Now rapidly emerging from its communist past whilst still retaining very friendly and supportive links with Russia, Bulgaria is investing heavily in the necessary facilities to encourage tourism.
With a mountainous western border sweeping down to sandy beaches on the Black Sea coast in the east, Bulgaria is a land of many contrasts. It remains, however, a land of few golf courses; just three. With the anticipated tourist boom already being felt and set to move exponentially upwards in the next decade, however, Bulgaria is preparing itself for the anticipated invasion of golfing aficionados by laying out a Nicklaus designed course to the highest standards.
Promoted as south east Europe’s only course at PGA level, the new club will be located at Dolna Banya, about 70 kilometres from the capital city of Sofia and sited adjacent to the Maritza River. The developing resort of Borovets is within 25 minutes travel time. Winter skiing here on slopes up to 3,000 meters and fantastic summer walking opportunities add to the year round attraction of the area. The course itself is being prepared in some of the lower foothills of the mountains and offers scope for some very challenging holes indeed. The views of the mountains are absolutely stunning and very different to what travelling golfers have perhaps become accustomed to in some of the more established areas of Spain and Portugal.
Occupying an area approaching 900,000 sq.m. and at 7,000m long over undulating land, construction of the new course started in mid ‘05. The practice facility is scheduled to be available for use by May ‘06 with the first nine holes ready for play by April ‘07. The back nine will be constructed simultaneously but will not be ready for use until autumn of the same year.
Supporting the new course will be a small, exclusive hotel, two sports centres, a shopping mall and a range of properties which are now coming to the market at prices which appear extremely inexpensive by conventional European standards.
Managing director Qasir Ali commented, “Dolna Banya represents the ideal opportunity for keen golfers, skier‘s, walkers and those simply looking for an excellent investment opportunity to acquire property on the new course itself. Prices here are set to rise, perhaps dramatically as the course develops but right now one bedroom apartments are still available at 55,000 Euros. Anything of a similar size located in, for example, Spain, would be at least two and a half times more expensive. The larger properties being built within the course similarly represent incredible value for money at 75,000 Euros for 2 bedrooms and 83 sq m of floor space.”
UK based property agency Bulgaria Revealed is bringing some of these properties to market and reports very high levels of interest already as the first tranche of studios and apartments approach completion.
Dolna Banya www.bulgariarevealed.com