Bulgaria is in South East Europe, in the South-East part of the Balkan peninsula. With a territory of more than 110 000 km2, the country is at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a European, Balkan country, bordering the Black Sea and the Danube.
The population of Bulgaria is 7.1 million people, 71 per cent of the population live in cities and towns. The territory of Bulgaria has been inhabited since ancient times. This is evident from many city mounds and tombs discovered throughout the country. Bulgaria is one of the oldest European states and the only one that has not changed its name since its founding.
The geographic location of the country, in-between two climate zones makes the weather conditions variable. The climate is temperate-continental with four distinct seasons: green and fresh spring, sunny and hot summer, golden and abundant autumn and snowy white winter. The average sunshine is approximately 2,500 hours per year.
Nearly 70 % of the country is formed of plains and hills and 30% are mountainous and semi-mountainous regions. The average elevation above sea level is 467 meters. There are nearly 40 mountain ranges in the country and the biggest are Rila, Pirin, Vitosha. Rhodopa mountains and the Balkan. The snow coverage of the mountains lasts from December to March.
Bulgaria borders the Black Sea to the East. The coast line is 378 km long and includes 209 beautiful beaches with white sand, picturesque bays and caves.
The country has a wide network of rivers, with nearly 540 rivers. Most of them, with the exception of the Danube, are relatively short and with low water levels. The Danube runs along the Northern border of Bulgaria and links the country to Central and Western Europe.
There are more than 600 mineral water and 1,600 natural springs, Bulgaria is one of the richest countries in Europe in that respect. The country has 3 National parks, 53 reservation areas, 11 natural parks, 503 protected regions and 35 reservations.
In addition, there are 114 bird conservation areas which are home to rare bird species. 574 types of plants are protected, 483 different animals and 1,774 century old trees. The country has three National parks: Pirin (UNESCO), Rila, Central Balkan and 11 nature parks.
In 2016 Bulgaria was visited by 8,251,995 foreign tourists. Seaside and mountain tourism are the most developed and they contribute nearly 80 % of the total profit.
The content of this article is prepared with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism.