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Geography

Bulgaria possesses a variety of natural forms, located in the range of altitude from 0 to 2,925 m. Its territory includes part of the lower Danube Plain, The Balkan Range part of the Alpine-and-Himalayan chain, part of the Thracian lowland and to the south the mountain structures of the Macedonian-Thracian massif. The best-known mountain ranges are Rila (highest peak Mussala 2,925 m.), Pirin (Vihren 2,914 m.), Stara Planina or the Balkan range (Botev Peak 2,376 m.), and the Rhodopes (Golyam Perelik- 2,191 m.) as well as Mount Vitosha (Cherni Vrah 2,291 m.)
The mountains occupy half of this country's territory, with the high-mountain relief i.e. an altitude above 1,600 m, comprising 5 % of its entire area. The Bulgarian mountains are easily accessible and the presence of towns and villages in them that have preserved the authentic Bulgarian spirit and hospitality, gives a chance for receiving and accommodating tourists at village houses.

The rivers rise mainly in the highest mountains and flow into the Black Sea and into the Aegean Sea. Bulgaria has 526 rivers longer than 2.3 km. The only navigable river is the Danube, which lies along the North Bulgarian border. There are good prerequisites for the development of adventure tourism: wild waters – rafting and canoe, diving, hanggliding and paragliding in the river valleys of Vatcha, Iskar, Chepelarska, Struma, and Mesta rivers.
There are about 330 natural lakes; the largest are the Black Sea lakes (Alepou, Arkoutino, Pomorie, Beloslav, Bourgas, Varna and the Shabla lakes), the most numerous (over 260) are the high-mountain glacial lakes in the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges. Dams have been built as a part of waterpower systems – Iskar, Arda, Batak Water Power System, Belmeken-Sestrimo, Dospat-Vucha, and a great number of smaller dams.



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