Monday, January 14, 2013

The Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria

The Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria are a popular tourist spot in the country because of their close proximity to its capital city of Sofia.

The mountains offer travelers excellent opportunities for enjoying a good number of outdoor recreational activities, from skiing in winter and hiking in summer.

The Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria are located just ten kilometers off Sofia’s city centre, along the eastern slopes of its highest peak, Mount Cherni Vrah also known as Black Peak.
Getting There

It is very easy to reach the Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria straight from the city centre of Sofia. Here, you can find several bus routes that can take you to either Simeonovo or Dragalevtsi.

From these two points, you can take a chair lift to Goli Vrah or a cable car to Aleko, the nearest ski resort to the mountains. From this point on, you can easily find a foot trail leading to the Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria.
What to See and Do

The Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria are a great spot for skiing, snowboarding, hiking and rock climbing. Streams and rivers run through the mountains and there are also what are called “stone rivers,” a natural phenomena where blocks of stones are laid alongside one another at the foot of the river valleys. These are also known as moraines.

You can likewise find here two nature reserves established to protect the flora and fauna of the Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria: Bistrishko Branishte and Torfeno Branishte.

Mineral springs in the mountains are said to have curative effects on the body hence; a lot of people take advantage of this while visiting during the summer season.
Brief History

The Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria were formed due to volcanic activity many years ago. It is believed that one of the first settlers at the foot of the mountain are ancient tribes of Indo-European culture known as Thracians.

In 1934, portions surrounding the Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria were declared as a national park, making it one of the oldest national parks in the Balkan region.

In the year 1935, a meteorological station was built atop the mountain which is still operational today. The station is now also used as a resting spot for mountain climbers. It is also now home to the rescue team for the mountains.

Bus fares going to the nearest points to the mountains are approximately 3 – 3.50 lev per person while chair lifts to reach the resorts or the nearest points to the trails leading to the mountain is about 3 lev per person, one way; and 5 lev per person including the return trip.

Accommodations around Sofia are about €20 up to €129 a night, depending on the star rating of the hotel and the number of guests per room.
Other Information

The best time to visit the Vitosha Mountains in Bulgaria for your skiing trip is between the months of December and February when snowfall is at its peak.
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