Further Information Villa Mansoor Lodge Mansoor
Bulgarian
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Further information

Click on the following links for further information on:

Skiing: ski packages, piste maps/details and information about the ski lifts.

Transport: how to get to the property - airport transfers, local transfers to Borovets, car hire, taxis and flights from the UK.

Information about the following subjects is available below:

Activities

Food & Drink

Health

Language

Money

Postal Service

Telephone

Time difference

Travel insurance

Useful websites

Visa requirements

Weather

Activities

Gym facilities: To help you keep in good physical and mental shape, a range of facilities are available in nearby Borovets, including sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi, solarium, massage, swimming pool and fitness centres.

Hiking: Borovets offers everything for the perfect holiday: clean and fresh air, serene pine forests, green meadows sprinkled with fragrant flowers and herbs, blue lakes and majestic snow-capped peaks.

Supervised hiking tours, led by experienced guides, are available throughout the year, including cleared winter walks. These tours are tailored to individual capabilities and may last from a few hours to a few days.

For the more independent-minded, unsupervised hiking and trekking trips can be undertaken along marked routes to various sites in the Rila mountains: to Mount Moussala (6 hours, and from the upper station of the Gondola - 3 hours), to Sitnyakovo Palace (1.5 hours), to Chakar Voivoda Lodge (2.5 hours), to Saragyol Palace (3 hours), to the Maritsa Lodge (4.5 hours), to the Zavrachitsa Lodge (6 hours).

Imagine walking along the Maritsa river valley to Chernata Skala (Black Rock). The vertical eastern face of this rugged feet rises several hundred feet above the river. The observation platform on the cliff-top offers fine views over Raduil village, the Dolnobanska hollow and the town of Dolna Banya.

For a more demanding trek, take the gondola-lift to Yastrebets Lodge (2350 m) for a five hour hike. To the south, about two and a half hour’s walk away, is the Moussala massif. Ascend on a winding path past the seven Moussala lakes to the peak (2865 m). All around is a vast skyline of mountain ridges: the magnificent Rila, the marble cliffs of the Pirin to the south, the dome of Vitosha to the north-west, the Sredna Gora in the distance to the north and the endless slopes and ridges of Rhodope massif to the east.

Another suggestion is to commence at the terminus of the chair-lift (1790 m) for a six hour hike. Walk an hour and a half to the Chakur Voivoda Lodge (2000 m) and then another good hour to Sarugyol meadow for fine views of Deno peak (2790 m), the valley of the Prava Maritsa river and the Moustachal and Moulichal peaks. The Sarugyol lakes are a further hour’s walk away. They owe their names (Sarugyol is the Turkish word for "yellow lake") to the abundance of yellow flowers that grow in the vicinity. A final hike up Shatara peak (2495 m) provides more fine mountain views.

Horse riding: Experience the unforgettable thrill of riding in the mountains. The horse riding school in Borovets has a number of ex-race horses and more than 15 years experience of teaching people to ride. In winter, you and your family or friends can also enjoy horse drawn sleigh rides around the resort.

Mountain biking: Enjoy the charm of the mountains under the guidance of experienced mountain bike instructors. All levels of ability can be accommodated from family groups to thrill-seeking, advanced bikers.

Sightseeing: Tours to tourist attractions throughout Bulgaria are regularly run from Borovets, e.g. to the Rila Monastery, to the Bulgarian Tzars’ residence of Bistritza, to history-rich Sofia, to Melnik (with its unique pyramids and famous wines) and to Plovdiv (the second biggest city of Bulgaria with its monuments of different civilizations)..

Tennis: Fully equipped tennis courts are available in Borovets, together with professional tennis instructors.


Food & Drink

Borovets is famous for its party atmosphere and there is a wide choice of bars, cafes, night clubs, discos and shops in the resort. Some of the finest Bulgarian beers, such as Zagorka, Kamenitza and Astika, are readily available in bottles or on tap. The same applies for the locally-brewed Heineken, Amstel and Stella Artois. The national alcoholic drink, a grain-based liquor called Rakia, is readily available. You can also get imported beer and liquor brands, but these are approximately twice as expensive as the local brands.

There are restaurants to suit all tastes: steak, pizza, Bulgarian cuisine, Turkish, Indian and Chinese food and much more. Menus at the restaurants are invariably translated into English, so you won't have any problems. If you're looking for something more traditional, why not enjoy Bulgarian folk music and 'horo' dancing whilst tasting native cuisine and wines?

There are various international and local cuisines available in Borovets and Samokov. Most restaurants open at 11:00 and stay open until 24:00 or until the last people leave. Expect to pay under 10 for a three course meal for two, including an excellent bottle of wine and tip - it is common to tip the waiter if you are happy with the service, the usual amount being around 10%. The food in Borovets is more expensive - however, it is still cheap by UK standards.

The traditional Bulgarian menu includes bread, yogurt and fresh milk, cheese, tomatoes, paprika, potatoes, onions, beans and fruits, brandy and red or white wine. Some typical Bulgarian specialties and meals:

Shopska salad: prepared from diced tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, green peppers, topped with feta cheese and seasoned with olive oil and parsley
Mlechna salad: prepared from strained yoghurt seasoned with olives, crashed walnuts, finely diced garlic and parsley
Tarator: cold served soup from yoghurt, fresh cucumbers, seasoned with walnuts, garlic and dill
Sirene po Shopski: feta cheese, diced tomatoes and onion topped with egg and cooked in pottery
Kebapche: minced meat rolls seasoned with traditional spices and fine herbs and barbequed
Kuyfte: minced meat balls seasoned with traditional spices and fine herbs and barbequed
Shish Kebab: grilled skewered meat, onion and paprika
Banitsa: baked pumpkin pastry filled with cheese or meet
Creme Caramel: delicious dessert prepared from fresh milk, eggs and caramelised sugar, similar to the classic French creme brulee.

There is an excellent restaurant in Mala Tsarkva, which offers free wifi access.


Health

A fully equipped and functioning hospital is located in Samokov. 24 hour medical facilities are available in Borovets. Dental services and pharmacies are also available at the resort.

Some medical and all dental services must be paid by cash to the doctors (clinics). They should provide the necessary bills, receipts and invoices describing the service and the cost, so that you can claim back the expense to your insurance company. It's recommended you call your insurance company and inform them in case of injury. Please follow their instructions.

 

Language

The Cyrillic alphabet is used (named after its founders, Saint Cyril and Methodius). Signs along international motorways, in airports and resorts are also spelled in Roman letters.

Bulgarian is a Slavonic language. English, German, French and Russian is spoken in the country's resorts, hotels and restaurants. For those interested in learning the language, Bulgarian4brits sells a language guide comprising a book and two CDs.


Money

Credit cards: Owing to the high commission rates charged for the use of credit cards and travellers cheques, it is advisable to bring larger amounts of Sterling or Euros in cash. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and American Express might be accepted in hotels, restaurants, shops, car rentals, etc. However, cash payments are the norm, e.g. at petrol stations. ATM cash machines are available in Samokov and Borovets. Accepted are Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus cards.

Currency: The monetary unit is the Lev (BGN). Banknote denominations include 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 leva, as well as coins of smaller denominations. The Lev – Euro exchange rate is fixed at 1.95 Lev to 1.00 Euro. The GBP - BGN exchange rate tends to be more favourable in Bulgaria than in the UK. However, the currency exchange offices at the airport don't offer competitive rates and you are better changing money at the resort (hotels or kiosks). The best rates will be obtained at banks in Borovets or Samokov. Conversion of GBP - Euro can be carried out in the UK at competitive rates at Onlinefx. Euros will be needed if paying in cash for accommodation rental.

 

Postal Service

There is a Post Office at Mala Tsarkva but stamps can be bought at the resort hotels too. Postal services (even air mail) take an average of one week.


Telephone

Ambulance
150
Fire
160
Police
166
Operator service for domestic calls
121
Business directory enquiries for Sofia
144
Private directory enquiries for Sofia
145
Road assistance (Sofia)
1286
Road assistance (outside Sofia)
146
Weather forecast
175


In addition, you will be provided with an emergency contact phone number of our representative.

Bulgarian SIM cards can be purchased for less than GBP 10 to eliminate the mobile phone roaming charges applied to UK SIM cards. Several mobile phone shops selling SIM cards are located on the road from Samokov to Borovets.

Discount service providers will enable friends and family in the UK to keep in contact with you in Bulgaria at low cost. For example, Ratebuster provides a non-subscription service with low cost phone charges from a UK landline to a Bulgarian mobile phone (NOT to a mobile phone with a UK SIM card roaming in Bulgaria). See also Dialabroad for low cost ways to use a mobile phone for international calls.

The local voltage is 220-240 AC and so a continental adapter is required to charge mobile phones (or use any other electrical equipment).

The country calling code for Bulgaria is 359. When calling abroad from Bulgaria, the international call prefix is 00.


Time difference

Winter time: GMT +2 hours (October to March).

Summer time: GMT +3 hours (April to September).


Travel insurance

Private travel insurance is recommended. You should keep receipts for any medical expenditure for insurance claims, but be aware that most policies have an excess. You must always contact your Insurance company DIRECT on your return. The following web sites offer competitive insurance packages: Insure Supermarket (price comparison website), Atlas Direct and Ski Insurance.

If you are a UK resident, you are advised to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to free, or reduced cost, medical treatment in Bulgaria. More details about the EHIC and an online application form are available from the Department of Health.


Useful websites

Useful Contacts
Anglo-Bulgarian Properties Ltd
[Property development and management]
Holidaylettings.co.uk
[We advertise on holidaylettings.co.uk - part of rightmove.co.uk]
J2Ski.com
[Info. for the independent skier]
Money Saving Expert
[Info. about cheap international phone calls]
My Bulgaria
[Bulgarian property directory]
Onlinefx
[Online holiday money]
TripAdvisor
[Planning a trip? Start here.]
Worldwide Currencies Ltd
[Currency exchange]

Visa requirements

Holders of valid ordinary passports from the following countries do not need a visa to visit Bulgaria for up to 90 days within each period of six months:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria
Belgium, Brazil, Brunei
Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic
Denmark
El Salvador, Estonia
Finland, France
Germany, Greece, Guatemala
Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR - China), Hungary
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel
Japan
Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania,Luxembourg
Makao(SAR - China), Malaysia,Malta,Mexico, Monaco
Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway
Panama, Poland, Portugal, Paraguay
Republic of Korea, Romania
San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore
UK (British Citizen Passport Holders and British Nationals/Overseas/ only), USA, Uruguay
Vatican, Venezuela

Family members of an EU citizen, who do not have the nationality of the EU Member State, are entitled to the same rights as an EU citizens, for their travel to Bulgaria. This only applies to those having permanent residence in an EU country and travelling together, or going to Bulgaria to join their family member(s) who is (are) already in the country. Family members of an EU citizen should be in a position to present, on request, a Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate, legalised and translated into the official language of an EU member country.

All holders of passports from countries not mentioned in the list above, need visas to enter Bulgaria. Visa applications are usually processed for a period of up to 10 working days, since each application needs to receive clearance by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in Sofia.

All children entering Bulgaria need to have their own passport. Children included in their parents' passports will only be allowed in if the passport also contains their photograph.

All foreign visitors should bear in mind that under Bulgarian Law they are required to contact the local police station within 48 hours of their arrival in Bulgaria and present in writing the address at which they will be staying. If they are staying in a hotel or private lodgings, the hotel management/host are obliged to register them at the local police station. Citizens of the European Union member-states and of the countries in the Economic European Area are exempt from this requirement.

Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate. The Bulgarian Embassy in London can be contacted on +44 (0)207 584 9400 and the British Embassy in Sofia on +359 (2)933 9290.


Weather

The following table provides indicative climate information for Sofia. As expected in a mountain region, it is cooler in Borovets than Sofia during the summer.

Month
Daily Average
Min. Temp. (oC)
Daily Average
Max. Temp. (oC)
Total Average
Rainfall (mm)
Total Average
No. of Rain Days
January
-4.9
2.2
28
10
February
-2.9
4.9
31
10
March
0.3
9.8
38
10
April
4.8
15.7
51
12
May
9.0
20.3
73
14
June
12.1
23.5
75
13
July
13.8
25.9
63
10
August
13.4
26.0
51
8
September
10.4
22.6
38
7
October
5.7
16.6
35
7
November
1.2
9.6
48
9
December
-2.7
4.1
40
11


To view current weather and forecasts in Borovets, click here. (Note: Borovets can also be spelt ‘Borovetz’ or ‘Borovec’).

Winter snow forecasts for Borovets can be viewed here.