Varshets (population 7510 inhabitants) is situated at the northern foothills of the Western part of Stara Planina, 380 meters above the sea level, in the valley of Botunia River. It is situated 92 km north of Sofia and 30 south of the district centre Montana.
One of the oldest and most popular resorts in North Bulgaria, it is famous for its curative mineral springs, mild mountain climate, beautiful scenery and a large well-kept park. The transitionally climate is largely due to the vicinity of the mountain. The average annual temperature is above 10 degrees C. The average January temperature is -2 degrees C; and the average July temperature - 21.4 degrees C. Autumn is warm and long. Spring sets in about the middle of March. Winter is cold, and summer pleasantly warm. The annual duration of sunshine is about 2,000 hours. The snow cover lasts 60 days.
The mineral water of the natural springs and wells is clear, colourless, odourless and palatable. It is isothermal (32-38), alkaline, mildly mineralized and contains hydrocarbonates and sulphates of sodium with a total flow of 1,200 l/min. The hypotonic properties of the water, the low fluorine content, its softness and almost uniform temperature determine its curative properties.
The town is an administrative centre. Varshets disposes of excellent tourist infrastructure. There are several spa centres, pavilion, polyclinic with specialized diagnosis and physiotherapy departments, numerous rest houses, hotels, terrain tracks, terrains for climate treatment and prophylaxis and etc. There are also lots of private lodgings.
History and Landmarks
Archeological finds show that the valley of Varshets was a dwelling for primeval humans, Thracians, that outlasted the Roman and Byzantine age, the coming and settlement of the Slav tribes that gave the name Varshets, as well as the time of the Bulgarian kingdoms, and the 2-centuries long yokes. The name Varshets was mentioned in Turkish document dated from 1576. The old Varshets was situated on a slope and was gradually getting down to the river and mineral springs.
During excavations of the foundations of Roman bath there have been found a lead pipe, small ceramic hexagonal tiles and Roman coins. Remains of Roman fortresses can be seen at Zanozhene (quarter of Varshets)
Place of interest in the town are the shrine St. George, the Sunny Garden, and the art gallery.
The remnants of the Roman spa equipment found in Varshets show that the curative mineral waters of the town have been known from Ancient times. It is isothermal, alkaline, mildly mineralized and contains hydrocarbonates and sulphates of sodium with a total flow of 15 l/sec. The hypotonic properties of the water, the low fluorine content, its softness and almost uniform temperature determine its curative properties. The mineral water contains number of trace elements such as iron, lithium, barium, aluminum, strontium, phosphates, manganese, arsenic, etc. It is suitable for external use, as well as for inhalations, irrigation and drinking. It applies for treatment of:
· Functional diseases of the central nervous system
· Cardiovascular diseases
· Endocrine and metabolic diseases
· Diseases of the digestive tract
· Gall-bladder and liver diseases
· Diseases of the peripheral nervous system
It is also suitable for prophylaxis, body strengthening, physical and psychical fatigue and etc.
There are many interesting landmarks and places for recreation. The nearest place is the Waterfall - about 3 km from the baths. To the place of Byalata Voda lead 2 ways – for pedestrians, and asphalt-paved. The place Zeleni Del, situated above Zanozhene quarter is preferred for outgoings under tents. Annually a folklore song contest is held there. For the fans of the mountain tourism interest rises the peak Todorini Kukli – one of the highest peaks in Stara Planina.
12 km southwest of Varshets is situated Klisurski Monastery. 7 km northwest of the town there is a Palaeontological locality of late Pliocene fauna and flora. Remains of old Roman fortresses have been found in the villages of Cherkaski and Dolno Ozirovo. About 30 km southeast of the town is the Natural Park Vrachanski Balkan. Again 30 km to the east lies the town of Vratza in which area are situated Ledenika Cave, the reserve Zmeiuvi Dupki, Vrachanski Carst, and numerous chalets. The town of Berkovitsa is located 16 km northwest of Varshets.