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February 2006, 10/02/2006

Dear Valued Stara Planina Properties Client,

We are pleased to present the February issue of our newsletter. This time we are featuring the region of Rousse on the Romanian border set alongside the River Danube. The next newsletter will be dedicated to the region of Veliko Turnovo. We hope you find these insights interesting and useful.

ROUSSE - the Modern City and the Beautiful Nature Parks

Rousse is a city of many contrasts. It once was one of the most important cities along the River Danube but with the collapse of the Austro Hungarian Empire its importance waned. It has however been blessed with a legacy of some of the most wonderful examples of central European architecture dating back many years. Not for little reason has it been called the Little Vienna. Unfortunately this grandeur is only found around the centre of the city whilst the suburbs have been recently modernized under the communist administration. The city of Rousse has a population of about 182 000. It is situated 320 km North-East of Sofia, 200 km North-West of Varna and 100 km North of Veliko Turnovo.

The surrounding area offers variety of recreation opportunities and one can enjoy the beauty of the region. The most outstanding natural feature is the Roussenski Lom National Park which is in essence a meandering river that has carved a deep gorge through the landscape. The result is a scattering of small villages that are either perched on the cliffs overlooking the gorge or are nestled at the foot of the gorge. In both instance the views are quite spectacular and unique.

What is also quite amazing is that this region still has not received the same level of interest as other more popular destinations such as Veliko Turnovo, the coast and ski regions. Considering the lower cost of housing compared to other regions and its proximity to Bucharest (100 km North) we predict that this will become a new popular hot spot.

There are lots of beautiful spots:

The ruins of the Mediaeval Town of Cherven - the key town of Northeast Bulgaria in the 14th century. Because of the great historical importance of this place the property prices start from 20,000 EUR for an old house that needs entire renovation. The nearest villages Koshov and Tabachka are also of great interest. Here you can check three sample properties in this area - a typical brick house, a renovated property, and one excellent investment property.

The archaeological reserve "The Rock Churches" where the visitors can see well preserved frescoes of the mediaeval art from the 15th Century. It is included in the list of world Cultural and Historical Heritage of UNESCO. Ivanovo village is preferred by people who consider the close proximity to the city as one of the most important features together with the excellent roads which lead to it. Property prices are similar to these in Cherven, Koshov and Tabachka.

Basarbovo Rock Monastery: It is 12 km from Rousse, in the rocks close to the village of Basarbovo offering again good property opportunities.

Orlova Chuka Cave which is 50 km long and reaches Romania beneath the river Danube. Near the cave there are many villages: Chilnov, Ostrica, Shirokovo and Pepelina. The supply of properties from these villages is greater and the prices are cheaper because of the bigger distance from the city. You can find an old rustic house at a price starting from just 5 000 EUR. For under 30 000 EUR an excellent property can be bought in these areas. Cheaper deals are also available.

Considering the broad and diverse attractions of The Roussenski Lom Nature Park every visitor can find something of interest. There are signed routes for hiking, cross-country riding and biking, eco- educational trails and places for observing birds and predatory mammals.

The Lipnik Forest Park is the city’s closest recreation area. It is a wonderful place for fishing, water sports and outing. The most expensive in this area are the properties in Nikolovo village which stands on a lake and provides excellent views. The prices there normally start from 60 000 EUR for a modern big house with stunning panorama. In this area most of the houses are recently built and more luxurious in comparison to the old styled houses along the Roussenski Lom River Valley. A sample of a lovely house in the area provided here.

Stara Planina Properties - FLY & BUY VISITS

We strongly advise our clients to come to Bulgaria for at least one week to allow time to visit properties and to reflect before proceeding however this is not convenient for some clients so why not take advantage of a "fly & buy" package deal that we have put together with our partner travel agent who will take care of all of your flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Here are some options for your trip:

Till the end of March SOFIA 3 nights for a special introductory rate of 250 GBP, with BANSKO, VELIKO TARNOVO and ROUSSE for just 290 GBP or

From April SOFIA for 299 GBP for 3 nights and BANSKO, VELIKO TARNOVO and ROUSSE for just 340 GBP.

Prices are per person based on flights from London, 3 nights accommodation in a minimum 3 star hotel with two people sharing, transfers from airport to hotel in whatever location. Options can also be provided for flights from Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Single room and 5 night options are also available.

New Regular Flights to Bourgas to be Launched in May 2006

The low cost carrier Wizz Air launches new flights schedules from London to Sofia and Burgas. The flights to London will start on 1st May 2006 and the flights from Burgas will start on 15th June 2006. Tickets are already on sale from EUR 26.99, airport fees included. The promotional offer will be valid for bookings made between 1st and 14th February 2006. Wizz Air has served 17,000 passengers since it started flights from the Bulgarian capital at the end of September 2005.

On 31st May 2006 Bulgaria Air starts regular direct flights from Bourgas Airport to London Gatwick. According to the summer timetable flights Bourgas – London – Bourgas will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays. The promotional price from London to Bourgas and return is GBP 186, all taxes included.

Sofia Presents Olympic 2014 Bid

Sofia has officially lodged its bid to host Olympic Games 2014. The Government foresees EUR 1.332 M to be spent for the application. The Rila mountain resort of Borovets and the Pirin pearl of Bansko will form the focus for the main activities. The Olympic village will be built on the outskirts of Vitosha mountain, just on the road exiting Sofia for Borovets. The capital city of Sofia is planned to host the ice skating, short track, bobsleigh, sledge and curling.

The first phase of the assessment by the IOC will be complete by June 22 and only three of the five candidate cities will qualify for the next round. Spain, Austria, Russia, South Korea, Georgia and Kazakhstan are the other countries to compete for the Winter Olympic Games 2014.

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