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Table of Contents




Kalofer Bulgaria Landscape
Ruins and homes mingle in the town of Kalofer.
Bulgarian Yogurt and Dishes
A homemade jar of Bulgarian yogurt (left) and souvenirs from Bulgaria, including dried lavender, rose petals, a vessel for holding rose oil, and a handkerchief depicting a woman in folk costume.
Monastery Flowers in Kalofer bulgaria
Scenes from the ecotrail: A painting and lantern at the men’s monastery (left) and lavender wildflowers (right).


Plovdiv Roman theater
A night at the opera in Plovdiv’s fantastic 1,900 year-old Roman theater. We celebrated Shawn’s birthday by going to see Don Carlos.


  • Take a day trip to the majestic Rila Monastery.
The colorful exterior of the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria.
The colorful exterior of the Rila Monastery (also known as The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila).
Golden mosaic on the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A mosaic adorning the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is bathed in early-evening sunlight.


Bulgaria traditional ceramic dishes
Traditional Bulgarian pottery, for sale in Sozopol.


sailboat Varna Black Sea
A sailboat glides along the Black Sea, near Varna.

Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo souvenirs Bulgaria pins
Vintage pins (left) and a Kukeri costume (right) designed to ward off evil spirits.
Veliko Turnovo Bulgaria
Tsarevets Fortress.


I’ve stayed in apartments, hotels, and hostels throughout Bulgaria. Here are some properties I’d gladly revisit. Please note that some affiliate links follow.

  • Kalofer – We divided our time between the Iliikova House and the Stara Planina Hotel. At the former, we enjoyed Tony and Stefan’s home’s stunning forest views and pretty garden courtyard. The couple even took the time to show us how to make Bulgarian yogurt. At the latter guesthouse, we appreciated Stoyan’s and his family’s warm hospitality, and their willingness to introduce us to Kalofer residents who shared aspects of Bulgarian culture with us (lace-making and rakija-distilling). The family also shared a bounty of plump, home-grown tomatoes with us, which we joyfully included in the Shopska Salads that we feasted upon several times per week.


  • Train – We took the train from Kalofer to Veliko Tarnovo. You can find timetables and prices on the Bulgarian Railways website.
A ticket window at the bus station in Varna, Bulgaria.
Shawn, trying to negotiate Cyrillic, at Varna’s bus station.

Additional Bulgaria Resources

A man and woman, dressed in traditional Bulgarian clothing, stand next to a historic blue building in Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria.
In the historic town of Koprivshtitsa, a local woman invited me and my guide to dress in traditional garb.

Get inspired with my posts from Bulgaria: