Sofia is one of the highest capitals in Europe. It is surrounded by mountains. The average altitude of the city is 550 m. The newest and most expensive neighborhoods of Sofia are developing in the direction of Vitosha.
Vitosha is not large, almost round mountain, with a diameter between 20 and 25 km. Its height reaches 2290 m on Cherni Vrah.
In 1934 Vitosha was declared a natural park. It is the first natural park on the Balkan Peninsula. Along with the park were created two reserves – Bistrishko Branishte and Torfeno Branishte.
The Bistrishko Branishte Reserve is located on the northeast slope of the mountain. It is created because of the centuries-old spruce forests. The stone rivers in it are unique.
The Torfeno Branishte reserve preserves the peat complexes in the high parts of the mountain. The thickness of the peat bed in places reaches 2 meters. The age of the peat is over 1000 years.
Vitosha is also the mountain of bats. Eleven species of bats can be distinguished in it.
The fastest and easiest access to the mountain is by taxi to the lift Simeonovo – Aleko hut. From there you can choose many mountain trails. Climbing Cherni Vrah does not require special mountaineering skills. It can be reached in about an hour and a half.