Varna Region is situated in the Northeastern part of Bulgaria. Its territory amounts to 3.44% of the territory of the country. It is composed of 12 municipalities with a total population of 465.012, which is 5.4% of the whole population of the country
The population is concentrated in the city of Varna - 314,539 people.
The city of Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria and the largest city in the northeastern region. It is situated on the Black Sea, extending into the Bay of Varna. The city was built on a large, even 18 meter high terrace in the far northwestern curve of the bay which juts out 7 km into the mainland.
The climate in the region is influenced by the Black sea- here the summer is hot and has lots of sunny days without rainfalls, the spring is cool. The autumn is warm and lasts longer because of the sea water cools slower. The winter characterizes with not lasting snow-cover which usually lasts about 2 to 4 weeks. Sometimes there are strong winds during the season.
The favourable climate and geographical factors have added to the natural beauty and the image of Varna and the resorts of a first class sea and balneological resorts.
The geographical position, the infrastructure, the bio-climated potential, the sea-side as well as the economic and human resourses predetermine an excellen opportunity for prosperity of the region.
The geo-physical researches have shown that tghere is a possibility to derive oil and natural gas from the sea-shelf near cape Galata.
Coal, manganese ore, cooking salt are among the most important natural resources the region provides.
Another asset are the minearl waters rich in iodine, bromum, boron etc. Rich stocks of limestones, sands.
The thermal springs are one of the major assets of the area - known and used even in ancient times - they are still attracting tourists from near and far.
The economic profile of the Region includes: machine-building, shipbuilding, chemical industry, sea and air transport, tourism, food processing and wine industries. The industrial zones of Varna and Provadia are composed of over 100 enterprises, shipbuilding and repair, diesel engines, communications, sea-navigation, medical and household goods, textile and ready-made clothes, furniture and metallurgy. Food and wine industries produce over 50,000 tons per year. Fruits and vegetable conserves, sugar, salt, beer, soft drinks, fresh and processed meat and milk products are processed. Concentrated in Devnya and Beloslav are large scale chemical industries. The plants produce soda ash, cement, polyvinilchloride, fertilizers, detergents, washing and cleaning products, glass and sanitary glass, household chemical products. Port Varna is the second largest port (after Bourgas port) in Bulgaria. The ferryboat Varna - Ilichovsk is a direct bridge to Ukraine.
Agriculture: Prevailing in the region are grains and fodder cultures, vineyards and orchards. Main priorities are restoration of the vineyards (20 000 dka), creation of orchards (20 000 dka), rehabilitation of the irrigation systems, creation of small grain-depots, reconstruction of the stock-breeding farms, establishment of stock-exchanges and Agrobusiness centre.
Varna International Airport provides maintenance of airplanes, passenger and cargo (over 10,000 tons per year) services. The duration of the flight to Sofia is about 40 minutes with two regular flights a day.
Port of Varna is the largest port complex in Bulgaria. Its strategic location makes it a gateway between Europe and the Middle East. It is connected directly with Russia, Georgia and Ukraine by ferry and Ro-Ro lines. Shipping companies operate regular lines to Istanbul, Athens and other cities in the Western Mediterranean. By railway (Varna - Rousse) and the corriodor "Rhein-Main-Danube" the city is connected with Western Europe.
The port integrates four connected parts: Port Varna - East, Port Varna - West, Port Balchik and the port of the Thermoelectric Power Station. The well-developed infrastructure is connected with Port Lesport and the ferry complex as well. At Port Varna are available 20 ship terminals for general cargo, oil and chemical products, timber, etc., 2 container handling terminals for 20' and 40' containers and a passenger terminal. In November 2001 a modern facility for grain handling began operation. The port complex has at its disposal 70,000 sq. m in-door and 400,000 sq. m open-air storage area.
Last but not least, Varna region is a major scientific and cultural centers in the country. There are 9 universities, 4 of them in the city.
Within Varna are among the most prestigious resorts on the Black Sea coast. Tourist Complex Golden Sands, Sts. Constantine and Helen, "Riviera" and "Sunny Day" share the reputation of the most famous resorts in the world. Cnernomorets is an area south of Varna with steep banks covered with thick forests. The complex has many bungalows, chalets and rest stations. Resort complexes located near Varna have over 40 000 beds, representing one third of hotel facilities in the country. The tourism business is making about 10 percent of national income produced in the area.
Vinytsa famous neighborhood is located 10 km northeast of Varna. The wooded area around the neighborhood is a favorite place of the inhabitants of the town for walking and picnics and in the neighborhood has many private hotels, rest houses and restaurants.
Cape Galata is attractive geographical entity with high rocky shores. At closeness is the Galata quarter, where many private hotels and holiday houses. About Asparuhov bridge, near the Asparuhovo quarter are the remains of Asparuhovo stronghold. Bridge is very popular especially with organized there bundji jumps.
The natural and historical landmarks near Varna, among which the protected areas Aladja Rock Monastery, Kazashko, the Ecopark - a university botanical garden and Golden Sands natural park a providing additional conditions for repose and tourism.
In the region there are many evidences that these lands, due to their proximity to the sea had been inhabited since ancient times.
Except for the famous landmarks in the city of Varna there are many other sites to attract the attention of both Bulgarian and foreign tourists: the remains of the ancient town of Marcianopolis - the second largest in the antiquity after the town of Philipopolis (nowaday's Plovdiv) and the only of its kind in Bulgaria Museum of Mosaics in the town of Devnya, the palace in Euxinograd, the anvient fortreee Ovech near Provadiya, the basilic dated back to the early christianity in the Janavara area, near Varna.
An exciting attraction is the Proto-Bulgarian settlement Fanagoriya in the Varna quarter Asparuhovo - it represents the style of living, the daily round and the feat of arms of the Proto-Bulgarians.
There are also many natural landmarks - Pobiti Kamani area (the Petrified Forest), Kamtchiya river which flows into the Black Sea, many reserves and protected areas, beautiful century old forests - a unique combination of sea, a river and a mountain!
The natural beauty of the region along with the rich cultural and historical heritage offer the tourists various opportunities to both relax and enrich their knowledges about the development of our civilization from ancient times to modern times.
Text and pictures: Mirela - Varna office