Have ever done a road trip or you traveled on Route 66 in USA? Well, in this case you are on the right place. We will share with you insights from one of our favorite routes in Bulgaria, the one to Buzludzha and Shumen monument. Let’s call it the Bulgarian Route 66.

Road trip on Bulgarian Route 66

Of course we can take the highway, it saves time but it’s so boring, not much to see. Instead, we recommend to take the countryside road. We love the one under the Balkan mountains from Sofia in direction the Black sea. It goes via small villages and towns and we see the life of local people. Life in the countryside is so much different from the one in the big city. Just outside the last village we see a Bulgarian Mercedes, i.e a horse cart, which is common for the Bulgarian countryside.

Rose valley

Next is the Rose valley, the rose fields are blossoming at the end of May and the beginning of June. If we travel together at that time, we will make sure that we stop for a photo. Rose oil is the liquid gold of Bulgaria. It takes 3-4 tons of rose petals to produce 1kg of rose oil. Later it is used in the famous perfumes.

So after 3 hour drive it is time for a local breakfast. And no matter how hard we try to explain the local soft drinks to you, it is of no use, you simply must taste them. You can find boza and ayran drinks also in our neighboring countries. If you do not like the taste of the boza, do not worry, you are not the first one. 🙂


In about 1 hour we reach the first stop of our road trip, Buzludzha. The abandoned former office of the communist party makes travelers come to Bulgaria today. Sightseeing is from outside because entry is forbidden. Yet, the building is one of a kind. Hope for good weather and enjoy the view to the valley. You can take a photo with Elvis Presley, he is also there as a graffiti. 🙂 Usually after the stop we go to the next town for lunch. You will be impressed how tasty is the food in Bulgarian countryside and the prices…come and check it out yourself.


Our road trip continues because on this day our last point is the town of Shumen. Have you heard of it? This is the home town of the Bulgarian Charley Chaplin, i.e. Mr Todor Kolev. Tombul mosque, the largest mosque in Bulgaria is in Shumen. Also the largest concrete monument in Europe, i.e. Shumen monument or 1300 years Bulgaria. And not to forget the local beer factory. If you are a beer lover, Shumensko is one of the beers you should taste while in Bulgaria. The choice for tonight is a hotel, built during the communism time. It was renovated but you will still see elements of communism architecture in the corridors.

1300 years Bulgaria

On the next day after breakfast we head for the 1300 years of Bulgaria monument. Unlike Buzludzha that is abandoned and getting ruined by weather, this monument is in perfect condition. We see the statues of the first Bulgarian kings and learn where Bulgaria originates from. Well and there is a marvelous panorama view over Shumen. For those of you who are fit and are volunteering, there are 1300 stairs starting from the town reaching the monument. Usually we go by car along a huge park where local people cycle, walk their dog or do jogging in the morning. Part of the Shumen monument is the largest triptych mosaics in the open-air in Europe.

Next to the parking there is a small cafe. Going for a drink, we find biplanes made by a local 92 year old engineer. Grandpa Stancho does them to help his living. Now we have one. A perfect gift for boys and our piece of encouragement for grandpa Stancho to continue his lovely hobby. This is a visit to remember but we depart because we have a lot to see this day.

Madara rider

Our next sight is Madara rider. It is under UNESCO protection, the only such rock relief in Europe. It shows the Bulgarian king on his horse, killing a lion, followed by his dog. Next to the relief there is a small chapel where local people come to pray and they leave small icons there. This is one of the spiritual places with strong energy in Bulgaria. We continue our walk in a nice park to reach the caves where ancient people used to live and pray.  You might see some small frog and you will hear the birds singing, a nice nature retreat. Time to buy a souvenir or a beer and the road trip continues.

Veliko Tarnovo

On this day we drive across the Balkan Mountains and we reach Gabrovo town. This is our town of humor and satire. We have a city tour of Gabrovo. It is important to know that it always includes a roundabout 🙂 and we continue in direction Veliko Tarnovo. What to see there? Well, this is the old capital of Bulgaria. And the main highlight for us is Asen’s monument. The monument is dedicated to the Bulgarian kings of the Second Bulgarian kingdom. For lunch we enjoy a view from a local restaurant and later we go to the monument for sightseeing. Last but not least, we take a panorama photo of the Tsarevets fortress, another highlight of Veliko Tarnovo and we head off. Sofia is waiting for us.

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Sofia museums inspiration: Sofia can surprise you with interesting places, activities and events. In this post we will recommend some of the Sofia museums, which you can visit with us if you book some of our Sofia tours or you can stop by on your own in your free time. We advise you to spend at least 2 days in Sofia to have more time to explore the city. Here we share our experience with you because we care for your stay in Bulgaria.

1) Archaeological level of St. Sophia church

Working hours: 10:00am – 5:30pm; Mondays off

Location: Alexander Nevsky square, next to Alexander Nevsky cathedral and the Antique market

Entrance fee: BGN 6 per adult

Why to visit: In order to feel the ancient history of Sofia from Roman time, visit the underground of Saint Sophia church and walk along the ruins of the ancient graves (5-6c.). This visit can be combined with entrance to Sofia history museum by buying a combined ticket (10 BGN). This way you will save 4 BGN. One of our favorite Sofia museums.

2) Museum of Socialist art

Sofia museums

Working hours: 10:00am – 5:30pm; Mondays off

Location: Lachesar Stanchev Str. 7 (get off at G.M. Dimitrov metro station)

Entrance fee: BGN 6 per adult; BGN 2 per adult each Thursday

Why to visit:

In the yard you can see some of the statues of the communist leaders from the near past. Our favorite part is the video room, where you can watch short black and white documentary movie about the life in Bulgaria from 1944 until 1989. In the souvenir shop you can get a magnet or cup with the image of some of the leaders, a book or a Bulgarian movie with English, Spanish and other subtitles. Don’t forget to check out the painting exposition too. This museum is included in our Sofia Communism tour but you can also visit it in your free time traveling by subway or taxi.

3) Sofia history museum

Working hours:  10:00am – 6:00pm; Mondays off

Location: 1 Banski Sq, next to the mineral spring and the mosque in Sofia

Entrance fee: BGN 6 per adult

Why to visit:

This is the newest museum in Sofia, which offers a good summary about the history of the capital of Bulgaria in an interactive way. Located in the beautiful building of the former public baths (1928) it makes your visit authentic. Sofia history museum is included in the Insider Sofia free tour with Betty and in all other tailor-made tours on request. Don’t forget to stop at the souvenir shop. There are some of our favorite magnets and postcards.

4) Boyana church

Working hours:

1 April – 31 October: 9:30am – 5:30pm

1 November – 31 March: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Location: 3 Boyansko Ezero Str., Bus â„– 64 and 107

Entrance fee: BGN 10 per adult

Why to visit:

Boyana church is the only UNESCO site in Sofia. It is included in our Rila monastery tour as one of the extra options and in each Sofia tour on request. The church is not active and today works as a museum, located at the foot of the Vitosha mountains. The beautiful and vivid wall paintings are worth seeing if you are interested in learning more about the Orthodox religion and the rich history of Bulgaria.

5) Military museum

Working hours: 10.00am – 6.00pm; Mondays and Tuesdays off

Location: 92 Cherkovna Str., busses: 9, 72, 120, 305, 413

Entrance fee: BGN 8 per adult, Free admission – every last Wednesday of the month.

Why to visit: It investigates, preserves, processes scientifically and popularizes cultural valuables connected with the national and European military history. In the yard of the museum you can see tanks and air forces used in the past during the wars.

6) National History museum

Working hours:

1 April – 31 October: 9:30am – 5:15pm; 1 November – 31 March: 9:00am – 4:45pm

1 January, 24 and 25 December, Easter Sunday off

Location: Vitoshko lale 16 Str.; Bus â„– 63, Bus â„– 111, Trolley bus â„– 2

Entrance fee: BGN 10 per adult

Why to visit:

The National History museum is located in an old communism building, which was used from Todor Zhivkov to welcome guests in the past. There you can learn about the rich history of Bulgaria in 1 – 2 hours and enjoy the view to Vitosha mountain. This is where you can see the Thracian gold treasure from Panagyurishte and learn more about the Bulgarian kings, the Cyrillic alphabet and one of the oldest processed gold in Europe. This museum can be part of any of our Sofia tours. Very often you can combine it with a visit to Boyana church due to the nearby location and the combined entrance tickets, which they offer. The museum is suitable for history lovers.

If you look for experience, just contact us and we will suggest you activities according to your interest. You can customize your Sofia tour with us and visit some of the recommended Sofia museums.

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See you in Sofia!

Beni & Tsveti

9 Travel sights in Bulgaria off the beaten track:

travel sights

Today nvision travel celebrates its 9th birthday and we would like to share with you 9 travel sights in Bulgaria off the beaten track. During the years we are trying to offer special interest tours and this brought us to new hidden destinations. There is so much more to explore in Bulgaria and on the Balkans, we hope you will join the ride with us and we will continue travelling as it should be together.

1) The church in Uzundzhovo village  

travel sights

The church Assumption of Virgin Mary is the largest rural Orthodox church in Bulgaria. It is one of the rare examples of an Orthodox temple turned into a Muslim mosque and then back to Orthodox church. It dates from 15 c and is an active church today.

2) Pchelina dam

Pchelina dam

The dam was built in 1970s during the communism time on the place of Pchelintsi village. Local people were made to leave the village and go live elsewhere. On the bank of the dam there is a small chapel St John. And the view from there is breathtaking.

3) Venetsa cave and Belogradchik rocks 


Two natural phenomena situated in Northwestern Bulgaria. Venetsa cave is a beautiful cave with 5 halls located in underground corridors with a total length of 200 m. The formations are colorful due to the oxygen absence, the water turns into crystals and the various colors come from the different composition of the clay and the rocks. Only 13 km away from the cave you reach the Belogradchik rocks, a rock phenomenon with astonishing forms dating from 230 millions years ago.

4) Shumen – 1300 years Bulgaria monument 


The creators of the Bulgarian state, also known as 1300 years Bulgaria, is an architectural complex dedicated to the anniversary of 1300 years since Bulgaria was founded in 681. The monument shows the Bulgarian kings from 7 until 10 c. Among them is the founder of Bulgaria, khan Asparuh, on horse who stabbed his sword in the ground and took the decision that Bulgaria will be here, on this territory under this sky.

5) The red church in Perushtitsa 

red church

Ruins of Virgin Mary Christian temple, built during the Roman period near the town of Perushtitsa. Today it is not an active church but a national monument and one of the hidden travel sights in Bulgaria.

6) Eastern Rhodopes – Ivaylovgrad area 


Explore the Eastern Rhodopes. Visit Odrintsi, Mandritsa, Lambuh, Dolno and Gorno Lukovo villages in Ivaylovgrad area and meet the locals. Taste the Albanian cuisine in Mandritsa village, visit the old church in Dolno Lukovo and drive through the street of Odrintsi, where time has stopped. Our advice is to stay in Lambuh village.

7) The Devil’s bridge 

Devil's bridge

It was built in the beginning of 16 c on Arda river on the place of a Roman bridge connecting Aegean sea and Thracia. The bridge is part of the dĂ©cor of the Bulgarian movie “Time of violence“.

8) The Stob pyramids 

stob pyramids

In 1964 the Stob pyramids were announced for a natural sight. These rock pyramids in Stob village in the Rila Mountains are with diverse shape and reach 12m height. There are many legends about their formation and we will be happy to share them with you during our one day trip from Sofia.

9) Virgin Mary statue in Haskovo


The 14m tall statue is a patron of the town of Haskovo. In 2004 it was included in Guinness book as the tallest statue of Virgin Mary with Jesus. At the foot of it there is a small chapel.

All these 9 travel sights are worth including in your travel bucket list. We will be happy to visit them together and explore Bulgaria off the beaten track.

thank you

We would like to thank once again to all our clients, guests, friends, partners with whom we have worked during these 9 years. Thank you for your support and inspiration. Special thanks to those of you who are coming back and traveling with us on the Balkans. This support gives us energy to continue working and come up with new ideas, adventures and destinations, which you can experience with us. If you don’t want to miss the party for our 10 years anniversary next year, please follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our events there. More details are coming soon. You are always welcome to keep in touch with us via email too: info@nvisiontravel.com .

Share this post with your friends and celebrate with us.

Beni & Tsveti