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Things to Do in Bulgaria - page 2

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Borovets
10 Tours and Activities

One of Bulgaria’s premier ski resorts, Borovets was purpose-built in the 1980s, although it has its origins way back in the 19th century when a hunting palace was built there for the Bulgarian Royal Family. Today it is a low-rise, largely wooden Alpine-style resort with all modern amenities; it sprawls over the northern flanks of the Musala ridge in the Rila Mountains at an altitude of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet), with the highest runs up at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet).

The ski season lasts from December through to early April and the resort has 24 runs stretching over 58 km (36.25 miles) of marked pistes, ranging from easy blues to extremely challenging black runs, many through scenic pine forest. Borovets also offers two terrain parks for snowboarders as well as 35 km (22 miles) of groomed cross-country trails for Nordic skiers. Ski lifts are modern and efficient, with a mix of gondolas, chair and drag lifts; night skiing is available daily until 10pm.

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Bachkovo Monastery
36 Tours and Activities

The well-preserved Bachkovo Monastery is tucked into the hillside of Asenovgrad alongside the scenic Chepelare River. It’s the perfect destination for travelers looking for a natural escape from Plovdiv or Sofia. Its peaceful beauty and quiet spaces for reflection have drawn visitors to its gates since it was built in 1083.

The monastery grounds include an original ossuary, decorated with ancient frescos and a home to a first floor burial crypt; a cathedral, which houses a statue of the Virgin Mary Eleusa and attracts pilgrims to pray her feet; the Archangels’ Church covered in paintings by Joan Mosch; and an expansive garden tended by monks who still live and work on the monastery today. The small but impressive museum at Bachkovo has an extensive collection of religious artifacts, wood carvings and old-school frescos that’s worth checking out.

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Balchik Palace (Dvoreca)
6 Tours and Activities

Also known as the Summer Palace of Queen Marie, Balchik Palace sits along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, together with a popular botanical garden. The palace was built for Queen Marie of Romania between 1926 and 1937, when Romania controlled the region. Designed by an Italian architect, the palace is part of a complex that includes several villas, a wine cellar, a monastery, a chapel and several other buildings. Buildings within the complex feature architectural elements inspired by a variety of cultures and religions, including a minaret, a Christian chapel, Thracian, Greek and Roman symbols, and a mix of Bulgarian, Gothic and Islamic designs. The palace rooms open to the public display original furnishings, as well as some local ancient artifacts and photographs of Queen Marie. The nearby botanical garden was established in 1940 and covers 65,000 square meters. It is home to 2000 plant species, including a collection of large cactus species, only the second of its kind in Europe.

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More Things to Do in Bulgaria

Koprivshtitsa

Koprivshtitsa

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2 Tours and Activities

The rolling hills and scenic landscapes of Koprivshtitsa attract plenty of travelers looking to explore Bulgaria beyond Sofia. Deep historical roots and a thriving population of merchants and artisans have made this town popular among tourists who find the town’s impressive collection of architectural, historical and artistic landmarks (388 in total!) worth a visit.

Travelers can experience the lifestyle of Koprivshtitsa’s early elite at the Oslekov House. Built in 1856, this popular museum showcases not only the rich interiors of a highbrow family, but some of its clothing and heirlooms as well. The unique rosewater fountain at The Lyutova House Museum, where authentic Koprivshtitsa wool, hand-painted murals and ornate woodcarvings are all on display, offers visitors a look at some of the region’s most impressive arts and crafts.

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Aquapolis

Aquapolis

1 Tour and Activity
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Action Aquapark

Action Aquapark

1 Tour and Activity

Set in the western part of Sunny Beach along the Black Sea coast, the Action Aquapark was the first water park to be built in Bulgaria. Covering 36,000 square meters, it boasts more than 30 water attractions, bars and restaurants and features a variety of tropical palm trees, Mediterranean shrubs, geysers and fountains throughout the grounds. Popular rides include a free fall slide that lets visitors plunge at up to 70 kilometers per hours, the 18-meter high Kamikadze slide and the 150-meter long Black Hole slide. Those looking for a more relaxing experience will enjoy floating along the 330-meter Lazy River. For the kids, there is a mini-zoo with pigs, goats, ponies, peacocks and emus, and the H2O Adventure Island, with eight slides, climbing tunnels and rope bridges.

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Stob Pyramids

Stob Pyramids

2 Tours and Activities
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