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September 2008, 19/09/2008

Dear Valued Stara Planina Properties Clients,

Golf gains popularity in Bulgaria and here is some information about one of the new golf spots together with few other September news.

Dolna Banya - Golf Course, Mountains and More

Dolna Banya is a town located 70 km from both Sofia and Plovdiv. It is situated on the north-eastern slopes of the Rila Mountains 30 km from the ski resort of Borovets. Dolna Banya is a resort town, famous for its hot mineral waters. The area surrounding the town is largely agricultural with hiking trails and skiing in the nearby mountains.

Dolna Banya is a small but lively town with shops, bars and regular transport connections to Sofia. Several buses and trains run every hour from Sofia to Kostenets (8 km from Dolna Banya). From Kostenets there is transport to Dolna Banya every 30 minutes. The town is easily accessible by car as well.

Dolna Banya has many advantages both as a place to live and to holiday. The close proximity to Sofia (just 70 km) and good road access by motorway are just a small part of the explanation why Dolna Banya popularity has grown so fast.

In June 2005 Ibar Golf Club announced a 20- million Euro investment in a golf course in Dolna Banya. Construction began in the autumn of 2005. This is the only course in Eastern Europe that meets PGA standards. The Dolna Banya golf course covers 870,000 sq m and next to the golf course there will be a sports and SPA centre together with a shopping centre.

Since construction started on the golf course there has been increased interest in property in the area. Many investors are focused on acquiring agricultural land suitable for conversion and then construction. The prices of such land vary between 8 and 13 euros per sq m. Regulated land in the region costs 23-35 euros per sq m depending on its location but land close to the golf course has reached 100- 200 euros per sq m depending on the particular plot location.

Considerable interest is focused on buildings which need renovation with prices varying between 45,000 and 65,000 euros for Dolna Banya town properties and 22,000-55,000 euros for houses in the villages near by (such as this 1-bed house in need of renovation, this 3-bed house in need of updating and this 5- bedroom property in need of finishing.

New houses in the town cost 100,000 to 160,000 euros and in the villages in the area - 65,000 to 100,000 euros.

Together with the increase private investment has come increased public investment in the local infrastructure (unlike the case sadly in Bansko). There is also a planned lift connection to Borovets that adds to attraction of the area. And the last but not least Dolna Banya area has been recognised as one of the cleanest areas in Bulgaria.

Our Sofia office has properties on offer in Dolna Banya area and will be ready to assist you if you require further information.

Unemployment in Bulgaria Continue to Decline

Bulgaria's unemployment rate for August was 5.89 percent, down from 5.96 percent in July, the government said Thursday.

The National Employment Agency said the total number of registered unemployed people in August was 218,303, about 41,000 less than in August 2007.

Apolonia Art Festival Took Place in Sozopol

Apolonia Art Festival is one of the most popular cultural events in Bulgaria. It is named after the old name of Sozopol where the events are being held during the first days of September each year. It is particularly popular given the sea side setting and charm of the old town of Sozopol with its unique architecture and landscape and the pleasant climate of first September days on the coast.

The 24th festival took place between 30th August and 10th September 2008. The festival featured over 70 events including theatre plays, films, literature events, exhibitions, classical music, jazz, pop, rock, swing and ethno concerts. Both Bulgarian and foreign artists participated in the festival.

Independence Day

On 22nd September Bulgaria celebrates the proclamation of the Bulgarian independence from Turkey in the year 1908. Although Bulgaria was liberated on 3 March 1878 politically it was a vassal country of Turkey according to the Berlin treaty of 1878.

During the communism era the significance of this event was very under played but this date is very important for Bulgaria - one of the oldest countries in Europe - as it reappeared on the political map of Europe after 5 centuries.

This year it is 100-year anniversary of the independence and there will be a number of events in many Bulgarian towns to mark it. Veliko Turnovo traditionally is the centre of the celebrations as the independence was proclaimed on Tsarevets hill by the Bulgarian royal prince Ferdinand together with the government and members of parliament.

The celebrations have already started in Veliko Turnovo with the renewed festival on Tsarevets hill called "Stage of the Centuries" between 12th and 14th September. The festival featured three performances (both opera and ballet) of the Bulgarian National Opera Theater. On the Independence Day 22nd September there will be a number of events most interesting of which would be the re-enactment of the events in the Holy Forty Martyrs Church and on Tsarevets Hill.

Bulgaria's Berbatov Joined Manchester United to Reach One of His Dreams

Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov moved to Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur for 30.75 million pounds minutes before the transfer window closed on midnight on September 1. Manchester United had been chasing Berbatov for 18 months wondering whether to pay the price of 30 million pounds required by Tottenham.

In the final hours of the last transfer day Manchester City put in a British transfer record bid of 34 million pounds and Spanish Real Madrid prepared a bid for the Bulgarian which never came.

After the transfer became fact Berbatov said that Tottenham had given him a hand and had allowed him to show what he had been capable of. He also confirmed that it had been his goal and dream for years to put on Manchester United's shirt and he realised how much United expected from his move.

Monthly Travel Guide

Below is a link to the Jamadvice HRG Bulgaria Monthly Travel Guide. It provides useful information as well as some interesting facts from the travel industry.

Monthly Travel Guide..

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