Vitosha Mountain is established as a natural park in 1932. With 27,078 ha area it is the oldest nature park in Bulgaria and on the Balkan Peninsula too. It is inseparable part of Sofia and citizens life.
Two reservations are situated on its territory - biosphere reservation “Bistrishko Branishte” and reservation “Torfeno Branishte”.
On the park’s territory 61 types of habitats were identified; among them of greatest interest as far as nature conservation goes are the natural spruce forests, the peat areas, the moraines and the caves.
Vitosha’s flora includes all vegetation zones characteristic of the Bulgarian mountains, except the alpine one. The park is habitation of a plenty of Balkan endemics, and the globular yellow blossoms of the Vitosha tulip can be seen on the open high-mountain parts. The mountain is home of a diversity of bigger and smaller mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. In the hot seasons 200 bird species can be observed in Mount Vitosha, of them 120 species nesting within the park’s territory.
You can hike to the longest cave in Bulgaria, Duhlata. It is also situated in Mount Vitosha: it is a natural attraction with galleries of around 18-kilometre length placed at 6 cave levels.
Sofia is the single European capital in the vicinity of which brown bear lives. Since 2002 the park’s administration successfully carries out a project of reviving of the Balkan wild goat, a species that perished in the mountain more than 100 years ago.
The “Bistrishko Branishte” reservation is situated on the north-eastern slope of Vitosha, below the Golyam Rezen peak (2,277 m) and Skoparnik peak (2,226 m). It was established in order to preserve a section of a broad-leaved forest and the alpine grass vegetation located above it.
The “Torfeno Branishte” reservation was establish in order to preserve 144.1 ha turf lands and abundant marshland vegetation in the alpine section of Vitosha.
A meteorological station was built at the top in 1935, and is still operating.
The access to Mount Vitosha is provided through regular bus routes and lifts.