Immortalised by Bulgaria's Poet Laureate Ivan Vazov in the 19th Century this country's perhaps most spectacular gorge is just an hour's drive from Sofia.
It holds a lot more than the promise of a (bumpy) drive along an as yet unmodernised road. Nearby there are plenty of interesting caves for spelunkers, waterfalls for nature lovers, vistas for trekkers, steep cliffs for rock-climbers, an off-the-beaten-track monastery for heritage seekers, a few villages almost untouched by the 20th Century and several not bad restaurants. This is an all-season destination, with spring and autumn perhaps offering the prettiest sites and liveliest experiences.
Where in Bulgaria are you?