Bulgaria is a relatively small country with a total area of 111 000 sq. km. It is famous for its natural beauty and mild climate. The capital, Sofia, is situated in the Western part of the country with over 1,000,000 citizens. Sofia is the highest capital in Europe (550m) and is a modern, attractive city. It is dominated by the Vitosha mountain to the south which is home to the famous ski resort, Vitosha.
The Black sea is on the Eastern side of Bulgaria. It has a 380 km. long coastal strip with superb golden beaches with many resorts and holiday places. The hotest month is July when the temperature of the sea water reaches 27C. The most famous resorts are Sunny Beach, Golden sands, Sozopol and Albena. There are many other resorts and vacation areas which have gained a popularity in recent years with bulgaria property investors - such as Elenite, Ravda, Lozenez, etc.
The highest mountain on the Balkan peninsula is in the south of Bulgaria and is called Rila (m. Musala - 2925m). This is where the Rila monastery is located - the largest monastery in the Balkans and the "7 Rila lakes" - alpine lakes with unusual shapes. Both are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are a further 15 mountains in Bulgaria with their own characteristic features. There are deep valleys and high plateaus and more than 550 curative, natural mineral springs and many Spa resorts with recreational facilities. The hotest, natural mineral spring is in Banya near Plovdiv where the temperature of the spring is 102C.
The most picturesque region of all is the Rose valley. The valley is spread along a 180 km area in the Thracian with beautiful plantations of roses. Bulgaria is famous for supplying about 75% of the world export of rose oil which is a key ingredient in most cosmetic products. There are many other natural phenomena such as 2000 magnificent caves where the first traces of human settlements were found dating back to 200,000 years ago.
Bulgaria's vegetation is ranked amongst the best in the Central European forest region where the influence of the South Russian and Asia Minor regions can be felt. The higher part of Bulgarian mountains is 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 to access in the Pirin Mountains and the Balkan Range, is one of the rare plants growing in the country.
The fishing industry is very well developed. There are many fishing areas on the sea and on the rivers. Also fishing is possible in the lakes, dams and mountain brooks.