Travel is one of the few things you pay for yet it makes you richer" – the anonymous aphorism synthesises a recent trend where trips are perceived primarily as a spiritual enrichment. Modern tourists are onu the lookout for authentic experiences outside the map of mass tourism, and the phenomenon "interest tourism" was born. A lasting trend is ecotourism with its requirements for places of virgin nature and healthy food, joined by gourmet and wine travel. There is even "smartphone tourism" – where using HD cameras and apps like Instagram and Pinterest people share moments from their travels, eff ectively triggering competition in the social networks' sites. Bulgaria has the advantage of a huge variety – it has not only seaside resorts, but also places for winter sports, golf, fishing, hunting, raft ing, horse riding, climbing, and rural and spa tourism.
As a country with rich history, Bulgaria has a lot to off er to those interested in history, culture, ethnography, religion and art. Its nature is also impressive, with the pristine slopes of the Central Balkan, the Rila and the Pirin, notable for their biodiversity and authentic rural landscapes. Bulgarian spa resorts are of a particular importance with mineral water of different temperature and a diverse content of salts and minerals.
Here we are offer you a selection of five suggestions for an interesting thematic travel in Bulgaria.
The Beauty of Trigrad and the Rhodope mountain
ARKAN HAN HOTEL
The Devil's Throat and the Yagodinska caves, and the Trigrad Gorge are natural landmarks that will impress you and you will remember forever, and the Rhodope mountains are incredible all the year round. The Trigrad region is rich on protected areas and on legends, like the one that Orpheus descended into hell to save his beloved Euridice through the Devil's Throat cave. This is why during the traditional summer festival of the Trigrad village, a show called Orphic mysteries is organised, attracting loads of tourists.
Whenever you come to Trigrad, the elegant Arkan Han Hotel is by far the best place to stay. There you can organise a horse ride, or enjoy a glass of mulled wine aft er a walk in nature or read a book from the extensive library. The combination of traditional architecture and modern amenities in Arkan Han are ideal for relax, and each room has its own decor and atmosphere.
Ski, Spa and Amazing Landscapes in the Pirin
Ruskovets Resort is close to the thermal springs of Dobrinishte and the largest ski area in South-Eastern Europe. Ruskovets is four star family resort at the feet of the enchanting Pirin mountain, off ering incredible space and breathtaking views of Dobrinishte and the alpine scenery of the mighty mountain. The resort blends the best of the Bulgarian architecture, perfectly merging in the 18,000 sq.m of park area. Within the hotel park area, there are 22 Junior apartments and 11 Senior apartments in the main hotel building, together with 36 Comfort Family Lodges and 6 Luxury Villas, situated in a chalet styled buildings. The whole club looks like a little hamlet with buildings styled with the typical local architectural characteristics and off ers expansive vista to the valley bellow and the mountain massifs. All guest houses are equipped with state of the art technologies which assist the well-being of the clients and the blend of materials and style in furnishing and interior gives the clients the coziness of home.
Unspoilt Nature and Rare spa Pleasures
HOTEL VITALIS Thermal Spa & Wellness
There are few places in the world where you can revive your body and soul alike in hot mineral water containing a unique combination of Sulphate, Sodium, Silicone and Radon, and the Pchelinski Mineral Springs, in the Ihtimanska Sredna Gora mountain, are one of these. Here, among the fir-covered mountain slopes, is nestled Hotel Vitalis. The hotel make the best use of these precious springs. Their steaming waters feed the complex pools and are used by the specialists at Vitalis spa and balneology centre to heal rheumatism and arthritis; nervous skin and endocrinology conditions. In Vitalis, however, the thermal water also brings pure pleasure through a variety of massages and baths, and procedures like thalassotherapy. With comfortable rooms, beautiful garden, nice restaurant and a culture programme, Hotel Vitalis complements the experience of having a holiday at one of the rarest thermal springs in the world.
Glorious History, fun and Great Food
KALOYANOVA FORTRESS in Arbanasi and ASENEVCI RESTAURANT in Veliko Tarnovo
Bulgaria's old capital is a place you should regularly revisit for its historical monuments – and for the new things. In Arbanasi, for example, is the amazing Kaloyanova Fortress complex. Built to resemble a medieval fortification, it has a restaurant with vast dancing and stage, its own music band and musical shows, and the menu off ers a great variety of national dishes. The attractions are related to history and Bulgarian folklore – History Live show, Folk Magic programmes, photo shoots with costumes of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, coach driving or horse riding. The hotel off ers excellent conditions.
The Asenevci Restaurant, at the heart of Veliko Tarnovo, is another treasure of the region. It's calm, cozy and discreet, and the menu specialises on Bulgarian cuisine, Mediterranean and gourmet dishes. Don't miss the dishes cooked in JOSPER, the revolutionary technology combining a grill and an oven.
Escape to Sofia
An opportunity to enjoy a vacation or a company event without leaving Sofia is to stay in a fine hotel with an easy access to the centre and the Sofia Airport, but away from the stress. Montecito Hotel is the right place. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, leafy garden and a pool, as well as room-service, Internet, doctor on call, rent-a-car. These amenities and the special rates for corporate clients make Montecito Hotel equally alluring for both weekend escape from the city and conferences, seminars and banquets. From the beginning of next year, Montecito's attractiveness will become even bigger with the opening of the large multifunctional Montecito Hall and a new indoor children's centre.