Please sign in to post.

Family Road Trip Through Bulgaria

Good day All,

This summer my wife and I are planning a road trip to Bulgaria and North Macedonia, with our children 4 and 5 years of age, for 14-17 days.

Starting with Sofia, we also plan on exploring Plovdiv, Rila Monastery, and Veliko Tarnovo.

Is it worth it to consider the Black Sea area, or it is more of a for beach holiday instead of culture and travel? We live on the ocean.

Second phase is to check out Lake Ohrid and Skopje, North Macedonia. With a possible day trip to Pristina, Kosovo and possibly driving through Serbia to fly out of Sofia, Any thoughts?

And my biggest question and concern, how are the roads, driving conditions, and border crossings?

Any help and advice is much appreciated,

Safe travels,

Nate

Posted by
12156 posts

I loved Nessebar on the black sea. Wonderful ancient town.

Did something similar to you some years ago, drove from Sofia to Istanbul. Wonderful trip.

Posted by
17898 posts

Another vote for Nessebar, and Sozopol is also worth a visit if you get over to that area. Whether it's worth the driving time, I don't know. You are trying to cover a lot over territory in a short time.

I used buses and the occasional train during my 2015 trip to the Balkans. Since I wasn't driving, I didn't pay much attention to the roads. However, I figured that I covered about 30 mph on that trip, so I don't think you should anticipate wonderful driving conditions everywhere. You might start by checking the estimated driving times provided on ViaMichelin.com.

I know that public-transportation links to Macedonia are tenuous, but I don't know whether that tells us anything about the conditions of the roads themselves. I also recommend checking on any potential safety issues in Kosovo via the State Dept. website.

One of our posters spends a lot of time in Bulgaria. I'm sure he'll comment when he sees this thread.

Posted by
12156 posts

There was this underground cave with a river it. English called Devils Throat. Worth the climb and the road to it looke like it was out of one of those death road truckers tv shows

Posted by
11 posts

Hi everyone ,

Thank you all very much for the advise.

Nate.

Posted by
11 posts

Hi Acraven,

While you where busing through Bulgaria, were the roads/highways single or double lane ?

Posted by
17898 posts

Nate, I'm afraid I don't remember, because I wasn't driving and was just looking out one of the side windows on a bus. I think you can probably use the Earth view on Google Maps, zoom way in and see for yourself. I have a clear memory of a lot of 2-lane (one in each direction) roads in Romania, where I took a couple of small-group tours by car, but that's an entirely different country.

Posted by
12156 posts

If you are driving on to Istanbul, stop and pick up lots of food and water. The last 10 miles might take 4 hours. Worst traffic I have ever seen in my life. Maybe 20 lanes wide and all stopped. Kids walking between the cars selling food and maybe 1 in 4 actually paying the tolls, the rest just running them with toll booth sirens screaming and lights flashing.

I loved my few trips to Bulgaria, but one thing I have to say is the food was among the least good of any place I have ever been in the world.