Varshets is a city of 5,400 people (2018) in North Bulgaria. On a visit here, you can walk along the romanic, tree-lined boulevards, discover the untouched wonders of the 800 acres (320 hectares) nature park, relax alongside 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 relaxation and for 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. It was developed as a balneological 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. It was opened as Bansko Casino, and renamed the Royal Casino after its popularity with Prince Kiril.
Varshets is easily accessed by private car from the highway connecting Vratsa and Montana. It is 2½ 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.
- Sofia - Varshets
- Bus departs at 08:30 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.
- Vratsa - Varshets
- Bus departs Vratsa at 08:00; 10:30; 12:00; 15:10 (approx. 50 minutes).
- Montana - Varshets
- Bus departs Montana 08:00; 11:45; 18:00 - (50 minutes).
- Berkovitsa - Varshets
- Bus departs Berkovitsa at: 08:30; 11:40; 14:45 - (30 minutes).
- Lom - Varshets
- Bus departs Lom at: 06:00; 15:00 - (210 minutes)
- Vidin - Varshets
- 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 07:23 from Sofia Central Railway Station and arrives in Lakatnik at 08:42. Bus departs at 09:10 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, ☏ . M-F 08:30 to 17:00. The City Art Gallery, on the main pedestrian boulevard near the centre 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.
- 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.
- Municipal Museum (Общински музей), Republica Blvd, ☏ . Everyday 09:00 - 12:30 and 14:00 - 18:30. 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 2nd century BC. The Thracian boy-god, Telesphorus, is now considered a symbol of the city of Varshets. free.
- Minkovi Bani, Obshch. Varshets, S. Spanchevtsi, M., ☏ . 2-star hotel.
- PreSpa, Gr. Varshets, Ul. Botinya 2, ☏ . 3-star hotel.
- Spa Hotel Mediks, Gr. Varshets, Ul. Republika 87, ☏ . 4-star hotel.
Tourist Information Center; Boulevard Republica, No 90A; phone: 09527/31-56 or 0878355866; email: firstname.lastname@example.org