Bulgaria – The Treasure of the Balkans
With a rich history that spans millennia and a unique position bridging Europe and Asia, capturing the essence of Bulgaria in a few lines is no easy feat. You can explore vibrant, historic, and modern cities such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas. And not forgetting the breathtaking landscapes of the Rila Mountains and the serene beauty of the Black Sea coast. For many visitors, a trip to Bulgaria isn't complete without exploring the ancient Thracian tombs and the Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The country's varied landscapes are home to unique flora and fauna, from the dense forests and alpine meadows to the diverse marine life along the coast. Bulgarian culture and language reflect a blend of ancient traditions and contemporary influences. Bulgaria is a captivating mix of history and modernity, of vast landscapes and bustling cities, of diverse cultures and its own rich heritage. It is not to be missed!

**Requirements due to COVID-19 are constantly changing. Please check your own country's international travel advice as well as the airline requirements before travel.**

UK guests please see the UK Government Foreign Office Travel website for the latest entry and exit advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bulgaria/entry-requirements 

US guests please see the Travel State website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Bulgaria.html 


British, U.S., and Canadian citizens do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period.


Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from Bulgaria. Please ensure you fill out the "Emergency Next of Kin" section in your passport.

N.B. Visa and entry requirements, regulations, and restrictions can vary regularly. Ensure you check in good time prior to travel the current requirements applicable to you.

Travel Insurance:

It is company policy that all passengers must have valid travel insurance prior to traveling, including but not limited to health insurance and cancellation insurance. It is vital that ALL members of the traveling party are fully insured for the dates of travel. All pre-existing medical conditions must be declared to the insurer, and the correct cover must be taken in regard to the specific type of holiday you are taking.

The details of your insurance must be advised to The Big Journey Company at least six weeks before your departure date. Please make sure to write down important information from your insurance policy, such as the company’s 24hr emergency telephone number (including dial code from abroad) and your policy number, and take these with you on tour.

General Health:

Please talk to your doctor or travel health clinic in person at least eight weeks before you travel, where a health professional can provide you with the necessary health information for your personal needs. Wearing sunscreen, drinking plenty of water, washing your hands properly before eating, and avoiding insect bites should keep you healthy on tour.

We recommend you carry a simple travelers’ first-aid kit containing any basic items that you feel may be required, including remedies for minor stomach complaints. If you need to see a doctor during the tour, please speak to your Big Journey Company tour escort. Temperatures in Bulgaria can get very high, and it is advised to stay hydrated at all times. Sun hats and sunscreen are advisable.

Passengers with Disabilities or Reduced Mobility:

The Bulgaria Tour is an Activity Level 2 tour and will require moderate physical activity and include various forms of transport. Please check our Activity Levels description page to see if this level is suitable for you or contact us if you require further information on the activities involved in the tour.

If you or any member of your party has any medical problem or disability which may affect your holiday, please provide us with full details before we confirm your booking, or as soon as possible at the time they occur, so that we can try to advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. Please note, we may require you to produce a doctor’s certificate certifying that you are fit to participate in the tour.

Medical Conditions and Personal Medication:

Please advise us prior to travel if you have any medical conditions requiring special attention during your trip. If you have a specific medical condition, it is wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you.
Important: Pack a sufficient supply of any medications you are taking, copies of the prescriptions, and the telephone/fax numbers of your doctor.

Please note, some countries require that prescription drugs be carried in their original container, with the label clearly visible. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement.


Please consult your doctor before traveling for the latest immunization information as well as advice according to your unique medical needs.

Traveling with CPAP or other Medical Machines:

Inform The Big Journey Company early if you are traveling with medical devices, especially where power supply might be an issue. Ensure you have the correct electrical adapters, check airline policies, carry a letter from your doctor, and have details for repairs or replacements.

Special Dietary Requirements:

Please let us know in good time prior to travel if you have any special dietary requirements (e.g., vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, gluten-free, etc.). We will make every effort to accommodate your request with the resources available to us.

What to Pack and Wear:

We would recommend comfortable clothes and shoes for this tour. Feel free to include a smart-casual outfit for dinner if you wish, however, there is no pressure to follow a dress code.

The weather should largely be warm and sunny throughout the journey, however, it is always good to be prepared for every eventuality, so make sure you pack a light jacket in case of rain and the fact that it may be cooler in the evening. Insect repellent, sunglasses, a sun hat, and sun cream are also essential items. Don't forget your camera, with charger/spare batteries and memory cards, and why not pack your swimming costume too.


Laundry services are available in some hotels on the tour.

The main language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian.

Bulgaria is 2 hours ahead of London (GMT+2).

Bulgaria's climate is temperate-continental, characterized by four distinct seasons. Winters can be cold and snowy, especially in the mountains, while summers are warm to hot, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). Spring and autumn are generally mild and pleasant.

Bulgaria operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. You will need a power plug travel adapter for sockets type C and F.


The currency of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev (BGN). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it is advisable to carry money in cash with you as well. ATMs are widely available in cities, but not so in smaller villages.

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards, however many places do not accept cards such as Diners Club or American Express. If you intend to use any of your debit or credit cards whilst away, please make sure that you contact your bank before you leave to inform them that you will be traveling in order not to cause any problems using your cards or whilst on the trip.

Important Note - Bulgaria uses chip-and-pin credit cards, so cards with magnetic strips on the back (commonly used in North America) may not work with certain automated machines. You might want to carry some extra cash in your wallet to use in these situations just in case. You may be asked to provide ID if you cannot pay by chip and PIN.


After feedback from previous guests, we offer a group tipping package for this tour. Look out for more information in your pre-tour emails.

Bulgarian cuisine is a delightful blend of Balkan flavors, featuring dishes like banitsa (pastry), shopska salad, and kebapche (grilled meat), often incorporating pork, chicken, yogurt, and a variety of spices and herbs.

In urban areas and popular tourist destinations, tap water is generally treated and considered safe to drink. However, in more rural or remote areas, it's advisable for visitors to drink bottled or filtered water to avoid potential health issues.

Retail shops in Bulgaria typically open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Saturday. Many shops are closed on Sundays, although some larger stores and shopping centers may have extended hours.

Bulgaria is generally considered a safe country for travelers and residents. It has a relatively low crime rate, and the government takes significant measures to ensure the safety and security of both locals and tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it is always wise to stay informed about the current situation, follow local advice, and take standard safety precautions.

Smoking is banned in most indoor public places, but there are usually designated outdoor areas where people can smoke.

The predominant religion in Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. There is also a small Muslim minority, as well as other religious communities. Religious tolerance is generally observed, and other religions are practiced by small communities within the country.

Bulgaria offers photo opportunities one after another. You will return with many photos that can never be repeated. Remember to pack your camera, along with the charger, spare batteries, and a spare memory card!

Please note, standard hotel check-in is around 3 pm, so should you arrive earlier than this, your room may not be available upon arrival. For those arriving early morning, we will do everything we can to work with the hotel to get you an earlier check-in subject to availability.

Please check your tour paperwork for hotel information relating to your tour departure.


  • Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy at home with a friend or family member, and take a copy with you, but pack it separately from the passport itself.
  • It is advisable to carry all your travel documentation as well as valuables and essential items in your hand luggage, such as a camera, toiletries, reading material, etc.
  • Duty-Free shopping is always tempting, but please check the current Duty-Free limits applicable in the country of your destination.
  • Longer flights can be made a little more enjoyable by wearing loose clothing and good, comfortable shoes. Walking in the aisles regularly, eating sensibly, and drinking plenty of fluids (not alcohol) is also advised.
  • Where possible, try to get some sleep during the flight and upon arrival at your destination. Most people adjust better to the local time if they wait until the evening before sleeping – this should relieve some of the effects of jet lag.

If you have any other questions that we have not covered here; then please send us an e-mail to: info@thebigjourneycompany.com

Please note, the above information is provided as a guideline only. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, The Big Journey Company makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of content on this website. The Big Journey Company assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained on the website.

Updated June 2024

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© The Big Journey Company 2020 - 2024. All rights reserved.
Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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