Bulgaria is one of those unique European countries where east meets west, a country that has rich and diverse cultural traditions that comprise Mediterranean, Asian and Bulgarian traditions. It also straddles three completely different bio-geological regions, European forest, Eurasian steppe and the Mediterranean. Bulgaria is full of wide-open plains, deep dark forests, meandering rivers and tranquil lakes.
Bulgaria has created three National Parks to preserve and protect examples of the countries native landscape; these cover over 193,000 hectares of Pirin, Rila and the central Bulkans. They represent some of Europe’s oldest natural habitats and are great places of responsible tourism for eco-travellers to enjoy.
Lovers of the great outdoors will find Bulgaria is packed with adventure like trekking through the Chairite Reserve, with its woodlands, canyons and caves. There are the invigorating spa sites all over the country, famous for their crystal clear mineral waters, curative mud and naturally aerated springs, all surrounded by clean air and vast natural coniferous forests.
Bulgarian Spa Resorts
Bankya – located just outside Sofia has a wealth of fast flowing, warm water treatments great for cardiovascular, rheumatic and motoneuron diseases. A whole series of centres, clinics and hotels have developed around the area since the first modern baths were constructed in 1910.
Blagoevgrad – famous since the Middle Ages, people have long since flocked to Blageovgrad to take the curative waters of the 30 surrounding mineral springs. Coming out of the ground at a comfortable 55 degrees a range of baths and pools have been created where you can obtain treatment for everything from dermatological problems to kidney disease.
Velingrad – has a comfortable climate and with over 70 mineral streams with temperatures that vary between 22 and 90 degrees it’s ever likely that it has become a popular eco-tourist destination. Along with the baths and hydro pools there are also lots of conventional tourist diversions.
Devin – theses spas are situated in an area renowned for its healthy climate and natural beauty. Devin offers mineral baths are ideal for aiding many health problems and the waters are also ecologically pure and drunk extensively by visitors for their curative powers.
Dobrinishte – this is a climatic treatment centre with 17 springs, whose temperatures range between a comfy 30 and 43 degrees. There are a number of large open-air mineral baths and the area has lots of tourist activities and accommodations for guests ranging from hotels to simple chalets.
Bulgaria uses much of this thermal activity to generate the countries electrical needs and along with wind farms and solar power stations they produce a lot of green, renewable energy.
Much of Bulgaria’s transport system is old and outdated but efforts are being made to modernize the system. There are still many horse drawn carts and wagons to be seen on the streets and animals are still used to plough and till the farmlands in some rural areas.
Along with the many natural health spas of Bulgaria, increasingly tourist visit the capital, Sofia, the Black Sea resorts of Albena and Sozopol and also cruises along the Danube. The mountainous southern regions have popular skiing resorts at Pamporov and Borovetz
Sophia provides an exciting and busy destination; the city is a hive of activity for the arts, ballet, theatre and galleries. There is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the National Palace and travelling further a field the famous Rila Monestary or the Boyana Church. Bulgaria has lots to offer the eco-tourist and plenty of responsible practices that make it a novel and worthwhile visit.