Montana Province, Northwestern Bulgaria

Berkovitsa Municipality is a municipality in Montana Province, Northwestern Bulgaria, located in the area of the so-called Fore-Balkan to the northern slopes of the western Stara planina mountain.

The highest point is Mount Kom (2016 m) and the lowest point in the village of Borovtsi (250m). The municipality is named after its administrative centre - the town of Berkovitsa and includes nineteen (19) other villages.

Berkovitsa municipality embraces a territory of  470 km², most of which is occupied by the agricultural lands (57%) and forests (43%). Settlements only represent a small percentage of the area - 3.32%. The population consists of 18,503 inhabitants, as of February 2011. There municipality is undergoing a negative natural growth (-46%) and mechanical growth (-79%) of the population. The unemployment rate is around 18.12%, which is much higher – double – than  the median unemployment for Bulgaria.

The municipality is surrounded by two Natura2000 protected areas:

  1. Berkovitsa - for the conservation of wild birds - and
  2. Western Stara Planina, also called the Western Balkan – a region of high ornithological and botanical importance and rich biodiversity, with many endemic species; it is an important region for the conservation of natural beech and ancient spruce forests.

The region is also famous for its unique rock sculptures and the ethnic cultures, their traditional festivals, cuisine, and crafts.