Nature and Climate
The territory of Bulgaria is characterized by diverse terrain, which combines lowlands, plains, hilly and plateau lands, river valleys, valleys and mountains of various heights. About 70% of the country's territory is occupied by flat and hilly lands, and 30% - by mountains. The average altitude in the country is 467 m, which generally decreases from south to north and from west to east. In the central part of the country is located Stara Planina with the highest peak Botev (2376 m). From south to north its western part is crossed by the Iskar River, forming a picturesque gorge, over 70 km long. To the north of the Balkan Mountains stretches the Fore-Balkans. South of the Balkan Mountains are the Trans-Balkan valleys and Srednogorieto. The most extensive of the Trans-Balkan valleys is Sofia, where the Bulgarian capital is located - Sofia. To the south of the capital Sofia rises Vitosha Mountain with the highest peak - Cherni Vrah (2290 m). The region is located in the middle part of Western Bulgaria. There alternate low and medium high mountains such as Rui, Milevska, Zemenska, Konyavska, Verila and others. The highest Bulgarian mountains Rila and Pirin are located east of the valley of the river Struma. The average altitude of the mountains is 1258 m, and 60% of their area is over 1000 m above sea level. In Rila rise 31 peaks with a height of over 2600 m. There is also the peak of the Balkan Peninsula - Musala (2925 m).
Mount Pirin includes 33 peaks, more than 2600 m above sea level. Mount Vichren (2914 m) is the second largest in Bulgaria and the third largest in the Balkans. As a result of melting ice over time, beautiful alpine lakes have emerged. To the east between the river Mesta and Mount Rila Rhodope is located. There are 11 peaks on the Rhodope - above 2000 m above sea level. The largest of them is Goliam Perelikia (2191 AD). Natural sights - caves, waterfalls, alpine lakes attract many tourists every year. Located in Srednogoria, Rila, on the Rhodope and Black Sea coasts - the Gornotrakia lowlands, the Khaskov mountainous lands, the banks of the Srednotunjia river, the Burgas plains, and Mount Stranja and Sakar. The western part of the country is occupied by the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, which is home to numerous bathing beaches that attract Bulgarian and foreign tourists. The Republic of Bulgaria is rich in many natural healing mineral waters. The temperature of mineral water varies from their location: cold - (up to 20 ° С); Warm - (up to 20-37 ° С); Hot - (above 37 ° С).
The small territorial scope of Bulgaria and its close proximity to the Danube and the Black Sea, together with the position of the Balkan Mountains and its proximity to the Aegean Sea are a prerequisite for the formation of short river arteries and small river systems. The Iskar River is the longest river in Bulgaria (368 km), which flows into the Danube River and springs from the Rila Mountains. Other large rivers flowing into the Danube are Lom, Ogosta, Vit, Osam, Yantra. The largest Bulgarian river in the range of the Aegean runoff is the Maritsa River (321 km long and with an area of 21,084 km2). Other large rivers are Arda, Tundzha, Mesta, Struma. The natural lakes (coastal, glacial, karst, landslide, riparian and tectonic) in Bulgaria are concentrated along the Black Sea coast and the Danube River and in the high mountainous parts of Rila and Pirin. According to location and hydrographic features, the coastal lakes are divided into three groups: Dobrudzha (Durankulak, Ezerets, Shabla, Shabla Tuzla, Nanev Tuzla and Balchik Tuzla), Varna (Varna and Beloslav region) and Burgas (Burgas, Atanasko and Pond, Mandarin). Arkutino and Stomoplo). The glacial lakes were formed as a result of the activity of the glaciers during the Quaternary in Rila and Pirin. There are about 260 lakes. They occupy the bottoms of the circuses, circus terraces and trough valleys and are located at an altitude of 2000-2600 m. The highest is the Upper Polezhansko Lake in Pirin (2710 m above sea level), and the lowest is the lake Lokvata (1858 m). n.v.). The longest is the Upper Fish Lake in Rila (801 m). Most of the half lakes have an area of less than 10 decares (the largest is Smradlivoto Lake - 212 decares in Rila, and in Pirin - Popovoto Lake - 112 decares). The lakes with a maximum depth of 2-5 m predominate (the deepest is Lake Okoto in Rila - 37 m). More famous lakes in Rila are the Seven Lakes, Marichinite, Urdinite, Ribnite, etc., and in Pirin - Vasilashki, Popovite, Vlahinski, Banderishki and others. More significant tectonic lakes are Skalenskoto (Stidovski part of the Eastern Stara Planina), Kupenskoto (Middle Stara Planina), Panichishte (Northwestern Rila) and Rabishkoto. The largest is Rabishkoto Lake, which has been turned into a dam. Of the riparian lakes and swamps, the only significant lake is Srebarna (UNESCO). Typical landslide lakes are located along the Black Sea coast (north of Varna, around Aladzha Monastery). The Smolyan lakes are located on an extensive landslide north of the town of Smolyan. They consist of three large and several smaller lakes.
In terms of biodiversity, Bulgaria ranks second in Europe. There are 3 national parks in the country - Pirin (UNESCO), Rila, Central Balkans, and 11 nature parks - Belasitsa, Bulgarka, Vitosha, Vratsa Balkan, Golden Sands, Persina, Rila Monastery, Rusenski Lom, Sinite Kamani, Strandzha and Shumen Plateau.
Bulgaria is located in temperate latitudes and its climate is favorable for the development of various types of tourism. The average annual temperature of the country is between 10 ° and 14 ° С, with values between 11 ° and 12 ° С prevailing. It shows a clear relationship with altitude. In the mountains with increasing altitude the thermal conditions are influenced by the conditions in the free atmosphere. And over 2300 m above sea level the average annual temperature is negative (peak Musala -2.9 ° С). In the flat and hilly lands of Northern Bulgaria the lowest average monthly temperature occurs in January (-1.4 ° and -2.0 ° С), and in Southern Bulgaria (outside the range of the valley fields) the average January temperature is between 0 ° and 1- 2 ° C. In the mountainous areas (1000-1200 m) and the valley fields the average January temperatures are -2 ° and -4 ° С. In the higher altitude zones, the average monthly minimum shifts in February, with the average monthly February temperatures being between -8 ° and -10 ° С. At the top of Musala the temperature is -11.6 ° С. Along the Black Sea coast, the average monthly January and February temperatures are positive. On the northern coast they are 0.8 ° - 2 ° С, and on the southern 2.4 - 3.2 ° С. The highest average monthly temperatures are typical for the months of July and August. They are in the range of 21 - 24 ° С. The out-of-mountain areas north of the Balkan Mountains have average July temperatures of about 22 ° С, and the lowlands and hilly lands south of it are characterized by a temperature of 23 ° - 24 ° С. In the mountainous regions (1000-2000 m) it is 12 ° - 16 ° С, and in the regions with altitude over 2300 m above sea level. - 5 - 8 ° C.
Precipitation is unevenly distributed throughout the country. The average annual rainfall varies widely - from 500-550 mm (Danube plain and Upper Thracian lowland) to 1000-1400 mm in the highlands. In Bulgaria, a snow cover is formed every year. In the lower parts of the country the snow cover lasts in the period December-March, and on the Black Sea coast and the lands south of the Balkan Mountains it appears in the period January-February. Prolonged and thick snow cover is formed in mountainous and alpine areas. In the areas with hight 1000-1500 m it lasts 4-5 months, and over 2000 m - from 7 to 9 months.
The territory of the country is divided into five climatic regions - Temperate, Continental-Mediterranean, Transitional, Black Sea and Mountain. Favorable for winter sports tourism in our mountains are the thicker snow cover and lower temperatures, which help keep the snow longer. The small number of rainy days during the active tourist season, the sunshine, the slightly high air temperature, the relatively high sea water temperature and the lack of strong winds contribute to the development of recreational activities along the coast. Clean mountain air and iodine-saturated sea air have a healing effect on the human body.