Varshets is a city in Northwest Bulgaria. On a visit here, you can walk along the romanic, tree-lined boulevards, discover the untouched wonders of the 800 acre nature park, relax along side a sparkling pool and refresh the body in a mineral-water bath. This quaint town known as a curative, mineral spa resort is situated in a lush valley along the picturesque Botunya River. This natural oasis provides perfect setting for both relaxation and active tourism vacations.
Rich in cultural history, artifacts provide evidence of a settlement around the area of Varshets dating back to 1st century during the Roman Empire under the name Medikus and connecting it to the curative, mineral springs still flowing today. More recently developed as a baneological resort during the early 20th century when the first state bath was built in 1910. In 1930, a new bath building was built following the architectural style of traditional Roman baths, it is still operational today. Catering to Bulgaria’s elite society of the time, stately villas from this era embrace the town’s lush, green park, which also houses Bulgaria’s first casino. Originally named Bansko Casino, it was renamed the Royal casino after it’s popularity with Prince Kiril.
Varshets is easily accessed by private car from the highway connecting Vratsa and Montana. Only 2 1/2 hours from Sofia via Vratsa, Varshets can also be reached from Sofia by tracing the scenic routes of the Iskar Gorge or along the Petrohan Pass.
Regular, daily buses travel to Varshets from Vratsa, Montana, Sofia and other regional towns.
- Bus departs at 8:30 from the Central Bus Station. Arrives in Varshets at 11:10 via Berkovitsa. (Monday - Friday)
- Bus departs at 13:00 from the Central Bus Station. Arrives in Varshets at 15:30 via Berkovitsa.
- Sofia - Montana - Varshets
- Bus departs at 15:30 from the Central Bus Station. Arrives in Varshets at 19:10 via Montanta, change bus in Montana.
- Bus departs Vratsa at 8:00; 10:30; 12:00; 15:10 (approx. 50 minutes).
- Bus departs Montana 8:00; 11:45; 18:00 - (50 minutes).
- Bus departs Berkovitsa at: 8:30;. 11:40; 14:45 - (30 minutes).
- Bus departs Lom at: 6:00; 15:00 - (210 minutes)
- Bus departs Vidin at 14:00. Change buses in Montana, arrives Varshets at 18:30.
Connections can also be made by train via Lakatnik twice daily.
- From Sofia via Lakatnik Train Station (bus and train):
- Train departs at 7:23 from Sofia Central Railway Station and arrives in Lakatnik at 8:42. Bus departs at 9:10 from the Lakatnik bus station arrives in Varshets at 10:10 (this bus does not travel on Sundays).
- Train departs at 16:50 from Sofia Central Railway Station and arrives in Lakatnik at 18:03. Bus departs at 18:10 from the Lakatnik bus station and arrives in Varshets at 19:10. (Hurry, the bus is waiting for the train!)
Varshets is easily a walkable city. Nearby destinations can usually be reached by somewhat limited, but regular bus service and taxis are usually available along the main street leading to the center of town.
- Art Gallery (Градската художествена галерия), Republica Blvd, ☎ +359 09527/ 30 57. M-F 8:30 to 5:00. The City Art Gallery, located along the main pedestrian boulevard near the center of town, has 664 paintings and 27 sculptures from wood, clay and gypsum. Exhibits from local and foreign artists most often reflect the beautiful scenery of the area. free. edit
- Church of St. George (Храм Св. Георги Победоносец), Republica Blvd. Construction of this cross basilica designed church was started in 1902 and was completed in 1906. In 1992 the church was beautifully restored. The church has been declared a cultural monument of local importance and many pilgrims flock to the church to make sacrifices on St. George's day. free. edit
- Municipal Museum (Общински музей), Republica Blvd, ☎ +359 09527/ 21 41. Everyday 9:00 - 12:30 and 2:00 - 6:30. Housed in a former villa along the tree-lined main street, the building is representative of the beautiful architecture built during the early 20th century in Varshets. The Municipal Museum was founded in 1999 with exhibits created completely by donations and contributions from the local community. Hundreds of exhibits were submitted: valuable artifacts from Thracian and Roman times; documents and archival photographs illustrating the history of Varshets as a spa resort; a rich ethnographic collection of clothing and household items. The exhibition contains 4 sections: "Antique", "Archaeological finds and coin collection," Wellness" and "Ethnography". Among the exhibits one will find a unique, bronze sculpture from the II century BC. The Thracian boy-god, Telesphorus, is now considered a symbol of the city of Varshets. free. edit
- Minkovi Bani, Obshch. Varshets, S. Spanchevtsi, M., ☎ 09527 30-52. 2-star hotel. edit
- PreSpa, Gr. Varshets, Ul. Botinya 2, ☎ 09527 31-93. 3-star hotel. edit
- Spa Hotel Mediks, Gr. Varshets, Ul. Republika 87, ☎ 09527 31-31. 4-star hotel. edit
Tourist Information Center;
Boulevard Republica, No 90A;
phone: 09527/31-56 or 0878355866;
email: [email protected]
Regular, daily buses travel from Varshets to Vratsa, Montana, Sofia and other regional towns.
- Varshets - Vratsa - Sofia
- Bus departs 7:30 from Varshets via Vratsa, change to new bus in Vratsa that departs upon arrival and arrives at 10:00 at the Sofia central bus station. (everyday except Sunday)
- Bus departs 15:00 from Varshets (only on Saturday and Sunday), arriving 18:00 at the Sofia North bus station.
- Bus departs Varshets at 7:30; 12:10; 13:30; and 16:40 (approx. 50 minutes).
- Bus departs Varshets at 6:10; 8;00; 11:20; 15:30 (50 minutes).
- Bus departs Varshets at: 9:00; 17:10 (does not travel on weekends) - (30 minutes).
- Bus departs Varshets at: 6.:10; 11:20 (11:20 everyday but Sunday) - (210 minutes)
- Bus departs Varshets at 6:10. Change buses in Montana, arrives in Vidin at 11:10. (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only)
Connections can also be made by train via Lakatnik twice daily.
- To Sofia via Lakatnik Train Station (bus and train):
- Bus departs at 05:00 from the Varshets bus station to the Lakatnik train station (this bus does not travel on Sundays). Train departs Lakatnik at 06:17 and arrives at the Sofia Railway Station at 7:15.
- Bus departs at 15:40 from the Varshets bus station to the Lakatnik train station. Train departs Lakatnik at 17:27 and arrives at the Sofia Railway Station at 18:04.