazanlak Rose Valley there are no roses to be seen in summer because it is the wrong season haha. There is a rose museum, but I choose the Thracian tomb of Kazanlak. This dates from the 4th century BC. I enter the Tomb via a narrow corridor. The paintings are beautiful, but it is a bit claustrophobic to be in the tomb.
The Buzludzha monument was the memorial house of the Bulgarian Communist Party. It is now a dilapidated monument on top of the hill. I drive up a mountain road for more than 10 km and then we continue walking up the mountain.
From a distance I can hear the Bulgarian music loud from the speakers. There is a festival going on and I see people with communist and Bulgarian flags. It is a peaceful festival and I especially enjoy the amazing view.
Via the Mountain Pass Sjipka Pass I drive to the Tsarevets Fortress, this is a medieval fortress on top of the hill. In the cathedral at the top you can view modern frescoes. Leo and I can walk around everywhere and we have a view of the entire city. We walk right in the sun so we have a good workout today.
I drive inland to the Krushuna Waterfalls. During this long drive I see small villages where time has stood still, agriculture fields, vineyards and many sunflower fields. The waterfalls are beautiful little romantic waterfalls and it is a nice park to walk the dog.
Central Balkan National Park
The next destination is the Central Balkan National Park and we cross the Beklemet Pass. What a stunning view! This beautiful place has a restaurant with a terrace, you just have to stop there and enjoy.
Of course we will also go for a walk in the Central Balkan Park! I choose the route to mountain hut Pleven and that is quite an uphill walk. Once we arrive at the top, the (dilapidated) mountain hut is open. Great, I didn’t expect that, after a delicious lunch we walk back to the camper totally satisfied.
The Belogradchik is great! We walk from the nice village to the castle and it is very warm. I even climb the last part alone because Leo is resting in the shade. The fort is beautiful but the view of the rocks is what I go for. Insane, what a cool place!
We continue to Romania, one more time I admire the sunflower fields, thank you Bulgaria, I enjoyed it!
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