Bulgaria, South-Eastern Europe
Bulgaria is a beautiful country on the Balkan Peninsula – forests, seas, fields and mountains, ancient Greek and Roman cities, markets and bazaars with a variety of goods and of course cozy, Bulgarian villages.

Bulgaria is located in South-Eastern Europe and occupies the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Its territory is between 44 ° 13 ‘and 41 ° 14’ north latitude and between 22 °22 ‘and 28 °37’ east longitude. This is the European, Balkan, Black Sea and Danube states. Such a geographical position puts it between Europe, Asia and Africa.

Bulgaria is closer to the equator than to the pole and enters the southern part of the temperate climatic belt with the influence of subtropics. This location on the transition from one climatic zone to another is reflected in the climate, soils, vegetation and fauna. And for all of them there is a significant diversity.
The astronomical geographical position also causes a relatively large angle of incidence of the sun’s rays, which determines the country as solar. The official hour-time in Bulgaria is East European, which is two hours ahead of the worldwide Greenwich Mean Time (UTC).
Influence on the territory of the country is provided by the Black and Mediterranean Seas. The influence of the Mediterranean determines the formation of climate in the southern parts of the state. The influence of Black Sea is more felt in the coastal strip with a width of up to 40 km. This determines the specific Black Sea climate, diversity of flora and fauna. The Dunav River is important for the country with its water resources and a rich variety of species. The favorable natural geographical position of Bulgaria creates excellent preconditions for the development of tourism.

Bulgaria is a transport intersection and a transit territory between western Europe, the Middle East and the Middle East and the Mediterranean. a number of important pan-European transport corridors cross Bulgaria. They are crossed by international highways from Western and Central Europe (via Belgrade – Sofia – Svilengrad) to the Near and Middle East (with a deviation to Baghdad and Basra in the Persian Gulf); from the Baltic Sea (via Moscow – Kiev – Bucharest – Ruse – Stara Zagoru – Thessaloniki) to the Aegean and Adriatic seas (Sofia – Skopje – Drach). The highway Kyustenge – Varna – Burgas – Tsarevo – Malko Tarnovo – Istanbul is of great importance.
In the trans-European network, Bulgaria is connected with the transport routes Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Sofia-Thessaloniki or Istanbul and with the site Durres-Tirana-Skopje-Sofia-Varna or Burgas. The main transport routes crossing the country are duplicated with the railway lines. In addition, the vast coast of Bulgaria on the Black Sea connects it with all the Black Sea countries. The sea offers exceptional opportunities for the development of transport and loading and unloading activities in the large bays of Burgas and Varna. Another transport artery in Bulgaria is the river corridor of the Rhine – Main – Danube, connected with the internal network of waterways of Western European countries.

The total length of the Bulgarian borders is 2,245 km. Of these, 1,181 km are land, 686 km of river and 378 km of sea borders. In the north, Bulgaria borders on Romania.
In the east – with the Black Sea, in the south – with Turkey.
with Greece

In the west with the Republic of Macedonia
and with Serbia
The distance from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, to the capitals of neighboring Balkan countries is as follows: Skopje – 239 km, Belgrade – 374 km, Bucharest – 395 km, Athens – 837 km, Ankara – 1012 km.

The largest city in Bulgaria is Sofia, the capital, the population is 1,034,000 people.

The second largest city in the country is Plovdiv with a population of 367,000 people.
In third place, the city on the north coast is Varna, 334 000 people.

The fourth city located on the southern Black Sea coast is Burgas, with a population of 200,000 people.

 Tourism in Bulgaria is a significant share of the country’s GDP. Most tourists visit the resort either summer or winter in accordance with the season. The outlook for tourism development in Bulgaria is rainbow, the country has both cultural and natural attractions. In 2015, the newspaper Daily Mail named the resorts of Bulgaria the most inexpensive in Europe. The food basket in the key Bulgarian resorts is much cheaper than the similar one at the resorts of Italy, Spain and Turkey. In addition, in Bulgaria there are only two non-tourist months – October and November. Black Sea March is already a confident spring with flowering trees, in June, they swim in the Black Sea – until September. The ski season starts in December and lasts until February.

Bansko, ski resort
Pamporovo, ski resort
Borovets, ski resort
Bulgaria attracted 11.1 million foreign tourists in 2015, according to the Worldbank. Tourists from five countries – Greece, Romania, Turkey, Germany, and Russia – account for approximately 50% of all visitors. The sector contributed to 15% of GDP and supported 150 000 workplaces in 2014.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
There are ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria. The first four properties were inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1979, and the last in 2017. Bulgaria currently has fourteen additional properties on the Tentative List. Nestinarstvo, a ritual fire-dance of Thracian origin, is included in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Rila Monastery, Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, Boyana Church, Madara Rider, Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Rock-hewn Churches, Ancient City of Nessebar, Pirin National Park, Srebarna Nature Reserve, Primeval Beech Forests of the Central Balkans, Nestinarstvo, Chiprovtsi carpet, Surva, Masquerade games, Koprivshtitsa folklore fair.

Ethnic, cultural and historical tourism.
The Bulgarian cultural heritage has many faces and manifestations – archaeological reserves and monuments, museums, galleries, rich cultural calendar, preserved folklore and magnificent architectural monuments.

Historical monuments and sites: Tsarevets and Veliko Tarnovo, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria National Assembly, Shipka Memorial, Plovdiv Roman theatre, Perperikon, Baba Vida, Balchik Palace, Dyavolski most, Nicopolis ad Istrum, Aleksandrovo Thracian tomb, Belogradchik Fortress, Dohodno Zdanie, Great Basilica, Pliska, Covered Bridge, Lovech, Asen’s Fortress, Euxinograd, 1300 Years of Bulgaria, Cherven fortress, Villa Armira, Buzludzha, National Palace of Culture, Vrana Palace, Asenevtsi monument.

Museums: National Historical Museum, National Archaeological Museum, National Gallery for Foreign Art, National Museum of Military History, National Museum of Natural History, Sofia History Museum, National museum “Vasil Levski”, Karlovo, National Transport Museum, Dorkovo Museum, Pleven Panorama, Agushevi konatsi, Mogilitsa, Museum of the rose, Kazanlak, Rozhen Observatory, Wine Museum, House of Humour and Satire, Varna dolphinarium, Mining museum, Pernik, Varna Archaeological Museum, Museum of Socialist Art, Sofia, Museum of Mosaics, Devnya.

Thracian treasures: Panagyurishte Treasure, Rogozen Treasure, Valchitran Treasure, Golden mask of Teres I, Bronze head of Seuthes III found in Golyamata Kosmatka,Lukovit Treasure, Letnitsa treasure, Yakimovo Thracian Treasure, Ravnogor Thracian Treasure, A thracian golden necklace found in Arabadjiiska Mogila, Sinemorets Gold figurines, Thracian helmet found in Pletena, Vazovo Thracian Pegasus, Kralevo Treasure, Golden treasure found in the Sveshtari Mound, King Cotys I’s Borovo Treasure, Odrysian Wreath of Cersobleptes, Zlatinica-Malomirovo, Mogilanska Mogila funeral offerings.

Rural tourism:
The Bulgarian town house is an embodiment of the owner’s social status, craft and traditions. Many old buildings that demonstrate this type of architecture—e.g. in the villages of Arbanasi, Leshten, Kovachevitsa, Melnik—have been preserved to the present day.

Koprivshtitsa, Troyan, Etar, Dryanovo, Elena, Tryavna, Lovech, Varosha, Bozhentsi, Kovachevitsa, Zheravna, Arbanasi, Zlatograd, Shiroka Laka, Melnik, Leshten, Dolen, Brashlyan, Stefanovo.

City tourism: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Ruse, “The Little Vienna ” .

Monasteries: Rila Monastery, Bachkovo Monastery, Troyan Monastery, Drianovo Monastery, Sokolski Monastery, Cherepishki Monastery, Shipka Monastery, Zemen Monastery.

Churches: Boyana Church, Rock-hewn Churches, Churches of Nessebar, Church of the Nativity of Christ in Arbanasi, Church of Sveta Arhangeli Mikhail & Gavril, Arbanasi, Church of St Petka, Vukovo, Church of St Demetrius, Boboshevo, Church of the Holy Mother of God, Asen’s Fortress, Church of St Peter, Berende, Saint Nicholas, Slokostitsa.

Festivals and events: Rozhen National Folklore Fair, Epiphany’s horo in Kalofer, Festival of the rose, Kazanlak, Spirit of Burgas, Kavarna Rock Fest, July Morning, at Kamen Bryag, Paneurhythmy dances at the Seven Rila Lakes, Tsarevets Sound and Light, Surva, Masquerade games, Koprivshtitsa folklore fair.

Resorts and nature tourism.
Seaside resorts.
The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast is picturesque and diverse. White and golden sandy beaches occupy approximately 130 km of the 378 km long coast. The temperatures during the summer months are very suitable for marine tourism and the water temperature allows sea bathing from May to October. Prior to 1989 the Bulgarian Black Sea coast was internationally known as the Red Riviera. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, however, its nickname has been changed to the Bulgarian Riviera.

Rusalka, Primorsko, Kavarna, Albena, Kiten, Golden Sands, Constantine and Helena, Irakli, Ahtopol, Sinemorets, Kamchia, Dyuni, Sozopol, Pomorie, Shkorpilovtsi, Byala, Sunny Beach, Balchik, Obzor, Sveti Vlas.

Hiking and skiing.
The country has several ski areas which offer excellent conditions for skiing, snowboarding, ski running and other winter sports.

Bansko, Borovets, Pamporovo, Osogovo, Razlog, Malyovitsa, Vitosha, Uzana.

National and natural parks: Pirin National Park, Rila National Park, Central Balkan National Park, Belasitsa Nature Park, Bulgarka Nature Park, Vitosha Nature Park, Golden Sands Nature Park, Persina Nature Park, Sinite Kamani Nature Park, Strandzha Nature Park, Rusenski Lom Nature Park, Shumensko Plato Nature Park.

Caves and waterfalls: Devil’s Throat Cave, Bacho Kiro cave, Devetashka cave, Ledenika, Magura Cave, Prohodna, Saeva dupka, Snezhanka (cave), Uhlovitsa, Babsko Praskalo, Borov Kamak, Emen, Raysko Praskalo, Etropole Waterfall, Karlovsko Praskalo, Krushuna Falls, Popinolashki waterfall, Skakavitsa Waterfall.

Nature landforms and formations: Seven Rila Lakes, The Stone Mushrooms, Belogradchik Rocks, The Stone Desert, Trigrad Gorge, Stob Pyramids, Zlatnite Mostove, Marvelous Bridges, Iskar Gorge, Ritlite, Melnik Pyramids, Rock wedding, Kardzhali.

Top 20 sources of international visitors to Bulgaria.
Most visitors arriving in Bulgaria on short-term basis came from the following countries of nationality:

Rank Country 2016 2015
1  Romania 1,743,697 1,499,854
2  Turkey 1,312,895 1,237,841
3  Greece 1,157,062 1,024,527
4  Germany 1,003,030 826,142
5  Russia 589,844 493,989
6  Macedonia 562,365 506,052
7  Serbia 490,668 501,091
8  Poland 388,833 285,455
9  Ukraine 342,214 310,777
10  United Kingdom 281,777 250,038
11  Czech Republic 219,349 160,978
12  Austria 204,489 175,024
13  France 195,571 171,305
14  Israel 183,846 155,276
15  Italy 152,078 143,446
16  Netherlands 147,882 125,378
17  Belgium 119,429 100,777
18  Hungary 118,805 102,189
19  United States 82,465 81,979
20  Slovakia 78,167 74,770

 

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