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