About Bulgaria

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Length of coastline - 378km.

All payments in Bulgaria shall be made only in local currency. Currency - Bulgarian lev,1 Euro = 1.95583 leva. It is recommended currency exchange be done only in banks or large exchange bureaus. There is a wide network of ATM’s.

Area - 110 993.6 m. km

Population - 7,673,564 people

Capital: Sofia (1.6 million inhabitants).

Divisions - 28 districts

National Holiday: Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule - March 3.

Religion: Eastern Orthodox / 85% /, Muslims / 8% /, other / 7% /

Time zone GMT / London / +2 hours.

The time difference with Moscow time is 1:00 hour in summer and 2:00 in winter.

 Polity

Parliamentary republic with an unicameral Parliament / National Assembly / of 240 members with a mandate of four years.

The head of state - the president, mandate of five years.

Council of Ministers - the central body of executive power.

Bulgaria was founded in 681. Two centuries later, Bulgaria adopted Christianity. Today, more than 85% of the population are Orthodox Christians.

500 years of Ottoman rule led to stagnation in the cultural and economic development of Bulgaria. Only at the end of XIX century, as a result of the victory of Russia in the Russo-Turkish War, Bulgaria close this tragic chapter in its history. After World War II, the country takes the path of socialist development, which was terminated by the democratic changes in 1989.

Since 2007 Bulgaria is a member of the EU. Soon planned  Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen Agreement.

Language

Official language: Bulgarian, alphabet - Cyrillic

In resorts, hotels and restaurants the staff is speaking Russian, German, English, French.

 Climate

Moderate continental in North Bulgaria and temporary Mediterranean in southern Bulgaria.

The average temperature in the winter - in the range of -3 to 3 ° C in the lowlands and -8 ° C in the mountains

Spring - from 4 to 16 ° C

In the summer - in the range of 22-35 ° C in the lowlands and about 9 ° C degrees in the high mountains.

Fall - from 12 to 18 ° C

The summer season begins in late May to early October.

 Relief

The average sea level is 470 m. Country consisting of 32% lowlands, 41% plains and hilly areas and 27% mountainous areas.

Mountains - Stara Planina, Rila Mountain - there is located the highest point of the Balkan Peninsula, peak Musala - 2925 m, Pirin, the Rhodopes.

Plains- north Danubian plain,  Kazanlak Valley,in the  south is the vast Thracian valley.

 Water resources

Large rivers- Danube, Maritsa, Mesta, Struma, Iskar, hot and cold mineral springs / 600 pcs / Lakes - coastal / some with curative mineral mud / and mountain lakes in the Rila and Pirin.

 Flora and fauna

Exceptional variety. Forests  occupy   3.8 million hectares, or about 30% of the country. Of these, about 30% - conifers, and the rest – deciduous forests- beech, oak, ash and hornbeam. Bulgaria is famous for its roses, which bloom all around in Kazanlak valley known as the Valley of Roses. High in the mountains are very rare and beautiful flowers - edelweiss. National Parks: Vitosha, Golden Sands, Ropotamo , etc.

Fauna- In the forests can be  found bears, wild boars, deer, wolves, fox, badger, jackal, etc..

Economy

The reforms in the economy have led to the stabilization of the economy, a growth in the industry and increased foreign investment .Europian Commission recognized in 2002 Bulgaria's market economy, thereby recognizing the achievements of the government in the implementation of market reforms. The country's budget is balanced with a surplus of 3%, which, together with robust GDP growth reduced the public debt to 22.8% of Bulgaria's GDP in 2006 compared with 67.3 percent five years ago. On January 1, 2008 income tax for all citizens was in the amount of 10%. This is one of the lowest rates in the world and the lowest in the EU. In the 2009 report, "Eurostat" determine Bulgaria as one of the "cheapest" countries to live life

Transport: rail, road, air and water.

International Automotive labeling: BG

Roads - 38,000 km, railway -. 6500 km. / 65% electrical /. Seaports - Varna and Bourgas. Danube ports - Ruse, Lom, Vidin, Silistra and 4international airports are: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas .

Public transport: Good organized urban transport by bus and vans. In Sofia there are trams and trolleybuses. Purchase tickets for travel takes place at bus stops or from the driver.

Car Rental: You can rent a car from international companies: Hertz, Budget, Eurocar, Avis and others. In addition, "Domino Bulgaria"  offers this service through licensed Bulgarian car rental companies.

 Feedback

Mobile connections in Bulgaria are performed by three operators: GLOBUL, M-Tel, VIVACOM. Guests of the country can buy SIM-card of any operator in their offices. Price per minute is 0,25 to 0,40 euros. Free Wi-Fi access is available in hotels in each category, as well as in almost all restaurants, cafes, bars and other public places in Bulgaria.

 Accommodation

Bulgaria has a wide variety of accommodation ranging from unpretentious two-star hotels to luxurious 5-star hotels that meet the requirements of comfort and convenience. Reservations must be made by tourist agencies, local offices or by calling the hotel reception.

 Major tourist destinations

Spa destinations: Velingrad, Sandanski, Hissar, Separeva Bansko Banya, Pavel Banya, Kyustendil, Charles spas, Albena, Pomorie, St. Constantine and Helena White.

Summer sea rest and treatment: Sunny Beach, Pomorie, St. Vlas, Ravda, Tsarevo, Lozenets, Golden Sands, St. Constantine and Elena, Albena, Sands, Elenite.

The ski resorts : Bansko, Pamporovo, Borovets