Top Bulgaria Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Bulgaria Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

66 Bulgaria trips. Compare tour itineraries from 18 tour companies. 247 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.

Small Group Bulgaria Tours

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Top Bulgaria Attractions

  • Explore the sacred and rustic hills around the peaceful Rila Monastery. 
  • Relax sunbathing or strolling down the seaside promenade in the ancient town of Varna
  • The wonder of watching the Sound and Light Show over the medieval Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo
  • Spend the day tasting wines that the Trojans tried in one of the oldest wine regions in the world in Bessa Valley.
  • Take in the ancient wonders while walking down the old town of Plovdiv that is older than Greece and Rome.

Bulgaria Tours & Travel Guide

Bulgaria Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Filled with historical ruins, rugged mountains, ancient cities, and a unique cuisine, Bulgaria is a country on the brink of stardom. From the stunning hiking trails of the Rila Mountains to the medieval fortress in Veliko Tarnovo to the bustling bistros of Sofia, Bulgaria will dazzle all of your senses and keep you coming back for more. 

Why Visit Bulgaria on a Tour

One of the main reasons you should visit Bulgaria on the tour is the language barrier. Bulgarian can be a challenging language to understand and read. Additionally, only about 25% of Bulgarians speak English. Learning some key phrases and words in Bulgarian can help, but having those expert guides who can help you navigate the restaurants and shops will be invaluable. 

Surprisingly to many, Bulgaria has a very long and diverse past. Bulgaria is actually home to one of the most prosperous ancient civilizations in the world, the Thracians. Their history, along with thousands of years of occupation, has given Bulgaria a detailed and extensive past.

Learning all of this or trying to see the best spots on your own is daunting, but tours to Bulgaria offer you the chance to see the main attractions and delve deeper into Bulgaria’s past. 

Bulgarian Culture

Bulgarian culture is a result of a combination of a variety of civilizations and cultures. With influences from Greece, Thrace, Rome, the Ottoman Empire, the Slavic people, and Russia, Bulgaria’s way of life is distinct in the Balkans. 

Bulgaria has played an important role in the world since the country’s beginnings. The country is home to large amounts of Thracian gold treasures, was a major political and economic power during the Middle Ages, where the Cyrillic alphabet was created, and has made multiple contributions to the arts and music. 

Another claim to fame is that Bulgaria is considered The Rose Capital of the world. The Rose Valley in Bulgaria produces over 80% of the world’s rose oil which is used in soap, perfume, and as a stress reliever. You’ll find countless rose bushes and vines in every part of the country, especially during the spring when the flowers begin to bloom. 


Common Bulgaria Tour Routes

There are three common tour routes of Bulgaria: Bulgaria-only tours, Bulgaria outdoor tours, and tours when Bulgaria is included with other Eastern European or Balkan countries. 

For guided tours of Bulgaria, you’ll often begin and end your journey in Sofia. You’re route typically will follow a counterclockwise path taking you through Rila Monastery on your way to Plovdiv, Varna on the coast, northern city of Veliko Tarnovo, and back towards Sofia. These tours hit all of the major sites and sounds that make up Bulgaria’s unique culture. 

An adventure tour of Bulgaria usually takes place in the mountains of western Bulgaria or in the Balkan Mountains. Hiking tours or snowshoeing tours of the Rila Mountains outside of Sofia are a common destination for these adventurous and picturesque routes. 

With Bulgaria’s central location in Southeastern Europe, Bulgaria is often included in tours of other countries in the area such as Romania, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, and Serbia. These tours last a couple of weeks and don’t spend as much time in Bulgaria as the above tours, but are an opportunity to see more of this region of the world. 

Cities in Bulgaria

While countries like India or Poland have what they call “The Golden Triangle” of cities to visit, Bulgaria has more of a “Golden Diamond.” Bulgaria has four main cities that are included on guided tours of Bulgaria for their rich past and importance to the growth of Bulgaria. 

1. Sofia

The capital of Bulgaria, Sofia has something to offer everyone. With medieval Byzantine churches, funky cafes, retro Communist buildings, and public parks around every corner, Sofia is a bustling blend of each era of Bulgaria’s past. 

2. Plovdiv 

One of the oldest cities in the world, Plovdiv is a hotbed of ancient civilizations. Considered the cultural capital of Bulgaria, Plovdiv is spread out across seven hills and is the home of some of the country’s oldest ancient ruins. 

3. Varna

Bulgaria’s Black Sea mainstay, Varna is a summer oasis in Southeastern Europe. Locals and travelers visit during the warm months to take in the beautiful weather of the sea, relax on the beaches, and stroll down the romantic seaside promenade. 

4. Veliko Tarnovo

Bulgaria’s medieval center, Veliko Tarnovo was the ruling seat for the Second Bulgarian Empire. Nestled atop the bluffs above the Yantra River, the city harkens back to Bulgaria’s power and prestige during medieval times and is a great base for day trips into the surrounding villages. 

Bulgarian Cuisine

Not unlike the rest of Bulgarian culture, Bulgarian cuisine is the culmination of many cultures and peoples. You’ll find traditional Bulgarian dishes, but also influences and cooking styles from Turkey, Greece, and other Balkan countries. 

Traditional meals typically begin with a shopska, or salad, and the main course is based around a stew featuring a main meat and a variety of vegetables.

Grilled meat, especially sausage, is a main staple in Bulgarian diet, as is yogurt, stuffed pastries, the cold soup tarator, and cheese. Bulgarian dishes are noted for their bold flavors from the paprika, garlic, black pepper, thyme, and rosemary that are commonly used. 

Wine is a common drink to have with your dinner, but Bulgaria’s most iconic alcoholic beverage is "rakia". Rakia is a fruit brandy produced in the Balkans and is a staple in Bulgaria. The brandy isn’t for the faint of heart, some rakia can be as potent as 40 - 50% proof!

Nature and Wildlife in Bulgaria

Adventure tours to Bulgaria are growing in numbers. With much of the country dominated by the Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria has become a major hiking and skiing destination. Travelers can hike throughout the Rila Mountains or the Rhodope Mountains in the east or choose a slower, easier vacation by visiting the beaches on the Black Sea Coast. 

Bulgaria is also home to numerous national parks and preserves. Some of the country’s stunning natural wonders are the Rila Lakes, the naturally-formed Melnik Pyramids, and Pirin National Park. 

If you are out hiking and exploring Bulgaria’s natural wonders you may come across some of the country’s commonly spotted wildlife. Bears, foxes, vultures, and rabbits can be found when hiking in the mountains. On the coast you may find pelicans or dolphins swimming in the sea. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll see a local favorite of Bulgaria in the woods or even in the cities, the adorable hedgehog. 

Caving in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has over 2,500 caves with more still being discovered. With such a rugged landscape, caving has become a major activity for travelers visiting Bulgaria.

A few of the most popular caves in Bulgaria are: 

1. Devil’s Throat Cave

One of the largest in Bulgaria, Devil’s Throat Cave is the stuff of legends. Considered by many as the inspiration of some of the myths of ancient Greece and Thrace, the cave is a natural phenomena with large caverns and long underground river. 

2. Devetashka

Devetashka Cave is a karst cave in northern Bulgaria that has been occupied for thousands of years and is a major faunal and floral sanctuary in Bulgaria. Multiple protected species, such as the European trea frog, call this cave home. The cave’s most famous occupants are the some 30,000 bats that reside in the caverns. 

3. Snezhanka

Located in the Rhodope Mountains, Snezhanka Cave (“Snow White”) is small compared to others, but what the cave lacks in size it makes up for in wonder. Snezhanka Cave is home to beautiful and stunning stalactites and stalagmites formations. The Wonderful Hall in the cave even has a naturally created formation that resembles Snow White, which is how the cave came by the name.  

4. Ledenika

Bulgaria’s ice cave, Ledenika Cave is located in the Balkan Mountains and has been open to the public since 1961. Ledenika is considered the ice cave of Bulgaria because of colder temperatures that create ice stalactite and stalagmite formations instead of the salt creations in the other caves.

Bulgaria Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
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T

Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

Written on

Balkan Adventure

The overall trip was very good. My only issue was that when I arrived at our hotel Mercure Bucharest a day early to stay one night before the start of the tour, the ...

T

Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

Written on

Balkan Adventure

Excellent facilities. Excellent evening selections. Expert and excellent guide and driver.

B

Bruce Wodhams

Jun 2024

Written on

Balkan Adventure

Great historical itinerary of the Balkans and its role in European and Western Asian events from the Roman Empire to modern times. An excellent introduction to the ...

T

Trusted Customer

Jun 2024

Written on

Balkan Adventure

Excellent tour, many interesting cities and great local ...

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