Interview with Tour Guide Adriana Vassilkova – Why You Must Visit Bulgaria

This interview is part of the revived Women On Spotlight series, where I will be featuring inspiring stories of ladies who are able to pursue their passion not limiting to travel. 

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Last December 2015, majority of Filipino beauty pageant enthusiasts learned about the existence of Bulgaria as a country when its representative for the Miss Universe Pageant Radost Todorova ‘pushed’ our very own Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach to do her walk as the newly-crowned queen. She served as a cheerleader to a friend, which Filipino fans noticed. A simple but genuine gesture made us appreciate Miss Bulgaria more!

And since most of my friends doesn’t know much about Bulgaria (including me!), I am introducing my very own Miss Bulgaria – Adriana Vassilkova! She’s a fun-loving tour guide/travel blogger/ glow poi dancer / superwoman I met in India during the Kerala Blog Express 2!

Adriana and Mica at the Kerala Blog Express 2 Farewell Party
Adriana and Mica at the Kerala Blog Express 2 Farewell Party

 

 

Get to know more about Adriana and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to add Bulgaria on your European Trip Itinerary! Read on…

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1. Hi Adriana! Can you tell us more about you (where you grew up, your current work/freelance work)

Hi dear, my work, hobby, education and life are connected to travelling. I am a professional tour guide in Bulgaria, travel blogger and full time adventurer at once. I live and work in Bulgaria and I absolutely adore this place.

For more than four years I have specialized in creating and leading guided tours, both around my own homeland – Bulgaria and throughout few other Balkan countries. I am in love with my job and give all my heart to provide the best travel services to my clients. I want everybody to enjoy the Bulgarian traditions, try the local food, get into the rich history, see the most breathtaking views and have fun during my tours.
I design variety of customized guided tours, photo tours, adventure tours, traditional culture tours, culinary tours and wine tasting, women-only tours, balkan tours and basically. More information about my job you can find on my webpage – Private Guide Bulgaria

I am also a travel blogger writing in two blogs. Adventure Flair is the name of my English blog when I write about traveling around Bulgaria and the Balkan countries. It will be useful if you want to come over. The other one Sunshine.BG is in Bulgarian language and the main topic is budget travels around the world.
In my free time… guess what … I am travelling 🙂 I spend every free minute in research about new offers and destinations. It is just a passion with never ending flair for adventures.

2. How can you describe Bulgaria as a place to live in and its people?

As I just said above, I’m simply in love with this part of the world. I’ve been living abroad for a while, but there is no place on Earth which can give me the feeling of being home. I love its rich cultures and traditions, the friendly, welcoming people… the amazingly delicious food and wonderful nature. One of the best things I like about Bulgaria is that we have four season, all so different.

The living is not so easy if you don’t work in the private sector and sometimes you can see many sad people around. Any way the education system is good, but not everybody have the opportunity for realization. That is still the reason why many young Bulgarian immigrate to the U.S, U.K, Spain or wherever else in searching for better life and salary.

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3. What is the state of tourism in Bulgaria?

Actually, it goes better and better last years. Since almost an year we already have a Ministry of Tourism, because before that the tourism was a part of the ministry of the economics. More travelers want to visit Bulgaria and the Balkans because the culture and the land is still wild and true.

4. What are your recommended cities to visit for adventure, leisure and historic travelers/tourists?

The top Bulgarian landmarks which are must seen are Sofia, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, the Rila monastery, Nessebar, Melnik and more.

For adventurers I suggest visiting some traditional event as Kukeri Festival, rose picking or anything else which will bring them close to the Bulgarian customs. We have wine holidays, food holidays (the cherry festival, plum festival and many more) and traditional dance holidays few times per month in different areas of the country. All about the Bulgarian traditions on the link.

Good places for adventure tourism are also the sea coast (camping is free and legal) and the mountains, which provide great conditions for all level hiking.

For leisure,  I advise to visit some of the SPA resorts. Bulgaria is rich in natural hot mineral springs and there are really nice SPA hotels. The mountain resorts are good for leisure as well during the both summer and winter.

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5. Can you tell us more about Bulgarian Cuisine? (Give recommendations of at least 3)

It is amazing! So tasty! In Bulgaria you still can find a lot of real fruits and vegetables, with no GMO and other bullshits added. Here you realize how the real tomatoes actually taste. Same for the water melons, strawberries and more. Typical Bulgarian product, for example is the Bulgarian Yogurt !

A fact you probably don’t know is that the yogurt actually comes from Bulgaria. The Bulgarian scientist first examined the microflora of the yogurt also known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Another thing you probably never heard about is that Bulgaria is the land of roses and the biggest producer of rose oil in the world. We use the rose oil and water for cosmetics, but only. We also eat it  We have rose candies, rose wine, rose jam, biscuits etc.. The roses are probably the most typical Bulgarian product everybody should take back home.

I also like the white cheese, the fresh salads and the typical Bulgarian Banitsa prepared by layering a mixture of eggs and pieces of cheese between filo pastry baked it in an oven.

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6. I’m sure you’ve heard about the sudden popularity of Miss Universe Bulgaria 2015 here in the Philippines due to her genuine friendship with the current reigning Miss Universe. How was the reception of the good news there?

Wow it was amazing! Absolute boom in the social medias in Bulgaria. Joy Todorova became really popular here with her reaction during the contest. She share a lot of great posts about the Philippines and now many Bulgarians want to go there for a holiday. I guess that is the same for you. At least you know that Bulgaria actually exist 🙂

7. Apart from travel and your current work, what else are you interested in?

Aside from traveling I love to eat delicious food, communicate with cool and interesting people, to wake up late, climb mountains, swim in the sea, camping on the beach, to work like crazy. In few words I love to live!

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8. Where are you traveling next?

Singapore and Indonesia. I am departing in few hours. Can’t wait to discover those places.

9. Do you have plans of visiting the Philippines?

Absolutely! The Philippines are my dream for a very long time and I hope to have the opportunity to make it come true in few years. You will be the first people who will know about that 😉

If you have plans of visiting Europe, might as well add Bulgaria on your list! I met Adriana in person and I can attest that Filipinos and Bulgarians do jive well not just in terms of beauty pageants, but also in travel and true friendship 😀

Have you been to Bulgaria? How was the experience and what tips can you share to first-time travelers? Happy Trip!


This interview is part of the revived Women On Spotlight series, where I will be featuring inspiring stories of ladies who are able to pursue their passion not limiting to travel.

One Comment

  1. Adriana said:

    Thank you for the lovely interview Mica! You are always welcome in Bulgaria when you want to visit that part of the world. Hope to meet you soon there or in the Philippines. 🙂

    January 29, 2016
    Reply

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