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Learn more about Bulgaria!

  • General information
    General information - Territory: 110'994 km2 Population: 7'973'671 Capital: Sofia Official language: Bulgarian Religion: Ortodox Church Political system: Parliamentary Republic National currency: BGN              1 Еuro =   1,95 BGN                        1 USDollar =   1,49 BGH Time zone:   GMT+2   location :Bulgaria is situated in the south-east of Europe, the north-east part of the Balkan Peninsula. The River Danube forms the northern border - between Bulgaria and Romania. To the west the country borders with Serbia and Macedonia, and to the south – with Turkey and Greece. The eastern Bulgarian border is shaped by the Black Sea, which links the country to Russia, Ukraine and Georgia.   Climate :Тhe larger part of Bulgaria has a moderately-continental climate. The four clearly expressed seasons , along with the variety of nature – mountains with broad-leaved and coniferous forests, hilly plains, picturesque river valleys, the sea – create a number of specific micro-climatic conditions. All this makes Bulgaria a preferable resting place for the tourists. months Balk sea coast (Varna) Sofia Mountain region ( Borovetz) January 1,2ºC -2,2ºC -13,2ºC February -0,6ºC -3,6ºC -13,5ºC March 6,7ºC 6,6ºC -8,4ºC April 12,8ºC 11,9ºC -3,8ºC May 17,5ºC 14,8ºC -0,2ºC Jun 22,4ºC 21,5ºC 6,4ºC July 26,1ºC 24,8ºC 9,4ºC August 24,3ºC 22,9ºC 7,4ºC September 20,3ºC 19,1ºC 5,4ºC October 17,5ºC 14,2ºC 1,5ºC November 11,1ºC 7,7ºC -1,7ºC December 3,2ºC -0,8ºC -9,5ºC History Some archaeological discoveries show that the territory of Bulgaria has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The Valchitran Treasure, found near the city of Varna, dates back from that time. It is the oldest gold treasure in the world. During the Bronze Age the Bulgarian lands were inhabited by the Thracians. In the 6th century the Slavs settled in the Balkan Peninsula, and in the second half of the 7th century the proto-Bulgarians arrived. In 864, during the rule of Prince Boris the First Michael (852-889), Bulgarians accepted Christianity as their official religion. With this they removed the ethnical differences between proto-Bulgarians and Slavs, so this is when the building of a unified Bulgarian nation was started. Under the rule of Tzar Ivan Asen II (1218-1241) the Second Bulgarian Kingdom reached its prime. The borders of the country reached the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Adriatic Sea. Economy and culture were blooming again. In 1235 the Bulgarian Head of Church acquired the title Patriarch. The discord between some of the boyars led to splitting of Bulgaria into two kingdoms – with Vidin and Tarnovo as centers. This weakened the country, so in 1396 it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. For almost five centuries from that moment on, Bulgaria was under Ottoman management.  The April Revolt broke in 1876 – it was the first big-scale and well-organized attempt for liberation from the Ottoman domination. The revolt was smashed cruelly and drowned in blood, but it attracted the attention of the European countries towards the Bulgarian national issues. As a result of the Russian-Turkish War for Liberation (1877-1878), the Bulgarian country was restored in 1878 . In the early 1940s Bulgaria’s politics was directed in favor of Germany. In August 1943 King Boris III died, and the Regency of the young king Simeon II was pronounced government of the country. On September 5, 1944, the Soviet Army entered Bulgaria. On September 9 a government of the Fatherland Front was established, led by Kimon Georgiev. In 1946 Bulgaria was pronounced National Republic. The Bulgarian Communist Party took power. All political parties outside the Fatherland Front were banned, the economy and the banks were nationalized, the farmland was forcedly organized into co-operations. November 10, 1989 was the date which put the beginning of the democratic changes in Bulgaria. A new constitution was accepted (1991), the political parties were restored, the property taken away in 1947 was given back to its owners, privatization was started, as well as the process of returning the land to the former owners. In 1990 Zelio Zelev became the first democratically elected president of the country. After 1996 Bulgaria’s major foreign-political priorities became the membership in the European Union and NATO. In 2004 Bulgaria did become a NATO member, and it is expected to become a member of the EU in early 2007.
  • Seven Rila lakes
    Seven Rila lakes - The  Seven Rila Lakes  ( Bulgarian :  Седем рилски езера , transliterated:  Sedem rilski ezera ) are a group of  lakes  of glacial  origin ( glacial lakes ), situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains  in  Bulgaria . They are the most visited group of lakes in  Bulgaria . The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level. Each lake carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature. The highest one is called  Salzata ("The Tear") due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. The next one in height carries the name  Okoto  ("The Eye") after its almost perfectly oval form. Okoto is the deepest  cirque  lake in Bulgaria, with a depth of 37.5 m. Babreka ("The Kidney") is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group. Bliznaka ("The Twin") is the largest one by area. Trilistnika ("The Trefoil") has an irregular shape and low shores. The shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero ("The Fish Lake") and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero ("The Lower Lake"), where the waters that flow out of the other lakes are gathered to form the Dzherman River. The Seven Lakes  chalet  are a main tourist attraction in Bulgaria because of the inspiring natural beauty of the place. The lakes are located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades. You can find tourist accommodation in the lakes' vicinity. It lies on the northeastern shore of The Fish Lake, at an elevation of 2,196 m. The most appropriate time to visit the lakes is summer, in July and August, when temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and the risk of sudden storms is lower. During the rest of the year the weather is unfriendly to tourists. Sometime in October the lakes freeze and don't melt before June. The ice cover can reach up to 2 meters.
  • Veliko Tarnovo - Tsarevets hill
    Veliko Tarnovo - Tsarevets hill - Tsarevets  ( Bulgarian :  Царевец ) is a medieval stronghold located on a hill with the same name in  Veliko Tarnovo  in northern  Bulgaria . It served as the  Second Bulgarian Empire 's primary fortress and strongest bulwark from 1185 to 1393, housing the royal and the patriarchal palaces, and is a popular tourist attraction. The whole stronghold is girdled by thick walls (reaching up to 3,6 m) and was served by three gates. The main gate was at the hill's westernmost part, on a narrow rock massif, and featured a draw-bridge. The second gate is 18 m away from the first one and the third one, which existed until 1889, is 45 m further. The palace is located on the hill's central and plain part, which was a closed complex encircled by a fortified wall, 2 towers and 2 entrances, a main one from the north and one from the south. It featured a  throne room , a palace church and a royal residential part and encompassed 4872 m². On the top of the hill is the patriarchate, a complex with an area of about 3000 m². The  Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God , built on the grounds of an  Early Christian  one, was reconstructed in 1981 and painted in 1985. The frescoes inside, painted in a striking modernist style rather than in the style of traditional Orthodox frescoes, depict conventional Christian subjects as well as glorious and tragic moments of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Baldwin's Tower  (Балдуинова кула), a modern reconstruction of a medieval tower modeled after the tower in  Cherven  and built in 1930, is located in the southeastern part of the fortress. It is located at the place of the original medieval tower where  Latin Emperor   Baldwin I of Constantinople found his death as a prisoner of  Kaloyan of Bulgaria . During the  Middle Ages , residential buildings, craftsman's workshops and numerous churches and monasteries were situated on the slopes of the Tsarevets hill. Archaeologists have discovered 400 residential buildings, differentiated in quarters, over 22 churches and 4 monasteries. Tsarevets hill is also the location of Execution Rock, an outcropping over the  Yantra River  from which traitors were pushed to their deaths and their bodies fell into the river. There Patriarch Joachim was executed by the Tsar Theodore Svetoslav in the year 1300.