Nature

Landscape

The municipality of Razlog covers a territory with a varied and picturesque landscape: high-, mid- and low-mountainous, and lowlands. It forms a unique natural environment good for recreation and for various types of tourism.

Climate

The climate of Razlog Municipality is moderate continental with a touch of Mediterranean influence coming along the Mesta River Valley. Winter is mild but long while summer is relatively short and cool. Average January temperatures vary between -2 and -4°С, and average annual rain flow is about 700 mm. June is the month with maximum rain. In the higher parts of Pirin and Rila, snow stays for almost 8 months which is an excellent prerequisite for winter recreation and ski sports. The cool summer attracts admirers of the mountain, forest trails and fresh meadows.

Waters

Razlog Municipality is abundant in water resources of high quality. Its whole territory lies in the catchment area of Mesta River which springs from Rila Mountain and flows into the Aegean. Its tributaries – the rivers of Bela, Dobarska, Godlevska, Istok, Yazo and Krushe – add to the rich water resources of the municipality. The four lakes that are located on the territory of the municipality – Germanishko, Suhodolsko, Salzitsa and Plitko – are a favourite place for recreation.

In the different parts of the Mesta River Valley, there are fresh waters flowing from fissures and Karst areas, while mineral waters with varied temperature can be found deep below surface. The more important Karst springs in the Razlog Valley are Yazo, Istoka and Kyoshkoto. Their waters have a temperature between 7° and 10°С, and overall mineralization varies between 0.19 and 0.25 g/l. The average flow of all local springs is 1850 l/sec.

The warm mineral springs in the villages of Banya, Bachevo and Eleshnitsa, and in Katarino Locality have proven healing powers and are an attractive site for spa and treatment.

Flora

The variation of altitude forms high floral diversity. The forest fund is rich in both coniferous forests (white and black pine, spruce, fir, Macedonian pine, common alder, etc.) and deciduous forests (beech and oak). The diverse conditions at Pirin National Park contribute to the remarkable richness of forest communities. The lower parts are taken by natural meadows and pastures, while the ridges are covered with grasslands and squat. One of the protected species in that zone is the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis L.). The protected site of Krushe hosts the only one in Bulgaria source of the Laserpitium archangelica, covering an area of 80 ha.

Among the valuable species that are being gathered by local people, are: the horse mushroom, blushing wood mushroom, porcino, pine bolete, chanterelle, parasol mushroom, Scotch bonnet, Slippery Jack, blackberries, thyme, Alpine dock, Perennial Goosefoot, mullein, etc. The species that need special protection include pinemat manzanita, great yellow gentian and roseroot. Many of these species are common across the country; others are used rarely in traditional medicine and phyto-therapy. The common species include the red clover, yarrow, European barberry, field eryngo, Dyer’s Broom, thyme and others.

Fauna

The region is also rich in animal life matching the plant communities to be found around Razlog. In Pirin Mountains, the greatest diversity can be seen among bird species. 220 species have been reported, 156 of which nest here. The protected species are 40.

The animal species of Pirin are of Euro-Siberian, Mid-European and Sub-Mediterranean types. The deciduous belt hosts the Greek frog, European tree frog, agile frog, salamander, Erhard’s wall lizard, Dahl’s whip snake, Montpellier snake, Javelin sand boa, four-lined snake, Aesculapian snake, European cat snake, leopard snake and others; the coniferous belt – the common frog, smooth snake and viper; the Sub-Alpine and Alpine belts – the common frog, viper and common lizard. The mammals are represented by several species of shrews, mice, dormice, the European pine vole, snow vole, wild boar, red deer, doe, hare, beech marten and European pine marten, fox, wolf, bear, chamois, and many others.