winter spots in Bulgaria to visit even if you don't ski

Winter is coming and this is not just a phrase from a popular TV show, but also the impending change of season.

Even if you are not a fan of winter sports, you can still enjoy the winter if you look for places that can be interesting even in the cold months.

The season can actually be quite charming in its freezing beauty.

We can escape the bustling city, get away from everyday worries and chaos. Maybe go for a ride on horseback instead of staring at the TV or screen all day long.

We have compiled a list of 8 winter spots to visit in Bulgaria

They are suitable for everyone, seeking alternative ways of spending their time in winter.

Pass on the expensive resorts and instead enjoy the quite riches of more unusual winter destinations.

1.Winter in Aprilstsi

The little town of Apriltsi si located in the heart of Stara Planina Mountain, 200 km away from Sofia, just under Botev peak.

The town offers a wide spectrum of winter activities. In Apriltsi itself as well as the surrounding villages, you can find accommodation of all sorts – houses and traditional villas, hotels, etc.

The architecture resembles the style of Bulgarian Renaissance and will help you immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

During the winter season the region is very attractive and a charming walk along the snowed over little streets will leave you with a lifetime of memories.

2. Architectural reserve Dolen

It’s rare to find people who have heard of Dolen as an architectural reserve. This is a typical mountain village, located at 250 km from Sofia/26 km from Gotse Delchev.

It has preserved its historical look and has a rich history. Dolen was established by settlers, fleeing from violent conversion to Islam in the 16th century.

During the Renaissance, the village went through an architectural revival, examples of which are saved until today.

In 1977 Dolen was awarded the status of Architectural reserve, because of the 70 houses in the village which are cultural objects.

3. Govedartsi

Govedartsi is a small settlement in the skirts of Rila Moutain.

The village is small and picturesque, yet has preserved its tourist infrastructure and is well suited for winter visits to the wild nature.

The Bulgarian name translates to “village of the herdsmen” and is an homage to the herdsmen from the Rila Monastery who sought refuge along with their herds in the valley of the Cherni Iskar river after their monastery burned down.

4. Visit Zlatograd in winter

Located in the valley of the Varbitsa river in the Eastern Rhodopes, Zlatograd is surrounded by moutains on all sides.

Today the 800 inhabitants live proudly with the rich history and culture, which appeal the tourists.

The old town was built in the 18th century, during the Bulgarian Renaissance and much of the structures survive today.

Apart from this, Zlatograd can offer spectacular views of the wild nature, hot mineral springs and other activities, suited for every adventurer.

5. Elena Balkan range

Situated in the woody Elena Balkan range, the town of Elena and the surrounding smaller quarters form a charming region that attracts curious visitors every year.

You may visit the neighborhoods of Stoychevtsi, Valchovtsi, Ruhovtsi, Miikovtsi – for a long time unknown, now they accommodate guests in 150-year-old houses, with preserved authentic atmosphere and equipped with modern conveniences. 

6. Zhelesnitsa

The village of Zheleznitsa is located at only 25 km from Sofia and offers a lot of unsuspected options for a quiet escape from the city.

There the tranquility and harmony, combined with the beauty of the surrounding nature will inspire the soul and recharge the body.

In the village there are 12 thermal springs with year-round temperature of 30 degrees C – a true SPA-center in the wild!

7. Shiroka Laka

winter vacantion in shiroka Laka

Shiroka Laka is one of the famous architectural reserves in Bulgaria, nestled in the skirts of the Rhodope moutains.

Located at 23 km from Smolyan and 16km from Pamporovo, the town compels visitors with its splendid nature, preserved historical architecture and ethno-cultural traditions.

Around Shiroka Laka you can also visit some interesting rock formations like “Momata” (The Maiden) and “Glavata” (The Head). This combination of sites and activities make Shiroka Laka a great destination for eco, rural and cultural tourism.

8. Arbanasi

winter spots in Bulgaria - Arbanasi

Located at just 5km from the old capital of Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi is an architectural reserve.

Situated on a high plateau, the village counts with breathtaking views of the Tsarevets fortress and the surrounding nature.

In Arbanasi you will find over 80 houses with conserved historical architecture, 36 of which have the status of cultural objects.

The houses are surrounded by high stone walls and have impressive interiors with small windows, painted walls and period furniture.