Tourism is a major priority in the agenda of Smolyan with its exceptional natural and cultural resources. The town of Smolyan lies in the heart of the Rhodope mountain, some 220 km to the southeast from the capital city and about 40 km from the Greece border. The suggestive landscape characterized by steep mountains covered by forests provides a lovely contrast to the town. Smolyan is actually an agglomeration of four villages, and is the southern Rhodope Mountains’ administrative centre. The district is home of three nature reserves, several protected areas and 23 protected natural sites.
The Smolyan City Council has been cooperating with the Bulgarian and Greek government in building a new cross- border highway Smolyan-Arda-Paranesti-Drama. Local authorities and tour operators are seeking to attract tourists in all four seasons, and only in winter.
The EU “Regional development plan” offers new opportunities for the region. The cross-border cooperation between Bulgaria and Greece aims at the promotion of cultural and human resources for tourism in the cross-border region in particular in the context of ”Momchilova fortress – myth and reality”.
In the public-private partnership sphere, the municipality has enthusiastically sponsored an ambitious project to build the biggest mountain resort in the Balkans – Perelik Sports and Tourist Centre, which will be located in an area of 2200 ha and with an initial investment of 130 million euro. The challenge is to build a four-season resort, ski slopes, slides, snow parks, ski schools, ski lifts and skiing equipment for rental will be available soon. Summer tourists will be able to book alpine climbing and mountain cycling activities. An aqua park, tennis courts, golf grounds are also planned. Visitors to Perelik will be able to practice over thirty kinds of sports.
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