Very few Americans realize that Bulgaria has been a tourism destination for Europeans since the early part of the 20th century. Blessed with beautiful beaches on the Black Sea, several well developed ski resorts in the Rila, Pirin and Rhodope mountain ranges, a wide diversity of natural hot springs and mineral waters as well as over 1400 years of history, Bulgaria is a wonderful country to explore the fascinating nature and culture of Southeastern Europe.
When I was writing The Red Riviera back in the late 1990s, most of my American friends would laugh when I told them I was working on Bulgarian tourism. Thankfully, I was able to get several of them to visit me while I was doing my fieldwork and they all left incredibly impressed and determined to return. While it is certainly off the beaten track for most American visitors to Europe, it is definitely worth a side trip from Turkey or Greece. These days there are a plethora of cheap flights from London to Sofia, so you can even make a weekend trip. It's been almost ten years since I finished the research for The Red Riviera, but I am back in Bulgaria every year. It's a country I can't seem to get enough of! —Kristen Ghodsee