I realized that when I am traveling, I am looking for experiences to collect, not only sights to see, local food to taste and drinks to celebrate my travel. I haven’t travel as much as I would love to in Bulgaria, but I selected 10 typical Bulgarian experiences to try in the country of Kukeri and Roses.
Are you ready for the Big Bulgarian Adventure?
1. The First and ultimate thing to do: visit Rila Monastery and hike the 7 Rila lakes.
Rila Monastery is a top attraction in Bulgaria as this is the biggest monastery in the region and it’s close to Sofia. Usually, tourists and visitors combine the Rila Monastery and hiking in Rila mountain. I did them both in one day – I visited the Rila Monastery first and then hiked the 7 lakes in one day only. All the details on how to plan your trip to the Rila Monastery can be found here: The 7 Rila Lakes – hiking the heaven
2. Embark on an epic ride with the Rhodopes Narrow Gauge.
This is once in a lifetime experience!!!! You’ll have a scenic ride in the heart of the Rhodopes mountain and you’ll reach the highest stop in the region – Avramovo. All about my Rhodopes Narrow Gauge experience read in my blog post: Soak in a hot spring, eat the biggest ”mekitza” in the world and had a ride in the Rhodope Narrow Gauge – Winter Fairy Tale in Bansko region
3. Scare away the evil spirits during a Kukeri festival.
Surva festival held every year in Pernik in January is the most famous Kukeri festival, but many local Kukeri festivals take place in different regions of Bulgaria. The masks and costumes change in different cities and villages. Read more on what is ”Kukeri” and how to scare away the evil spirits here: Kukerlandia 2019, Salt Museum in Pomorie and Aquae Calidae
4. Soak in a hot spring in the winter in Bansko region.
Bansko is the most famous Bulgarian ski resort, but if you do not ski, you can enjoy an all-inclusive spa wherever you go. The region is rich in hot mineral springs and soaking outdoors all day long while it’s snowing outside is just heaven!!! Don’t miss it out!!!!! How to chill out in Bansko read here: Soak in a hot spring, eat the biggest ”mekitza” in the world and had a ride in the Rhodope Narrow Gauge – Winter Fairy Tale in Bansko region.
5. Tie a Martenitza on a special tree.
Martenitza is a very special Bulgarian tradition to celebrate the beginning of the spring and the awakening of life! If you visit Bulgaria at the beginning of March you’ll get many Martenitzas and you have to tie them on a tree when you see a stork. A complete guide about Martenitzi tradition read here: Happy Baba Marta Day! Честита Баба Марта!
6. Take the 1300 steps and reach the monument ”1300 Years of Bulgaria” in Shumen.
The 1300 steps to the top of the ”1300 Years of Bulgaria” monument are emblematic for Shumen region. From there you’ll have a breath-taking view of the city. Don’t be lazy, take the stairs!!!!
7. When in Bulgaria, have a breakfast like Bulgarian.
Bulgarian breakfast is greasy and not a good idea at all if you are on a diet!!! But if you don’t try a Bulgarian breakfast, you’ll regret it your whole life!!! Read more what to eat for breakfast in Bulgaria here: Bulgarian breakfast – a real feast for the eyes and the palate
8. Wake up early in the morning and participate in a Rose-picking ritual.
Rose festival in Kazanlak is one of the top Bulgarian festivals to visit at the end of May, beginning of June. The festivities around the roses take place in many cities and villages in the Rose Valley and if you wish, you can also participate in Rose-picking ritual. Be informed that if you plan to visit Bulgaria for the Rose Festival, you have to plan everything in advance. How to plan your trip for this event, learn here: Rose Festival, Valley of the Thracian kings and endless list of reasons to visit this region
9. Celebrate July morning on the beach.
July morning is a typical Bulgarian tradition and the best place to great the July sunrise is the Black Sea Coast. Go to Varna and party all night long to great the sun on the 1st of July. Black sea pearl: Varna and the region – part I
10. Taste local Apricot rakia in Silistra region.
The best rakia ever is produced in Silistra region and is made of apricots. Well, Silistra is far far away from Sofia, but it’s close to Bucharest. My detailed article about Silistra region will provide you with all the tips needed to take the rakia road! The apricot paradise – unexplored Silistra region (Northeastern Bulgaria)
Thanks for reading!