by Annie Kay


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  • ISBN: 9781841629377
  • Size: 135mm x 216mm
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About this book

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, visitors will find an eclectic mix of traditions and architecture. Add to this remote mountain monasteries, medieval fortresses and ancient rock formations, and you'll see that there are opportunities to delve into this country's past at every turn.

Fully updated for this second edition, Annie Kay's Bulgaria combines detailed background information with tips on the best hotels and mehanas. Whether hiking through the Rila Mountains in search of a brown bear or simply strolling around Nesebur's harbour, be sure to take this guide with you.

About the author

Annie Kay first visited Bulgaria in 1974 and has been a regular visitor ever since. She has been the Chairman of the British-Bulgarian Society since 2010, and received an award from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2013 for her contribution to popularizing Bulgarian culture in Britain. She writes for a variety of magazines on Bulgarian topics and for Mitchell Beazley's best selling Pocket Guide to Wine.

Reviews Contents


Press reviews

'A good overview'
Wanderlust Magazine

Customer reviews

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The guide that connects you with the country
Review by Willi
Having travelled many times to Bulgaria and posessing a dozen travel guides, I would recommend this one without hesitation to anybody who wants to be informed about culture, people and nature in a thorough and reliable way. But the outstanding feature of this book is the way in which the author uses her deep understanding of the country to connect the reader with the land and its people. This handy guide opens eyes, minds and hearts of readers travelling this wonderful country, making the travel to a great rewarding experience.
(Posted on 01/04/2018)
Very complete and helpful guide to Bulgaria
Review by Boliches
Yet another very good Bradt Travel Guide. I have been using the Bradt Travel Guides discovering the countries that we used to consider as Eastern Europe. Having been to Slanchev Briag as a boy in 1980, I wanted to see Nessebur and maybe a bit more of Bulgaria. The first question was where to go. Ottomans and communists do not make a good recipe for historic sites in these countries, especially if the countries had a Christian culture.

With two weeks to spend, I decided on Blagoevgrad for Rila Monastery, Veliko Turnovo, Plovdiv Nessebur and Sofia and also marked a few places to visit from these cities. I may have considered one or two other cities. I found the guide very accurate and up-to-date.

The information on how to get there and away is very useful. I, however, found that the number of trains was considerably lower than suggested. On the other hand, busses seemed to run more frequently than suggested. In Veliko Turnovo where the tourist bureau is absolutely useless – all is a problem – the guide was much more informative than the map sold by the tourist bureau. The latter does not even mention the House of the Monkey. In Nessebur where the tourist bureau is well hidden, even if the address is given in the guide, or Sofia, where they were closed on Friday and Saturday, I had to get by with just the guide.

The only reason I am not giving this guide the full five-star rating is the following experience. As I stood near the execution rock of the Tsarevets Fortress, a Spanish woman read from her English Guide. This made me question why I had not read about it in my Bradt Travel Guide that I had read twice before going to Bulgaria and once at my destination. So, I consulted my Bradt Travel Guide and found the same information was there. I found that I found the description read out by my Spanish fellow traveller was more “guiding,” whereas that in my Bradt Travel Guide was more “informing.” I had a second experience of the same sort. I must admit, however, that I found Bradt Travel Guides tell you what is interesting, but also what isn’t. Maybe, this time, it was a little to objective for me. Still, if you want to travel around and see something of the country, I would happily recommend this Guide to Bulgaria.
(Posted on 04/10/2016)
Review by Sonia Rouve
Now... what amazing treat did I receive in the post on Saturday! I had, of course, only just got back from Bg. and could have been said to have had enough (in the best but busy sense...). However, I sat in the garden in the sun and read through your EXCELLENT Bradt Guide! So nicely presented and written + I loved the bird details! I tended to concentrate on the General/Intro. + Sofia and Ruse. Very much liked your occasional little personal comments. I saw that we are still in the month of publication. Wish you great success with it! I'll certainly be recommending it!

Sonia Rouve.

(Posted on 06/04/2016)
More than a guidebook!
Review by ‪Militsa Kapricheva‪,
Great book, Annie. Such a pleasure to read about your homeland by a writer who loves the country she writes about as much as a native does. It is more than a Guidebook!

‪Militsa Kapricheva‪, former Lecturer at the College of Tourism, Varna.
(Posted on 06/04/2016)
Exactly what the curious traveller needs
Review by John Osborne
"The revised edition of Annie Kay's excellent guide to Bulgaria is exactly what the curious traveller needs who likes to be informed about the history and culture of the country that he or she is visiting. This Bradt guidebook is ideal. It is written by a person who has known Bulgaria for many years and has a deep understanding of the people and the land. She presents information about "what to see and do" clearly and authoritatively and there is no shortage of well-organized updated practical information about hotels ("where to stay") and restaurants ("where to eat and drink") as well as travel ("getting there and away"). Buy this guide for your visit to this country which is too little visited and you will be in the reliable and good-natured company of Annie Kay, who has been there and done all that before you."

Review by John Osborne, retired Classics Master, Marlborough College, and now leader of cultural tours to Bulgaria.

(Posted on 06/04/2016)

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Introduction vi
Chapter 1 Background Information 3
Geography 3, Climate 3, Natural history and conservation 3, Archaeology 12, Brief chronology 14, History 15, Government and politics 21, Economy 22, People 23, Language 24, Religion 25, Education 28, Culture 28
Chapter 2 Practical Information 35
When to visit 35, Suggested itineraries 35, Tourist offices 38, Maps 39, Tour operators 39, Activity and special-interest holidays 41, Visas and entry regulations 43, Embassies 44, Getting there and away 45, Health 47, Safety 48, Women travellers 49, Gay travellers 49, Travellers with a disability 49, Toilets 49, What to take 50, Money 50, Getting around 51, Accommodation 55, Eating and drinking 56, Shopping 63, Arts and entertainment 63, Sport 65, Photography 66, Media and communications 66, Business in Bulgaria 67, Buying property in Bulgaria 68, Cultural etiquette 70, Travelling positively 70
Chapter 3 Sofia 75
History 75, Getting there and away 77, Getting around 77, Tourist information 82, Where to stay 83, Where to eat and drink 84, Entertainment and nightlife 85, Shopping 86, Other practicalities 87, What to see and do 88
Chapter 4 The Southwest 103
In the Rila Mountains 103, Blagoevgrad 113, Bansko 115, The far south 122, Gotse Delchev and nearby 129, Around Kyustendil 134
Chapter 5 The Northwest 139
Iskur Gorge 139, Vratsa 140, Vratsa to Vidin 144, Vidin 150

Chapter 6 Central Stara Planina and the Danube Plain 155
Towards Stara Planina 155, Pleven 157, Lovech 159, Troyan 160, Around Troyan 162, Gabrovo 163, Around Gabrovo 165, Veliko Turnovo 171, Around Veliko Turnovo 177, East towards Veliki Preslav 182, Veliki Preslav 183, Shumen 184, Around Shumen 186, The Ludogorie 187, On the Danube 189, Ruse 191, Around Ruse 195
Chapter 7 The Valley of the Roses and Sredna Gora 197
Sredna Gora 197, East towards Kazanluk 206, Kazanluk 210, Stara Zagora 214, Nova Zagora 216, Sliven 218, Yambol 219, Around Yambol 221
Chapter 8 Plovdiv, the Rhodopes and the Thracian Plain 225
The old road from Sofia to Plovdiv 225, Plovdiv 227, Into the Rhodope Mountains 235, Pamporovo 239, Around Pamporovo 241, Smolyan 241, North and west of Smolyan 243, South from Smolyan 250, Smolyan to Kurdzhali 250, Kurdzhali 252, East of Kurdzhali 254, Haskovo to Svilengrad 257
Chapter 9 Strandzha, the Black Sea Coast and Dobrudzha 263
In the Strandzha Mountains 263, The southern coast 267, Sozopol 269, Burgas 271, North of Burgas 274, Sunny Beach 278, From Sunny Beach to Varna 278, Varna 279, The coast north of Varna 283, Balchik 284, Kavarna 285, North of Kavarna 286, North of Kaliakra 287, Dobrudzha 288
Appendix 1 Language 291
Appendix 2 Glossary 299
Appendix 3 Further Information 301
Index 307
Index of advertisers 312