In your holiday in Bulgaria you will appreciate our dramatic mountains, haven-like monasteries, Roman and Byzantine ruins, and the excellent coffee you'll be offered wherever you go!
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Northern Bulgaria



Veliko Tarnovo


Routes from Sofia (read more) to the Black Sea coast take you through the mountainous terrain of central and northern Bulgaria – a gruelling eight- or nine-hour ride that’s worth interrupting to savour something of the country’s heartland. For over a thousand years, the “Old Mountain” (Stara Planina) – known to foreigners as the Balkan range – has been the cradle of the Bulgarian nation. It was here that the Khans established and ruled over the feudal realm known as the “First Kingdom”. Here, too, after a period of Byzantine control, the Boyars proclaimed the “Second Kingdom” and created a magnificent capital at Veliko Tarnovo (read more) – which remains one of Bulgaria’s most impressive cities. Closer to the capital, the Sredna Gora (Central Range) was inhabited as early as the fifth millennium BC, but for Bulgarians this forested region is best known as the “land of the April Rising”, the nineteenth-century rebellion for which the highly picturesque town Koprivshtitsa (read more) will always be remembered.

Although they lie some way off the main rail lines from Sofia, neither Veliko Tarnovo nor Koprivshtitsa is difficult to reach. The former lies just south of Gorna Oryahovitsa, a major rail junction midway between Varna and Sofia, from where you can pick up a local train or bus; the latter is served by a stop on the Sofia–Burgas line, whose three daily trains in each direction are met by local buses to ferry you the 12km to the village itself.

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