We stayed for a month in the ski-resort town of Bansko, Bulgaria and used this small town as a base to explore nearby national parks.

Highlights of Bulgaria

Summer in Bansko – even though this town is known for its budget-friendly ski resorts, summer in Bansko offers an opportunity to go hiking in nearby Pirin and Rila National Parks: two very beautiful parks with alpine lakes, meadows, and little crowd. There’s also a big jazz festival during the summer. Our favorite memory about summer in Bansko was going to a small restaurant at the edge of town, right by a reservoir, that serves fresh seafood and cold beer. We went there so often they started to recognize us.

Bulgarian food was surprisingly vegetarian friendly.

Hiking Koncheto Ridge is a must if you like your outdoor adventures on the challenging side. Koncheto Ridge is a knife-edge ridge, so thin in parts that I sat down and scooted on my butt. What a rush! It can easily be done without a guide from Bansko. A head for heights and exposure is a must.

Bulgaria wine was delicious! Do you know that Bulgaria used to be a world-known wine producer pre-Soviet era? Wine industry in Bulgaria is going through a revival and hopefully we’ll start seeing Bulgaria on wine lists all over the world.

7 Rila Lake Hike is one of the most popular hikes in Bulgaria and for a good reason. It can be done as a weekend trip from Sofia, and for its length (quite short), it’s high value (so pretty). I highly recommend.

Cost of Travel in Bulgaria

Each of the post highlighted above has a related cost section. In general though, Bulgaria is a very budget-friendly destination. Our 1BR apartment in Bansko costs $14/day.

Bulgaria Essentials

Walking in Bulgaria’s National Parks – a Cicerone guide on Bulgaria’s best hiking trails.

The Shadow Land – A woman travels to Sofia and finds an urn filled with human ashes, she then sets out to find its owner. A good pre-trip reading.