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Nature

Bulgaria occupies a relatively small area - 111 000 sq. km, but is nevertheless distinguished by generous and varied nature - a sea with a 380 km. long coastal strip and golden beaches, 16 mountains with their own characteristic features, shelters valleys and high plateaus, over 550 curative mineral springs, dozen of unique natural phenomena and 2000 thrilling caves, a healthy climate and diverse flora and fauna.

As a whole
Bulgaria's vegetation can be ranked among the Central European forest region, but the influence of the South Russian and Asia Minor regions is also felt. The higher part of Bulgarian mountains are covered by sub -Arctic vegetation, among which juniper forests predominate. In fact, Bulgaria boasts 3000 higher plant varieties - almost twice as many as in England.

More then one quarter of the country's territory is covered with forests. The edelweiss which grows in places difficult of access in the Pirin Mountains and the Balkan Range, is one of the rare plants growing in the country.

Bulgaria is famous for its oleaginous rose which bloom in the Valley of Roses. The Bulgarian tobacco brands are world - famous.

The Bulgarian fauna is no less interesting, with almost 13 000 animal species and subspecies, or about 14 percent of all European species.

Fishing is possible in lakes, dams, mountain brooks and sea, hunting - in special hunting grounds.

 

Nature

Sea

Pontus euxinos - hospitable sea.
This is how the ancient Greeks called the Black Sea, a sea that is indeed tempting and hospitable - clean and calm, without any tides or dangerous animals. The sandy sea bottom slopes gently, making bathing and swimming safe for even the youngest holidaymakers. The Black Sea is half as saline as the Mediterranean.

The Bulgarian coastal stretch faces east and extends over 378 km, dotted with vast beaches covered with fine golden sand. The majority of Bulgaria beaches have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for their environmental exellence.

Air temperatures in summer vary between 23C and 27C, water temperatures between 17C and 25C. There are more than 240 hours of sunshine in May and September, and more than 300 in July and August. The deep-cutting coves and rugged shores, wooded hills and romantic peninsulas, vineyards and orchards, fishing towns and secluded campsites lend a unique fascination to the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

Holiday-makers have a huge selection of resorts and accommodation to choose from - depending on their budget and on the kind of holiday they are interested in. They can find anything from luxurious 4 to 5-star hotels, large holiday hotel complexes, private hotels, small guesthouses - to more seduled holiday villages, villas and B & B style rooms.

The large major sea resorts - Albena, Golden Sands, Riviera Holiday Club, Sunny Day Tourist Complex, St. Constantine, Elenite Holiday Village, Sunny Beach, Dyuni Holiday Village- tempt with luxury, innumerable sports facilities, entertainment and inland trips to noteworthy landmarks.

 

 Mountains

Rugged snow-capped peaks and soft green slopes, cool forests carrying the aroma of herbs and wild fruit, quick-flowing rivers and crystal-clear blue lakes, mineral springs and bioreserves, rare plants and game, large climatic and ski resorts and small picturesque villages with living traditions and folklore - every Bulgarian mountain has its own characteristic appearance, fascination and beautiful name.

 

 

 

 

Mountains

Lakes

Glacial lakes are most numerous in Bulgaria. There are about 280 of them, located in the high mountain zones of the Rila and Pirin Mountains. Most are situated at altitudes of 2,200-2,400 m, the highest lying lake - Ledenika Lake in the Rila Mountains - being situated at an altitude of 2,715 m.

The lakes freeze around October and melt in June. The ice cover can be up to two metres thick. In summer they get their water from the melting snow-drifts on the mountain screes and peaks. Most of them flow into wild streams from which the big Bulgarian rivers - Iskur, Maritsa and Mesta - take their course.

These lakes either form separate groups or are located singly.

There are about 190 glacial lakes in the Rila Mountains. Most of them are scattered in circuses, but there are also a number of large groups of lakes: the Ribni (Fish), Malyovitsa and Moussala lakes, the Seven Rila Lakes, etc. Their depth varies between three and 40 meters. Okoto Lake (The Eye) is the deepest - 39 m. Average visibility is from 6 to 15 m.

The Pirin Mountains boast about 158-164 lakes, covering an area of 180 hectares. The larger lake groups include: Demyanitsa and Bunderitsa and the lakes along the Sandanska Bistritsa and Retizhe rivers. Average visibility is 15 m.

The champion of the Pirin lakes is Popovo Lake, also known as the "Pirin Sea". Located in the largest circus, it covers an area of 12.4 ha and is 480 m long and 336 m wide. The small rocky peninsula Popova Kapa, a popular tourist target, is located in its northwestern part.

The best known group of lakes in the Rhodopes are the Smolyan Lakes. They are located in the Western Rhodopes. Seven in all, they are amphitheatrically situated. The natural phenomenon Orlovi Skali (Eagle's Rocks) rises in the vicinity.

 

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