Bulgaria is small, so it’s easy for tourists to combine different types of activities to create a multifaceted tour: you can mix some seaside, sports and adventure with cultural aspects, wine and cuisine.
Bulgarians are avid about sports, and the government and municipalities work hard in this regard: every year, they organize an entire calendar of different athletic events such as marathons, educational programs for children, and fairs. Approximately 100 major sports events take place each year.
ACES Europe, the Association of European Cities and Capitals of Sport, has declared Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, the “World Capital of Sport” for 2024. The city was awarded this title based on its implementation of innovations and good practices in the field of sports.
Bulgaria offers excellent opportunities for sport and outdoor activities along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. At almost every resort are clubs that offer training and equipment for diving, surfing, kite surfing, and other outdoor sports. There are jet skis for hire as well as boats for excursions or for exciting fishing. The Black Sea affords good conditions for diving and underwater fishing as well.
Bulgaria’s mountains cover a third of its territory, and a well-developed network of eco-trails enables visitors to immerse themselves in their remarkable beauty. Fully equipped climbing facilities have been established in some mountain regions, for example, near Vratsa, at Lakatnik Rocks, Malyovitsa, and elsewhere.
You can also explore Bulgaria’s mountains on horseback. Equestrian facilities throughout the country offer both short rides and pack trips with a guide, in the mountains and the lowlands. Similar activities are available along the Black Sea coast. Can you imagine anything more romantic than riding a horse along the beach into the sunset? Equestrian sports have been popular in Bulgaria for almost 90 years; the town of Bozhurishte hosts an annual competition sanctioned by the World Cup of Equestrian Sport.
Those searching for a jolt of adrenalin can try whitewater rafting on Bulgaria’s swift-flowing rivers, such as the Struma, Iskar, or Mesta. Rafting and kayaking are also popular on the rivers in the Iskar and Kresna Gorge areas. Riding the rivers is exceptionally exciting in May and June when the water levels are at their highest.
Another way to raise adrenalin levels is to sail above the Bulgarian countryside. The heights over the town of Sopot, for example, are some of the best places for paragliding in all of Europe. Bungee jumping is offered from the higher bridges in the country as well as in Prohodna Cave. Leaping into a cave’s abyss is an unforgettable experience.
For more traditional sports, hunting and fishing are quite well-developed, and in the past few years, Bulgaria’s reputation as a first-class golf destination has grown considerably.