Dragon houses: until not that long ago, this was what Bulgarians called the squat, sturdy dolmens littering the low ridges of the Strandzha and Sakar mountains.
All fortresses come with their legends, but in Bulgaria few can compete with Kaliakra, near Kavarna, on the northern Black Sea coast.
For a small town, Troyan has a serious claim to fame. Located deep into some of the most inaccessible parts of the Stara Planina, the town produces and lends its name to the famed Troyanska Slivova, or Troyan plum Rakiya. It is also the place of origin of the ubiquitous pottery found all over Bulgaria's traditional restaurants. The so-called Troyan pots, with their distinctive multicoloured patterns, are amongst the best souvenirs visitors to Bulgaria can lay their hands on.
Peacocks, parrots, guineafowls cover the floor of Bulgaria's largest Antiquity church, the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis
Autumn nowadays is presented as a time of cosiness, bunches of yellow leaves and everything pumpkin-spiced, but if you are fed up with this saccharine representation of the season, there is a place to go where you can experience autumn in its raw beauty.
America for Bulgaria Foundation initiates complete transformation of emergency hospital's children's ward
For the modern traveller, the Stara Planina is probably Bulgaria's greatest geographical obstacle: a massive mountain range, crossed by narrow passes which are slow, full of bends, and often closed in winter. In the past, however, the Stara Planina was an effective natural protection against enemies. One of its major passes, by the 1,326-metre Shipka Peak, is one of the best examples.
When visitors head to Bulgaria's southwest, their prime place of interest is Melnik, the picturesque traditional town located among surreal sand pyramids and famed for its red wine. Near the town, however, one of Bulgaria's most fascinating monasteries, a delightful example of 16th-18th century religious art and architecture, sits hidden in the hills.