The globally renowned travel guide Lonely Planet's has ranked Bulgaria fifth among the top 10 countries for 2011.
The first four spots are taken by Albania, Brazil, Cape Verde and Panama, while Vanuatu, Italy, Tanzania, Syria and Japan are behind Bulgaria.
"For those who looked, Bulgaria has always had its moments – in its biggest cities, on its snow-capped peaks and great-value ski fields, on its golden-sand beaches and in ancient Black Sea port towns. Yet, over the years, with history's contribution, Bulgaria has got lost amid its more famous neighbours. From the south, the Ottoman soldiers of present-day Turkey ran Bulgaria for 500 years. Legendary toga-clad Greeks to the south mocked Bulgaria's strong wines (before adopting the same). More recently, the Romanians claimed the share of fame via distinguishing Latin bloodlines and Transylvania's mystic, fancy appeal. Bulgaria sometimes feels like the odd guy out in this corner of Europe. But things are changing. Now proudly part of the 21st-century EU, Bulgaria has enjoyed more attention – and self confidence. Its ski slopes are de facto destinations for Europeans looking for cheaper alternatives, empty patches of lovely Black Sea beaches can still be found, and its quietly brilliant wine industry is flourishing. Whatever happens, Bulgarians will take it in their stride. As one local song goes, 'We win, we lose...either way we get drunk, we're Bulgarians!' That oughta be on a T-shirt," the publication reads.
The "Lonely Planet" travel guides are considered to be the fastest and among the best in the world. The first one, dedicated to travels in Asia ,was published in 1974. Today Lonely Planet is the largest tourist information publisher in the world.