Travelling around Bulgaria

There is good public transport system consisting of trains, buses and taxis to enable you to get around Bulgaria without your own transport. But travelling around the country in a car, bus and-especially-in a train always takes longer than it would in Britain or western Europe. Most of the roads are single carriageway and twist and turn through rural areas and villages. There are a few stretches of motorway, mainly around Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv. On all roads there is a mix of traffic, from slow Ladas to speeding Mercedes and horse-drawn vehicles. The result is that average speeds are low.

Traveling to Bulgaria by sea, train or car

Travelling to Bulgaria by sea Travel to Bulgaria by sea is not to be entirely ruled out for sailors or ferry-hoppers. There are people who sail to Bulgaria from ports in western Europe, along the Italian and Dalmatian coast, around the southern tip of Greece, through the Straits of Marmara, past Istanbul and along the […]

Travelling to Bulgaria

Bulgaria is at the far end of continental Europe from the UK, and can be reached in a variety of ways: by air, by sea, by train or by road. With current concerns over climate change and carbon footprint awareness, it is worth thinking about travelling by train rather than plane if you are to become a frequent traveller. For now, most property-hunters tend to fly, at least initially.

When to go to Bulgaria

The best months for house – hunting are from mid – April and the end of October. Snow can fall any time from November onwards and stay around until February, though recent winters have been noticeably milder than in the past. In midwinter the country can be stunningly beautiful under its blanket of snow but this can hinder accessibility to more remote rural areas.

Doing Advance Research for the Bulgarian property market

The use of the Internet has transformed property-hunting overseas. It is now possible to sit at home and look at properties on agents’ websites and start to liaise with an agent about a particular property or region long before arriving in the country to look around.The level of response you get from the agent at this stage is probably a good indicator of the agent’s general efficiency in helping you purchase a home. If you don’t get a quick reply (within 48 hours) to any questions, or the answers a re vague or don’t relate to your questions, you might consider taking your business elsewhere.

Selecting an Area in Bulgaria

It is too time-consuming to scour the whole of Bulgaria looking for a property and visiting agents. Although Bulgaria is roughly the same size as England and Wales, moving around the country is difficult -there are slow roads, mountains, few motorways and the slowest trains in Europe. You will probably get lost unlessyou speak Bulgarian and can navigate roads without road signs.

Preparation to travel to Bulgaria

The system of buying and selling a property in Bulgaria is different from that in the UK, but the basic principles remain the same. Properties are listed for sale on the market, you go on viewings with an agent and you select the property you like. The agent then co-ordinates all aspects of the purchase. This model can vary, of course: some people choose a property off-plan (before it is built), and they may or may not even have seen the place where the development is being built. Others buy a finished property online without having seen it, and sometimes without ever having visited the region or even the country. Sometimes the developers sell directly and organise all the legal work.

Selecting a property in Bulgaria

Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think they must have such a one as their neighbors.
Henry D.Thoreau, 1854

This chapter is designed to take those who want to buy property in Bulgaria through the nitty-gritty of how to go about finding a house and making an offer. In the course of hunting for a property in Bulgaria you will be given lots of information, help and advice. Some you will remember, and some you won’t.The main thing is to enjoy the process and go along at your own pace. You are the buyer-you can arrive totally unprepared and just wander around the country for a week, or you can take in lots of information before you arrive and have a two- to three-day focused trip and leave with a property.

Property in Sofia

Skiing in Sofia
Vitosha mountain has become very much a part of Sofia owing to its accessibility by means of cabin lifts. Cherni Vrah, the highest point, gives wonderful views over the whole region. The winter ski-resort of Aleko lies at 1,868m altitude and the ski season lasts from December until late spring.The beautiful scenery makes the whole area attractive throughout the year. It is possible to take a 20-minutetaxi ride from the centre of Sofia to the start of the ski lift.The ride to the top of Vitosha takes about another 2omins, so you can be skiing within an hour of leaving the centre.

Places of Interest in Sofia

Alexander Nevski Memorial Church was completed in 1912 in honour of the Russian casualties of the 1877-8 War of Liberation from Ottoman rule.This gold-domed cathedral is the finest piece of architecture on the Balkans. Craftsmen and artists from six countries worked on the five-aisle church for 30 years and created masterpieces of icons, frescoes, murals and huge chandeliers. Italian marble was used for the interior decoration, and Egyptian alabaster, Brazilian onyx, gold and mosaic embody the spirit of the finest eastern Orthodox traditions.There is a superb collection of icons in the crypt.