Bulgaria is a hidden gem with many unbeatable treasures to offer. More and more people are leaving Northern Europe and choosing Bulgaria as their new homeland, whilst an even greater proportion is buying holiday homes here.
Investment advisors predict that Bulgaria will reach 80 - 90 percent of the Spanish tourist market within five years. Some believe that Bulgaria could exceed Spanish tourism because the country offers a greater degree of sophistication, something that not enough people know about yet.
Those people who have made the move to Bulgaria have discovered that life here is relaxed and healthy. Most food is organic and tastes fresher with a greater degree of flavour than food purchased in Northern Europe. Most local people grown their own fruit, vegetables and nuts and neighbours are always generously donating excess produce to poor Western neighbours.
Bulgaria also has a very strong wine industry, which spans the whole country, with each region offering different types of wine. Bulgaria produces wines as good, if not better than those produced in established markets like France. The problem with Bulgarian wine is that it is grossly under-marketed. Moreover, good quality wine in Bulgaria is exceptionally cheap to buy. A good quality wine will cost in the region of 12 -15 Leva, whilst a cheaper version costs as little as 2-4 LevaThe country also offers a healthy climate with plenty of fresh air; some areas close to the Black Sea offer a unique bio-spheric climate; a healing combination of sea and mountain air, which is known to help people with breathing difficulties like emphysema and asthma. The scenery here is stunning with large tracts of national parkland, rich forests, beautiful rugged hills, mountain ranges, the shimmering sea and award winning sandy beaches. After settling here, it’s hard to contemplate a return to the rat race of more industrialised nations. The country has four distinct seasons. In addition to lazy beach holidays, there is winter skiing in the mountains. The main resorts of Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo offer excellent conditions (and enormous investment potential) with ski hire and liftpasses a fifth of the cost of the rest of Europe‘s ski areas. Skiing in Pamporovo is particularly pleasant as it is the sunniest resort in Bulgaria. On the coast, the climate has been getting warmer with winters becoming milder, lasting only two months. From March, it is possible to sit outside on the terrace until early December.
Many pensioners have already emigrated to Bulgaria recognising that the low cost of living and stable political station coupled with massive amounts of EU investment means that their money goes a lot further than in their home country. It is possible for two people to live extremely comfortably on 1,000 Leva a month and that is without having to forgo dining out, cultural visits and shopping trips. In the UK, where property prices have soared to an all time high, many young couples are considering Bulgaria as an alternative. Excluded from buying into their home property market, they are discovering that Bulgaria offers luxury property for a fraction of the UK cost. Mortgages are easily available because of the predictions of high economic growth in the country, there are lots of employment possibilities and as the indigenous population reaps the benefit of inward investment, they will become wealthier and housing prices will rise again. People who have made the move to Bulgaria with children have discovered that it offers a safe, low-crime environment and that the education system is often better than the one they left behind. Teenagers here are more motivated to learn and Bulgaria has a well-educated population of doctors, dentists, lawyers and IT specialists.
Leisure activities are more accessible than in the colder climates of Northern Europe. Idyllic golf courses designed by famous professional golfers are springing up all over the country. Hiking, horseback riding and fishing is available all year round here. Hunting is popular and the trappings are rich; eveything from brown bears to wild boar. Hunting is controlled and limited to a particular season to allow for natural growth of the wildlife. There are also well-developed fitness and spa facilities and over 600 natural mineral springs.
One of the most exciting things about living in Eastern Europe is the opportunities for travel and cultural exploration. Bulgaria offers a wealth of history with archaeological digs frequently uncovering new and exciting discoveries; the oldest gold in the world was discovered here. In Bulgaria , there are 30,000 historical monuments and 330 museums, plus many interesting cultural events like the Kukeri in the Rhodope mountains, or the Rose festivals in the central part of the country. Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Romania border Bulgaria and crossing the border to explore other nations and cultures is easier than ever before. Cars and motorbikes are cheap to buy here, the EU are pouring billions of Euro into the development of a better road system and low cost flights are increasing from all major airports making it cheap and easy to explore.
TV programmes promoting life abroad often feature scare stories about foreigners buying land only to see their investments lost due to a quirk in the ownership laws, but in Bulgaria there is a well organised system of title deed registration. Most real estate agents and lawyers speak excellent English and German making the property purchase ring easy and efficient. On average, it takes one month from seeing a property or piece of land to actually owning it. New developers make the buying process easy and transparent and can provide help in buying furniture, sorting out utilities and offering rental contracts for people who wish to make additional income from their property purchase.
So why wait? As the dark nights close in and the weather turns chilly, head for Bulgaria - you'll be pleasantly surprised!