View Full Version : Which way through Bulgaria to Istanbul

Pete Westy
13-09-2011, 12:16
Hoping to go to Istanbul next year.
Planning to go via Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade.
Love some advice on which way after that, South to Thessalonica and along the coast or South East across the middle of Bulgaria?
(We are planning to come back via Thessalonica, Athens then via Italy)

Any tips for must see places in Bulgaria on the way?

23-09-2011, 11:10
Hi Pete,as your going back via Thessalonika ' orrible place' lol,just come from there,was in traffic for 2 hours...
I would visit Bulgaria (I live there/4 years ) its a very beautiful country ! outside the big cities,take no notice of the outer areas of a town or city,the centres are well laid out with pedestrianation and parks,well worth a look round,also one of the oldest civilizations i know of,some places of interest being dated 8000 years old...
You will cross the Danube if via Romania or through Serbia (green card for Serbia) otherwise 100 euro insurance,try and get Turkey on it too,as Turkey borders Bulgaria/Greece....as you know ?
There's a main motorway from the capitol right through Bulgaria almost to the coast,towns to see,there are so many but Plovdiv,Veliko Turnavo,maybe Haskovo...Svilengrad is the border town for Greece and Turkey,there are many Brits living here,and i'm sure you would bump into them,maybe stopping a night or two in the gardens,as the ' gardens' in Bulgaria start at half acre upwards lol,there are several campsites,one at Harmanli close to the borders,theres also my garden if you want to park up,water ,empty etc,i'm at Sinapavo (Elhovo) now,was at Harmanli area,the coast is an hour away from me,Sozopol is a nice camp spot on coast,several sights to go to,right on beach,theres also loads of ' wildcamping' if interested ,one place being the ' DUNES' Sozopol,
There are many stunning rivers and lakes to stop at,and the locals are very friendly,maybe not so,in the big cities,as most big cities around the Globe have riffraff,but inland and villages perfect,watch out for cows,sheep,local wooden donkey carts carrying huge loads of hay and if on smaller roads/minor roads bumby /holey roads,otherwise most roads are now retarmaced,you will find it a very interesting place to visit,especially if you research a bit first,take no notice of ...stories from several years ago,since joining the EU,its a paradise...honestly.
The Greek coast is fantastic too,i'm writing this via WIFI from a small fishing village (Nia Iriclitsa)Kavala ,wildcamping for several weeks at a time,(make sure you have a 'solar panel' fitted),it might be worth your while when visiting Bulgaria to have LPG fitted,if you have a petrol engine,as its very cheap especially if you have an carb engine not injected...Iriclitsa has toilets,water a lovely unspoilt bay,yaght marina and lovely resturuants,dont travel in August...too hot and to many on ' holiday' :) it has been 40c here,its now dropped to 30c...still
From a happy Taffy on tour...:)

23-09-2011, 13:38
We've just travelled through Bulgaria to Greece.

Europe By Camper: Bulgaria (http://www.europebycamper.com/search/label/Bulgaria)

Veliko Tarnovo, Rila, 7 Lakes, Nesebar. We found the Black Sea area a bit too touristy for us.

Bulgaria roads largely fine, we found. Don't forget your vignette.

We'll be doing Serbia next year or year after - please keep a blog we'd like to read it! :)

07-05-2012, 17:13
Addie,did you visit Sozopol and the stretch of coast toward Turkey from Burgas,its 'normal' lol,unlike the usual tourist areas,some places are even deserted and have little hideaway coves.
I can also vouch for the coastal road (not the motorway) that stretches alongside the Agean ,from the '3 fingers 'of Greece,all the way to the Turkish border near Alexandropolis,many many quiet 'wildcamping ' spots and small fishing type villages,even the tourist spots,are small friendly and very likeable.

07-05-2012, 17:17
hiya barny good to hear your still alive . hope life is treating you well . not alot of change here. you arent missing anything . cheers alan

05-06-2012, 12:28
Hi hope you don't mind me asking I have tried looking for email or pm for barnybg can't seem to find any,the thing is we are curantly in Hungary heading for turkey and would like some advice on which Route to take and the wildcamping please.

Barnybg if you can would you email me on m0nsi@aol.com or send me your email please.

Thanks again Brian

03-07-2012, 07:32
Hi hope you don't mind me asking I have tried looking for email or pm for barnybg can't seem to find any,the thing is we are curantly in Hungary heading for turkey and would like some advice on which Route to take and the wildcamping please.

Barnybg if you can would you email me on m0nsi@aol.com or send me your email please.

Thanks again Brian

Hi did you hear from him.Interested in some info from him... val

17-10-2012, 18:20
Very sorry folks,been away a while ,and see that some members wanted to contact me,again i appologise (my email is ) lindasteve123@yahoo.co.uk,but put a heading of sorts otherswise i wont read it
Its a very beautiful country,still cheap,some will love it,others will prefer Greece,take the time to explore,instead of the motorway to Turkey or Greece,you'll be pleasantly surprised,by the way its still 27c here,and still in me shorts.

17-10-2012, 19:53
Hi where was the last photo taken ?.... nice talking to you earlier ..thanks for the tips.. .

18-10-2012, 16:56
Hi Both,the pic is at a small cove,near Nia Ariklitsa,approx 5 or 6 Kms from Kavala,the fishing village has some very nice villa's ,a Lidl's,several small supermarkets,many bars and restraunts (not sure if their open this late in the year )but the weather being so nice 27c +,they could well be,several hot spots for wifi,one being outside the yacht hut,water there too.

Last year or was it the year before,i offered parking/camping at my renovated property,not far from the Greek/Turkish borders,since then,my plans have changed,in as much as i have moved to a new house and area (ELHOVO )in fact i have 2 side by side,so now will have a house to rent,and a huge plot,at the moment its early days,so the intended 'campsite ground' is not ready (unless your rough and ready ) it will have a shower and toilet on field,and hopefully by next year,a swimming pool,theres also a small trout river,at the bottom of garden/field,and a bigger river a few Kms away,if your fishermen,for bird watchers,theres many rare breeding birds here,including the imperial eagle,who are circling over head and nesting a short distance away.
So i apologise to anyone heading my way,your welcome to park outside house,or even rough into garden as driveway not yet concreted,or its safe to park in village,theres also many places around,lakes and the like,i will keep interested 'WildCamping' folk updated,and show pics,by next Spring.

18-10-2012, 17:07
hiya barney good to see you scribbling a few words . you are missed . always had good conversations with you . look after your self . cheers alan.

18-10-2012, 17:29
Ta Allan,hope you are well,and enjoying the road,are you in or heading to Marroc again ? (sorry may be deviating thread )
Anyone thinking of Bulgaria next year ? or on route to Turkey/Greece ?

19-10-2012, 11:01
We are thinking of heading that way next year. OH wants to go to Bulgaria - & Greece seems to be an easy add on. We are going to hopefully will head that way as the weather warms up.

19-10-2012, 13:27
hi barney .no only spain /portugal this year . shame you cant head that way . but look after your self . never know i might get your way one day.
like barney sorry to go off topic but he has been off line a long while . he did post frequently on here at one time .

20-10-2012, 15:38
We're also looking to do six months from May next year going from the UK via Italy (see friends in Rome) then ferry across to Greece and travel to Turkey down to Olu Deniz (visit more friends) and back through Bulgaria, Romania to Poland (yet more friends to see) lol and home. Really interested in places not to miss or to definitely avoid so this thread is really interesting. Especially like the new campsite alongside your new house B wouldn't mind directions to you either through this thread or a pm. Can't believe so many of us are going to Turkey - and there was me being a teensy bit worried that we're biting off more than we can chew. x

20-10-2012, 15:40
Ta Allan,hope you are well,and enjoying the road,are you in or heading to Marroc again ? (sorry may be deviating thread )
Anyone thinking of Bulgaria next year ? or on route to Turkey/Greece ?
Yes us :) see my reply earlier titled Us Too

31-10-2012, 10:58
Hi all,the weather has finally turned to Autumn,and its gone chilly,lit the fire today,have friends who have headed for lower Greece,near to Athens at the mo,and say weather is 25c there,compared to our (BG) drop to 15c ! and rain (it hasn't rained here since may )so much needed,i have other friends who say fethye in Turkey is warm throughout Winter,i myself would like a break and to see one or the other,but with young family and ongoing work at new house,don't think we will...
Come May onwards,perhaps we will be seeing a few of you,on your trek/route toward Turkey/Greece or Romania,i will keep you updated on our progress here,otherwise there are 'brit' campsites dotted around BG,also a few Bulgarian campsites ON the coast,a few between Burgas and Sozopol,or just after (which can be a route to/from Turkey) There are many places to just 'Wildcamp' if your self sufficient and dont need electric etc,in fact it abounds with perfect stop overs,from magical valleys and rivers,to small to huge damns/lakes.
I would advise you to do some homework on Bulgaria,to give interest and possible site visits while here ,it has a very old culture,dating back 8000 yrs or more (perperikon stone fortress)for one,hundreds of ancient "Thracian" sites,plus the Ottaman and Roman sites,being occupied by them .If your not into history and the like,theres the incredible nature and wildlife,if you hanker hustle and bustle,bars and nightlife,then Burgas to Varna's coastline and its 'Sunny Beach' and Golden sands' is the destination of many holiday makers from around the World,although just inland 10 kms or so,you will find the 'real Bulgaria'
Be prepared to see 'poor and run down' but look past that,or drive past lol,as there are places like this,also many town outskirts will look a little drab or maybe ex Communist buildings/factories left to crumble,these are slowly being demolished,dont be disheartened to drive INTO the town or city,as it will be totally different,with pedestrian walkways and parks,old renovated buildings and new,supermarkets and brand shops,and a lively friendly,safe environment,you may have 'interest' from passersby,seeing a motorhome ,as still new or fascinating to some,although many Germans/Italians/Polish etc campers travel and camp here.You will see donkey and wooden carts being pulled on the highways to posh limosenes and blacked out new 4x4's (rich and poor)even famous American actors and celebs,have and are coming here,several films have and are being made here,by them,also pop and rock idols,so dont be fooled or think that Bulgaria,is a no go,or 'third World'.
You will be either pleasantly surprised or the opposite and think why ? but its a totally different holiday/route compared to your France or Spain,which of course are 'nice' but rather 'ordinary' and of course Bulgaria has better weather,more to see,and more cultures and countries to travel through,which is a holiday in itself,so many fantastic places to see on 'route' depending on your choice,but Austria is beautiful,or Romania with its 'Dracula and castles'.There are so many Towns and cities to see here (again do some homework on net) Sophia the capitol,from there is the main motorway that stretches the length of Bulgaria,although you'll miss so many hidden treasures and beauty,some towns to visit ? Plovdiv with its Roman amphitheatre,Veliko Turnavo with its ancient fortress town (once capitol) loads of Brit expats live there,Starra Zagorra (central)Haskovo,Kurdjali (Turk)Smoylan and the mountain ranges/gorges,Svilengrad and the main acces/gateway to Greece and Turkey,although many other routes/borders to cross into them,not forgetting the ski areas and the coastal roads with its busy beaches or hidden coves,even a few 'naturist ones' if your into letting things dangle...
I'll try to put a map up here,or use 'google maps/earth' or via michelin route planner,even if its too far for your adventure (1800 miles/3000kms) you can 'enjoy' a tour by internet if interested,for long haulers and travellers to Turkey and Greece,take the time to see Bulgaria,you may like it so much,you may 'buy' into the place ,like i have :) living full time,with occasional exploration,lol

You can also go via Austria/ Hungary/Romania,which i have done several times,or Hungary/Serbia,or Italy/ferry/Greece.

Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?ll=42.690511,25.444336&spn=4.335971,10.821533&t=h&z=7)

Sofia, Bulgaria to Sinapovo, Topolovgrad, Bulgaria - Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Sofia,+Bulgaria&daddr=Sinapovo,+Topolovgrad,+Bulgaria&hl=en&sll=42.690511,25.444336&sspn=4.335971,10.821533&geocode=FSx_iwIdO-1jASn1ezHLgoaqQDFgXr9pEqAABA%3BFam7ggIdadCTASkhrCO xHJinQDEwEg_NFKAACg&oq=sinapovo&t=h&mra=ls&z=8)

31-10-2012, 14:10
Hi just done Count Dracula now at Bucharest heading into Bulgaria tomorrow. Very cold at Bran and had snow yesterday.Not so bad here.Roads today were quite good except for the drivers.. not so many potholes .......Found Romania very drab village after village just nothing unless you go to tourist areas.. Restaurants are so cheap though unbelievable and the food good.....