More about Bulgaria

Bulgaria is found in south-east Europe, in the east part of the Balkan Peninsula. To the north it borders with Romania through the Danube. To the west are Serbia and Macedonia, to the south Greece and Turkey. To the east is the Black Sea.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.
Territory: 110.994 sq.km.
Population: 7,500,000 people.
Capital city: Sofia, with population of 1,300,000 people.
Official language: Bulgarian.
Religion: 87% of the populations are Eastern Orthodox Christians, 12% are Muslim, the rest are Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc.

Time Difference
Winter time: GMT +2 hours (October through March).
Summer time: GMT +3 hours (April through September).

Relief: The biggest part of the country is taken up by hills and mountains. Bigger plains can be found in the north-east parts. Rila and Pirin mountains are the highest mountains on the peninsula (Mount Musala in Rila Mountain is 2,925 m high). Stara Planina (The Balkan) crosses the country in its whole length, dividing it into northern and southern part. Hundreds of gorges, river valleys and canyons, vertical cliffs, mountains defiles, caves and rock niches, low hill ranges, extensive plateaus and plains form the striking diversity of landscape on such a relatively small territory.

Climate
Bulgaria is a country of four seasons.
In the northern parts the climate is markedly Temperate, while in the southern parts it is Mediterranean. The varieties in the relief result in the formation of numerous pockets with specific microclimate. The average annual temperature is about 12C, the average winter temperature being about 1C, and the summer about 29C.
The average annual rainfall is between 500 and 1400 mm, the lowest being in the north-east part of the country. The biggest amount of rain falls on the north side of Stara Planina and in the alpine zone of Rila and Pirin.
Bulgaria is the south-most country in Europe where snow stays for more than 20 days in winter (especially in the plains in the north). In the lower southern parts and the coast snow falls rarely and does not generally stay for more than a few days.
Bulgaria is a sunny country. The total sunshine is about 2000 2300 hours.



Voltage
220 V only

Credit Cards
Visa, Master Card, JCB, Diners Club, American Express, Access, Air plus.
They can be used for payment of all standard services in most hotels, restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, plane tickets, etc.

Accommodation
In most parts of the country accommodation can be found in 5-star hotels to modest hotels and licensed villas. Accommodation can be difficult to find in some mountain regions or in remote underdeveloped parts.

Meals
Bulgaria is famous for and prides itself on its cuisine. One of the main reasons for the superb taste of the food here is the organic production of meat and vegetable products. Most animals are free range, chemical fertilizers are used with great economy and genetically modified sorts are not allowed. In the cities, the bigger villages and the resorts it is not a problem to find an eating place with good cooking and diverse menu. The chic restaurants offer good food and service and you can choose between traditional cuisine and standard European meals. Pizza places, cafeterias, pastry shops and cafés can be found everywhere in the cities.

Roads
Compared to the roads in most of the west European countries Bulgarian roads leave much to be desired. The country is crossed by several motorways which are in good condition. The rest of the road network in various stages of good to bad condition. At places road signs are scarce and usually in Bulgarian. Measures are taken to improve the situation but the process is slow.

The people
Bulgarians are kind-hearted and tolerant people. In big cities, as in all big cities, they are usually busy and egoistically engulfed in their own problems. In the smaller villages they will meet you with sincere open-hearted curiosity and well offer help readily. Hospitality is a tradition here.

The language
A relatively small part of the Bulgarians over 30 speaks English. The young people who have some knowledge of it are much more. Very few people in the towns and villages can speak a language other than Bulgarian or Russian. Most people who speak English live around the summer and winter resorts.