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Snow in Bulgaria

Freezing temperatures and snow in Bulgaria are unavoidable but can be a truly beautiful time of year. January is the coldest month in Bulgaria; it brings snowfalls across the country and temperatures can drop to -20 degrees in some areas, however, a Bulgarian winter brings kind of magic not encountered back home; it truly is a beautiful time of year in Bulgaria. For most back home it conjures up images of grey skies, plummeting temperatures and a host of ailments from ‘flu to arthritis. The occasional fall of snow turns to ice and slush very quickly causing havoc on the roads and the railways.

Whilst Northern Europe holes up in centrally heated rooms watching re-runs on the TV and ordering groceries online, Bulgarians enjoy clear blue skies and wonderful sunny days. Of course you need to dress in warm clothing to take advantage of walks in the fresh air, but the difference to the cold air here is that it is not damp; it is more of a crisp, invigorating freshness, which spurs you on and makes you feel healthier.  


Village Hospitality

In villages, stepping over the threshold is a joy; the air is peppered with the smoked aroma of firewood from the traditional wood burning stoves, which heat most Bulgarian homes. Winter is a great time for getting out and exercising; just s short walk around the village or along a forest path can do wonders for your constitution. Bulgarian hospitality is second to none and neighbours visit with jars of home produced produce – pickled apricots, cucumbers and pears and drink glasses of Rakia to warm the soul and it doesn’t matter what time of day it is! Sometimes the snow in Bulgaria can cause your village to be cut off from the outside world for a few days, so it is always a good idea to stock up on food and fuel to cover such unforeseen eventualities. One holed up in your villa it’s a great opportunity to read all of those books you never got round to in the summer and for trying out the Bulgarian recipes we feature on the Quest Bulgaria website.

Fun in the Ski Resorts

Of course if you live in the Bulgarian mountains you will have access to the ski resorts and all of the entertainment associated with skiing holidays including sleigh and skidoo rides. In resorts like Pamporovo, you don’t need to be a skier to enjoy the winter weather; chair lifts will take you to the TV Tower on the Snezhanka Peak, where you can enjoy a warming cup of hot chocolate and delicious pastry whilst admiring the view of snowcapped mountains stretching into Greece. Pamporovo is also known as the sunniest resort in Bulgaria and temperatures can reach 60 degrees in the middle of January enabling you to ski in just a fleece.



Culture in the Capital

In the cities there are also many things to do. Those who live near the capital have easy access to the Vitosha Mountain and its marvelous ski pistes. The Vitosha Mountain presents a cool backdrop visible from the city. It is a short 20 minute ride away and lift passes are cheap in comparison to other European ski resorts. Sofia also has ice skating rinks at Borisova Garden and at Angliiska Gradina (English Garden) behind NDK. The ice is artificial and not affected by a change in winter temperatures. Sofia also offers much in the way of culture with many historic sites, archaeological wonders, marvelous museums and art galleries, theatre and film performances and healing mineral spas.

City Living

Top Bulgarian cities like Varna are great places to explore during winter. Cultural centres are often neglected during summer in favour of the beach. A great place to enjoy the fresh air and crisp snow underfoot is the Varna Sea Garden, which offers awesome sea views and 14 km of skilfully manicured park. Within the park you can visit the Museum of Natural History, the Nicolaus Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium, the zoo or the aquarium, which houses a host of exotic animals. Children can enjoy the daily performance at the dolphinarium, the only one of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula.

Most big cities offer an exceptional programme of cultural performances throughout winter; live theatre, musical performances by international artists as well as ballet and dance. Winter is a great time to explore a city and to get to know its cultural haunts, many of which put on their best exhibitions during winter. There are now some fantastic retail experiences to be had in Bulgarian cities thanks to the advent of the mall. So when the snow in Bulgaria falls hopping under cover in the new malls is a pleasant experience and many have large cinemas, plenty of restaurants and cafes and other recreational facilities like ice rinks and casinos.

Whatever the Weather Enjoy it!

Winter and snow in Bulgaria is almost inevitable and if it is a season that fills you with dread you may be surprised; whilst temperatures are the coldest of the year winters here are extremely short and sometimes unpredictable with sunny days enabling you to eat alfresco and enjoy walks along the beach or in the mountains. So long as you wear warm clothing, heat your home efficiently and be prepared for the cold and snow in Bulgaria it’s a great time of year to experience.