Perhaps not immediately associated with camping and caravanning, Bulgaria has a long history of camping. There are many campsites throughout the country attracting tourists both from within Bulgaria and beyond.

The main tourist area in Bulgaria is the Black Sea Coast and this is where the majority of campsites can be found, nestling in secluded areas somewhat away from the main tourist towns but within easy reach of some of the most beautiful beaches. However, camping in Bulgaria is not all about the seaside…there are also many sites throughout the country set among the many lakes and mountains.

Often, campsites in Bulgaria offer a mix of pitches for tents and caravans, together with lodges and small apartment blocks, sometimes little more than one-room units with shared facilities. Let’s find out about some of the camping options in Bulgaria. But first, a word about the roads in Bulgaria. Roads here tend to be less well maintained than in the UK and drivers, particularly locals who ‘know the roads’ seem to drive quite recklessly…so take care.

Free Camping

Camping in areas that are not official campsites in Bulgaria is prohibited, but the authorities tend to turn a blind eye to this provided no fires are built. Parking of a caravan or motor home at the side of the road or in some woods for a night or two is unlikely to lead to problems with the authorities.

Inland Sites

Camping Veliko Tarnovo

Set in a beautiful mountainous region close to the town of the same name, the campsite is open to campers of all types, from bikers to motor homes. Amenities here include a fine swimming pool, cafe bar and WiFi. The town itself is full of historical buildings and the free walking tour is highly recommended. There are also many great restaurants and bars, some featuring live music and all offering the great value for which Bulgaria is famed.

camping veliko tarnovo bulgaria

Sakar Hills

This is a modern site close to the border with Turkey and Greece near to the village of Biser and close to the Rhodope Mountains. As well as the usual pitches, the site offers two bedroom self-catering and organizes trips to local landmarks and even cross-border trips to Turkey and Greece. This is an area steeped in history and features many amazing walks. Visit the Skokovete Waterfalls of take in the tour of the Zagorka Brewery Museum with its restaurant and bar featuring a range of local beers.

Eden Retreat

The Eden Retreat site is in the same region as Sakar Hills and offers a true glamping experience! Here you will find tents already erected and dressed out in luxury! The setting is pure tranquillity and the amenities are second to none. Among the activities on offer is the chance to learn from a range of musical instruments, art workshops and language tuition are also available. The site also arranges a range of excursions to local historical sites and the ‘cultural capital’ of Bulgaria, Plovdiv. The cost for all this is unbelievably low…you won’t want to leave.

Eco Camping Batak

This site offers a five star camping experience. The site is still quite new having been constructed in 2011 and the setting is lakeside in a mountainous region. The views are spectacular and the site is only 15 minutes from the ‘Spa Capital of the Balkans’, Velingrad. The list of amenities and activities is extensive and includes barbecue areas, cafe and restaurant, kayaking and fishing, water sports, cycling and hiking and aerobics and outdoor parties.

Beachside Sites

Zlatna Ribka Campsite

Situated in Sozopol, Zlatna Ribka has 150 pitches for tents and caravans and a restaurant. Groceries are also available on-site. The sheltered and very safe Royal Beach can be reached directly from the site. Nearby Zlatna is a historical town that holds several annual festivals and just a few kilometres away is Burgas, served by regular public transport. This is a bustling city with plenty of nightlife and shopping opportunities.

Lozala Camping

This site is just to the south of Bulgaria’s largest seaside resort, Sunny Beach. It is a large site, covering over 10,000 square metres and has pitches for tents, caravans and motor homes. The site also offers small two bedroom bungalows, has a restaurant and a shop and is close to Aheloy Village, which has more bars and restaurants. Travelling into Sunny Beach is easy by bus and taxi and the site is very near to the local beaches.

Camping Zora

This site offers a perfect spot for a relaxing stay. In the town of Obzor, it is just a few minutes’ walk from a quiet beach and is only 30 kilometres away from Sunny Beach. The site has pitches for tents and caravans and also has 11 fixed houses. In terms of amenities, there is a park, playgrounds for the kids, a kitchen block and a barbecue area. There is also an on-site restaurant.

Bulgaria is something of an undiscovered jewel when it comes to camping. Why not make this the year to widen your horizons?

This article was provided by trusted European company Penguin Car Hire, who have cars for hire across Bulgaria.