|Where is Bulgaria|
Bulgaria is located in South Eastern Europe and borders the Black Sea between Romania and Turkey. The total population is about 7,8 million people with the highest concentrations living in the major cities or towns of Sofia (the capital), Plovdiv, Pleven, Stara, Zagora, Sliven, Varna and Burgas (the last two being cities at the Black Sea coast which boasts 378 km (220 miles) of sandy coastline.
|How is the economy and political situation?|
Bulgaria is a former communist country now a NATO member a member of the European Union. Since 1996, the country has experienced macroeconomic stability and positive growth rates (due in part, to the introduction of a currency board in 1997) and it exists under what is now a stable parliamentary democracy, with a majority in parliament and public consensus on key social and economic priorities.
Bulgaria demonstrates economic growth at 4.5% (one of the highest in Europe), annual inflation at 3.8% and strong growth figures in the tourism industry. It boasts low rates of taxation across the board and has one of the lowest cost centres in Europe, though the workforce is highly skilled and qualified.
The currency is the Bulgarian Lev (approx 1 Euro = 2.2 Lev) which is already pegged to the Euro.
|How is the real estate market?|
Real estate prices grew by 4.37% between Oct'2002 and Mar'2003.
In its April 2003 issue, the independent property related newsletter "Hot Property Alert" was quoted as saying that “Bulgarian real estate has enormous potential”. The Times was also recently quoted as saying that “if Bulgaria joins the EU there is the possibility that property prices could take off, rewarding early buyers”. Bulgaria was also recently featured on the UK Channel 4’s ‘A Place in the Sun’ programme when it was stated that the country offered “excellent value for money for foreign investors with prices ranging from as little as £5,000 for a traditional cottage”.
Other respected newspapers have also run articles recently about the property bargains to be had in Bulgaria such as The Financial Times – “Time to probe Balkan Bargains” and the Sunday Telegraph with – “New kids on the Eastern Bloc”. The Times again – “Bargain hunters look to the East”.
|How do I fly to Bulgaria?|
Traveling to Bulgaria is easy! International airports are located in Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and Burgas and connect Bulgaria to the rest of the world. Travelling time from London to Sofia is 2 hours 30 minutes.
|How is the climate?|
The country benefits from a temperate continental climate with clearly marked four seasons. A mild Mediterranean influence is felt in the more southerly regions and the Black Sea coast with average summer temperatures of 27+ degrees (Celsius) and an average of 1700 sunshine hours from May to October. Winters can be cold in other parts of the country, hence its popularity as a destination for skiers.
|Do I need a passport & visa?|
Tourists to Bulgaria from many countries do not need a visa - a valid passport is required only, if you intend to stay less than a three months. But you still need to register yourself at the local police station if you are staying more than 24 hours in Bulgaria
|Are credit cards commonly accepted?|
Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Access and Airplus are all commonly accepted. They can be used for payment of all standard services in hotels, restaurants, night clubs, shops, car rentals, travel agencies, etc. Please be aware that in Bansko only the major hotels and few of the bigger restaurants accept credit cards. But there are many cash machines located at the bigger hotels or banks in Bansko.