Bulgaria has a few campsites, with the older ones being fairly basic, and newer campsites being better equipped. If you intend to do a lot of exploring in Bulgaria then we recommend that you and your vehicle are equipped and ready for free camping, even if you intend to stay at campsites. Use solar or wind as your power source, as mains electricity is often not available.
Bulgaria border crossings
It is likely that an English speaking customs official will be called to assist you during the border crossing. Customs officials are polite and efficient.
It takes about 20 minutes to complete the border crossing with a vehicle into Bulgaria. Your vehicle will be disinfected, which will cost you about €5. Your documents will be checked. Local road tax is payable, €4 for one week or €9 for a month.
It takes about 10 minutes to complete a border crossing out of Bulgaria.
Supplies in Bulgaria
Big name fuel stations (Shell, Total, BP, etc.) are regularly available, and accept major credit cards. In 2006 diesel cost €0.83 (£0.63) per litre.
Bulgarian ATMs are temperamental, and you should not rely on them as your only means of getting cash. Banks will change your currency for a commission (normally 4%).
There are many small supermarkets with good provisions.
Driving in Bulgaria
Road signs use the Cyrillic alphabet (same as most European languages). Some place names are also shown in English. Take care when following road signs as repeater signs may only be in the local language. The Fretag & Berndt (1:400000) Bulgaria map is recommended as all place names are in Cyrillic and English. The Lonely Planet Guide to Eastern Europe, which covers all Eastern Europe, is a useful recommended book.
Roads in Bulgaria
Roads are generally of a poor state. Some of the main ‘E’ roads are being improved with EU money. Secondary roads can deteriorate very quickly into mud tracks.
Bulgaria has a few new campsites with better facilties than we’ve seen in the past. However, most older Bulgarian campsites are primitive, normally consisting of cabins and chalets with space for the pitching of tents. Many have no facilities to accommodate camper vans or motorhomes. It is recommended that you and your vehicle are equipped and ready for free camping, even if you intend to stay in campsites. This includes electricity, toilets and showers.
Here are some of the newer campsites catering for campervans and motorhomes:
Sakar Hills Camping
Tel: +359 8855 04338 or +359 8872 21380
2 Georgi Rakovsky Street
Bulgaria is generally a safe country. We have had reports from many people who have free camped here without any problems.
Free camping is possible at beaches and harbours. Out of season you will not have any problems with space. High season can get busy in some areas.