Founded in the 7th century, Bulgaria is one of the oldest states on the European continent. Even before the creation of the Bulgarian state, the empires of ancient Rome, Greece, and Byzantium were strongly presented.
In the first decade of the 20th century, Bulgaria was called “The economic wonder of the Balkans”.
The Republic of Bulgaria is in southeastern Europe – an important crossroad of Western and Central Europe. People and goods traveled the land with frequency. Crossing Bulgaria from the Danube river to Rhodope mountains or from the western border to Black sea, you will be fascinated with its diverse terrains – majestic mountains with fiery peaks, hills and lowlands, rivers, waterfalls, small crystal lakes and mineral springs.
Nearly rectangular in outline, Bulgaria is bounded by Romania to the north, with most of the border marked by the lower Danube River.The Black Sea lies to the east, Turkey and Greece to the south, Macedonia to the southwest, and Serbia to the west. The capital city, Sofia, lies in a mountainous basin in the west.
The Bulgarian language belongs to the South Slavic group. A number of dialects remain in common speech. Bulgarian is written in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Bulgarian nature will inspire you with its sunny seashores and golden sands, quiet coves and romantic capes. Bulgaria’s climate is a combination of continental and Mediterranean influences, which means the country has four quite well-defined seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) and temperatures vary dramatically in different times of the year. In general, you can expect summers to be quite hot and dry and winters to be snowy and freezing, with spring and autumn providing a transition between the two. The warmest parts of Bulgaria are in the southwest, where the Mediterranean climate effects in the valleys are particularly strong. The seaside has a mild subtropical climate heavily influenced by the Black Sea’s presence. The plains and lowlands in the north and south experience continental weather (with the south usually a bit warmer) and the mountains are known for their Alpine climate conditions.
Bulgarian summer rolls around with the beginning of June, when temperatures reach above 30 °C. July and August are the hottest months and the sun can be quite strong at midday indeed. Temperatures above 35 °C are not uncommon and it can sometimes be nearing 40 °C!
Summer days are usually clear and sunny, though when it rains, it pours in the form of brief but violent summer storms (and those can be hailstorms too, so better find some shelter!).
This may seem like a whole lot of heat, but thankfully, Bulgaria offers a lot of ways to escape. The gentle breeze of the seaside and the refreshing Black Sea (which in summer is in the 20s) make for a very pleasant summer holiday. And don’t forget, the mountains are at their most inviting with their cooler temperatures and chilly nights around the fire!
Winters starts with December, when temperatures begin to drop below zero. The end of December usually brings the first snow of the year and until March it usually snows rather than rains. Though it can stay below zero for weeks in a row (temperatures around -5 to -15°C are common), the days can still be regularly clear and sunny. In fact, for many places in Bulgaria, winter is one of the driest seasons.
Clear and sunny with below zero temperatures keeping snow on the ground for a long time – sounds like perfect skiing and snowboarding conditions, doesn’t it!? And indeed, late December to March (whenever there’s snow) is Bulgaria’s winter season, when resorts like Bansko and Borovets attract local and international tourists to their ski trails.
To give you an idea: the highest temperature ever recorded in Bulgaria is 45.2 °C, while the lowest record stands at −38.3 °C. That’s a staggering difference of 83.5 degrees!
A fragrant rose, a horseman, a regal lion … The name Bulgaria evokes many images in the mind’s eye. However , the official symbols of the country are the flag, anthem and crest.
The national flag of Bulgaria has never been captured or dishonored and its colors encode the memory of Bulgaria’s past. They take us back to the romantic times of the liberation from Ottoman Empire. The first flag contained green, white and red horizontal stripes in that order and it was used in 1861-1862 by the two Bulgarians legions of Georgi Rakovski.