With its historic landmarks, exotic beaches and the superb range of day trips and sports on offer, Bulgaria is the perfect 2018 and 2019 cheap holiday destination. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in the sun or an adventurous experience, you will find it in Bulgaria. It's a great destination for a student holiday too!
Take in the azure ocean and golden sands of Varna or experience the fascinating culture of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Why not head to the port of Sveti Vlas Village, hire a yacht for the day and let your worries float away as you boat around the Black Sea.
Once you are back on land, visit Nessebar, a prominent seaside destination that combines old-world beauty with modern glamorous beaches. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, Nessebar is a beautiful city to visit for a day or an entire trip.
If you can pull yourself away from the coastline, make your way into the heart of Bulgaria to Central Balkan National Park. Situated in the Balkan Mountains, the park contains rare and endangered animals that you can see as you trek over the countryside.
Check out our other Balkan holiday destinations!
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Bulgaria holidays, we reckon, are pretty underrated. Bulgaria is a vibrant and fascinating country that is becoming more and more popular for couples, families and groups going on holidays. The country is home to many all-inclusive resorts and has so much to offer in terms of sweeping landscapes, mountains, coastlines and vibrant culture and cuisine. It is the perfect location for your next cheap holiday in the sun. Almost all of the tourist attractions and resorts can be found in the Bourgas region, meaning your search through the destinations isn't too complicated.
For those looking for a touch of ancient history and culture, Nessebar has much to offer. Located in Bulgaria’s Bourgas province, the town has many ancient ruins dating back to the 11th century. Its cobbled streets will lead you through the town's amazing architecture and history.
If sandy beaches and sea views are more up your street, Bulgaria has those in store for you too. Bulgaria has many seaside resorts for you to choose from, including Sunny Beach, a highly popular resort along the Black Sea coastline. Sunny Beach offers what it says on the label, as well as a sun-kissed beach, you can also enjoy various water sporting activities here.
There are two sides to Bulgaria, instead of beaches, you may want a ski resort for your 2018/19 holiday destination. In that case, the popular resorts of Borovets and Bansko are your best bets. Both resorts serve as the gateway for ski and snowboard slopes. In southern Bulgaria, you'll find Pamporovo, one of the best-known ski resorts in southeastern Europe.
If you want to be rejuvenated on your holiday, visit the St. Konstantin mineral springs close to Varna. You could also reach them from Albena. The beautiful baths come from deep springs and are always between 40 – 60oc, the perfect temperature for pure relaxation.
Holidays in Bulgaria aren't complete without a tast of the cuisine. Bulgarian cuisine mixes Slavic, Greek and Turkish traditional foods. Yet, the country also has more modern influences helping to give Bulgaria its own distinct tastes.
Soups are popular in Bulgaria and whilst eating at a traditional restaurant, you will find plenty of delicious soups on the menu. Many of the recipes have been passed down through the generations, though more modern, chic Bulgarian restaurants are coming up with their own ideas.
When the Bulgarian beaches get too warm, you should cool down with a tarator soup. The yoghurt and cucumber recipe is a great way to chill before heading back into the surf. If you are looking for a meaty dinner the meshana skara mix grill is a fulfilling combination of flavours.
Bulgarians love their cheeses and will eat slices of gorgeous white cheese during meals. To drink, try the boza, a traditional fermented malt drink made from maize and wheat.
Holidays to Bulgaria in 2018 have never been cheaper! Due to the low cost of flights and hotels, Bulgaria holidays are pretty suitable for a family getaway. There are plenty of family-friendly destinations spread out across the Bourgas region. The old town of Nessebar offers families a wealth of history on a Bulgarian holiday. Of course, there is the fantastic beach, but the town is more than 3,000 years old and its ancient buildings have helped it achieve UNESCO World Heritage Site certification. Roman baths, historical churches and much more are available for an educational family trip.
After packing in the historical sites, head to the Central Balkan National Park for a chance to see endangered wildlife. The park is a fantastic day trip for families and its mountains provide your legs with a challenging walk. Bulgaria is also known for its ski holidays at a far more reasonable price than its western Europe counterparts.
If you want more water fun than you can get at the beaches, Bulgaria has two major water parks the kids will love. Aqua Paradise located in Nessebar and Action Aquapark in Sunny Beach. Both have plenty of great pools and slides to enjoy a family day out.
A waterpark is also located in Obzor, another area of Bulgaria which is situated between Bourgas and Varna. Obzor is an area which has a lot of entertainment and many of the hotels in this area are equipped with swimming pools and slide which makes it a great location for children. Obzor remains largely uncrowded even during peak seasons. So, this is a great family-friendly destination if you’re looking for a quiet holiday in Bulgaria.
One of Bulgaria's coolest places to visit is Buzludzha, a futuristic building built in the Central Balkan Mountains. Built in 1974, the structure was dedicated to Bulgaria's Communist Party, although it wasn't opened until 1981. The UFO-like building was abandoned after the fall of communism and today lays in ruin.
The Rila Mountains offer great trekking and a chance to see the seven Rila Lakes. Beautiful to view, the lakes are easy to access when hiking, so pack those trekking boots for a day in the mountains. Bulgaria is a very mountainous country and there are over 40 mountains in Bulgaria to take some stunning photos of and climb or hike over.
Thanks to the mountains, winter time is perfect for skiing. Bulgaria offers great skiing for less than many western European countries. Bansko and Borovets are both most popular places to ski and whether you are an expert or a novice, you will be heading down the slopes in no time.
If skiing isn’t really your thing you can head over to Sozopol. As well as being a seaside town just south of Bourgas, Sozopol also has nature reserves to explore. Ropotamo and St. Thomas Island are both great locations to be at one with nature.
Pomorie is another great resort in Bulgaria if you are looking to discover the outdoors. Lake Pomorie is a natural lagoon which has been a protected area since 2001. The lake is also inhabited by various species of birds, a few of which are endangered. A long sandbar lined with hotels runs between the lake and ocean. This means there are safe waters for kids to swim in, making Pomorie a good choice for a family holiday.
Bulgaria holidays do offer a range of beaches, if that is what you're looking for. Finding a blissful beach on your summer holiday to Bulgaria isn't difficult. One of Bulgaria's best beaches is Golden Sands between Varna and Albena. Backed by a forest covered hillside, the slopes give way to a beautiful beach that meets the Black Sea. The Bulgarian coastline offers miles of crisp white beach sands, perfect for topping up that tan, but don't forget your sun cream.
Visitors to Nessebar will find Sunny Beach not far away. The shoreline provides guests with wide open sands that welcome visitors from all over the world. The beach gets rather busy, and when it does, the local bars and restaurants offer a retreat from the crowds. Nessebar combines history and beach life well and is a great destination during a Bulgarian break.
Albena is another beautiful Bulgarian beach and tourists flock to the five-kilometre-long shoreline. There are a huge number of hotels in Albena, many of which will offer you that great panoramic sea view.
Duni is also a popular resort town on the Black Sea coast, just south of the Bourgas region, it is situated around a large bay. Duni is full of beautiful beaches, so the crystal-clear waters are perfect for water sports or just splashing about as you relax on your Bulgarian beach break. Just north of Duni lies Sozopol, home to the popular Harmanite Beach.
Holidays in Bulgaria offer a renowned nightlife. Nightlife begins and ends with the country's capital Sofia. Parties happen at all times of the night as Bulgaria's alcohol licensing laws allow alcohol to be served whenever. Clubs and bars may stay open until the sun comes up, giving you the chance to dance the night away. If you are hungry after finishing at a Sofia disco, plenty of local restaurants stay open until the wee hours serving breakfast.
Sunny Beach is also a nightlife hub in Bulgaria, popular with many young people holidaying along the Black Sea coast. Sunny Beach has a lot of clubs, bars and restaurants and as a result, has been likened to Ibiza, but a lot cheaper, making it a great last-minute holiday destination!
Varna is another Bulgarian nightlife hotspot where you can stay up late and relieve your hangover with a hot coffee and warm Black Sea swim. Varna is absolutely vibrant once the sun goes down and many of the local bars and clubs will have DJs spinning throughout the evening.
If you prefer a quieter evening out in Bulgaria, there are several great restaurants in both Sofia and Varna. Have a nightcap at a quiet pub or sip a coffee at an outside café as you watch the world go by. Alternatively, the ski resorts of Borovets and Bansko have a great nightlife during the peak season at the mountainside chalets and clubs.
Bulgaria holidays make a nice surprise getaway with a loved one, especially when you can secure deals on hotels and flights at extremely low prices.
Nessebar is a must-see town when going to Bulgaria as a couple. The cobbled streets of the old town, the quaint atmosphere at dusk and the little cafés and bars ooze romance. Enjoy an evening out at one of the fine restaurants in the old town followed by a morning at the beach for a truly romantic holiday.
If you find yourself in the countryside, you will see kilometres of golden fields as sunflowers grow across the country. Running from Serbia to the Black Sea, the fields upon fields of golden flowers are the perfect backdrop to a picnic or trek through the Bulgarian countryside.
Another option is to stay in St Vlas (a much quieter alternative to the nearby Sunny Beach), located in the Bourgas region at the foot of the southern slopes of the Balkan Mountains. St Vlas serves as a great romantic destination due to its magnificent yacht marina, making it the setting for the perfect date. You can rent a yacht and enjoy some relaxation in the sun along with stunning views.
Head into Sofia for a laidback experience as the often-overlooked capital is full of great historical buildings and churches to view. When you are tired of walking, head to a romantic spot on the Iskar River to watch the sunset.
With many cheap flights to Bulgaria, you can discover all that the country has to offer. From ancient times to communism, Bulgaria is full of culture. Thracian Tomb is located in northeastern Bulgaria and dates back to the 3rd century BC. The site's carvings are unique and provide visitors with a glimpse into Europe's ancient past.
Perperikon is a Thracian sanctuary that wasn't discovered until 2000. Considered the largest megalithic structure in southeastern Europe, Perperikon overlooks Gorna Krepost in the Rhodope Mountains.
While in the Rhodope Mountains a visit to Shiroka Laka is a cultural experience like no other. The old architecture is a true view into the lives and history of the Rhodopian people. You can experience traditional food and music in the village as you take in a world very different than Sofia or Varna.
Once back in Sofia, the National Palace of Culture is a must-see. Built during communist rule, the building is a chance to see a time that is quickly becoming forgotten in Bulgaria.
Check out our top hotels in Bulgaria! If you're unsure of where to go on holiday in Bulgaria, check out some of our most popular destinations: