Budget Travels Kayaking Rural Holidays Wildlife watching Holiday at a Lake Cottage

515€ per person
7 Days
More than 1


Mihaela Lake Retreat is a perfect place for nature lovers, bird watchers and active holidays. Lake Studen Kladenets offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy kayaking tours, boat tours and wetlands bird watching.
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What's included

Eastern Rhodope , Studen kladenets Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Sofia | Plovdiv airport
Return Location
Sofia | Plovdiv airport
Price includes
  • Accommodation in twin room
  • Half board meals
  • Transfer from the airport
Price does not include
  • Flights to Bulgaria and back
  • Lunches/picnics as described
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Services not specifically stated in the itinerary

High on Nature Scale

The river Arda in the Eastern Rhodope mountains was dammed by the Bulgarian communist government in the 1960-s and thus lake Studen Kladenets was shaped, together with two other artificial lakes – Kardzhali and Ivaylovgrad. Nowadays they form the largest wetland area in Bulgaria and the Rhodope mountains, offering exclusive opportunities for nature holidays.

Kayaking Studen kladenets
Kayaking in lake Studen kladenets, Eastern Rhodopes, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Mihaela Kircheva

Wildlife Paradise

Studen Kladenets reservoir and the nature reserves surrounding the lake, are a true paradise for birds and mammals. Some 100 km to from the Greek coastline, the lake shares many species with the Mediterranean. Aside from having its own impressive list of breeding bird species, Studen Kladenets reservoir is a magnet for wetland birds and a must place to visit in spring and summer!

Water birds
Studen kladenets reservoir. Photo credit: Mihaela Kircheva

One activity is never enough

For those who love relaxing walks, lake kayaking and watching birds, this is the place to be. You never do only one activity – if you paddle in your kayak, you see a bunch of rare birds and explore hidden waterfalls. Just walking in the nature areas surrounding lake Studen kladenets, makes a day complete. And most often you manage to see some wildlife along the way. Bike adventure goes together with deer and bison observation, or leads you to some great archaeological sites. If you are a naturalist this lake retreat is your kind of holiday.

Fallow deer
Fallow Deer in Studen Kladenets, area. Photo credit: Teodor Ignatov
  • General description
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General description

Meeting you at Mihaela Lake Retreat

Mihaela Lake Retreat is a two floors house which was renovated in 2012 by the present owner. The living room/dining room, equipped kitchen and shared toilet/bathroom are on the first floor. The four bedrooms (two with twin beds, two triple rooms) are on the second floor. The outside yard has a green area, orchard, and big veranda with lake view. The wooden shelter with eating place and barbecue is behind the house.

Holiday description

Major Sightseeins and Activities

One week spent at the lake is the perfect holiday opportunity. See reviews on Trip Advisor
The lake Studen Kladenets gives you an excellent opportunity to enjoy kayaking tours, boat tours and wetlands bird watching. The archaeological site of Perperikon is only 10 km away. Amazing nature areas are located just a walking distance from the house. A simple walking around may show you the Griffon vulture, Black stork, Raven, and Golden eagle.
There is a game reserve on the other side of the lake where you can go by motor boat (10 min on water) and spend one day in the wild nature to watch deer, fox, wolf, bison, turtle, etc. Major bird watching spots like Madzharovo, Dolna Kula, and Studen Kladenets dam are some 30 km from the house.
Surrounding mild hills are perfect for mountain biking.


Description of the accommodation: Bed'n'Breakfast rural house. Type of breakfast: Traditional with home cooked pastry, cake, seasonal fresh fruits, farm yogurt, milk and butter. Kitchen/Living room: Sofa bed, armchairs, eating table with chairs, TV. Bathrooms: Douche, hot water, terracotta. Bedrooms: Wooden beds and furniture, bed linen & towels included. Outside: Green yard, wooden shelter with table and chairs, summer barbecue, veranda, panorama view. Activities in the area: Nature, Bird watching, Kayaking, Boat tour, Mountain biking, Wildlife watching & photography, Sightseeing.

More about Eastern Rhodope Discover Eastern Rhodope

The Eastern Rhodopes are a truly mosaic of various landscapes – grasslands, waterlands, deciduous woods, coniferous forest and rocky cliffs. Our nature areas have particular habitats for plants, birds and animals offering unique opportunities for wildlife observation.

More about Studen kladenets Discover Studen kladenets

Surface – 15 995 hectares. A water reservoir established in the rocky defile of the Arda River, with vertical cliffs, steep banks covered by scant vegetation and the adjacent maintain hills. It is located between the town of Kardzhali and the village of Studen Kladenets. The Natura 2000 site Studen Kladenets supports 219 bird species. Seven rare species, typical for the Mediterranean zone, occur there: Black-eared Wheatear, Olive-tree Warbler, Sub-alpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Nuthatch, Masked Shrike and Black-headed Bunting. Studen Kladenets reservoir hosts 21 migrating and wintering waterbird species - few colonies of Griffon Vulture breed on the cliff banks of the reservoir, as well as Black Stork, Egyptian Vulture, Stone Curlew, Eagle Owl, Olive-tree Warbler and Masked Shrike. The area holds a significant on a European scale population of the Blue Rock Thrush.

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More about this tour

  • Location: Gnyazdovo village is 20 km east of the city Kardzhali and 40 km south of the city Haskovo, South Bulgaria.
  • Nearest airport: Plovdiv Airport (Ryanair) at 110 km.
  • Nearest train: Train station in Kardzhali.
  • Nearest bus: Bus station in Kardzhali.
  • Nearest highway : Haskovo (E80, А4) at 50 km.


  • Type of accommodation: Rural guest house, 800m from the bank of Studen Kladenets (Cold Well) reservoir, cosy guest rooms, shared toilets/bathrooms, locally produced food, traditional cooking.
  • Period: All year round, best time for a lake holiday in Bulgarian Eastern Rhodope mountains – April to October.
  • Tour type: One week holiday - 7 days/6 nights.
  • Nearest seaside: Eagean sea, Greece, 160 km.
  • Nearest beach side: Lake Studen kladenets, 800 m.
  • Car: Transfer from the Airport to the village of accommodation is included. Travel from Sofia to Gnyazdovo takes 3 hours. Book a rental car
Mihaela Lake Retreat
New Thracian Gold
Rewilding Rhodopes
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of birds
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Holiday at a Lake Cottage

515€ per person
7 Days
More than 1

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