Sofia - a forgotten gem.
Sofia – the exciting capital of Bulgaria
Sofia is one of the oldest capitals in Europe. Here you will find modern shopping centers, fine parks, elegant boulevards, Byzantine churches and monuments from the communist era. Located at the foot of the Vitosha mountain massif
Bulgaria's beautiful capital, Sofia, is located at the foot of the Vitosha mountain range. The mountain has also given its name to the main street with rows of stylish shops and a leafy park at one end. In Vitosja you go skiing in the winter and walk in the forest in the summer. You can go up by funicular or chair lift.
The city is distinguished by its architectural mix of modern and historic buildings. Older landmarks are Bojana Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the early Byzantine St. Sophia Church. More modern architecture can be seen at the Bulgarian National Opera, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the Rakovski Street Theater District, and the Natsionalen dvorets na kulturata (NDK), Southeast Europe's largest cultural convention center.
The city is small, in the center stands the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with its large domes. In the crypt there is a large collection of icons spanning over a thousand years. Next to the cathedral is the church of Santa Sofia, which gave the city its name. Also, don't miss the Banya Bashi Mosque from 1576. The National Museum of History has over 650,000 objects and the National Art Gallery has art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Shopping can be done in Bulgaria Mall, The Mall, Mall of Sofia, the other department stores or at the so-called Women's Market, Zhenski Pazar, a bustling bazaar that stretches over several blocks where clothes, food, carpets, shawls and much more are sold .There are many other small markets in the suburbs as well.
Vodenitzata cooks good Bulgarian food and the staff serve in national costume. There are also vegetarian options, not always a matter of course in Bulgaria. Still, they have the best vegetables in Europe. Don't forget to try the good Bulgarian wine!
The best time to go here is during the summer months, but there are fewer tourists in spring and autumn if you prefer. Or - if you want to go skiing, winter is of course the best.
You can stay well at affordable prices. In addition, the travel agency often has agreements with most hotels, so you get away even cheaper.
You can easily travel with local transport, which has a good network of subways, trams, cable buses and regular buses. If you choose to take a taxi, it is also incredibly cheap.
Take out your calendar and plan your next weekend trip.
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Magical slopes and cheap shopping - the unknown skiing paradise of Andorra.
The small principality of Andorra is located in the Pyrenees mountain range, sandwiched between France and Spain.
The fine skiing attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year. Almost 300 kilometres of pistes and 300 sunny days are tempting enough!
With an area of 468 square kilometres and approximately 85,000 inhabitants, the principality of Andorra is one of the world's smallest countries.
Duty-free goods and fine ski slopes with slopes located at an altitude of over 2,500 meters attract roughly ten million tourists a year.
It is sunny but still snow-proof, as moisture from the Mediterranean turns into precipitation in the form of snow over the Pyrenees and Andorra from December to April.
Shop duty free
Known as a financial centre and something of a tax haven, Andorra is located in the Pyrenees mountain range, on the border between France and Spain.
According to the constitution, the president of France and a Spanish bishop are formally the country's heads of state.
However, legislative power lies with the General Council (Parliament).
Andorra can trace its history back to Charlemagne, who granted the country its freedom in 819 in exchange for the country's contribution in the wars against the Moors.
In 1278, the Spanish bishop of Urgel and the French count of Foix were given shared leadership of Andorra.
Later, the count was replaced by the French state, and for the next few centuries Andorra was divided between Spain and France.
In 1993, the first referendum was held that led to a modern democracy.
Andorra lacks its own defence force and currency (it has the euro), but is a member of both the United Nations and the Council of Europe.
Over 100 pistes – from black to blue
In the past, two families each ruled their ski area, Soldeu and Pasa de la Casa. Should you travel throughout the area,
two different ski passes were required, which was both expensive and complicated. In 2005, the two families decided to collaborate.
Now a coherent area has been created, Grandvalira,
on close to 200 kilometres of pistes or more than a hundred runs of varying difficulty with an emphasis on slightly easier ones.
The largest ski area in the Pyrenees and Southern Europe, and consists of 210 kilometres of pistes and 112 different runs.
There are both easy, wide and long and lovely off-piste runs for those who want deeper snow.
The chances of sunshine are good, Grandvalira boasts 300 sunny days a year.
The summit is at 2,640 meters and there are 18 black pistes, 42 red, 19 green and 49 blue pistes.
Around 40 restaurants are located all around the slopes, and 68 lifts are ready to take you up and around. There is also the possibility of cross-country skiing.
The other ski area in Andorra is Vallnord. The summit is at 2,560 meters and a total piste length of around 60 kilometres.
There are four black pistes, 17 red, 7 green and 16 blue pistes. There are plenty of restaurants and simpler eateries, as well as an amusement park and 31 lifts
The nearest airport is Perpignan in France about 15 miles and Barcelona in Spain about 19 miles.
The easiest way to get to Barcelona from Scandinavia is to combine skiing with a city break in Barcelona.
Don't hesitate to contact us for booking.