As an American living in Bulgaria during the academic year 2022-2023 and working as an English teaching assistant through Fulbright Bulgaria, I had the opportunity to explore many unique places throughout the country. Over the past six months, I have visited numerous cities and villages, each offering something unique and special. However, when it comes to natural beauty and a peaceful atmosphere, Vratsa captured my attention.
As someone who loves exploring small areas with colorful farmers' markets overlooking sleepy rivers, Vratsa seems the perfect fit for me. I am excited to visit this charming town this month and have already started preparing for my trip with the help of the Open Vratsa website.
Sustainable tourism in Vratsa?
One of the things that drew me to Vratsa is its commitment to sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism is the idea that we can still use our vacation days while remaining focused on balancing environmental health, human well-being, and economic growth. It's all about having a positive impact on the local communities we visit, rather than a negative one.
Landmarks preserved by sustainable tourism
Vratsa has a lot to offer in terms of sustainable tourism. The Meshchiite tower, for example, is a prime example of how we can enjoy cultural landmarks while respecting their historical significance. The tower dates back to the 16th century and is one of the town's most recognizable landmarks. Visitors can climb to the top for an incredible view of the town and the surrounding area.
The Kobilini Steni are another natural wonder that Vratsa has to offer. These impressive cliffs rise from the earth, providing a stunning backdrop for hiking and other outdoor activities. But it's important to note that while these cliffs are a popular tourist attraction, there are ways to enjoy them sustainably. By sticking to designated trails and not leaving any trash behind, we can ensure that these natural wonders remain for future generations to enjoy.
Lastly, the Regional History Museum is a great place to learn more about the area's history and culture. By visiting this museum, we can gain a better understanding of the people who have called this area home for centuries. Plus, by supporting local museums and cultural sites, we can help to preserve these important landmarks for years to come.
Tips for sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism is the idea that we can still use our vacation days while remaining focused on the balance between environmental health, human well-being, and economic growth. We can enjoy our bucket list destinations while focusing on having a positive impact on these communities rather than a negative one. Here are some tips for sustainable travel in Vratsa, a beautiful town in Bulgaria that is surrounded by amazing nature.
Leave no trace
Be mindful of your footsteps because they trample upon fragile ecosystems and disrupt finely tuned systems. Make sure everything you bring out into nature comes home with you, and pick up some trash while you're at it!
Learn about the history and culture
Take the time to visit museums and engage with the local culture. This knowledge will enrich your travel and give you a greater understanding of the history and customs of your temporary home.
Respect local communities
While traveling, it's important to remember that you are a visitor in someone else's home, and treating locals with respect should be a top priority. This includes being considerate of the people who work in local shops, restaurants and other businesses. These individuals are often the backbone of the local economy, and their hard work contributes to the overall success of the community.
Take your time! Utilize the public transportation available in your destination. The Moovit app is recommended by Open Vratsa, I’ve personally used it and it did a great job.
Avoid single-use plastics
Plastic waste is one of the largest pollutants destroying our natural environment. Instead of adding to this problem on your travels, focus on limiting your plastic use. One way you can cut down is to bring a refillable water bottle. Many towns in Bulgaria have mineral springs where you can fill up your bottle, including Vratsa.
Why visit Vratsa (an honest opinion of a tourist)?
I plan on visiting Vratsa this month, and the Open Vratsa website has been a wonderful resource for preparing my trip and figuring out the best ways to see the amazing nature that surrounds the town.
In conclusion, Vratsa is a town that offers a lot to visitors who are looking for a sustainable travel experience. By focusing on environmental health, human well-being, and economic growth, we can enjoy our travels while having a positive impact on the communities we visit. So, whether you're a seasoned traveler or someone who is just starting to explore the world, I highly recommend a trip to Vratsa. You won't be disappointed!