Bird Watching Nature tours Wildlife watching Birds of prey & Wetland birds

890€ per person
8 Days
More than 1
1 Reviews
5 out of 5


Birds of prey and wetland bird watching Eastern Rhodope mountains & Dragoman Marsh, Bulgaria
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What's included

Bulgaria , Dragoman marsh , Eastern Rhodope Discover Destinations
Departure Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
Return Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
Price includes
  • Accommodation in twin room
  • All meals
  • Rental car/bus, driver included
  • Specialist English speaking tour guide
  • Unlimited bottled water
Price does not include
  • Alcohol Drinks on Tour
  • Flights to Bulgaria and back
  • Personal expenses
  • Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
  • Tips to guide and driver
Additional Prices
2-3 pax: 1495€ 6-7 pax: 890€ Single room supplement: 115€


This eight days tour is devoted to the outstanding bird variety of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Dragoman wetlands. The Eastern Rhodopes are one of the best locations in Europe to observe birds of prey. Lake Studen kladenets and Dragoman marsh boast a superb productive ecosystem that is great for wildlife across the spectrum. Wetland bird watching makes your day and provides the best nature experience.

Griffon Vulture
Griffon vulture, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Didi Andreeva


The Bulgarian Table

Freshly baked bread, olives, feta cheese, red wine or light beer, grilled kebapche, garden tomatoes, smoked meats – the Bulgarians have perfected the art of cooking delicious meals. Sitting down at the table means experiencing the richness of Bulgarian’s productive local farming and fertile countryside. Bulgarians like long lasting, social dinners, starting with rakia (local grape brandy) and seasonal salad, chatting with family and friends, discussing politics and everyday life, then, after an hour or two, the main course is served. Of course, every local entrepreneur, involved in tourism business, takes into account foreigner’s eating preferences and doesn’t leave the guests waiting for their dinner so long.

Dinner Gorno pole


Cinematic Scenery

Outside the cities, Bulgaria’s beauty unfolds in all its startling variety. You can go bird watching amid the wetlands of Dragoman Marsh or take in the pristine scenery and historic villages of the little-explored Eastern Rhodope Mountains . Abundant lake shores and river banks offer more birds than you can imagine. Gaze out over dramatic cliffs or point your binoculars at sandy marshlands fronting calm blue lake. You’ll find Bittern, Little Bittern, White and Black Storks, Garganey, Pochard and Ferruginous Duck. Booted eagle and Peregrine falcon will make your day.

Studen kladenets
Studen kladenets reservoir, Eastern Rhodopes, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Mihaela Kircheva

Rhythms of Bulgarian Nature

Spring time is the best time of year to hear the exciting music of mating birds. Don’t miss this period to visit Bulgaria for bird watching.

Black-headed bunting
Black-headed bunting, Emberiza melanocephala, Sakar mountains, Eastern Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Staffan Widstrand
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3-4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
Day 1

Meeting and transfer

Travel from Sofia Airport to Sakar mountains for accommodation and overnight at a family hotel.
Day 2

Sakar Mountains

On this fabulous birding day you will observe the Black Stork, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Booted and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Goshawk, Woodchat, Lesser Grey and Masked Shrikes, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Orphean and Olive-tree Warblers, Isabelline Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting etc. Late afternoon transfer to the magnificent Madzharovo area where is the rocky kingdom of the birds of prey in Europe - an area where 35 millions of years ago an ancient volcano erupted and formed the great rocky slopes that became home to the griffon vulture and other interesting birds. Next three nights sleeping will be at the hotel rooms of the BirdLife conservation center in Madzharovo.
Day 3-4


Explore Madzharovo area for more than 150 bird species. You will enjoy 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. Another nature spot with the Golden eagle, and Egyptian vulture will be visited. Nice walk in a half open landscape will surprise you with a huge density of birds. This one is a good 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. Free ranged herds of indigenous cattle and horses roam nicely in the wild. Thracian tombs and other interesting monuments are on the way.
Day 5

Wildlife hide

This day you will visit the near nature reserve where 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. Along the river there are colonies of Bee-eater and other collerfull birds like Roller and Kingfisher can been seen. A new phenomenon in the area is the appearance of Eleonora Falcon in springtime.
Afternoon travel to the lake Studen kladenets for your next accommodation in a beautiful cottage which is a birding spot itself.

Day 6

Studen kladenets

Wetland birds like Little Egret, Night Herron and Pygmy Cormorant will make your afternoon. The nearby impressive rocky area is home to remarkable birds like Griffon vulture, Black Stork, Peregrine Falcon, Eastern Imperial, Golden, Lesser Spotted, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Honey and Long-legged Buzzards, etc.
Second night at lake Studen kladenets.

Day 7

Dragoman Marsh

Departure north to Dragoman Marsh near Sofia (3 hours drive) for wetland bird watching.
The bird list comprises the Bittern, Little Bittern, White and Black Storks, Garganey, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Great Reed, Reed, Marsh, Savi's and Sedge Warblers and many others. Also birds breeding in the adjacent Karst terrain like Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Ortolan and Black-headed Buntings, Isabelline Wheatear, Lesser Grey Shrike, Short-toed Lark etc.
Night stay will be in Sofia.

Day 8


Departure flight to your home country.

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 Dragoman marsh Discover Dragoman marsh

Birders and nature lovers frequent its trail and nature guides lead hands-on environmental stories for groups and individuals. The highlight resources of the marsh are the ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) and the corncrake (Crex crex).

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.

User Reviews & Comments

  • Geoff Collis
    5 out of 5

    Have just spent 5 days in Bulgaria birding with Iordan. Started in Sofia at the Vitosha NP before driving to Burgas to witness some of the migration. Then on to the Madzharovo caldera for some spectacular sights and amazing birding experiences. Iordan is without doubt one of the best ornithologists I have ever spent time with. His knowledge of local avifauna from waders to warblers is outstanding. He knows where to find the birds and how to observe them. The keenest eyesight I have ever seen and his ears work like a bat's radar system where he is able to pinpoint the distance to, and location of, a bird just from its call, an amazing talent. He very quickly worked out my level of knowledge and skill and tailored the tour to suit. Some lengthy drives between different habitats, interspersed with regular stops at superb hotspots was well worthwhile. Eating local Bulgarian cuisine for all meals was a highlight and the local people amazingly friendly and accommodating. Final nights at the Madzharovo Bird Society Lodge were outstanding. Recorded a total of 137 species, (95 lifers) including near threatened and endangered raptors. Iordan is not only a brilliant ornithologist but also a wonderful human being. I will return to get the ones we missed and to expand the empire into Northern Greece next year.

     5 out of 5
     5 out of 5
    Food & Beverages
     5 out of 5
     5 out of 5

    October 27, 2023


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More about this tour

This eight days tour is devoted to the outstanding bird variety of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Dragoman wetlands. The Eastern Rhodope are one of the best locations in Europe to observe birds of prey. Lake Studen kladenets and Dragoman marsh boast a superb productive ecosystem that is great for wildlife across the spectrum. Wetland bird watching makes your day and provides the best nature experience.

  • 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.
Mihaela Lake Retreat
New Thracian Gold
Rewilding Rhodopes
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation
Bulgarian Society for the Protection of birds
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Birds of prey & Wetland birds

890€ per person
8 Days
More than 1

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