Enhancing the Tourism Potential of the Municipalities of Kyustendil and Konche – a Sustainable Joint Future
The Project is co-funded by EU through the Interreg-IPA CBC Programme Bulgaria – the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2014-2020.
This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union through the Interreg-IPA CBC Bulgaria-the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Programme, CCI No 2014TC16I5CB006. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Municipality of Kyustendil and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Managing Authority of the Programme.
Kyustendil is situated 525 m above the sea level in the Southwestern Bulgaria, in the border region of the FYR OF Macedonia and Serbia. To the North the Kyustendil valley is surrounded by Kraishte Labyrinth, to the South by the Osogovo Mountain Cleves, to the West by Lisets Mountain and to the Northeast by Konyavo Mountain. Struma River crosses the valley from the North to the South shaping Zemen and Skrino Defiles. The pure and immaculate nature in the region of Kyustendil is the reason why it now boasts well-reserved unique habitats, hosting numerous rare and endangered animal and plant species. Many of them are endemic – they are only encountered in this part of Bulgaria and nowhere else in the world. The Kyustendil region, with its dense venerable forests was the first place to see the return of the lynx, which had disappeared in the previous century. Within a mere two-hour walk through the Struma Gorge and around the slopes of the Zemen and Konyavska Mountains it can be encountered more butterfly species than can be found on the entire territory of the British Isles. Many species protected by law can be found here – Southern Festoon (Zerynthia Polyxena), Large Copper, Large Blue, Jersey Tiger, Stag Beetle and many others. Many species protected by law can be found here – Southern Festoon (Zerynthia Polyxena), Large Copper, Large Blue, Jersey Tiger, Stag Beetle and many others. Over 250 bird species may be observed in the Kyustendil area. This number accounts for more than half the species in the Bulgarian fauna. Many of them nest here undisturbed. The famous Aristotle Migratory Path passes through these lands. Globally endangered species, such as the greater horseshoe bat, the spur-thighed tortoise (Greek tortoise) and many other amphibians and reptiles are still often encountered in this part of the country. The fish fauna of River Struma and its tributaries is very specific. Here, you can see several fish species, which are only encountered here and in some of the nearby Bulgarian and Balkan large rivers and nowhere else around the world. Such species include the Struma Schneider (Alburnoides Strymonicus), Struma Loach, Macedonian Trout, Struma Barbel, Orphean Dace, Vardar Nase.
Municipality of Konce is situated in the southeast part of the Republic of Macedonia, 150 km from Skopje, on the right side of the road Radovis- Strumica. It is surrounded by the mountains of Konecka and Smrdes and the municipalities of Stip, Negotino, Demir Kapija, Valandovo, Strumica, Vasilevo and Radovis. In the municipality of Konce there are 11 settlements, 6 of which are active, 3 have a small population number and 2 are abandoned. The total number of population in the municipality is 3,690. The population has been engaged in agriculture and owns a large number of agriculture techniques which could be seen when visiting the municipality. Once medieval episcopal centre Konce, today it is a typical rural municipality where agriculture, husbandry, water supply and forestry were and still are directly included in the development of the municipality. A special accent is given to the production of high quality tobacco from the ‘Jaka’ type, with more than 1.000.000 kilos of annual production, which is 5% of the total tobacco production in the Republic of Macedonia. Apart from tobacco, the municipality of Konce, as a rear natural area with 100% clean environment and abundance of resources and potentials for health food production, also has a great forest and water wealth. It has resources for development of wood industry, apiculture and especialy for fishing and hunting tourism, taking into account the lakes Mantovo, Konce 1 and Konce 2 and the rich fauna in the Konecka mountan as one of the richest hunting grounds in the Republic of Macedonia. The monastery complex St. Stephen, built in 1366 in the village of Konce, offers exeptional opportunities for development of the church-cultural tourism, especially after the construction of the new accomodation facilities. The municipality of Konce also has deposits of marble, clay and copper ore and many precious metals which is potential for future mining industry development.