About Bulgaria - ICN

Though a small country, Bulgaria ranges among the foremost sports nations in the world. It is one of thirteen countries constituters of the contemporary Olympic games in 1896. The Bulgarian Olympic Committee (founded in 1923) is an initiator and organizer of the first comprehensive Balkan Games (Sofia 1931). At Olympic, World and European championships Bulgarian sportsmen have won more than 570 gold medals in the main sports disciplines. The Bulgarian sports schools in wrestling, artistic gymnastics and weight lifting are world famous. Football, basketball, volley ball, swimming, athletics, skiing, rowing, hunting, fishing, tennis, hiking, etc., are widely practiced. Sports activities in Bulgaria have at their disposal about 22 000 (19 000 in the open and 3 000 roofed) sports sites.

Tourist and hotel companies offer various recreation facilities. These have built swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, remedial sports complexes, equestrian grounds, etc. Facilities have been provided for yachting, water-skiing, delta-planerism and organized mountain tours. At the mountain resorts there are built ski-tracks and ski-lifts. Mountain rescue teams take care of the hikers.

Hunting and fishing fans can enjoy the facilities offered by hunting and fishing farms. The hunting season opens at the beginning of August and closes towards the end of February. Gaming and hunting trophies are subject to taxes. The main species of game are hares, partridges, pheasants, roes and red deer, wild boar, etc. A world record for red deer trophy was set in 1990 and for the wild boar trophy - in 1987.