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What's in the Weather?

Climate is often at the top of the list when people decide to immigrate to another country. Those from Britain’s colder northern climes pour over temperature charts to seek out the warmth of the sun, but Bulgaria’s reported temperatures are not that reliable as weather is very localised – it can pour with rain in one village yet 12 km away there can be burning sun.

 

The beauty of Bulgaria is that it offers four distinct seasons, which offer relief from the intense 30-degree temperatures of the summer months. However, it is only when people come to live in this climate, do they realise Bulgaria is not blessed with year-round summer temperatures.

Spring offers the perfect conditions for those who don’t like the burning heat, but prefer a warmer climate. Spring arrives with the celebration of Baba Marta on the first day of March and temperatures creep up to 16 degrees. Blue skies and warmer weather provide the perfect conditions for a flurry of activity. The Bulgarians return to their gardens to till the land and plant their food.

Trees and shrubs start to blossom, there are occasional rain showers, but they are more akin to short downpours than constant drizzle. By May the temperature has heated up enabling those on the coast to take their first dip in the pool and across the country people are dining al fresco and taking advantage of the great outdoors.

Take it easy in the sun

No matter how much you yearn for the sun, waking up to temperatures in excess of 30 degrees and sometimes as high as 40 degrees can be wearing, particularly if you are not used to it. Air conditioning is a must in Bulgaria as is access to a swimming pool. If you choose to live in Bulgaria full time, it is amazing how quickly your body will acclimatise itself to the hot weather. Summer is a time for picking fruit directly from the trees, for relaxation and for spending time with friends. Neighbours sit out on their terraces until sundown enjoying salad and Rakia and lots of lively conversation. If you intend to work on your garden during summer you should avoid the midday heat and get up very early to get the bulk of work out of the way before the day heats up. You will also need to ensure that your garden is well watered during this period, as droughts are common.

Cool down and prepare for winter

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year in Bulgaria. The colour of the leaves changing against the backdrop of clear skies makes this timeless wonderland a magical place to be. Water temperatures cool and swimming usually finishes around the beginning of October, but dips in the sea have been known to last until the end of the month. This season is perfect for preparing your garden for winter and taking long walks whilst still being able to dine outside. Autumn allows you to revisit your wardrobe and don more layers, it’s essentially T-shirt and trouser weather, but there’s no need for coats or central heating – yet!

Winters are crisp with bright blue skies and in some parts of the country like the Rhodope Mountains the sun is strong enabling you to ski in a T-shirt. There is no getting away from it. December and January are the coldest months wherever you live in Bulgaria. Temperatures have been known to plummet as low as minus 20 degrees, but equally winter can be unpredictable with pleasant warm temperatures enabling you to eat outside and take long strolls in the forest or along the beach. One thing about Bulgarian winters is that they are over quickly and there is something appealing about relaxing in front of a cosy log fire with a good book and a glass of Bulgarian wine. Of course, if you live in the Bulgarian Mountains, you will be out skiing every day!

The future’s bright

Global warming has resulted in an increase in the country’s average temperature; over the last ten years Bulgaria has experienced more record highs than at any other time in its meteorological history. The Institute of Meteorology predict increases in the region of 2 to 5 degrees over the next 50 years leading to an enjoyable sub-tropical climate still divided into four seasons.