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Geographic map of Bulgaria

Geographic map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a member state of the European Union located in the eastern half of the Balkan Peninsula.
This country has a total population of 6,981,981 as of 2019.
The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, with a population of 1,478,330 as of 2019.
The total length of the Bulgarian borders is 2,245 km, of which 1,181 are land, 686 are river and 378 are coastal. The road network of Bulgaria is 36,720 km long, the railway network has instead 4,300.

Geography –
Bulgaria is a country located in the southeastern part of Europe, in the Balkan region. It shares its borders with Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece to the south, and Turkey to the southeast. The country has access to the Black Sea along its eastern coast.
Much of Bulgaria is characterized by mountain reliefs. The most important mountains are the Balkan Mountains (Stara Planina) which cross the country from west to east, separating northern Bulgaria from southern Bulgaria. Other mountain ranges include the Rhodope Mountains in the southern part and the Rila and Pirin Mountains, which are home to some of the highest peaks in the Balkans.
Bulgaria is crossed by several important rivers. The Danube flows along the northern border with Romania and is one of the longest rivers in Europe. Other notable rivers include the Maritsa and the Iskar.
The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, which is located in the western part of the country. Other significant cities include Plovdiv, the second largest city, Varna (a major port on the Black Sea), and Burgas.
Bulgaria has a coastline along the Black Sea, which stretches for approximately 354 kilometres. Coastal cities like Varna, Burgas and Sunny Beach are popular summer tourist destinations.
Bulgaria possesses natural resources such as coal, oil, natural gas and metal ores. Furthermore, the country is known for its thermal springs and mineral waters.
This country is home to several protected areas, including the national parks of Rila, Pirin and the Rhodope Mountains nature park. These areas are important for biodiversity and offer habitats for numerous animal and plant species.
Agriculture is an important activity in Bulgaria, with crops such as wheat, corn, tobacco, roses (used for rose oil production) and grapes for wine production.

Climate –
Bulgaria’s climate is mainly continental in type, but has varied influences due to its geographical location and topographical characteristics. Bulgaria is located in the eastern part of the Balkans, and borders the Black Sea to the east. These factors contribute to a diverse climate across the country.
Most of Bulgaria has a continental climate with cold, dry winters and hot summers. Winter temperatures can drop considerably below freezing, especially in mountainous regions. Summers are hot, with average temperatures that can exceed 30°C, especially in the lowlands.
Along the Black Sea coast, especially in the Varna city area, the climate has sub-Mediterranean influences. This means that winters are less harsh and summers are cooler than in inland areas. Precipitation is slightly more abundant than in other parts of the country.
The mountainous regions of Bulgaria, such as the Balkan Mountains and the Rhodope Mountains, experience very different climatic conditions. Winters are very cold, with heavy snowfall, while summers are cooler than in the surrounding lowlands.
The higher and northern regions of Bulgaria can experience a subarctic climate, with extremely cold winters and heavy snowfall.
In parts of the southeast, near the border with Turkey, traces of a semi-arid climate can be found, with hot, dry summers and milder winters than in the northern areas.
Precipitation varies greatly from region to region. Upland areas generally receive more rainfall than lowlands, and differences can be significant between exposed and protected slopes.
In general, Bulgaria has a diverse range of climatic conditions due to its varied topography and geographical location. This affects agriculture, industry and tourism in the country.

Flora –
The flora of Bulgaria is extremely diverse and includes a wide range of plant species due to the variety of climates and habitats found in the country. Bulgaria is located in the Balkan region and is home to a combination of Mediterranean, continental and mountainous plants.
The mountainous regions of Bulgaria are covered with coniferous and deciduous forests. Conifers include species such as mountain pine, Scots pine and spruce. Among the deciduous trees we find beech, oak and black hornbeam.
Bulgaria is home to numerous endemic plants, which are found only in specific geographical areas of the country. These species are often vulnerable and require protection for their survival.
In alpine areas, you can find alpine meadows with a range of wildflowers, including lilies, daisies, bluebells and primroses.
Bulgaria is known for its tradition of using medicinal plants. Herbs such as chamomile, peppermint, sage and lavender are grown and used in both traditional and modern medicine.
Bulgaria is also known for the cultivation of fruit trees, such as cherry, apricot, peach, apple and pear trees.
In the plains and valleys, it is possible to find a variety of plants adapted to warmer climates, including aromatic plants such as rosemary and thyme.
Bulgaria has several nature reserves and national parks which were established to protect the country’s unique biological diversity. For example, Pirin National Park and Rila National Park are important habitats for many rare and endemic species.

Wildlife –
Bulgaria is a country that offers a variety of habitats which are home to a rich diversity of animal species. Below are some of the fauna species that can be found in Bulgaria:
– European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos): These imposing bears are present in the mountain forests and in the most remote regions of Bulgaria.
– Gray wolf (Canis lupus): Wolves are present in the forest and mountain areas of the country, especially in less inhabited regions.
– Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx): These felines are mainly present in the mountainous and forest areas of Bulgaria.
– European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus): These ungulates are common in the forests and open areas of the country.
– Wild boar (Sus scrofa): Wild boars are found throughout Bulgaria and are often found in wooded areas and lowlands.
– Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos): This magnificent bird of prey inhabits the mountainous regions and the most remote valleys.
– Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus): This vulture is one of the main burrowing birds of prey that feeds on carrion and is found mainly in mountainous areas.
– Stone marten (Martes foina): This mustelid is common in wooded areas and in the countryside.
– Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni): A species of land tortoise found in scrub areas and rocky regions.
– Pike (Esox lucius): This predatory fish is common in Bulgarian rivers and lakes.
– Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio): Sturgeons are freshwater fish found in Bulgarian rivers.
– White stork (Ciconia ciconia): This bird is often associated with Bulgaria and breeds in wetlands and agricultural environments.
– Fish eagles (Pandionidae): These eagles feed mainly on fish and are often found in areas with waterways.
– Alpine salamander (Salamandra atra): This salamander lives in the mountainous and humid regions of Bulgaria.
– Eurasian owl (Otus scops): This small owl is common in rural areas and wooded areas.
It is important to note that this is only a small selection of the rich fauna found in Bulgaria. The country is home to many other animal species, many of which are specific to the Balkan region.

Guido Bissanti

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