Outdoor Activities on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast

Information on the facilities in the Eastern Bulgarian provinces of Dobrich, Varna, Shumen, Burgas and Yambol for outdoors activities: walks, hikes and cycling activities in the area...

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast is the country's main holiday region. Renowned for its many beach resorts, the region has 125 Km of beaches and facilities for many water sports. Away from the busy resorts there are a number of nature parks and nature reserves, some of which are sites of ornithological importance. The countryside is ideal for horse riding, cycling and hiking.

There is an endless supply of activities for the adventurous and much useful information available. Tourist Offices often have brochures in English and some have websites with details on activities in each area.

Nature Reserves and Nature Parks

Strandja Nature Park: Created in 1995 the park is situated between the Central Strandja Mountains and the Black Sea and includes nature reserves and protected nature sites. Rare and endangered species in the park include wolves, grey headed woodpeckers and the Strandja whortleberry plant.

Kamchiya Biosphere Reserve: This area of forested marshlands, known as the Longoza, covers approximately 30 Km2. The area is popular for bird watching as well as carp and pike fishing and is home to a number of rare species of flora and fauna including kingfishers, pelicans and many water fowl. Boat trips are available along the Kamchiya river. Close to the reserve is a sandy beach.

Poda: This nature conservation site on the outskirts of Burgas is home to many rare birds and plants and is managed by the Bulgarian Society for the Preservation of Birds. A Nature Conservation Centre is open to visitors who can follow a nature path, use the centre's binoculars and telescopes or participate in guided tours. The zone and the three lakes surrounding it, Vaya Lake, Mandra Lake and Atanasovsko Lake, are referred to as the Burgas Lakes or the Burgas Wetlands. Recreational facilities available include swimming and fishing.

Ropotamo Nature Reserve: The reserve was established in 1940 to protect the marshlands and the largest sand dunes in Bulgaria. Famous for its water lilies that flower from June to October, the site is home to a variety of rare plants, snakes and turtles and over 200 species of bird. White tailed eagles can sometimes be spotted on the rock formations above the river.

Water Sports

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast is ideal for all types of water sports during the summer months including windsurfing, kiteboarding, diving and sailing.

Diving

Divers in the Black Sea Coast waters get to see diverse flora and fauna as well as rock formations, underwater caves and shipwrecks. Popular diving areas include Kamen Briag, Tyulenovo, Cape Kaliakra and Iailata.

The Bulgarian Association of Underwater Activity was created in 1999 to promote diving in Bulgaria and to preserve the underwater environment. Based in Varna, the association can provide information on diving regulations as well as a list of certified instructors.

Hiking

Hiking is popular in Bulgaria and there are literally thousands of kilometres of walking trails throughout the country. The trans-European hiking routes, E3, E4 and E8 traverse Bulgaria. Mountain huts are open to hikers during the summer months; these usually provide dormitory-style accommodation. Maps are generally available from tourist information centres or can be bought from newspaper kiosks.

  • For further information on the trans-European hiking routes from the European Ramblers Association: Click here

The Strandja Nature Park has a number of walking routes of 1 to 20 Km either along the coast, through the forests or on river paths.

Walking trails have been created in the Ropotamo Nature Reserve with information about the flora and fauna in English.

Cycling and Mountain Biking

Bicycles are available for rent in most towns.

  • For some sample cycling itineraries from the Discover Strandja website: Click here

Cycling clubs on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast

Horse Riding

There are many facilities for horse riding with companies and stables providing guided horseback trails either in the countryside or on the beaches.

The Bulgarian Equestrian Federation has information and contact details of all member clubs as well as an events calendar and forum.

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