BULGARIA DREAM AREA CONFERENCE 2002

About Bulgaria - ICN

Tourism
The beautiful scenery, the ancient historical sites and the crossroad situation of the country between the Orient and Europe have been attracting travellers since ancient times. Travel notes left by German, Austrian and Arab authors offer a rich source of evidence for the life in the Bulgarian lands. At present Bulgaria develops as a country of tourism. Despite its comparatively small territory, the variety of treasures of nature is exceptional.

Hot summer, fine sand and clear waters attract numerous holidaymakers along our Black Sea coast. The resort centres and holiday complexes Zlatni Pyasutsi (Golden Sands), Slunchev Bryag (Sunny Beach), Rousalka, Dyuni, Albena, Riviera, Eleni and many others offer excellent accommodation for recreation and in terms of comfort rival world-famous seaside resorts.

Those who love snow-clad mountain tops, forests, untouched by civilization and green meadows, flecked with flowers, will come to like Bulgarian mountains. Among winter resorts the most popular are Pamporovo in the Rhodopes and Borovets in Rila. Pirin, Vitosha and Stara Planina also offer wonderful conditions for tourism and winter recreation.

Hot mineral water springs and healthy climate ever since ancient times have established Velingrad, Sandanski, Hisarya, Kostenets, Vurshets and other villages as balneological resorts.

Numerous are the natural sites to be visited - miraculous caves, fantastic rock-formations, rock-bridges, beautiful valleys and gorges, the unique Valley of Roses.

Remnants have been preserved of ancient habitats (Oescus, Nicoplis ad Istrum, Abrittus, etc.), medieval towns and fortresses (Cherven, Turnovo, Pliska, Preslav), National Revival architectural ensembles, picturesque monastery complexes with valuable frescoes and wood-carvings (Rila, Bachkovo, Rozhen, Preobrazhenie monasteries). Zheravna, Nesebur, Bozhentsi, Arbanasi, Melnik, Koprivshtitsa, Kovachevitsa, Dolen, Shiroka Luka, Brushlyan and the Old Town of Plovdiv have been declared reserves.

The list of monuments of the world cultural and natural heritage compiled at UNESCO includes the following Bulgarian sites:
Kazanluk Tomb - (the end of the 4th C. B.C.) with unique frescoes;
Madara Horseman - a bas-relief on a vertical rock, dating from the 8th C.;
Rock Churches near the village of Ivanovo - medieval complex hewed out in a vertical rock (13th-17th centuries);
The Thracian tomb near Sveshtari (4th C. B.C.) with a rich relief decoration;
Boyana Church - medieval church with frescoes of exceptional artistic value;
Old Nesebur - architectural and archaeological reserve;
Rila Monastery - the biggest and the most beautiful Bulgarian monastery;
Pirin National Park - the biggest natural reserve in Bulgaria;
Sreburna Reserve - one of the most interesting humid zones in Europe.
The Bulgarian folklore heritage is original and unique: lyric songs, vivacious dances, fairy tale legends, customs and rituals, which charm and touch the deepest of emotions.

Seaside resorts have 67 000 beds, mountain resorts - 5 500 beds, balneological resorts - about 13 000 beds.