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Birdwatching holiday Bulgaria

Discover Strandja's rich birdlife


Strandja is Bulgaria’s largest protected area, and the most varied nature park in terms of habitats and species diversity.

About 135 bird species breed in the park but many more can be seen. The Via Pontica bird migration route runs right over the park, bringing the total bird species to 270. During migration, you can see large groups of raptors and storks flying over the area.

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The nearby Burgas lakes, Bulgaria’s largest and most important wetlands are a birdwatchers’ paradise. Because of its intriguing climatic past and location at the crossroads of continents, you can see unique bird species here that you can see nowhere else in Europe.

In different parts of Strandja you'll find different habitats and different bird species. To get the most from a birdwatching holiday in Strandja we advise you to rent a car so you can travel around easily. By changing base every few days you can explore different regions of the area.

We can organise excursions with a bird expert for you, but with our route and walk descriptions you will also be able to discover Strandja's birdlife at your own relaxed pace.

Quick Overview

Birdwatching holiday Bulgaria

Wildlife holiday information pack

€96.- plus postage and packing

Best time of year

In partnership with


Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation logo

More information?

Contact us; Dave & Anja of visitStrandja


What species can I see?

Bird species:

White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Sombre Tit (Parus lugubris), White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava feldegg), Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata), Black Stork (Circonia nigra), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Blackheaded Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina), Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Red-rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica), Roller (Coracias garrulous), Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator), Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor), Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), Spur-winged Lapwing (Hoplopterus spinosus), Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis).

If you are also interested in other flora or fauna groups, please contact us for more information about what you can see in Strandja.

Why a Strandja birdwatching holiday?

  • Strandja is one of the few places in Europe where you can follow a natural river system from its source to the sea. With this comes the opportunity to see the abundant birdlife associated with such a natural and dynamic system. Target species you can see in Strandja's natural river systems include White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) and Black Stork (Circonia nigra).
  • Because of its location at the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Asia you can see many unfamiliar species here, for example Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata), Blackheaded Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) and Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus).
  • The Via Pontica bird migration takes place right over Strandja Nature Park, As a result you can see enormous groups of birds of prey and storks on migration in Strandja.
  • Strandja is Bulgaria’s largest and most varied protected area. More than 120 different habitat types occur here, including old and young forests, wetlands, coastal cliffs, dunes, natural river systems, unimproved meadows and karts terrains. As a result the bird fauna is also very varied.
  • The Burgas lakes, Bulgaria's largest and most important wetland complex, are a birdwatcher's paradise. Here you can see species such as Glossy ibis(Plegadis falcinellus), Spur-winged Lapwing (Hoplopterus spinosus), Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola), White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)and Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus).
  • The dawn chorus in Strandja is simply amazing. The commonest bird you will hear will be the Nightingale!
  • During your holiday you can visit the visitor centres of the "Bulgarian RSPB" and Green Balkans", two organisations that are working tirelessly to conserve Bulgaria's rich birdlife.
  • With our directions and walk and route descriptions, you will be able to discover Strandja's birdlife at your own relaxed pace. If you are interested, we can organise bird excursions for you with a local bird expert
  • By recording what you see during your holiday in Strandja, and sharing the data, you help to conserve one of Europe’s most important wildlife sites.
  • If you add a few days to your holiday, you can also visit Mazdharovo, a famous vulture conservation centre in the Rhodophi mountains where you can see species like Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and Black vulture (Aegypius monachus).
  • Our help and advice lets you confidently and comfortably explore a great birdwatching destination that very few people know about.

Yellow banded skipper butterfly

Viewpoint ideal for watching the Via Pontica bird migration. From here there are wide views over the landscape and to Turkey.

What would it cost?

Prices of accommodation and car rental vary according to the season. For a Birdwatching holiday we would recommend the months April to June and mid-August to September. Costs are of course completely dependent on how long you decide to stay, your choice of accommodation and rental car. Below we give you an example of prices:

  • Accommodation - from €12.50 per person per night
  • Car rental - from €19 per day
  • Information pack Strandja Birdwatching holiday - €96 plus postage and packing (the price of each information pack includes a donation to the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation).

What more we can help you with

In addition to sending out the information pack, we can help you further to make your Birdwatching holiday to Strandja as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. We can recommend a tailormade programme for your birdwatching holiday based on your interests and wishes. We can recommend accommodation based on our extensive knowledge of places to stay in the area, and also recommend a reliable car rental company that will have your car waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. Please contact us for more information on what we can do to help you.

What do others say?

At the annual “butterfly day” of the Dutch Butterfly Conservation, I saw a small leaflet with information on Strandja Nature Park in Bulgaria. I took it with me with the thought: “might be interesting”. It turned out to be an amazing holiday. What a fantastic area.

...with the skyline of the city on the horizon, it is a wonderful experience to be surrounded by thousands of birds. White- and Dalmatian Pelican, White-winged, Whiskered and Black Tern, all European Heron species, Pygmy Cormorant, the ever present, gracious Black-winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint, even a Spur-winged Lapwing (you can expect anything on a migration route) Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Grey Shrike, Collared Pratincole, Olivaceous Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Penduline Tit... Cormorants breed in huge old electricity pylons. Two White-tailed eagles are overlooking the area with an expression resembling; “what shall we eat today?” Enough choice I would say.

Dear Anja & Dave, we have enjoyed it to the fullest. Many thanks!

Read the full review in our Guestbook

Henk Ruiter, the Netherlands

More information

Contact us; Dave & Anja of visitStrandja

Do you want to know more about Strandja or advice about a birdwatching holiday to this part of Bulgaria? Please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Wildlife holiday - example itinerary
Day 1 Arrival in Bulgaria. Receive your rental car and drive to your first accommodation.
Day 2 Short walk to point with wide views over open grasslands in the direction of Turkey. Woodland walk in a river canyon. Karst landscape with many small caves, springs and underground rivers. Several birds of prey, Red-backed shrike, Black-headed Wagtail and Spanish sparrow.
Day 3 Walk through species rich meadows and river plains to meeting point of Strandja's three natural rivers. Visit a slope rich in orchid species. Golden Eagle, Black Stork, Golden Oriole, Bee-eater
Day 4 Visit a small Bulgarian village and nature reserve with relict species from before the ice ages. Sombre tit, Semi-collared Fly catcher, several relict plant species.
Day 5 Walk through woodlands and through the valley along one of Europe's most unspoilt rivers. White-backed woodpecker, Black Stork, Roller.
Day 6 Visit to coastal nature reserve with spectacular coastal flora and volcanic rocks. Black-headed Bunting, birds of prey on migration, dolphins.
Day 7 Natural estuary, dunes and beach. Ropotamo nature reserve and coastal wetlands. Marsh harrier, Squacco heron, Night Heron.
Day 8 Visit to north Burgas lakes and Green Balkans visitor centre. Glossy Ibis, Collared Pratincole, birds of prey on migration.
Day 9 Visit to south Burgas lakes and Poda visitor centre. Excursion with bird expert. Dalmatian and Great White Pelican, Pygmy cormorant.
Day 10 Departure day


Also see...

Accommodation

Holiday accommodation in Strandja in Bulgaria

More about hotels and guesthouses in Strandja Nature Park.


Accommodation

Car rental

Renting a car in Bulgaria - woorden cart in a village in Strandja

Information on renting a car during your holiday in Bulgaria.


Car rental

Flights

Flying to Bulgaria - white stork

Information on travelling to Strandja in Bulgaria.


Flights

Group holidays

Group of people on holiday in Strandja in Bulgaria. They relax at a stream in a forest.

More about a holiday in Strandja with a group.


Group holidays

Holiday activities

Horseriding is one of the things you can do during on holiday to Strandja. Two horseriders at the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria.

More information about what you can see and do in Strandja.


Holiday activities

Walks and excursions

View on a local guesthouse in Strandja Nature Park Bulgaria.

More info on walks and excursions in Strandja.


Information packs

Practical information

Information on practical things like Bulgarian money.

Some practical things to help you plan your holiday to Bulgaria.


Practical information



Double lilac primrose.

The beautiful yellow of the Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) in Strandja.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. - St. Augustine