The Countryside of Bulgaria


Asen's Fortress outside of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Okay. Bulgaria. It’s not on the top of many traveler’s minds and certainly not filling your Insta feed. It’s out there…just to the southwest of Ukraine, bordering the Black Sea as well as Romania, Turkey, Greece, and some other countries. And my husband likes to find interesting places to ride his bicycle. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I said, okay, have fun…I’ll meet you there at some point…and then I flew to Turkey and Denmark. LOL

I did meet him…after driving four hours on some of the most windy and forested roads I’ve ever driven! It was beautiful and exciting! The other super cool thing is that there are freshwater springs EVERYWHERE and some are piped into a roadside water bottle filling station! Delicious, clean water!

This is the southern region of Bulgaria and we were cycling/driving through the Rhodope mountains. Some town names to pique your interest: Trigrad, Smolyan, Dospat, Velingrad… Honestly, we didn’t have enough time here to do the region justice, but we can say it is BEAUTIFUL. Now, my husband would say that having a wider, or ANY, shoulder on the roads would be nice, but in general, he felt safe and said that almost all the cars gave him space.

We did want to take a quick tour of the whole country [crazy, I know], so the bike went into the back of the rental car and we drove 3.5 hours over to the coast of the Black Sea. I think we were visiting in the off season, because tourist amenities were pretty much non-existent, but we managed to take some hikes and explore some old towns and enjoy the views, especially the red poppies that were EVERYWHERE!!! We might have been the only guests in the fancy hotel we stayed in for $40 [kinda spooky]!

Our road trip continued with a visit to a town up in the north/central region where we did another hike and saw some cool stuff. They really do have fortresses and ancient amphitheaters in Bulgaria!

The restaurant scene wasn’t easy for us, being vegetarian with a language barrier, but we found plenty of yummy breads and pastries, and you can almost always find yogurt and chocolate. ๐Ÿ˜€

One more hike [cool gorge in the middle of fields!] and then we finished our Tour de Bulgaria back in Sofia, after driving almost 20 hours in three days. We probably could have planned that better.

It’s hard to give a definitive recommendation for or against visiting Bulgaria because we didn’t see everything or spend enough time here to be experts. If you love driving on windy, mountain roads, you should go! If you enjoy exploring the countryside without much tourist infrastructure and don’t mind a language barrier, go see the beauty that is everywhere! If you’re on country #124 and Bulgaria will be your 125th, get on over there!! But I wouldn’t probably put it on a top 20 list and I don’t think I want to go back… #nooffense #stillbeautiful

I’m finishing this post with photos of CONDOR AIRLINES because there are negative reviews online, but I had a fabulous experience on board!! The only complaints I had were 1) my bluetooth earbuds didn’t connect and 2) the promised free WiFi didn’t work. The seat configuration is 2-4-2 which means there isn’t a middle seat on the right or left sides [nice]. The bathrooms were the most spacious I’ve experienced [maybe I need to fly fancier airlines]. I LOVED the striped branding and rainbow cabin lighting. Their in-seat entertainment was extensive with large screens. I enjoyed the food and drink options. I had a great sleep on my way home! So give Condor a chance if you are pondering the idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

My European tour was a whirlwind with not enough time in each place: Turkey — 3 days, Copenhagen — 2 days, Bulgaria — 3.5 days, but I’m not complaining. ๐Ÿ™‚ #whatalife #happytoexplore

I don’t have any activities or restaurants or accommodations to recommend from Bulgaria, but I did REALLY enjoy renting a manual transmission vehicle and driving it around. That was fun!

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Hi, I’m Laura

I’m based in Washington State and will definitely be showcasing local destinations, but this girl loves to fly all over the world!! If you love adventures and frugal travel, stick with me!

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