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Discover Bulgaria
Discover Bulgaria
Discover Bulgaria
Discover Bulgaria
Bulgaria is an Southeastern European country, situated in the east part of the Balkan Peninsula. Its territory spans on parts of the historical and geographical regions of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. Bulgaria's whole eastern border is determined by the Black sea, to the south it shares borders with Turkey and Greece, to the west with Macedonia and Serbia and to the north with Romania - natural border is the Danube river. Its territory is 110 550 square kilometers.
In physical and geographical aspect, Bulgaria is a transitional zone between the moderate and the subtropical (Mediterranean) physico-geographical zones. Its relief and transitional character of its climate determines the diversity of the local flora and fauna. This location has influenced the climate, the flora and the fauna.
Bulgaria has a total border of about 2,264 km. Rivers account for about 680 km and the Black Sea coast for 400 km; the southern and western borders are mainly defined by ridges in high terrain. The western and northern boundaries are shared with Serbia and Romania, respectively, and the Black Sea coastline constitutes the entire eastern border. The Romanian border follows the Danube for 464 km from the northwestern corner of the country to the city of Silistra and then cuts to the east-southeast for 136 km. The Danube, with steep bluffs on the Bulgarian side and a wide area of swamps and marshes on the Romanian side, is one of the most effective river boundaries in Europe. The line through Dobrudja is arbitrary and was redrawn several times according to international treaties. In that process, most inhabitants with strong national preferences resettled in the country of their choice. Borders to the south are with Greece and Turkey, the border with Greece being 491 kilometres long, and the Turkish border having a length of 240 kilometres.
The terrain of Bulgaria is mainly mountainous and includes mountains, hilly regions, valleys and plains. The average altitude above sea level in Bulgaria is 470 m, with the highest point in the country being Musala Peak in Rila mountain, which is 2925 m high. It is can easily to define four geographical areas i.e. the Danube plain, Stara Planina mountain range (Balkan Mountains), Thracian lowlands and Rilo-Rhodope massif.

Balkan Mountains, Bulgarian Stara Planina (“Old Mountains”)
chief range of the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria and an extension of the Alpine-Carpathian folds. The range extends from the Timok River valley near the Serbian border, spreading out eastward for about 530 km into several spurs, rising to 2,376 m at Botev peak, and breaking off abruptly at Cape Emine on the Black Sea. The Balkan Mountains are crossed by about 20 passes, by several railway lines, and by the Iskŭr River. There are thermal and mineral springs. High alpine meadows descend to coniferous and deciduous forests. Mountain towns such as Veliko Tarnovo were focuses for early Bulgarian nationalist movements in the 19th century.
The region of the Balkan Mountains is famous for its great natural phenomena. In the west part of the Balkan Mountains near Belogradchik Town are situated the unique Rocks of Belogradchik that were included in the ranking for the new seven natural wonders of the world. 25 km to the northwest of Belogradchik is one of the biggest caves in Bulgaria - Magurata, famous for its unique cave drawings that were dated back to 3100 - 900 B.C. The mountains are famous for its amazing waterfalls.

Vitosha Mountain
Vitosha is a mountain massif, on the outskirts of the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia. Vitosha is one of the tourists symbols of Sofia and the closest site for hiking, alpinism and skiing. Convenient bus lines and rope ways render the mountain easily accessible. Vitosha has the outlines of an enormous dome. The territory of the mountain includes Vitosha nature park that encompasses the best known and most frequently visited parts. The foothills of Vitosha shelter resort quarters of Sofia; Vitosha is the oldest nature park in the Balkans. Vitosha is separated into four main parts whose main ridges gather at a crown known as Cherni Vrah ("Black Peak"). This is the highest point of the mountain at 2290 m and is one of 10 peaks of Vitosha over 2000 m in height. Vitosha is home of more than 1800 different types of plant species (some of them extremely rare and unique) and numerous water supply sources. Vitosha is one of the preferred places for recreation. It provides excellent conditions for tourism all year round.

The Rilo-Rhodope Massif
The Rilo-Rhodope Massif is situated in the southwest part of Bulgaria. The massif is the oldest dry land on Bulgarian territory. The 2925-m high Musala Peak, which is the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula is here – Rila mountain and the second highest peak in the country - Vihren peak (2914 m.) in Pirin mountain. The region is particularly notable for the Karst areas with their deep river gorges, large caves and specific sculptured forms, such as the Trigrad Gorge.
The Rhodopes have a rich cultural heritage including ancient Thracian sites such as Perperikon, Tatul and Belintash; medieval castles, churches, monasteries and picturesque villages with traditional Bulgarian architecture from 18th and 19th century.
The best winter resorts in Bulgaria are also here – Borivets in Rila, Bansko in Pirin and Pamporovo in Rhodope Mountains as well as the best spa resorts – Sandanski at the foot of the mountain Pirin and Velingrad and Devin in Rhodopes again.

Strandzha and Sakar
Strandzha and Sakar are low mountains, situated in the southeast part of Bulgaria. They are characterized with low and hilly terrain, soft transitional continental climate and venerable forests, which are conducive for the development of hunting tourism. Strandzha accommodates the Strandzha Natural Park, which is the biggest protected natural territory of Bulgaria, created to protect the unique ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as to preserve the original Strandzha folklore, culture and historical heritage. Strandzha is a home of Nestinarstvo – a fire ritual originally performed in several Bulgarian villages in Strandzha Mountain. It involves a barefoot dance on smouldering embers performed by nestinari. It is usually performed on the square of the village in front of the whole population on the day of St Konstantine and Helen or the day of the village’s patron saint.

Plains are situated o the north and to the south of the Balkan Mountains.
The Danubian Plain constitutes the northern part of Bulgaria, situated north of the Balkan Mountains and south of the Danube.
It is very important for the economy of Bulgaria because of the agriculture.
The Thracian Lowland is the widest lowland in the southeast part of Bulgaria and includes the middle Maritsa river valley. It is a part of the Thrace region, which has rich historical and cultural heritage. The city of Plovdiv is the undisputed capital of that region, but there are some other big cities too such as Stara Zagora, Yambol, Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sliven etc.

The Bulgarian Black Sea coast
The Bulgarian Black Sea coast spreads on the east part of Bulgaria. It is 378-km long, of which 200 km is the beach line covered with beautiful sand. The South coast is famous for its wide and long beaches covered with finest sand as opposed to the north coast, which has more rocky terrain, but still can offer some first class beaches such as the St.St.Konstantin and Elena, Golden Sands and Albena resorts. The region is an important centre of sea recreation and tourism. It is visited mainly in summer and is one of the main tourist destinations in Bulgaria. Some of the most famous Bulgarian Black sea resorts are Albena, Balchik, Duni Royal Resort, Elenite Holiday Village, Golden Sands, Kiten, Nesebar, Obzor, Pomorie, Sveti Vlas, Sunny Beach, Sozopol, etc. Varna city is called the capital of the North Black Sea coast, and Burgas city - of the South Black Sea Coast.

Bulgarian rivers
are quite short, with small catchment basins, which are not very deep. Rivers flow to the two sea basins - the Black Sea Basin and the Aegean Basin. About 2200 dam lakes are built for the adjustment of the river run-off. Danube River ? is the largest Bulgarian River.
The Danube provides great opportunities for the development of water tourism. It is the biggest international waterway, which connects Bulgaria with the countries from West and East Europe. The river has great economic, cultural and historical significance for Bulgaria.
Iskar is the longest river running entirely on the territory of Bulgaria. It is 368-km long and takes its source from the Rila Mountain. The river runs through the outskirts of Sofia and passes through a rocky gorge in the Balkan Mountains. It forms two defiles - Pancharevsko defile and Iskarsko defile with amazing rock formations and many monasteries.
Maritsa is the deepest river in Bulgaria. It begins from Rila Mountain and runs southeastwards through the Thracian lowland. In its lower stream Maritsa River outlines the border between Turkey and Greece and flows into the Aegean Sea. Besides Plovdiv (the second largest city in Bulgaria) few other cities like Stara Zagora, Svilengrad and Belovo are also situated along the way of Maritsa river.
Struma is situated in Southwest Bulgaria. It starts from Vitosha mountain and runs through the territory of Bulgaria and flows into the Struma Bay of the Aegean Sea.
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