Though rapidly developing, Bulgaria still has an old-fashioned feel. While new hotels and restaurants open all the time in the capital Sophia, the country side remains largely unchanged and provides an excellent place to ride. The country roads are quiet, the villages are picturesque and the mountain scenery is pleasant.
Roads and Riding
Despite the old-fashioned feel, Bulgarian roads are new and make for easy and fast riding. In the countryside, the roads are empty, providing an excellent riding experience through wine growing regions and interesting cave and rock formations. There are low mountains and valleys and miles and miles of picturesque farmland. Traffic in Sophia can get busy, but the center is compact and provides a great break off the bike, perfect for strolling.
Climate and Environment, When to Go
Depending on your location, Bulgaria is a country with a variety of temperatures. Summer can be cool in the mountains or at the coast, but hot in the cities and some of the rural areas. Late spring and early fall provide a perfect riding climate for all areas. Other than the capital and parts of the Black Sea coast in summer, Bulgaria is off the tourist track, so the roads are uncrowded and perfect for riding at any time.
Sights, People, Food and Drink
Sophia is becoming a vibrant capital city with several wonderful churches to visit, some on UNESCO’s World Heritage site list. The center is an excellent place for strolling or sitting in a café and watching people. On the road, the Rila Monastery, with its stunning fortress-like exterior, makes for an excellent visit. The ride there travels along the River Rilska through beautiful wooded mountains. Bulgarian people are a good-humored, fun-loving lot, greeting each other warmly in the street, and delighted by visitors to their country. Their folk-style restaurants (mehanas) serve slow-cooked meat dishes and tasty salads, both made with locally grown fresh herbs. There are many excellent Bulgarian wines to enjoy with your meal.
Facts For The Traveler
|Land area:||110.910 sq km|
|National currency:||Leva (BGN)
|Religion:||Bulgarian Orthodox 85%, Muslim 8%, other 7%|
|Time zone:||Eastern European Time (GMT+2)
|International dialing number:||Country code: 359, international access code: 00|
|Visa:||Tourists from most countries (EU, USA, etc) do not need visa. A valid passport is required only.|
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