EV 13 Bulgaria/FYR Macedonia
Blagoevgrad - Delcevo
The types and quality of road infrastructure that coincides with the chosen route for ICT, going through the district of Blagoevgrad differs widely in range - from high traffic asphalted public roads with good surface to non-asphalted traffic free roads and low traffic public roads that need improvement, concerning the type and the quality of the surface as well as the sign posting. The overall quality of the sign posting of this route section varies between – existing with national/regional signs and – poor and not complete according to the ECF criteria. The poor quality of the signposting is especially relevant for the mountainous parts of the route. This section of the route starts with a stretch of high traffic asphalted public road that links Blagoevgrad with the cross border point of Stanke Lisichkovo (BG) – Delchevo (MK). Due to the fact that there are no parallel roads going in this direction there is no other option than utilizing this road artery, regardless the fact that it serves the traffic to and from the cross border point. Nevertheless the road has asphalt shoulders and a good surface (according to the ECF criteria) which facilitates the utilization of the road by cyclists, although special attention is needed. The section has a length of 40 km and denivelation from 340 m from the Valley of Struma River to 1150 m to the cross border point.
Two international road arteries E79, linking Slovakia with Greece and E 80 linking Portugal with Turkey cross the municipality. The total length of the roads from class four is 134 km and is of relatively good condition. One of the priorities of the municipality is to provide funds for rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads leading to tourist destinations.
Beside numerous bus lines linking Blagoevgrad with the bigger cities in the region, there is also a train line linking Sofia with Thessaloniki that goes through Blagoevgrad. The two closest airports are the one in Sofia located just 100 km away from Blagoevgrad and the airport in Thessaloniki – located at 200 km away from the administrative center. There are also bus lines linking Blagoevgrad with Greece and Macedonia.
Travel by Railways:
Blagoevgrad- Sofia : 6.00; 6.51; 9.30; 13.50; 16.10; 18.44
Travel by bus:
Blagoevgrad- Sofia : 5.00; 8.15; 12.38; 13.20; 16.30; 17.00; 18.13; 18.45
Due to its location and the fact that Blagoevgrad is the administrative center of both the district and the municipality all types of services can be found in the city. The possibilities for accommodation are diverse and include big hotels with the capacity of 100 beds to several smaller hotels and guest houses. All types of shops are available in the city, there are also bicycle shops and bike repair services. The villages that lay between Blagoevgrad and the cross border point of Stanke Lisichkovo – Delchevo(Macedonia) have shops with that provide all necessary foods and goods.
Blagoevgrad – Fenix Hotel - firstname.lastname@example.org
Delchevo - Macedonia Hotel - email@example.com
The remainings related to the border control from the Cold War years in the region are few. They are mainly situated in higher parts of the mountains and can be characterized with poor state – most of them being destroyed or in bad condition.
Cultural sites: There are other interesting sites very close to the route that presents the cultural and the natural heritage of this part of the ICT route. Such is the case with the city of Blagoevgrad with its well preserved quarter of Varosha – exposing the traditional building architecture of the region;Vavedenie Bogorodichno Church, located in Varosha, the regional historical museum in Blagoevgrad; Rila National Park - declared a cultural monument.
Natural sites:Parangalitsa Biosphere Reserve located in the vicinity of the village of Bistritza, proclaimed for the protection of century old spruce forests. It is also part of the Man and Biosphere programme of UNESCO; Nature monument - cave in the area of Boichova skala in the vicinity of the village of Logodajl; National park Rila – protected territory with international importance, proclaimed for conservation of self regulating ecosystems and the typical biodiversity as well as natural landmarks. The territory of the park also covers partially or fully the territories of several strict reserves: Ibar, Parangalica and Skakavitza; Mineral water springs more than 30 thethermal springs with can be found in the region of Blagoevgrad;protected areas near the village Trabotivishte, Park Gotse Delchev,
Ecotrails and footpaths:Tourist footpath from the village of Bistritsa to Macedonia tourist hut;Tourist footpath connecting Chakalitsa peak with the Predel valley