Vitosha Mountain, Sofia - Stein Travel
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Vitosha Mountain

Rising above the capital city of Sofia, Vitosha Mountain is one of the symbols of the capital and is the most visited mountain in Bulgaria. Starting from where the suburbs end, the whole mountain has been designated a national park, the oldest in the Balkans, and is home to deer, bear, wild boar, fox and a variety of rare birds. Vitosha is known for its 'stone rivers', or moraines, piles of huge rounded granite boulders carried and deposited by glaciers thousands of years ago, as well as for its curative mineral springs. It is popular during any season and the well-known resort of Aleko is the most established winter ski resort in the area, offering modern hotels and ski facilities within easy reach of the capital.

Information & Facts

Language

Bulgarian is the official language, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German and French is spoken in resorts, hotels and restaurants.

Money

The official currency is the Lev (BGN), which is divided into 100 stotinki. The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate of EUR1 = 1.955 lev. Bulgaria has strict currency regulations. If you enter Bulgaria with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of 8, 000 leva or more, you must declare it to customs officials. Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks, hotels or at one of the numerous bureaux de change, however due to a common practice of misleading rates of exchange it is better to go to banks or hotels to change money. A receipt called a bordereauxis issued when exchanging currency, indicating the amount that will be given, and it must be kept until departure. Not all banks accept travellers cheques and those that do usually charge a 5% commission. Major international credit cards are increasingly becoming accepted by tourist hotels, upmarket shops and restaurants, travel agents and car rental agents, but Bulgaria is still largely a cash economy. There are ATMs in the main cities and at Black Sea resorts.

Time

Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).

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