Map of Bulgaria
Map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe, northwest of Turkey, south of Romania, north of Greece, and east of Serbia and Macedonia.

The total area of Bulgaria is 110,910 square kilometers, 110,550 square kilometers of which is land surface.

Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.840, ranking 61st in the world in 2009. Freedom House in 2008 listed Bulgaria as "free", giving it scores of 1 (highest) for political rights and 2 for civil liberties.

Bulgaria has a coastline of 354 kilometers along the Black Sea. Bulgaria claims a territorial sea of 12 nautical miles, a contiguous zone of 24 nautical miles, and an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles.

Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv. It is the administrative seat of the region and a major centre of tourist business, large-scale industries and eventful cultural life. The hotels and 60,000 beds in private lodgings, the convenient public transport to the resorts and suburban recreational areas, the international airport and railway station and the sea passengers terminal where coastal and ocean ships cast anchor, the modern communications with all the world and the well developed infrastructure of petrol station, shops and catering establishments promote tourism.

Varna is a centre of the key sectors of the Bulgarian economy: shipyards and ship repairs, diesel engines and Devnya which gives employment to several dozens of thousands of local people.

However, Varna is first and foremost a resort. In years good for tourism guests exceeded a million and in high season, July and August, holidaymakers were as many as 200,000 daily. Tourism is of foremost importance with the suburban beachfront resorts of Golden Sands, Holiday Club Riviera, Sunny Day, Constantine and Helena, and others with a total capacity of over 60,000 beds (2005), attracting millions of visitors each year (4.74 million in 2006, 3.99 million of which international tourists).

Another important city along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is Bourgas. The Port of Bourgas is the biggest seaport in the country. Circa 74 % of the annual import/export of the country goes exlusively through the Port of Burgas.

The region is one with a best developed industry in Bulgaria - oil refinery, machines building, cables production, ship yards, food industry, harbour - totally 35 big industrial plants.

What attracts people here mostly is undoubtedly the sea. The city is a starting point for visiting the seaside resorts in the area - The Slantchev Bryag resort and The Elenite holiday village to the north and The Duni holiday village, renowned for its unique architectural composition, to the south. Every year Bourgas is visited by over 180 000 foreign and Bulgarian tourists.