Natural Attractions in Bulgaria
The protected areas of Bulgaria cover an ever-expanding area of 5,6 percent of the national territory, with plans to reach 10-12 percent by 2010. Under the 1998 Law for Protected Territories, Bulgaria has defined six categories of protected territories.
Reserves are protected areas for natural eco-systems hosting typical or remarkable wild plant and animal species. The purpose of the reserves is preservation of these precious areas, as well as scientific and educational activities. Tourists may enter the reserves only on the defined paths. Biosphere reserves are a subcategory of the reserves, under strict protective control. These areas are recognised by UNESCO’s “Man and Biosphere” intergovernmental programme.
Pirin National Park
National Parks are territories with no populated areas or settlements, and include natural ecological systems, and characteristic and extraordinary landscapes. There are three National Parks in the country.
Natural Monuments are unique natural phenomena, such as rock formations and structures, caves, waterfalls, karst springs, and archaeological and mineral findings. Many of the areas are home to rare species and habitats, while others to cultural landmarks.
Maintained Reserves are habitats for rare and/or endangered animals and plants, which require human intervention or other conservation activities in order to maintain, monitor and even restore populations of protected species.
Nature Parks are larger areas, which contain a variety of eco-systems, and often include villages and cultural sites within their borders.
Sustainable tourism is the most appropriate activity here alongside other traditional, ecologically oriented activities with special care for protection of the natural resources. There are 10 Nature Parks in the country.
Protected Sites are small territories specially created to preserve one or more rare and/or endangered species and habitats, unique landscapes and historical remains.
Other protected territories include the wetlands. They are very rich in biodiversity, especially bird life, and occupy about 0,1 percent of the country’s territory.
Srebarna Lake and Pirin National Park are Bulgaria’s natural sights included in the UNESCO List of World Natural and Cultural Heritage.