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About Bulgaria ↓
Here you will learn about the country, its location on the Balkans, its climate, traditions and culture, and some interesting facts.

BULGARIA-THE UNKNOWN PARADISE OF THE BALKANS
In many ways, Bulgaria remains the unknown country of the Balkans, a dream paradise on a small, but beautiful patch of land. Balkan culture and European ways of life mingle here. Villages have remained keepers of Bulgarian folklore tradition for centuries and cities have flourished into modern standards of life. Black Sea coast and mountains go together, creating one glorious celebration for mother nature. Bulgaria can offer a unique combination of sunny seaside, beautiful mountains, lovely countryside, numerous mineral springs, and organic farmlands. Once you are away from the noisiy towns and the bustle of the large seaside resorts you will find yourself drifting back to the country's centuries old way of life. The beautiful nature in combination with delicious and healthy food makes it a great place for living and vacation.

LOCATION
Bulgaria is located in South-Eastern Europe (43 00 N, 25 00 E) bordering the Black Sea, between Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. The total area of the country is about 112,000 sq. km roughly the size of England with 354 km coastline on the Black sea. It is situated in southeast Europe on the crossroads to the Middle East and Asia. The river Danube provides its northern border with Romania. Serbia and Macedonia are to the west. Greece lies to the southwest, Turkey to the southeast and the black sea to the east. It takes approximately 3 hours to fly to Bulgaria from London. There are also international airports in Varna and Bourgas.

CLIMATE AND TEMPERATURE
Bulgaria has a temperate climate, with cold damp winters and hot summers. Spring (April to mid-June)is beautiful and blooming. Summer (mid-June to September) is dry and hot. Autumn is long and pleasant.Winter is mild with lots of opportunity for skiing in the mountains. The coast is virtually deserted from mid-September to mid-May although the ski season begins in mid-December and can last until April. Bulgaria has a temperate continental climate with four clearly marked seasons. A Mediterranean influence is felt in the country's southern regions. Spring and autumn are good times for a visit with mild and pleasant weather and a host of cultural events taking place. Summer has reliable weather, perfect for hiking, outdoor festivals or beach activities. Winter is cold but provides perfect skiing and snowboarding conditions in the mountain regions.
- The average annual temperature is 10.5C.
- The average January temperature is around OC.
- Average summer temperatures are around 30C.

SEASIDE AND MOUNTAINS ON ONE TERRITORY
In Bulgaria there are several large and a few small mountains which are nice for tourism and camping. In some of them there are waterfalls (like in Vitosha mountain), and spectacular lakes (like the seven lakes in Rila mountain, which are called after parts of the body, according to their shapes, for example one of them is called The Kidney).
The beautiful Black Sea is known all around the world with its delighting sea resorts which bring about a drop of luxury in this pearl of the Balkans.

INTERESTING FACTS
Population 7.7 million (UN, 2005)Capital Sofia Official language Bulgarian Main religion Christianity-Eastern Orthodox ; Monetary unit 1 Lev = 100 stotinki Main exports Chemicals and plastics, food and drink, tobacco, machine-building equipment Local time GMT + 2hours International dialling code +359

Official holidays
January 1st - New Year's Holiday;March 3rd - National Holiday;Easter, and the first Monday after Easter; May 1st - Labour Day; May 6th - Gergyovden (Saint George's Day), and the Day of the Bulgarian Army Day;May24th - Cyril and Methodius Day; September 6th - Unification Day; September 22d - Independence Day; November 1st - National Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders; December 24th, 25th, and 26th - Christmas Days.

BULGARIAN CURRENCY
In Bulgaria most of life's essentials cost less than in the West, and living is cheaper.The currency unit in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev. Central exchange rates are quoted daily by the Bulgarian National Bank /BNB /for statistical and accounting purposes only. The banknote denominations are: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 LEVA; Coins are called stotinki and include 1, 2, 5,10, 20, 50. There is also a coin of 1 Lev.

THE BULGARIAN COAST
The Bulgarian coastal stretch faces east and extends over 378 km, dotted with vast beaches covered with fine golden sand, and natural dunes - the majority of which have been awarded the EU Blue Flag for environmental excellence. Long sunny days enjoy temperatures in summer of around 23C to 28C, while water temperatures range between 17C and 25C. There are more than 240 hours of sunshine in May and September, and more than 300 hours each for July and August.

ENTERTAINMENT
If you want to dine and enjoy yourself properly, there are a lot of fine places to do it- from the restaurants in the small country villages to the high-volume resorts. Numerous night clubs and theatres can offer you quite a good time as a compliment to your visit to Bulgaria making the most of it.

TRANSPORT
There is well developed Public transport network in large towns:buses, taxis, trams, trolley bus and mini bus services. Underground is available only in Sofia. Taxi rates are more or less the same in all towns and cities and are 0.30-0.50 Leva per km.
The inter-city transport includes plane, train, and coach. Busses are preferred means of transport between towns in Bulgaria as it is well organized and reliable. A bus ticket from Sofia to the seaside costs 8 Euros and takes 5.5-6 hours. There are also trains, but they are not convenient as busses and are much slower and the prices are similar to bus transport. 90% of Bulgaria's settlements have local and distance bus transport.
There are domestic flights from Sofia to Varna airport and from Sofia to Burgas airport /only during summer season/. Travel time is 1 hour and return ticket costs 115Euros Tickets can be purchased from bus stations or from travel and tourist agencies. Car rental is available from international rent-a-car companies.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE BULGARIA?
Bulgaria is a country of unlimited possibilities. It is the newest hot destination for the real estate market in Europe, because it is still unexplored by others.The conditions in the real estate sphere right now are very good, so why not be the first to take your chance? The nature is beautiful and various, the estates are profitable.The Bulgarian people are hospitable and friendly, there are many opportunities for investment.

VISAS
Tourists to Bulgaria from many countries do not need visa - a valid passport is required only. All visitors, however, are themselves responsible to go through a visa application if a visa is required. UK citizens can get more info on www.bulgarianembassy.org.uk

CREDIT CARDS
All major Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, etc are accepted for payment of all standard services in many hotels, restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, travel agencies, etc. However, in smaller places such services are not available, so you should bring some cash.
There are local and international telephone services.

IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Police 166
Fire brigade 160
Emergency medical aid 150
Directory inquiries 144
Road assistance 146





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