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Eastern Europe is fast becoming a supremely affordable holiday option. Located just north of Greece, edging onto the crystalline Black Sea, Bulgaria is a lush country packed with famous food, a wide-reaching heritage and some of the only virgin forest remaining in Europe.
If you’re looking for cheap flights to Bulgaria from London, it is important to be aware of the high and low seasons, as well as the country’s festivities.
Bulgaria’s virgin forestland and rugged mountain ranges make it a particular hotspot during summer season.
The best time to book cheap flights to Bulgaria is therefore in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is fine, but tourist footfall is low.
Be aware though, that the country is also famed for its pagan festivals, many of which take place in autumn and winter. This includes the Surva International Festival of Masquerade Games, which takes place at the end of January. Avoid big festivals to increase your chances of finding cheap flights to Bulgaria.
When searching for cheap flights to Bulgaria your best bet is to book your flights as early as possible and to be as flexible as you can on dates.
While searching, click the ‘Show Flexible Dates’ option at the top of the search results to broaden your parameters.
To find the best deals, you can also sort flights by price, from lowest to highest. Occasionally, less direct flights can be more affordable.
While searching, be sure to select the ‘Nearby Airports’ option. You’ll find this located under your chosen departure location on the search bar. As the name suggests, this allows you to explore deals from other nearby airports. If flying from London, a similar result can be achieved by choosing ‘All London Airports’.
Flights from the UK to Bulgaria depart from a number of locations. Optimal flights times from London to different locations in Bulgaria include:
The largest airport in Bulgaria is Sofia Airport, located just six miles from the capital. The country’s next three largest airports are situated in the cities of Bourgas, Varna and Plovdiv.
Varna and Bourgas, on the Black Sea coast, tend to attract tourists seeking a little sun and relaxation. Plovdiv, while a beautiful city in its own right, also attracts many outdoor lovers wishing to visit the nearby Central Balkan National Park.
Airlines flying to Bulgaria include:
If you’re visiting the capital Sofia, the city’s public transport system is more than sufficient for getting about. In fact, unless you’re planning to explore the wider area, you can avoid car hire since the city traffic can be rather congested.
However, if your main reason for visiting is to explore the unspoiled forests of the Rila mountain range, we recommend hiring a car. This can also be a great way of darting between the country’s culture packed cities and the sun-kissed Black Sea coast – perfect for a family getaway.
With a relatively small population, Bulgaria is an understated country, largely unspoiled by tourism. While its main cities are as cosmopolitan as any you’ll find in more prominent European countries, it is also home to some exquisite countryside, cave systems and a fascinating cultural heritage.
There are a large number of temples and religious sites to explore. For instance, you won’t want to miss a trip to the stunning Rila Monastery, located in the valley of the Rilska river, about 80 miles south of Sofia.
Although smaller and less well known than larger film festivals such as that at Cannes, Sofia International Film Festivalin March is certainly of a competitive calibre.
Although a member of the European Union, one important factor to bear in mind is that Bulgaria is not yet part of the Euro zone. So, if you’re fishing out your old Euros to spend while you’re here, think again! You’ll need to head to the currency exchange to purchase some Bulgarian Lev. Otherwise, Bulgaria shouldn’t offer too much of a culture shock for well-travelled folk, so just enjoy your visit to this beautiful Balkan country.