Bulgaria

by Annie Kay

Bulgaria

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About this book

Fully updated for this third edition by expert author Annie Kay (for over 10 years Chairman of the British-Bulgarian Society and a part-time resident of Sofia), Bradt's Bulgaria offers a comprehensive guide to this increasingly popular country, location of Provadia, Europe's oldest prehistoric town. Detailed background information is combined with everything from tips on the best hotels and mehanas to hiking through the Rila Mountains in search of brown bear or simply strolling around Nesebur's harbour. Bradt's Bulgaria also offers better coverage of the country's compelling natural history than any other guide.
New for this edition are greater coverage of outdoor activities and adventure trips, a fresh perspective on Bulgaria's burgeoning music scene and nightlife, significantly increased coverage of food and wine - including winery tours, the local grapes, and some on site restaurants and hotels - plus the benefit of new contributions from locals sharing their inside knowledge of local towns. Also covered are improvements to infrastructure and new attractions such as the Historical Park, the world's largest history park near the Black Sea city of Varna, offering an interactive trip in time going back thousands of years.
Bulgaria has a history and culture as rich and diverse as its landscape. From the gold-domed churches of Sofia to the picturesque National Revival houses of Koprivshtitsa, mountain monasteries to medieval fortresses and ancient rock formations, the country boasts an eclectic mix of traditions and architecture. Recent archaeological discoveries are detailed in this new edition, along with Bulgaria's participation in the European rewilding scheme. From Plovdiv's UNESCO-listed Old Town to the frescoes of Rila Monastery, skiing to eagle spotting in Pirin National Park, elegant Ruse to the deserted beaches of the Black Sea coast, or the former capital of Veliko Turnovo to the famous mountain town of Koprivshtitsa, Bradt's Bulgaria is the ideal companion for a perfect trip.

About the author

Annie Kay first visited Bulgaria in 1974 and continues to be a regular visitor. For over 20 years she has been the organiser of the special-interest tours of the British-Bulgarian Society, with themes such as birdwatching, butterflies and moths, wildflowers, folklore and festivals, wine and food, monasteries, music and architectural heritage. As a result, she takes you to wonderful and little-known places not even mentioned in other guides. In 2013 she received an award from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture for her contribution to popularizing Bulgarian culture in Britain
She has written many newspaper and magazine articles about Bulgaria and a series of small photo-guides. For 16 years she wrote about Bulgarian wine for the best-selling Mitchell Beazley Pocket Guide to Wine. Her favourite places are still Sofia and Koprivshtitsa.

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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, Archaeology, Brief chronology, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Suggested itineraries, Tourist offices, Maps, Tour operators, Activity and special-interest holidays, Visas and entry regulations, Embassies, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Gay travellers, Travellers with a disability, Toilets, What to take, Money, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Sport, Photography, Media and communications, Business in Bulgaria, Buying property in Bulgaria, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively

PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Sofia
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Shopping, Other practicalities, What to see and do. Day excursion to Bankya and the Yoghurt Museum near Trun.
Chapter 4 The Southwest
In the Rila Mountains, Blagoevgrad, Bansko, The far south, Gotse Delchev and nearby, Around Kyustendil
Chapter 5 The Northwest
Petrohan Pass, Iskur Gorge, Vratsa, Vratsa to Vidin, Vidin
Chapter 6 Central Stara Planina and the Danube Plain
Towards Stara Planina, Pleven, Lovech, Troyan, Around Troyan, Gabrovo, Around Gabrovo, Veliko Turnovo, Around Veliko Turnovo, East towards Veliki Preslav, Veliki Preslav, Shumen, Around Shumen, The Ludogorie, On the Danube, Ruse, Around Ruse
Chapter 7 The Valley of the Roses and Sredna Gora
Sredna Gora, East towards Kazanluk, Kazanluk, Stara Zagora, Nova Zagora, Sliven, Yambol, Around Yambol
Chapter 8 Plovdiv, the Rhodopes and the Thracian Plain
The old road from Sofia to Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Into the Rhodope Mountains, Pamporovo, Around Pamporovo, Smolyan, North and west of Smolyan, South from Smolyan, Smolyan to Kurdzhali, Kurdzhali, East of Kurdzhali, Haskovo to Svilengrad
Chapter 9 Strandzha, the Black Sea Coast and Dobrudzha
In the Strandzha Mountains, The southern coast, Sozopol, Burgas, North of Burgas, Sunny Beach, From Sunny Beach to Varna, Varna, Inland to the Stone Forest, the History Park and Provadia, The coast north of Varna, Balchik, Kavarna, North of Kavarna, North of Kaliakra, Dobrudzha

Appendices
Language
Glossary/Other
Further info
Index