Bulgaria's Nevski Cathedral
If you're in the market for a renting a holiday villa this year, look no further than Bulgaria for the perfect get-away. This thriving country in South East Europe has enjoyed a rich and varied history.
It once belonged to classical civilisations such as the Greeks, Romans and Thracians, then spent five centuries as part of the Ottoman Empire and more recently was under communist rule as part of the Eastern bloc.
Nowadays, Bulgaria is a blossoming democratic state and having successfully managed to lose its scary communist image and following its inclusion into the European Union, Bulgaria has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Eastern Europe.
Landscape & Climate
One of the many reasons why Bulgaria is so popular for villa rentals is its varied landscapes, ranging from alpine mountain ranges, to lush green countryside, to the beautiful sandy beaches of the Baltic coastline. This means that you'll never be bored as Bulgaria really can cater for everyone.
Skiing in Borovets
For the ski enthusiasts keen to hit the slopes, there are some fabulous resorts open during the winter/spring season.
Meanwhile, those in search of sun, sand and seaside should head down to the southern coast of Bulgaria, where sun worshippers will be treated to a warm Mediterranean climate with temperatures in and around 30°C.
Bulgaria plays host to acres of unspoilt countryside and vast forests with no less than three national parks and eleven nature parks. Available just a stone's throw away from your villa, you can explore these marvels on foot, on bicycle or even on horseback!
Shopping in Sofia
The capital city, Sofia, which is in the west of the country has a population of about 1.3 million people and is home to the country's largest airport.
By day it is a hustling, bustling centre for trade and industry but by night is famed for its spectacular nightlife, packed with clubs and bars which attract party-goers from all over the world.
There are also museums, theatres and galleries to look at many of which are UNESCO world heritage sites, whilst those of you intending to burn some plastic can head to Vitosha Boulevard, the main shopping street where some of the most celebrated fashion designers have their shops.
Just be sure to take a phrase book as the Cyrillic alphabet can be something of a challenge, although you'll be surprised to hear that many words for example "theatre" and "music" are pronounced almost identically in Bulgarian.
Because of its rich history, Bulgaria today is a huge cultural melting-pot brimming with amazing architectural wonders.
Kebapche, Bulgarian Cusine
There are fairy-tale castles, ruins and breath-taking monasteries whichever way you turn, making it the perfect destination for culture-vultures.
This diversity is also reflected in the food and drink, and no visit would be complete without a hearty sampling of the local cuisine which thanks to the favourable climate is rich in exotic vegetables and fruit.
In addition to its famous wines, Bulgaria also has an eclectic mix of traditional spirits such as rakiya which resembles Italian grappa and mastika an anise flavoured liqueur.
Value For Money
Traditional Bulgarian Restaurant
A great bonus to renting a villa in Bulgaria is the low living cost in comparison to the rest of Europe. Aside from imported luxuries, everything is much cheaper which means that overall you should spend a lot less, whilst still enjoying fantastic weather and beautiful surroundings.
The national currency is the Lev but in many cases you can ask to pay in Euros, even though this currency is not official, making paying for things a lot less complicated.
What makes Bulgaria the perfect place to rent a villa is its richness and diversity, a place where East meets West, one of very few countries in the world where unbelievable locations are coupled with unbeatable value for money.
Click here to view all Bulgaria holiday rental properties: