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National park in the city of Sofia: Vitosha

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One of the highly recommended cities to visit in the Eastern Europe is Sofia, the Capital of Bulgaria. If the obvious qualities like the hospitality of the people, the amazing architectural monuments, and the excellent food are not enough for you to be convinced to visit Sofia, let me present you the National park in the city of Sofia: Vitosha. That’s right! This national park can be found in a walking distance from the city center.

The mountain of Vitosha


The first written trace of the mountain brings us to Tuqidid in the 5th-century p.n.e. The ancient names of it were Scopius, Scombros, and Scomios, which fit into the description of the mountain ( meaning "steep mountains"). It is assumed that today's name Vitosha is of a Trajanic origin and that it means "two-headed mountains" or "mountains with two peaks."

Vitosha Nature Park is the first park of the Balkans. It was in fact recognised as a national park in 1934. The size and the boundaries of the park have changed many times since its creation and its current area is about 27,079 hectares. Of this area, nearly 24 000 hectares are occupied by the Vitosha forestry fund. In the southern part of the park, near the village of Bosnek, you can also visit the "Duhlata" which is the longest cave in Bulgaria, with a total length of 18,200 m.


Vitosha counts at about 10 peaks that are actually higher than 2,000 meters above sea level and god knows how many different types of fragrant conifers are located in within. The highest peak is called Cherni (black).

At Vitosha, the temperature is always 10 ° C lower than the temperature in the city. Even though it is hard to leave the mountain, the smart decision is to return to the city before dark. Vitosha can be reached by cableway which only takes 35 minutes. During the summer and weekends, picnics are organised here every day.

This green heaven is reachable by the city's bus too. The mountain with its national park Vitosha is considered to be the greatest treasure of Sofia. The lucky ones living in Sofia can during summers enjoy the alpines while hiking, and during winters go skiing and escape the city's crowds. How luxurious is this? City life combined with pure nature.

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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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