FACT FILE — Bulgaria — България :

Bulgaria is situated in south-eastern Europe, in the north-eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It has a territory of 110 911 square kilometres which is 22% of the Balkan Peninsula. Its length is 520 km and its width is 330 km. The overall length of its borders is 2245 km. Bulgaria borders to the north on Rumania (the frontier line runs along the Danube river and continues on land to the north-east), to the south — on Greece and Turkey, to the west — on Serbia and Macedonia (former Yugoslavia) and to the east — on the Black Sea.

The Official Name is Republic of Bulgaria and the Capital City is Sofia. Other major towns and cities include Stara Zagora, Varna, Rusie, Kurdzhali, Blagoevgrad, Pleven and Burgas

There are 9 provinces (oblasti, singular—oblast); Burgas, Grad Sofia, Khaskovo, Lovech, Montana, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sofia, Varna

Bulgaria became a member of the EU on the 1st January 2007

The Climate: Summers on the Black Sea coast are hot, inland warm summers and cold winters (with snow) are commonplace. The climate in Northern Bulgaria is moderate continental, while the climate in Southern Bulgaria is intermediate continental tending to Mediterranean.

Marked by four distinct seasons, Bulgaria enjoys a generally favourable climate that is one of the country's best features. Although located at the same latitude as southern New England, Bulgaria's climate is noticeably more temperate. Summers are typically hot and dry, but rarely oppressive, with moderate relative humidity. Winters are cold but not bitterly so. In the south and Black Sea coastal regions, Mediterranean influences temper the harsher continental climate of the interior.

The country's half-dozen mountain groups also play a significant part in determining regional variances.In the capital, Sofia, daytime high temperatures average 82°F/28°C in July-August; 37°F/3°C in January, and reflect the ameliorating effects of nearby Mt. Vitosha. The wettest months are April-May and November in the interior; June, October and December along the coast. In mid-summer, the coast enjoys prodigious sunshine.

Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox, Muslim, other.

Population: 8,155,000

Currency: The unit of currency in Bulgaria is the lev w hich is made up of 100 stotinki.

Electricity: The voltage is 230 Volts with standard European 2 pin plugs.

Telephones: Country Code 00 359 — most European mobile phones will work in Bulgaria.

Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card.

Vehicles drive on the RIGHT See also Driving in Bulgaria at insurance4carrental.com

Landforms: The Balkan Mountains run through the central part of the country, the Rhodope Mountains through the southwestern part (near the border with Greece), with fertile lowlands covering the north and southeast. The Danube River forms the northern border with Romania

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Sea resorts

Albena The major resort north of Varna, Albena occupies a pretty stretch of coast just north of Varna and south of Cape Kavarna.

Sunny Beach

Sunny Beach is a resort center, which is situated in the southern part of the Bulgarian seaside, 6 km north of Nessebar and 42 km north-east of Bourgas. It is located in the close proximity of the arched Nessebar bay.

Golden Sands Golden Sands Resort is situated in the north part of the Black Sea, 17 km from Varna.

Nessebar Nessebar — the pearl of the South coast of the Black Sea, is one of the most ancient towns in Europe. The town, founded 3000 years ago by the Thracians by the name of Messemvria, is situated at a little rocky peninsula.

Sozopol Situated 34 kilometers south of Bourgas upon a small peninsula, Sozopol is the oldest town at the Bulgarian seaside. Founded in the year 610 B.C. by the Greeks.

Sveti Konstantin Sveti Konstantin Resort is situated in the North part of the Bulgarian seaside , 8 km from the town of Varna.

Ski resorts

Bansko The town of Bansko is situated at the Glazne river at the northeastern bottom of the Pirin Mountains, 160 km south of Sofia, 60 km southeast of Blagoevgrad. Bansko is one of the biggest mountain resorts in Bulgaria with a long winter to take advantage of its modern, well developed skiing and sport facilities.

Pamporovo Pamporovo, the second major Bulgarian mountain resort, is located 1650 m above sea level in the Western Rhodopes, 16km from Smolyan, among evergreen spruce forests, picturesque meadows, strange rock formations and beautiful mountain peaks. Due to the Mediterranean influence the climate is mild with bracing air and the good snow-cover provides excellent skiing conditions from mid-December to mid-April.

Borotets The oldest Bulgarian resort, Borovets, is hidden among the aromatic pine woods covering the northern slopes of Mount Musala in Rila mountains, 12 km south of Samokov and 72 km of Sofia.

Vitosha A wooded mass of granite 19km long by 17 km wide, Mount Vitosha, whose foothills begin some 7 km from the centre of the Bulgarian capital, is very much a part of the city and is the source of its pure water and fresh breezes. Vitosha is the cradle of hiking tourism in Bulgaria and every year thousands of hikers climb its highest peak.

Spa resorts Bankya Bankya is a world-wide known health resort. It is situated in the beautiful valley at the green foothills of the Lyulin mountain, 17 km far from Sofia, at an altitude of 630-640 m.

Devin Devin is a renowned spa and holiday resort. It is situated amid scenic hills in the heart of the Rhodopes at an altitude of 710 — 780 m.

Hissarya The well-known spa of Augusta (the ancient name of Hissarya) is situated in the centre of Bulgaria, in the southern folds of the Sredna Gora Mountain, 42 km north of Plovdiv (the second biggest town in the country) and 160 km east of Sofia (the capital). It is close to the famous Valley of Roses.

Pavel Banya Situated on the right bank of the Tundja river, Pavel Banya is an unquestionable leader in the top chart of the Bulgarian resorts.

Sandanski Situated at an altitude of 224 m in the valley of the Sandanska Bistritsa River, at the foot of the magnificent south-western slopes of the Pirin Mountain, the town of Sandanski is famous for the beauty of its scenery and a wealth of resources for spa and climatic treatment. This is the warmest and sunniest town in Bulgaria with the least temperature variations throughout the year.

Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city with a population of 370,000. It is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and the city that is beside the beach has a pleasant atmosphere with many pedestrianised areas. It is on the same latitude as Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Connections are now improved from the UK with British Airways having an all year round service. There are new golf courses being built and a €25million grant has been awarded by the EU for the development of a marina.

Enjoy your visit to Bulgaria

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