- Tour Plan
- Additional Info
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- Accommodation in twin room
- All meals
- Facilities as described in the program
- Rental car/bus, driver included
- Specialist English speaking tour guide
- Alcohol Drinks on Tour
- Entrance tickets to sites of interest
- Flights to Bulgaria and back
- Medical insurance and emergency insurance
- Personal expenses
- Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
- Tips to guide and driver
Bulgaria is one of the hotspots for bird watching in Europe. The Eastern Rhodope Mountais are located in the southernmost part of Bulgaria, almost at the edge of the European continent. The remoteness and rather small human influence, made the Eastern Rhodope a favourite habitat for many rare bird species to breed.
In this bird watching tour you will observe imposing raptors as well as attractive passerines. The program also includes local Autochthonous breeds of cattle, European bison and fox. Land tortoise and interesting reptiles make this trip a great nature experience.
In the last years the Eastern Rhodopes have become the centre of the best raptors observation in Eastern Europe. The mountain chain holds a dominant position in Bulgaria’s nature tourism; it is the site of major birds of prey populations, and many naturalists from all over the world made the most of their trips here.
Local organic cuisine and traditional lifestyle add memorable emotions to this nature adventure.
This brilliance is even growing, since Eastern Rhodope’s prosperity is based almost entirely on the local business and small entrepreneurship. As a result, the area’s economy was boosted since 2010, as well as its cultural life and local festivals have been blooming ever since.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3 and 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8 and 9
- Day 9
Transfer to Madzharovo
Transfer from Sofia airport to the Eastern Rhodopi Mountains in South Bulgaria. First night will be in a rural house in Madzharovo area.
Today we will visit the BirdLife nature conservation center in Madzharovo. Bird observation list includes: Spanisch sparrows, Sombre tit, Eastern Bonelli’s warbler, Yellow wagtail (spp. Feldegg), Black Storks, Griffon, Egyptian Vultures, Long-legged Buzzards, Honey Buzzards, Golden and Short-toed Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Hobbies, Levant Sparrowhawk, Goshawks, Rock Nuthatches, Blue Rock Trushes, Scops owl, Little owl, Barn owl, Black-eared Wheatears, Crag Martins, Red-rumped Swallows, Alpine swift, and many others. Other species like Common Tree-frog, Large Whip snake, Aesculapian snake, Green lizard, Balkan wall lizard also occur.
We continue exploring the Eastern Rhodopes nature with the Golden eagle, and Egyptian vulture. Pass through a beautiful half open landscape with a huge density of birds a nice habitat for shrikes (Red-backed, Lesser Grey and Woodchat), Buntings (Yellow, Cirl, Ortolan, Rock and Corn) and warblers like Subalpine, (Lesser) Whitetroa and Barred. Also Golden Oriol, Hoopoo and Greyhead woodpeck can be seen. We will meet Land tortoises (Testudo graeca), and Stone marten, also will observe from a distance free ranging herds of autochthonous short-horned cattle and karakachan horses.
Directing more to the south brings us to Ivaylovgrad nature area which offers exceptionally unspoiled Rhodope wilderness. It is located not far from the border with Greece. Lots of Mediterranean species occur here and some of the most interesting are Balkan terrapin, Snake-eyed lizard, Black vulture, Booted eagle, Masked shrike, Sardinian warbler, Olive-tree warbler, Black-eared wheater, Otter, Wild boar, and bat species. We will also visit a dolmen which is the most ancient Thracian tomb, and it's dated Early Iron age. Traditional local meals will be waiting for us for lunch in one of villages.
Dolna Kula birding spot at Krumovitsa river
Explore the area along the Krumovitsa river which is surrounded by high volcanic rocky cliffs, shrubby open terrain and agricultural fields. We will observe Olivaceous, Barred, Subalpine, Orphean and Sardinian Warblers, Red-backed, and Woodchat Shrikes, Rock Nuthatch, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Cirl and Rock Buntings. Also colonies of Bee-eater and other colorful birds like Roller and Kingfisher can be seen. A new phenomena in the area is the appearance of Eleonora Falcon in springtime.
Short travel leads us to an exclusive nature reserve. A special show will be observed at the vulture feeding place. Griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Black vulture, Golden eagle, Imperial eagle, Raven, White tailed see eagle are the participants. Not rarely wolves also come.
The afternoon is devoted to Fallow deer, Roe deer, Wild boar, and fox. A small boat tour on the lake will be a perfect relaxing end of this fruitful day.
Travel to Sofia
Departure west to city Kardzhali for observation of the heron's colony nesting on Arda river, in the city center . Species like Little Egret, Night Herron and Pygmy Cormorant occur here.
Afternoon transfer to Sofia, night in Sofia.
More about Eastern Rhodope Discover Eastern Rhodope
More about Ivaylovgrad Discover Ivaylovgrad
More about Madzharovo Discover Madzharovo
More about Studen kladenets Discover Studen kladenets
More about this tour
Nine days wildlife trip with a focus on the rare birds and exclusive mammals such as wolf and red deer in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains.
- Tour type: Guided tour. Experienced nature guide. English speaking.
- Group size: Small groups - up to 6 people
- Period: April – September