Bulgarian Seaside Leading the Patchwork Balkan Tourism Race

Wed, 05/13/2015 - 15:50 By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Amongst the many regions of the Patchwork Balkan (NUTS3 regions of Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia) with numerous historical landmarks and major economic impact, Bulgarian seaside regions were the most visited regions by foreigners in 2013. 

Bulgarian coastline is 378 km long. Sandy beaches constitute 130 km of that number. The Balkan Mountains are dividing a coastline into a southern and northern part. The southern part is more popular due to its wide sandy beaches. Two out of four biggest cities in the country are located on the coastline - Burgas and Varna. Besides being tourist destinations, Burgas and Varna are also a major economic centers and seaports. 

Out of three Bulgaria seaside regions - Dobrich, Varna and Burgas, the most visited by the foreigners is Burgas. With more than 6.5 mil nights spent in 2013. Some of the tourist destinations of the region are Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Primorsko and Kitten. Burgas is also the region with the highest number of accommodation establishments - 656 in 2013.

The Varna region had nearly 4 mil. nights spent by foreigners in 365 accommodation establishments in 2013. The biggest and the most attractive destination of Varna region is the Golden Sands resort. 

Dobrich is less popular than Varna and Burgas, with approximately 1.5 mil nights spent by foreign tourist and 142 accommodation establishments. 

Three more non-seaside regions had more than half a million nights spent by foreign tourists in 2013 - Belgrade region, the Sofia capital region and Blagoevgrad region. 

The most visited destination of the Blagoevgrad region is Bansko ski resort. In 2013 it had a little over 500K nights spent by foreign tourists in 255 accommodation establishments. Bansko is the biggest ski resort of the Bulgaria. It has more than 70 km of ski runs and 14 lifts and drags. Thanks to snow cannons, the skiing slopes are 100% covered with snow during the 6 month period - from December to May. 

The region of the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia 126 accommodation establishments had around 900K nights spent by foreign tourists. Being the capital, Sofia is the economic center of the country, and thus a destination for numerous domestic and foreign businessmen. Apart from economic significance, Sofia has a unique east-meet-west atmosphere and an amazing mix of architecture styles - modern shopping malls, medieval churches and mosques, and a blocky civic residential areas. 

The only non-Bulgarian region with over 500K nights spent by foreign visitors in 2013 was Belgrade region. Belgrade region is home to capital of Serbia, and is the biggest city of the regarded region with a well-known hospitality. There are numerous reasons tourists visit Belgrade, but one of the biggest is its nightlife. Many tourist visit Belgrade for its cultural events and festivals, but many of them windup in some of the clubs on Belgrade's rivers.

Whether you're looking for a family vacation, winter adventure, beach break or a night out you won't forget - pack your bags and choose your favorite Balkan region.

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