Activities during your holiday
Explore some of the things you can do during a holiday in Strandja:
Walking and hiking in Strandja
Dramatic karst landscapes, age-old woodlands, picturesque villages, lush river valleys, beautiful coastal landscapes and quiet beaches; Strandja’s friendly rolling hills offer relaxed walking in a wide variety of landscape types.
The network of paths that once connected the Strandja villages will now lead you to beautiful scenery and panoramas. Along the way you will be amazed by Strandja’s abundant flora & fauna. Many bird species that are now rare in Western Europe are still common here, and the meadows and pastures are full of wildflowers and butterflies.
With our walk descriptions you are able to explore Strandja at your own relaxed pace.
Wildlife and photography
Taking photos in a species-rich grassland in Strandja
A sea of wildflowers on the Strandja Black Sea coast
Strandja's vast woodlands hold many surprises
If you enjoy watching and photographing wildlife, you will like Strandja! You can see many special and endemic species here, as a result of Strandja's unique geological past and geographical location.
But more importantly, the wildlife is still so abundant. Human influence in this area has always been low, now only 7000 people live in an area the size of London.
Traditional kinds of farming are used here, no pesticides or fertilizers. As a result Strandja park is still the home for an amazing amount of butterfly, bird, mammal, reptile and flower species. Many of these species are rare or have even dissappeared elsewhere. Butterflies fly in their hundreds, and there will be surprises for you around every corner.
Strandja is especially interesting for birdwatchers. About 135 bird species breed in the area, including rarities such as the White-backed woodpecker. The location of the park on the Via Pontica bird migration route brings many more to this area in spring and autumn. And also the Burgas Lakes, Bulgaria's largest and most important wetland complex, allow you to see species such as Dalmatian Pelican, Glossy Ibis and Pygmy cormorant.
For people interested in flowers and invertebrates, there are also many surprises. We already mentioned the presence of unfamiliar and endemic species because of the geographical location at the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Asia. There are also many ice-age relicts. The unimproved grasslands are full of wildflowers and insects.
The abundance of butterflies is truly amazing. It is possible to record 40 species in one meadow. Because of their sheir numbers, there are almost always perfect individuals on the wing, and there are many opportunities for those perfect photos. Strandja is therefore also perfect for people starting out in butterflies. There is so much to see and identify, you can easily spend a day in one meadow, just studying and photographing what you see, honing your identification skills.
Culture and sightseeing
The Strandja people have preserved unique traditions and folklore. Some of the rituals still performed in Strandja today have survived from Thracian times. An example is the Nestinar fire dancing ceremony performed once a year in Strandja. The Thracians, Romans and Greeks have all left their traces in the Strandja mountains.
There are many cultural sights in Strandja that you can see during a holiday. For example, you can visit a Thracian sanctuary that was later in use by the Romans, hidden deep in the woods. Because of its location in a border zone you can only visit it with a guide. You can visit an old traditional Strandja house and hear and see how the Strandja people used to live.
There are also museums, churches, chapels with icons near holy springs in the woods...
A must-see is also Sozopol. This charming coastal town with its wooden houses and cobbled streets is the ancient Greek polis Apolonia, that was once the most important port of the whole Black Sea region.
Relax and re-charge
A holiday is above all a time to relax and re-charge. In Strandja you can enjoy the perfect combination of exploring natural and cultural sites with relaxing, sunbathing and swimming.
A Mediterranean climate and quiet unspoilt beaches in Strandja invite you to re-charge your batteries.
You can combine many of our suggested walks with a swim in the cleanest rivers of Europe. So make sure you bring your swimsuit and sun cream!
Strandja is great for horseriding. Especially along the coast there is so much choice; riding through the forest, along a river, along a sandy beach.
You can go on short rides of a few hours, but half day or day trips are also possible. Or why not try riding to another village, staying there for the night, and riding on the next day?
Horseriding is possible for both experienced riders and beginners.
Surprise your taste buds
Local, good tasting food is very important to Bulgarians, and you will notice this during your holiday to Strandja.
The Bulgarian kitchen is a flavourful melting pot with Greek and Turkish influences. You hosts can cook delicious traditional Bulgarian dishes for you, made from local produce.
Or you can dine out in one of the many small restaurants and cafes inland or at the coast. Eating out is still very affordable in Bulgaria.
More about Strandja
- When to visit Strandja
- Strandja's nature
- Strandja's culture
- History of Strandja
- Food and Drink
- Strandja Map