Nessebar location

Holiday Apartment, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

About Bulgaria

BulgariaBulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe and occupies the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. To the north it borders on Romania, to the west on the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to the east on the Black Sea, to the south on Greece and to the southeast on Turkey's European part.

Bulgaria occupies a relatively small area - 111,000 sq. km, but is nevertheless distinguished by a generous and varied nature - a sea with a 380 km. long coastal strip and golden beaches, 16 mountains with their own characteristic features, valleys and high plateaus, over 550 curative mineral springs, dozens of unique natural phenomena and 2,000 thrilling caves, a healthy climate and diverse flora and fauna.

Foreign driving licenses are valid in Bulgaria. Insurance is compulsory - if you are taking your own car, it can either be taken out beforehand or on the Bulgarian border, or it can be included as part of any good car rental arrangement. The speed limit in the country is as follows: 60 km/h in populated areas, 80 km/h outside populated areas, and 120 km/h on motorways. Petrol stations are located at every 30 to 50 km.

The landscape is extremely varied with large plains and lowlands, low and high mountains, valleys and lovely gorges. As a whole Bulgaria's vegetation can be ranked among the Central European forest region, but the influence of the South Russian and Asia Minor regions is also felt. The higher part of Bulgarian mountains is covered by sub-arctic vegetation, among which juniper forests predominate. In fact, Bulgaria boasts 3,000 higher plant varieties - almost twice as many as in England. More than one quarter of the country's territory is covered with forests. The edelweiss is one of the rare plants growing in the country. It grows in places difficult to access, in the Pirin Mountains and the Balkan Range.  Bulgaria is famous for its oleaginous rose which blooms in the Valley of Roses. The Bulgarian fauna is no less interesting, with almost 13,000 animal species and sub-species, or about 14 percent of all European species. Fishing is possible in lakes, dams, mountain brooks and sea, hunting - in special hunting grounds.

The official language is Bulgarian; English, German, French and Russian are spoken in the country's resorts, hotels and restaurants.

The local currency is the Bulgarian Lev (plural leva). Leva cannot be bought in the UK. You can only change your Travellers' Cheques or Sterling into leva in Bulgarian banks. It is illegal for tour operators and foreign exchange bureaux to accept travellers' cheques. Do not be tempted by the rates offered by the various money exchange bureaux - you might only receive half the rate on display. Never exchange money with local residents in the street, as they may be offering worthless pre-1999 leva.

The Cyrillic alphabet is used. Signs along international motorways, in airports and resorts are also spelled in Roman letters. 86.6% of the population is Eastern Orthodox, 13% are Muslims. The Bulgarian Church is autonomous and headed by a Patriarch. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.

© Wendy Blann
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