Bird Watching Botany tour Nature tours Birds and Botany

990€ per person
10 Days
More than 1


This is a ten days tour with a focus on raptors, vultures, passerines and wild flowers diversity of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, combined with local organic food and folklore.
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What's included

Bulgaria , Eastern Rhodope , Ivaylovgrad , Madzharovo , Studen kladenets Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Sofia Airport, Sofia, Bulgaria
Return Location
Sofia Airport, Sofia, Bulgaria
Tour Start Date & Time
May 14, 2023 2:00 pm
Price includes
  • Accommodation in twin room
  • All meals
  • Facilities as described in the program
  • Rental car/bus, driver excluded
  • Rental car/bus, driver included
  • Specialist English speaking tour guide
  • Unlimited bottled water
Price does not include
  • Flights to Bulgaria and back
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
  • Tips to guide and driver


Griffon Vulture
Euroasian Griffon Vulture. Photo credit: Marvin Cooper

Interesting species for the bird watchers:


Nyxticorax nyxticorax, Little Owl, Egretta Garzetta,Phalacrocorax Pygmeus, Ixobrychus Minutus, Griffon Vulture, Black Stork, Black-eared wheatear, Subalpine Warbler, Masked Shrike, Western Rock Nuthatch, Roller, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Headed Bunting, Short-toed Eagle, Black Stork, Chukar, Subalpine Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Monticola Saxatilis, BlueRock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Booted Eagle, Sombre Tit, Long-legged Buzzard, Rock Nuthatch.

A special show will be watched at the vultures’ feeding place. Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Golden Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Raven, and White Tailed Sea Eagle will be the participants.

In the area of Ivaylovgrad – Black Vulture, Booted Eagle, Masked Shrike, Olive-tree Warbler.



Interesting for botanists:

Black pine (Pinus Nigra), Populus nigra, Salix alba, Alnus Glutinosa, Black maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris), Verbascum Rupestre, Lathrea rhodopea, Carpinus Orientalis, Hypericum rumeliacum, Galium velenovskyi, Potentilla regis-borissii. Quercus frainetto, Carpinus orientalis, Fraxinus ornis, Syringa vulgaris, Orchis pailionacea, Verbascum Humile, Carduus thracicus, Cornus mas, Crataegus monogyna, Juniperus oxycedrus, Scila bifolia, Verbascum humile, Verbascum roripifolia, Fritilaria pontica, cardius thracicus, etc. Some of the plant species included in the Red list of Bulgaria are: Lathraea rhodopaea, Haberlea Rhodopensis, Hippomaratum cristatum, Stachys serbica, etc. Endemic plants include Potentilla regis-borissii, Carduus thracicus, Armeria rumelica.

Black stork
Black stork, Ciconia nigra, Arda river valley, Madzharovo, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand

Wildlife Island

Sightings of common interest – Land Tortoises (Testudo graeca), Stone Marten, Wild Boar, Wolf, Fox, Roe Deer, Fallow deer, Montpellier snake, Common Tree-Frog, Green Lizard, Balkan Wall Lizard, Otter, Cobitis rhodopensis, Balkan terrapin, Snake-eyed lizard, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, etc.

Wild orchid


  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3,4,5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Days 9 and 10
Day 1

Meeting and transfer

Meeting at the Airport Sofia. Transfer (3 hours) to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. Accommodation in a beautiful guest house at the bank of the lake Studen kladenets.

Day 2

Studen kladenets

All day to spent in a nature site with beautiful rocks, pastures, shrubs and oak forests at the bank of Studen kladenets lake.

Day 3,4,5


Nature area between Studen kladenets and Madzharovo offers great biodiversity. A lot of insects, reptiles, raptors and mammals are roaming around. Vultures and eagles watching during their feeding at a special site for observations will be organized. You will hike on the upper border of the extinct volcano in the bottom of which Madzharovo town is situated. High cliffs, screes, mixed oak forests, mediterranean shrubs and pastures will surround you. Accommodation in Madzharovo area.

Day 6

Travel to Ivaylovgrad

Transfer to the most southern parts of the Eastern Rhodopes nearby the Greek border. Mixed forest of oriental plane, oak and pseudo-maquises is home to the Olive-tree warbler. Spacious fields are habitat to rare orchids like the lovely Dactylorhiza romana. Accommodation is in Ivaylovgrad area.

Day 7


Nature areas surrounding Ivaylovgrad feature the extremely beautiful landscape including many Mediterranean species as Phyllirea Latifolia, Asparagus acutifolius, Cistus incanus, Arbutus andrachne tree, etc. Next to the wildlife adventure will be the interesting visit of ancient villa from Roman period and some old churches.

Day 8

Arda river

Short travel to a picturesque carst region with many caves, niches and arks. It is a rough rocky landscape with rich variety of birds and reptiles. The accommodation is at a guest house at the bank of river Arda.

Days 9 and 10

Travel to Sofia

Departure to Sofia (3 hours drive). Possibility for a sightseeing tour. Accommodation in the city center.

Early transfer to the Airport Sofia.

More about Bulgaria Discover Bulgaria

Bulgaria occupies a strategic location in the Balkans, locked between the Black Sea and the Danube river. Since Ancient times, the country has served as a major crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa. It is the oldest land in Europe that rose from the warm sea more than 35 million years ago. Rocks, caves and biodiversity in Bulgaria rank as one of the best in Europe.

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 Ivaylovgrad Discover Ivaylovgrad

Located in the most southern part of the Rhodopes, the area of Ivaylovgrad enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Olive trees and Laurel show it. Here you can find some of the most virgin forests in Bulgaria.

More about Madzharovo Discover Madzharovo

Madzharovo is a small Eastern Rhodopean town with approximately 500 inhabitants. Madzharovo is literally located in the center of volcano’s crater, erupted over 35 million years ago. As a result of the volcanic activity, in the rocks around the city are found precious and semiprecious stones. It is this natural wealth that has determined the city's development under socialism as a mining center. And even today, traces of the active work in the mines are still visible.

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

  • Tour type: Guided tour. Experienced nature guide. English speaking. Small groups.
  • Group size: Up to 12 people
  • Period: May – June
  • NOTE: This nature tour could be tailor made according to your wishes.

Birds and Botany

990€ per person
10 Days
More than 1

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