Skiing and Mountain Tourism
There are 16 mountains in Bulgaria. They cover about one third of the country’s territory. Here is the longest mountain chain (Stara Planina, which means Old Mountain) and the highest massif on the Balkans (Rila). The altitude varies between 600 and 2925 meters. Slanting slopes alternate with high peaks, deep abysses, picturesque river valleys and majestic gorges. The unique caves, rock phenomena and waterfalls attract a great number of tourists…
The mountain regions are known for their huge variety of flora and fauna species. At places there are well-preserved natural massifs of broad-leaved and coniferous forests, which are 250-300 years of age. The oldest tree (the Baikusheva White Fir in the Pirin Mountain) is over 1300 years old, as old and Bulgaria itself. Some of the largest dwelling places of the bears, the wolves and the wild goats in Europe are situated in our mountains. The biological variety is maintained through numerous protected natural parks and reserves.
The climate is exceptionally healthy – moderately cool in summer and moderately cold in winter, with a lot of sunshine and prolonged hold of the snow cover on the high mountains. The mountains of Rila, Pirin, the Rhodopes, Vitosha and Stara Planina offer convenient ski-tracks and equipment for skiing tourism and winter sports. The continuance of the skiing season in the mountain resorts is up to 190 days. The total length of the ski-tracks is more than 80 km with displacement up to 1500 meters.
During the summer season the mountains offer various opportunities for active tourism and rest. The tourists can lend color to their stay through different programs for walking, bicycle and horse tourism, hang-gliding, parachuting, water sports, rock climbing, speleological tourism, orientation competitions, scout camps, etc.