There is only one thing that could be complete an adventurous vacation hiking and climbing in the mountains of Bulgaria: a visit to the local hot springs. In Velingrad, located in southern Bulgaria, there are more than 90 mineral springs in and around the town that are known for their curative powers. The Velingrad hot springs are located about 2,500 feet above sea level, and visitors travel to this town just to experience their medicinal qualities. Located approximately 75 miles from the capital city of Sofia, this spa resort is each to reach whether you’re traveling from the capital city or from the surrounding mountains.
In recent years, Velingrad has been gaining more and more attention as an important spa resort in Bulgaria. Not only can you enjoy the medicinal waters, but there are many spa treatments available in this town. Whether you’re looking for a mud treatment or a more traditional massage, there are many options for being pampered in this mountain town. The Velingrad hot springs have an incredible range of temperatures, from 70 degrees all the way up to more than 150 degrees. This intensity of temperature is part of what attracts so many visitors to this part of Bulgaria.
Beyond the hot springs, there are other attractions that make a trip to Velingrad worth the effort. Travelers with an interest in history will want to check out the Tsepina Medieval Fortress which dates back to the thirteenth century. Many visitors also take the time to see Kleptuza Karst Spring, which is known as a symbol of the town and has also been declared a national landmark. Beyond this type of traditional sightseeing, you can also combine a hiking tour in the region with a visit to the hot springs. Spring, summer, and early fall are the best times of year to plan this type of trip.
The Velingrad hot springs are best when enjoyed slowly over a few days. This means that you will need a place to stay. Your two main choices are hotels that offer spa treatments, and hotels that don’t. Every traveler will have their own individual preference, although price can also determine where you stay. In the five star range, hotel options include the Aquatonik Hotel, the Select Spa Hotel, and the Spa Hotel Dvoretsa. There are many more options in the four star range, including Bor Spa Club Hotel, Astra Aparthotel, Grand Hotel Velingrad, Velina Hotel, and many more.
Budget travelers aren’t left out of choices for accommodation in Velingrad either. If you’re looking for three star options, check out Aura Balneohotel. The summer is a particularly busy time to visit, so it is best to make your reservations in advance during these months. Otherwise, it is possible most of the time to come into town in a rental car and find a comfortable room for a couple of nights. Other than a visit to the beautiful Bulgaria beaches along the Black Sea Coast, spending a few days at the hot springs is one of the most relaxing vacation options in the entire country.
Image: Klearchos Kapoutsis (flickr)