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Sunlight Travel - Vacations in Bulgaria
Licensed Bulgarian Tour Operator

Early booking - Summer 2011 in Bulgaria
Early booking winter 2011-2010

Bulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe and occupies an area of 111 000 in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. The average altitude is 470 m and the Black Sea coast is about 380km long. It occupies the central part of Balkan Peninsula on both sides of the Balkan Range (the Balkans), from which the peninsula has taken its name. The grater part of the northern border with Romania passes along the Danube, and the eastern border is the Black Sea. The land borders with Serbia and Macedonia to the west, with Turkey to the south-east, and with Greece to the south.
Population: 7,973, 673 (2001)
Capital city: Sofia
Official language: Bulgarian
Alphabet: Cyrillic, Bulgarian language and alphabet.

Religion: There is freedom of religious confessions. Traditional religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. There is also a significant Muslim minority (13%) and a small Jewish community.

Background: The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a Peoples Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

State system: A parliamentary republic with a one-chamber parliament (National Assembly), consisting of 240 national representatives, elected for a four-year term of service. The head of state of the republic is the President, elected for a five-year term of service. The Council of Ministers is the main body of executive power.

Economy: Bulgaria has been an associated member of the European Union (EU) since 1992. In 1997 an agreement was signed with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for economic stabilization and for the carrying through of economic reforms in the country. A currency board was introduced. The national monetary unit has been referred to the EURO. A structural reform is underway aimed at an economic growth, a functioning market economy and at paving the way for foreign investments in the country.

Transport: Bulgaria occupies a unique and strategically important geographic location. Since ancient times, the country has served as a major crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa.
Railway - There are frequent services between Sofia and Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Thessaloniki and Istanbul. Sofia is also directly connected with Paris, Vienna, Munich and Berlin. Dining car facilities are available on all routes.
Automobile - Main entry points include Koulata and Novo Selo (from Greece); Ruse, Kardom, Durankulak and Silistra (from Romania); Svilengrad and Kapitan Andrikeevo (from Turkey); Kalotina, Zlatarevo and Vrashkachuka (from Serbia) and Guyeshevo (from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
Air - The national airline is Bulgaria Air.  The carrier operates some domestic services, connecting Sofia with the Black Sea coast. The journeys from Sofia to Bourgas and Varna take one hour. Air travel is comparatively cheap.

Coach: There is a good network of buses. The state-run buses in each town and city often run from a different location to private buses and minibuses. Private long-distance buses often have their offices gathered near each other, and offer good services on comfortable vehicles.

Time difference: Winter time: GMT + 2 hours (October through March). Summer time: GMT + 3 hours (April through September) (daylight saving system operates)

Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN), which is divided into 100 stotinkas. All payments should be made in national currency. Banknotes and coins currently in use: Notes: BGN 100, BGN 20, BGN 10, BGN 5, BGN 5 Coins: BGN 1, 50 stotinkas, 20 stotinkas, 10 stotinkas, 5 stotinkas, 2 stotinkas, 1 stotinka. The Bulgarian Lev is not traded internationally. Commercial Banks will quote daily exchange rates for the BGN against all major foreign currencies.

Electricity: Bulgaria operates on 220V, two – pin plug system.

Restaurants: Restaurants are open from 07:30 a.m. to 11-12 p.m., and some of them may be open as long as there are guests. Tips: you are not charged for the service in most of the bars and restaurants, therefore it is accepted to leave a tip of 5-10%. In some restaurants, the service charge is specified in the menu and included in your bill.

Smoking: Bulgarian restaurants, cafés and nightclubs have zones for smokers and non-smokers. There is no smoking in public places.

Bulgarian cuisine: The most popular Bulgarian salad - shopska salata ( chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers sprinkled with Bulgarian white cheese ), kyopulo salad ( roasted aubergines, peppers, loads of garlic and parsley ), tarator ( cold yoghurt and cucumber soup ); dishes: kavarma ( meat and vegetable stew usually served in individual pots ), kebapcheta ( spicy mince meat, sausage shaped and grilled ), chushki biurek ( fried peppers stuffed with egg and cheese ), sirene po shopski ( white cheese, egg, tomatoes, peppers, baked in a pot ), Surmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat).etc. Bulgarian cuisine is  famous with its banitsa, yogurt, lyutenitsa, kozunak. Bulgaria also produces large amounts of beer and rakia.

Bulgaria offers excellent, world-famous red and white wines, as well as grape and plum brandy ( rakia in Bulgarian ). You will find the prices surprisingly low. Bulgarians tend to serve food warm, rather than piping hot. When ordering a main course in a restaurant, check if it comes with "garnitura" - usually you have to order you side dishes extra.

Climate: The climate in Bulgaria varies according to altitude. Summers are warmest with some rainfall, with the south feeling the influence of the Mediterranean. The best months to visit are mid-June to September when the days are long and sunny. Winters are cold with good snowfall in the mountains. January is the best month for skiing in Bulgaria. It rains frequently during spring and autumn.

Social conventions: Normal courtesies should be observed and handshaking is the normal form of greeting. Dress should be conservative but casual. If invited to the home, a small souvenir from ones homeland is an acceptable gift, and something for their children is always welcome. Do not give money. Remember that a nod of the head means No and a shake means Yes.


1407 Sofia
Lozenets qtr
10, Kishinev Str.

Tel./fax: 00359 2 862 1699,
00359 2 862 1799
Mobile: 00359 882 429 916

1164 Sofia
Lozenets qtr
25A, Yakubitsa Str.

Tel./fax: 00359 2 868 8812
Mobile: 00359 882 429 279