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About Bulgaria
So, what's Bulgaria like?

The easy answer is what do you want? It has all of the white sandy beaches and the stunning natural beauty you might find in Turkey, or the culture and history of Greece (Bulgaria has a 1300 year old history and is ranked third oldest after Greece and Italy) and both Turkey and Greece are neighbours. For many, many years it has been the favorite destination for many Eastern Europeans, who have seen places like Varna, Golden Sands and Sunny Beach as their playgrounds or even their second home.

The number of British holidaymakers visiting Bulgaria has rapidly increased over the past two years with an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 (that's Brits alone!) expected in the 2004 season. The leading tour operators such as Thompson, First Choice, JMC and Balkan Holidays (with the economy carriers rumoured to be planning to join them) are offering package holidays, or flights into Varna, and Bourgas throughout the summer from May to October and Sofia and Plovdiv in the winter with flights from all the major airports.

Geographically Bulgaria is about the same size as England, but with a population of only 8 million, compared to around 50 million in England, (with roughly 8 million in London alone) so you can see that if its tranquillity that you want there is plenty of room to find it. It has some 240 miles of coastline, medieval towns, health spas, literally thousands of historical monuments, including monasteries, mosques, mountains, more than 600 hot, warm and cold mineral springs of varied physical and chemical contents, three national and nine nature parks, a number of reserves and natural places including gorges, waterfalls some of the best skiing in Europe. There is too much to write every attraction, so what do you want?

Contrary to the old image of Bulgaria whilst it was under communist rule, it is now a country that is starting to really flourish with dramatic rises in living conditions for its people year on year. According to The Motley Fool, the Internet based investor advice website's Stuart Watson said of the global stock market on December 24, 2003 "the overall winner was Bulgaria, notching an impressive leap of 169%."

With the availability of free trade Bulgaria has joined the "New World" wine stage, and now produces a large percentage of the worlds wine. If you can forget your preconceptions, you will find the wine not only extremely good, but also extremely good value for money. Indeed Winston Churchill's favourite wine was from Melnik and a bottle will cost you around a pound. Indeed a pint of larger will set you back some.30p in a local pub, a bottle of vodka ?1.50 and a packet of cigarettes only 30p! All together the cost of living means that virtually any visitor to Bulgaria will have a purchasing power unrivalled anywhere else in Europe.

Many visitors fall in love with Bulgaria (as I did) with its charming traditions, history and for me the hospitality of its people. If you are lucky enough to get to know any of them you will find them a hugely generous people, that love to sit and talk, sip rakia (local Brandy), or a local wine with a Shopska salad (prepared from diced tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, green peppers, topped with feta cheese and seasoned with olive oil and parsley), listen to music and to enjoy life. Contrary to many people beliefs most Bulgarians under about 40 will be able to speak to you in English, so you can enjoy an intelligent conversation with them too!