Vitosha is situated in the centre of south-western Bulgaria between Stara Planina Mountain and Rila-Rodopy massif. It is the only hilly mountain in the country and the ridge has been formed by the highest neighbouring peaks - Cherny Vrah and Reznyovite.
Stone rivers are typical for the mountain. They were formed by rock evaporation and their slow movement to the valleys in result of flowing water gravitation.
The mountain is extremely rich in water resources - numerous springs and torrents that give the beginning of many rivers. The biggest Vitosha's river is Struma River which flows into White Sea. Even the drought months cannot dry up the rivers because they are fed by the peats.
The longest cave in Bulgaria named Duhlata is situated in Vitosha. It is 17 km long, situated on 6 floors and it has 6 ground rivers. Having various stalactite and stalagmite formations, draperies and ponds, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful caves in Bulgaria. The cave is situated above the village of Bosneck and is a part of Bosneck karst region.
Another natural sight-seeing place within the park is the fall of Boyana, formed by Boyanska reka river in the andesite belt of the mountain. Its height is about 15 m.
Within the territory of Park Vitosha 1489 species of higher plants have been described. The diversity here is rich as this number represents one half of the total species for Bulgaria. Nine of these species can only be found in Bulgaria, 13 are Balkan endemics, and 58 are included in the Red Book of Bulgaria. The diversity of animal life is rich and many invertebrates and vertebrates can be found on Vitosha. This includes many species of butterflies, 40 species of ants, 10 species of amphibians, 14 species of reptiles, over 200 species of birds including about 120 nesting bird species, and 49 kinds of mammals.
At least 148 endemic invertebrate species and over 300 rear species of invertebrates are found in Vitosha Nature Park. Despite the proximity of a city of more than one million people, the park still maintains the conditions necessary to allow large predators such as the wolf and the bear to exist, although these species were exterminated they have been able to re-colonize the mountain in small numbers and may occasionally be encountered. It is not unusual to observe deer, wild boar, as well as mouflon, fox, badger, wild cat, hedgehog, red squirrel, marten, hare, weasel, etc.
Within the park territory and other neighboring territories there is a lot of historical and cultural sightseeing sites where the most important ones are the monuments of Christian architecture.
The church of Boyana is an unique monument of Bulgarian spirit and it is considered to be a part of world's cultural and natural inheritance /UNESCO/. The complex consists of several parts - the old church was built before XI and XII century. In 1259 a new two-floor church was added to it and it was connected perfectly with the first one in architectural aspect. The wall-paintings of the church of Boyana are dated from three different epochs - XI, XII and XIV-XV century. The church of Boyana is also famous in Bulgaria and abroad for its highly appraised artistic wall-paintings from 1259, made by the order of sebastocrator Kaloyan, that generally follow the decorative system and iconography of Vistantian art from XI-XII century. The portraits of king Konstantin Asen /1257-77/ and queen Irina, as well as the portraits of sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Desislava painted at the entrance, are of a great importance and special interest as they are a work of art with historical-documentary significance. They are considered to be a renaissance phenomenon with their strong realism during the culmination phase of the European art. They take one of the first positions among all works of the European middle-aged art of painting in XIII century.
Vitosha is the cradle of organized tourist movement in Bulgaria. It began on 27th August 1895 when the writer Aleko Konstantinov organized 300 tourists to climb up Cherny Vrah peak/2290 m/. On 23rd July 1899, 27 participants in this initiative founded the first tourist club in Bulgaria and named it Shtaslivetsa (The happy man). This is the beginning of tourist movement in Bulgaria. Because of the wars at the beginning of the century, the creation of a necessary infrastructure for tourism, started in 1924 with the opening of the first chalet in Vitosha Aleko. During the following twenty years, a number of chalets were built and opened. These are the chalets Edelvais, Kumata, Selimitsa, Kamen del, Tintyava, Fonfon, Planinets, Bor, Sredets, Momina skala and some rest-houses.
Nowadays, the territory of the park has a well-constructed tourist infrastructure that is capable to meet the great number of tourists visiting the mountain.
The annual attendance is about 1 000 000 people. Tourist routes are basically concentrated in the northern part of the park where you can find the main ski tracks that provide the opportunity for active skiing. The mountain offers very good conditions for hiking, mountaineering, climbing, sporting aviation and other sports activities.
There are two ski centers in the Mountain. The first ski center is called Aleko and is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Its altitude is 1800 m. The ski- track is situated to the north. The skiing equipment includes one cable car and two chair lifts, six stationary and some portable ski drags. The second ski centre is Konyarnika-Vetrovala. It is situated at the altitude of 1507m. It is 600 m long and surmounts the height of 128 m. Besides this one, there are two portable ski drags.