Bulgaria sits at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,
right in the belly of the Balkans. Any journey of length showcases the country's
amazing variety of landforms. From the banks of the Danube, a windswept plain
slopes up to the rounded summits of the Stara Planina. This east-west range runs
right across the northern half of the country from the Black Sea to Yugoslavia.
Southern Bulgaria is even more mountainous. Musala Peak (2925m) in the
Rila Mountains south of Sofia is the highest mountain between the Alps and Transcaucasia,
and is almost equalled by Vihren Peak (2915m) in the Pirin Massif farther
south. The Rodopi Mountains stretch east along the Greek border from Rila and
Pirin, separating the Aegean Sea from the Thracian Plain of central Bulgaria.
This plain opens onto the Black Sea coast with great bays and coastal lakes at
Burgas and Varna.