Smolyan province is located in south-central Bulgaria, on the Rhodope Mountains, bordering Greece on the south.
Evidence suggests that the area was first settled in the 2nd millennium BC. The province got its name from the Slavic tribe - Smolyani.
The biggest observatory of the Balkans, The Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory, is located on the top of the Mount Rozhen. Its planetarium is one of the major tourist attractions of the region.
The region's economy is mostly based on tourism. Pamporovo and Chepelare are fully equipped and modernized ski resorts. Chepelare's skiing equipment factory employees 400 people. Smolyan produces 30% of the national potato production. More than 20 zinc and lead mines are located in this region.