Bulgaria, Tourist, Information

Bulgaria The territory of Bulgaria is 110 990 sq km. The country is situated on the Balkan peninsula. It border on:

  • Romania - 609 km
  • Serbia - 341 km
  • Macedonia - 165 km
  • Greece - 493 km
  • Turkey - 259 km
  • Black sea - 378 km
Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic, a member of the European Union (1 January 2007) and NATO (29 March 2004).

The National Assembly (Narodno Sabranie) consists of 240 deputies, each elected for four-year terms by popular vote. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, approve the budget, schedule presidential elections, select and dismiss the Prime Minister and other ministers, declare war, deploy troops abroad, and ratify international treaties and agreements. The president serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. While unable to initiate legislation other than constitutional amendments, the President can return a bill for further debate, although the parliament can override the President's veto by vote of a majority of all MPs.

Bulgaria consisted of twenty-eigh provinces (oblasti, singular oblast). All take their names from their respective capital cities. Bulgaria's capital city and largest settlement is Sofia, with a permanent population of 1,270,000 people. Largest cities - Plovdiv (335,000), Varna (335,000), Burgas (210,000), Rousse (170,000), Stara Zagora (150,000), Pleven (120,000), Sliven (105,000), Dobrich (100,000)

The population for 2009 at 7,606,000 people. According to the 2001 census, it consists mainly of ethnic Bulgarians (83.9%), with two sizable minorities, Turks (9.4%) and Roma (4.7%). Of the remaining 2.0%, 0.9% comprises some 40 smaller minorities, while 1.1% of the population have not declared their ethnicity. Most Bulgarians (82.6%) belong, at least nominally, to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.] Other religious denominations include Islam (12.2%), various Protestant denominations (0.8%) and Roman Catholicism (0.5%); with other Christian denominations (0.2%), and "other" totalling approximately 4%.

The Bulgarian lev is the country's national currency. The lev is pegged to the euro at a rate of 1.95583 leva for 1 euro

Black Sea Coast Geographically and in terms of climate Bulgaria features notable diversity, with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped peaks in Rila, Pirin and the Balkan Mountains to the mild and sunny Black Sea coast; from the typically continental Danubian Plain in the north to the strong Mediterranean climatic influence in the valleys of Macedonia and in the lowlands in the southernmost parts of Thrace.

Bulgaria comprises portions of the separate regions known in classical times as Moesia, Thrace, and Macedonia. About 70% of the land is made up of plains, plateaus and hills. The mountainous southwest of the country has two alpine ranges — Rila, Pirin and Rhodope Mountains. The Rila range includes the highest peak of the Balkan Peninsula, Musala, at 2,925 meters. The Balkan mountain chain runs west-east through the middle of the country, north of the Rose Valley. Hilly countryside and plains lie to the southeast, along the Black Sea coast, and along Bulgaria's main river, the Danube, to the north. Strandzha forms the tallest mountain in the southeast.

The longest river located solely in Bulgarian territory, the Iskar, has a length of 368 kilometers (229 mi). Other major rivers include the Struma and the Maritsa River. Bulgaria overall has a temperate climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The barrier effect of the Balkan Mountains has some influence on climate throughout the country–northern Bulgaria experiences lower temperatures and receives more rain than the southern lowlands.

Bulgaria is a country with a historical and cultural heritage, and attractive natural landscapes, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. Tourism, as an industry, has been an important source of economic growth. In 2008 Bulgaria was visited by 8.9 million tourists. The country has historical cities and towns, summer beaches, and mountain ski resorts. New types of tourism, including cultural, architectural and historic tours, eco-tourism, and adventure tours, are expanding the range of visitor experiences.

Bulgaria occupies a unique and strategically important geographic location. Since ancient times, the country has served as a major crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa. Five of the ten Trans-European corridors run through its territory. Bulgaria's national road network has a total length of 102,016 kilometers, of which 93,855 kilometers are paved. Motorways, such as Trakiya, Hemus and Struma, have a total length of 441 km. Bulgaria also has 6,500 kilometers of railway track, more than 60% of which is electrified. Sofia, Varna, Burgas and Plovdiv are major air travel hubs, while Varna and Burgas are the principal maritime trade ports.