Black Sea Coast (Varna) Sights
By the far the best beach on the coast has to be Sunny Beach. Awarded the EU blue flag, this broad stretch of fine sand runs for 8 km. Further north, both Albena and Golden Sands boast spectacular long, clean beaches.
Valley of the Roses
If you're here in May or June, the Valley of the Roses will make an uplifting day out. This beautiful rose-gardened valley in Bulgaria's south east lies between the Balkans and Sredna Gora mountains. Every spring, it blossoms into a riot of colour, fragrance and festivity. In a tradition dating back to the 17th-century, when the roses here supplied the French perfume industry, the fresh petal essence is extracted to create the region's 'attar of roses' or rose oil, which is used worldwide to make perfumes.
Nature lovers will want to take in the refreshing air and stunning scenery of the country's National Parks. Largely made up of spectacular, forested mountain ranges studded with sparkling lakes, caves and waterfalls, Bulgaria has as many as ten national reserves, all offering myriad activities such as hiking and walking trails, mountain biking, white water rafting and caving. Closest to the Black Sea coast is the Strandzha Park, an idyllic area of deep forests, rife with birds and wildlife. Nearby is the Ropotamo Reserve, famous for its water-lilied river, bird sanctuaries and bays, and further north is the Golden Sands National Park, where if you're lucky you can spot wild deer, boar and falcons.