Kyustendil - Provinces of Bulgaria


Kyustendil Province is a province in western Bulgaria, neighbouring the Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. Its main city is Kyustendil, and other municipalites are:

  • Boboshevo
  • Bobov Dol
  • Dupnitsa
  • Kocherinovo
  • Nevestino
  • Rila
  • Sapareva Banya
  • Treklyano

The Region of Kyustendil is situated in the South-Western part of Bulgaria, extends over an area of 3084,30 km². (constituting 2,7% of the total territory of the Republic of Bulgaria), and has a population of 173 889. It borders the Regions of Sofia, Pernik and Blagoevgrad, while to the west, its limits coincide with the state borders between Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, and Bulgaria and the Republic of Serbia. The administrative, commercial and cultural center of the Region is Kyustendil. The region features diverse surface relief - fertile valleys and canyons, separated by hillocks and mountains. The northern and western parts of the territory form the so-called "Kyustendilsko kraishte" (Kyustendil Cornerland), and include parts of the cross-border Milevska, Chudinska, Zemenska and - to the east - Konyavska mountains. To the south, the Kyustendilsko kraishte reaches as far as the valleys of the Dragovishtitsa and Bistritsa rivers, as well as the Lisets mountain. The southern part of the region includes massifs of the Osogovo, Vlahina and North-Western Rila mountains, embracing the Kamenitsa, Kyustendil and Dupnitsa lowerlands.

The region abunds with granites, clays, fossils, and ores. Polymetal ores are excavated in Osogovo; brown coals in the famous Bobov dol mines. Clays deposits are located at the villages of Chetirtsi, Yahinovo and Dragovishtitsa. The region, however, is most famous for its numerous mineral water springs: hot mineral water springs in Kyustendil, Sapareva banya, the villages of Nevestino and Chetirtsi. A marvel of nature, found in the region are the Stobski piramidi (Stob pyramids).

For the most part, the climate is trans-continental, but at higher altitudes it is mountainous. The main drainage river is the Struma whose subsidiaries are the Treklyanska, Dragovishtitsa, Bistritsa, Slokoshtitsa, Novoselska, Dzherman and Rila rivers. Subterran waters level is relatively high. Near the village of Kamenichka Skakavitsa, the Golemi dol river forms a 70-meter-high waterfall. The Dyakovo, Bersin, Drenov dol and Bagrentsi artificial lakes (dams) are chiefly used for irrigation purposes. Soil composition is most favorable for the traditionally-developed fruit-growing.

Forest vegetation is mostly deciduous, although coniferous forests are also present. In the Gabra natural reservation (area: 89,5 metric hektars) houses the last remaining black-pine trees.

The Region of Kyustendil includes 9 municipalities: Kyustendil, Dupnitsa, Bobov dol, Sapareva banya, Rila, Kocherinovo, Nevestino, Boboshevo, Treklyano with a total of 182 settlements. The regional administrative center is the town of Kyustendil situated in its Southwestern part: the Kyustendil lowerland. The town also serves as the administrative center of the municipality of Kyustendil (with an area of 923 km²., this Municipality represents 30,2% of the total territory of the Region), with a population of 73 346, of whom 51 300 are residents of the town area. Four main transport routes pass through Kyustendil: from Republic of Macedonia on the Skopie-Sofia high-way; from Serbia on the Nish-Bosilegrad-Kyustendil high-way; through Dupnitsa and Kyustendil passes the oldest commercial road that for centuries has linked Constantinople and the Adriatic Sea. Kyustendil has managed to preserve is historical, ecological and cultural heritage. It is a contemporary Bulgarian administrative center, whose future is mostly seen in the development of cultural tourism, and modern rehabilitation resort centers by the hot mineral water springs.

Kyustendil, the Spa town in the province has about 20 banks, 50 restaurants, 3 large hotels, a railway station and bus station. The Strimon Spa Club Hotel is new and has 5 stars. It offers interesting spa experiences including a bath for two people in milk! There are about 200 shops and a market which sells local produce. There are 3 swimming pools locally. The people are friendly and very civilised. The countyside around is like a national park. The town is 1795 feet above sea level. The climate is continental with snow in winter (local skiing is available just above the town) and hot summers. When it rains it is often tropical with a heavy downpour of rain, then sun to follow. It is on a par with Chicago and Andorra. It is just over one hours drive form Sofia airport and close to the Macedonian border. Major skiing is an hour and a half away. Driving in the area is a dream, if you watch out for the occasional pot holes in the road! The views are like major natioal parks. Food and products are relatively cheap by western standards, making it very good value for money to visit. It is well known for its modern spa baths, which are believed to have healing powers. The Romans built a spa here, you can see the ruins near the newer baths. The centre of town is a large pedestrian precinct, with bars and cafes either side. As an example of the types of property available see www.propertysalesbulgaria.co.uk The whole area is on the up and one of the unspoilt secrets of the world.

The surrounding region is like an untapped National Park. Wander through green lanes past medieval houses and barns and discover stunning landscapes. Plenty of fishing, walking, trecking, 4*4 country, hunting with clear air and a fantastic climate.