Ancient and Young
The legend says that when God decided to divide the world among the peoples, all but one nation attended that event. Those were the Bulgarians, who worked till late in the fields. Everything already had been divided, but the Almighty God, estimating highly the Bulgarians zeal, presented them with a piece of earthy paradise, a fertile land in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, from then on and to this very day named Bulgaria. Situated on the crossroad of European and Asian ambitions, Bulgaria /111 000 km2, population approximately 8.5 million/, is one of the small countries in Europe, yet it holds out a great diversity of relief, as well as offers its visitors an easy access to its tourist sites.
Bulgaria borders with Rumania to the North, the river Danube dividing them; to the West – with Serbia and Macedonia, to the South – with Greece and Turkey. Its East border is the Black Sea, which connects Bulgaria with Ukraine and Grusia, and through the Bosforus and the Dardanelles – with the Mediterranean countries.
The Bulgarian relief is varied – flat and hilly lands take up about 70 %, mountains –around 30%. The highest massifs are the mountains Rila (Mount Musala 2925m), Pirin (Mount Vihren 2914m) and Stara Planina (Mount Hristo Botev – 2376 m). A vast flat area is the Danube Plain.
The extensive beach strip, covered with golden sand is typical for the Black Sea Coast of Bulgaria. The main rivers in the country are the Danube, Iskar, Tundja, Maritsa, and Iantra.
Bulgaria is famous for its bright summer, motley fruit gardens and grapes, laved by the sun…And thanks to the snowy mountains and endless forests, gleaming like precious stones under the blue sky in the winter sun; Bulgaria is acknowledged as a winter wonderland. Winter in the mountains is long, mild, and cloudless; the snow cover lasts from December to April. In North Bulgaria the climate is moderately-continental, summer is hot and dry, winter – cold and snowy. The climate of the Thracian Plain is very similar to the Mediterranean climate. The average annual temperature is approximately 12o C.
For the Black Sea Coast small temperature amplitudes are typical. For example, the average temperatures in Varna in January are 3o С, and in the summer temperatures rarely exceed 30o С. The autumn is mild and warm. They often speak of the “Bulgarian Riviera”, when one has to characterize the Varna coast. Rila and Sredna Gora are often compared to the Alps, and Madara is called the Bulgarian Troy. There is certainly a lot to talk about – the vast beaches, the virgin country scenes and the awesome mountains. However, most sights are beyond comparison, for it would only violate the originality of Bulgaria.
Among European and Mediterranean countries Bulgaria takes one of the first places by quantity of underground waters, whose chemical composition and curative properties are unique. At present there are more than 500 thermal springs, whose total capacity is 28 000 liters per second. About ¾ of the mineral springs are hot. Cold springs are rare.
This great wealth of medicative factors allows for an effective treatment of different illnesses, by means of mineral water and medical mud. Here inflammations and complications affecting motor nerves are being treated, as well as mental and neurological traumas and shocks, industrial diseases, heart diseases, different chronic diseases, orthopedic defects, traumas and others.
And yet, Bulgaria is attractive for visitors from all over the world not only for its natural wealth, but for its centuries old history and numerous cultural sites.