Page update: 01 January 2000

Vitosha

Vitosha
The mountain resort is situated in the immediate vicinity of Sofia, on the eastern sloped of Cherni Vrah (2290 meters) which is the highest Vitosha peak. This is Bulgaria's highest ski resort, while being only 22 km distant from the center of Sofia.

The whole of the Vitosha Mountain, which starts where the Sofia suburbs end, has been disignated a national park.

Vitosha is very rich in springs and rivers. The longest river is the Strouma and in fact the others are tributaries of the Strouma and the Iskur rivers. The larger ones are the Vladaiska, the Boyanska, the Dragalevska, the Bistritsa, the Zhelezhnishka, and the Palakaria. There are no natural lakes in Vitosha but two man-made ones exist - Boyana Reservoir (1906) and the Stoudena Dam. There are also many springs scattered throughout the mountain which are mainly utilized as water catchments. The thermal waters of the springs are popularly known for their curative powers such as the one at Knyazheno (22-31.5 C) as well as at Rondantsy, at Boyana, and at Simeonovo. One of the most beautiful natural sights within Vitosha is the Boyana Waterfall. At an altitude of 1200 m on the Boyanska River, the waterfall drops 15 m and is the most impressive on Vitosha.

Aleko, at an altitude of 1800 m, is one of the most popular holiday making spots. It provides ski runs, lift facilities, three hotels, and restaurants which have turned this spot into an international winter sports center. Snow cover here lasts at least 150 days and the average annual temperature is 3.3 C. Aleko received its name in honor of the well-known novelist Aleko Constantinnov. In the summer of 1895, on the initiative of Aleko Constantinnov, about 300 nature lovers and enthusiasts climbed Cherni Vruh inaugurating the beginning of organized mountain walking societies in Bulgaria.

Vitosha Park is a fragile mountain ecosystem under heavy use and it must be preserved such that future generations may enjoy what you see today.