Jump to content

Trip to Bulgaria


Recommended Posts

We are thinking about going to Bulgaria leaving home in March next year, travelling via Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia to Bulgaria. Is this a feasible idea? Any comments, roads, conditions, security etc, will be much appreciated. I have used the search engine to look at previous postings, and we are studying magbaztravels.com!
Link to comment
Share on other sites



i think you may be thinking of going a little early - it gets vary cold in that part of europe and temperatures don't really start to climb until towards end of April and into May.


Last year we were stuck in Greece with the general strike in October and one group of germans had tried, in October, to travel home overald through Bulgaria to avoid the strike but had to turn back because of very low temperatures. We had a long discussion with them cos i needed to get home urgently but decided it was not going to be feasible that late in the year.


I am really keen to drive out through Bulgaria and Romania but will probably try in May (but not next year - i am planning Norway & Sweden etc next year).


you could try emailing Kevin, the author of the article - his address is in the magazine as the expert on Argentina. Also look at the GB privelege web site - they run a trip and it gives the general itinerary so you would know the route they use.


If you do go next year be sure you post a report on here cos i would be interested and it would help my planning.


Too many countries and so little time!





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just returned from a three month tour involving both Romania and Bulgaria.


I entered Bulgaria from the east side at Ruse which wasn't exactly the best of places as an introduction to Bulgaria! Absolutely nobody knew precisely where the border crossing was as directions were virtually non-existent! Vehicles were all over the place and eventually I decided to follow a BG registered car which got me to the booths.


If possible its far better to cross at a smaller border control but avoid using the Ferry to cross the Danube which is expensive and not particularly reliable.


Main road conditions are generally OK but be well prepared for smaller roads, some of which are quite bad and serious potholes become 'the norm'. Many of these roads lead to small villages where they often terminate......so you can sometimes find yourself driving to a village, only to have to turn around and come back!


Use your satnav purely as a rough guide and nothing else. It will lead you into some of the most crazy and obscure directions possible and many times I simply abandoned it and resorted to sense of direction. Also many road signs are written in cyrillic and it's not unusual to be confronted by a sign such as this; http://i48.tinypic.com/346l5hw.jpg


All your Satnav will 'tell' you is "turn left towards".......long silence as it doesn't speak Bulgarian!


Avoid night driving at all costs......it's far too risky and dangerous. I only did it once and would not recommend it.


BG drivers are a bit odd. They often sit behind you when the road is straight and perfectly clear ahead....only to then overtake you on a bend or blind brow!


I used the MagBaz website but the first two Campsites I went to didn't exist. In fact Campsites in Bulgaria are very few and far between (I found absolutely zero sites anywhere along the Black Sea coast). However I can certainly recommend this site where I stayed for a couple of weeks; http://www.sakar-hills.com/ It's run by an English guy Matt, who has lived there the past five years or so and is a very willing and helpful chap. He speaks Bulgarian and has many local contacts in the nearby town of Harmanli. Whilst I was there a Dutch chap travelling to Turkey had a problem with his starter motor so Matt took him to a Garage in Harmanli, explained to the guys there what the problem appeared to be and left them to it. Five hours later he returned with the problem sorted. They charged him just sixty euro for the labour yet had worked solidly for five hours!


The site at Sakar Hills has full EHU facility, a small toilet and shower block (very clean) and that's it. But a shop and Restaurant is just a ten minute walk into the small village of Biser. Here you will get a decent meal, beer and a coffee for around 12 BG Lev......which is just £4.40. In fact prices in BG more than compensate for dodging a few potholes! Go into Harmanli and walk into any of the super Coffee bars where you pay just 1 BG Lev for an espresso......that's about 40 pence! I pay almost five times that amount for an espresso at home!


There is another Campsite at Veliko Turnovo though I can't comment on that as I didn't stay there. The only other one I used was a tiny little site called Mescalito Camping Ribkata near Svoge right at the foothills of the Balkan mountain range. I don't have the exact co-ords for it but these will get you to the right road N42º 51' 27" E23º 21' 42.7" The site owner speaks no English at all but calls in a lady neighbour who speaks fluent English.....a retired Physicist who lived and worked in BG under Communist times, she proved to be extremely interesting to talk with.


Bulgarian isn't the most easiest of languages to learn but the locals will appreciate it if you at least have a go at a few basic words. They are very friendly welcoming people and both them and their country is wonderfully 'potty pc' free. I found it quite odd that all those years spent living under such an oppressive regime with us here in the West crowing about 'the evils of Communism' etc, only for our own citizens to now become increasingly subjected to some of the most draconian and oppressive 'rules' imaginable, not to mention the most surveilled!


Security is very good. Yes Bulgaria has Gypsies just as Romania does also, but these are a world apart from our own Gypsy (Traveller) people here. Gypsies seem to be what people fear most yet leave them alone and they will leave you alone......simple as that. Some can be spotted driving along in old wooden carts pulled by a donkey (Romanians favour the horse where Bulgarians the donkey). Not all are Gypsies of course. Some are simply local peasant folk.


Wild camping in BG is 'technically' prohibited but if you choose somewhere remote to park up overnight, you will be ok.


The BG Police I found to be courteous, helpful and polite with many of the younger officers conversant with English.


Finally....the weather! Winters are very cold with temps down to -25c......but the summer months can be hot.....very hot! When I was there in July/August I was enjoying daily temps up to 40c.


It's a country I will have no hesitation in going back to and I know you will enjoy your trip!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest JudgeMental

" Romanians favour the horse where Bulgarians the donkey" Love it!lol


The way fuel prices are going will be coming to a street near us soon! Get the straw in quick before the Tories tax it to death :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good way to go.

Romania has badly maintained roads and mental drivers. I lost count of the times we were overtaken by 40 tonners flat out into oncoming traffic with the driver blabbing away on his mobile. You could easily die there.

BG is right regarding anything other than 'trunk' roads too - pot holes, missing ironwork, general decay - they are simply not suitable for your average fragile 'van. There's also the matter of the omnipresent rotting dog corpses, which are at least more benign than some of the feral dogs. A scumbag also tried to swipe our mountain bikes off the back of the 'van whilst we were sleeping. Good job my wife woke up. You could replicate the experience by going to a landfill in Birmingham, except the roads would be better.

Hungary is grand though, almost, but not quite, worth going through Romania for.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...