Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Winter Travel Plans in Bulgaria


As you may know, I am moving to Bulgaria in just over 3 weeks.


In addition to my packing anxieties (which I always get, no matter where I am going), I have been thinking a lot lately about where I want to travel with Ventsi when I get to BG.

After 3 long years of pent-up travel dreams, I am practically bursting at the seams with plans to explore Bulgaria.

Granted, I will only be in Bulgaria until the end of March- at which time I will be heading back to Utah for a visit before spending another summer working in Alaska (that’s the plan for now, anyway) – so time is going to be an issue.

Sure, I’ll be back in BG for good in the fall, but darn it, I am going to make the most of the first few months in my new home!

So… That’s 3 months to pack in as many adventures as my husband, his car, and our budget can handle.

Having explored quite a bit of Southern BG on my previous trip, this time around we will be venturing further from home (Smolyan).

The roads in Bulgaria are sketchy even when they aren’t covered in snow. For the sake of Vince’e little VW Polo, I am hoping for a mild winter and somewhat decent road conditions. Safe roads=happy travels!

My definite must-see cities this winter include:

  • Sofia–Bulgaria’s capital and largest city. On my previous visit, I only got to see the inside of the airport and the blur of buildings as Vince sped in and out of the city – he’s not the biggest fan of Sofia for some reason. I am hoping to change that!
  • Koprivshtitsa–Home to some of the finest and most well-preserved examples of traditional Bulgarian architecture.
  • Veliko Tarnovo–“City of the Tsars,” and once the capital of Bulgaria. Packed with history. Can’t wait!
  • Arbanassi–Well known for its historical monuments and 17-18th century churches.
  • Kardzhali and Perperikon–Once Thracian strong-holds, and now home to their ruins. Also well-known for its strong Turkish influence due to its strategic location along Ottoman trade routes.
  • Melnik–Smallest town in Bulgaria known for its archaeological sites and wine-making. We will probably only make our way here if we end up going to Greece.

Who knows where else we will wander. I am game for anything and everything! Just wish we had the gas and hotel money to match my enthusiasm!

Any suggestions on where else we should go? Must-see spots in BG during the winter? Anything listed above that we should skip and see in summer instead?

As always, I’d love to hear some feedback.



6 thoughts on “Winter Travel Plans in Bulgaria

  1. I am going to Germany the first week of March, and then flying from there to Sofia assuming his sister (who speaks Bulgarian) can go with me for that leg of the trip (I am not brave enough to go alone! We’d stay with his grandparents and they don’t speak a lick of English.) We’ll probably only be in BG for a few days, and will likely stick near Sofia of course, but I will definitely email you as the time gets closer! 🙂

    • Fun! Well definitely keep in touch. Who knows, maybe I will happen to be in Sofia and we can meet up for a quick coffee or something. I am really excited for you to get to experience BG for the first time! 🙂

  2. Sooo excited for you, Whitney! 3 more weeks! It looks like we’ll be vacationing in BG in March so I can do some pre-exploring myself – but then you’ll be gone anyway! Drat! Can’t wait to read all about your adventures.

    • Thanks, Mandi! That’s awesome that you are visiting Bulgaria! I am sure you will love it! I will be in BG until March 29th. When will you be there? I will definitely be posting all my travels and adventures. I think it will help me keep away homesickness. If you are BG before I leave, we should meet up for coffee or something! Great hearing from you. W.

  3. I’ve been following your blog for awhile, eager for you to get to Bulgaria! There is so much to see in the country. I hope you manage traveling around in the winter months. When we lived in Sofia for two years, we bravely set out a few times in the winter, venturing to Koprivshtitsa in a snowstorm, but mostly we saved our exploration of the country for the warmer times of the year. We detailed our travels on our blog, and I look forward to reading of your adventures!

    • Thanks for following my blog, Ellis! I have visited yours as well. I am a bit worried about the travel logistics during the winter, but we managed pretty well last time I was there. Granted it didn’t snow very heavily while I was there and we have snow tires on the car for when it did. Because I will only be in the country for 3 months before I have to go home, I want to brave the weather and do as much as possible. I won’t be back again until probably October, so that’s just another BG fall and winter to live through before I get to see the country in warmer weather. I am beginning to think Bulgaria is just frozen year round! 😉

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