BulgariaStuden kladenets (ColdWell) | Nature Adventures

One of the world's most important birding areas, with a few colonies of Griffon Vulture breeding on the cliff banks of the reservoir Studen kladenets.
Time Travel

Studen kladenets (Cold well) is a reservoir in Eastern Rhodope Mountains, built on Arda river. It is part of a huge Communist project, implemented in the 1960-s, when many rivers in Bulgaria were damed, the flow of water obstructed with few villages stayed under water. The Arda project involves three big reservoirs and it is announced “Arda Cascade”.  Studen kladenets is in the middle.

Impressive landscape with birdlife and mammals on site.

Nature Reserve

Not only the wetland of Studen kladenets is amazing, but the lake is surrounded all by wild nature. Lovely nature spots, oak forests rich in wildlife, and steppe grasslands are the main features. The south bank of the reservoir is the kingdom of the Studen kladenets game reserve. This is the best spot in Bulgaria to observe the Fallow deer. These charming mammals share the territory with fox and wolves. Vultures and eagles don’t leave any carcasses when it happen a wolf to eat a deer. And that is how the ecosystem rotates on its own.


Studen kladenets offers a wide range of wildlife observations. European bison was reintroduced here in 2013, and this was part of the New Thracian Gold project for protecting and re-wilding the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Fallow deer were introduced in the 1960-s, reaching nowadays quite impressive number of their population in the area – more than 2000 adult species.

Part of the New Thracian Gold initiative was also the reintroduction of the Red deer (Boynik hill) and Konik horses (Tarpans near the village of Nanovitsa). Rocky cliffs of Yumruk skala rise above the water and give home to the biggest breeding colony of Griffon Vultures. Nature areas around Studen kladenets reservoir offer a number of options for hiking and mountain biking. The lake itself is perfect for lake kayaking.

Studen kladenets area is described in routes 2 and 4 in the Crossbill Guide “Eastern Rhodopes”
15 995 ha
11 m
Rare Bird Species:
Natura 2000 Site
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Mihaela Lake Retreat
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Rewilding Rhodopes
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Studen kladenets (ColdWell)

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