This is a one day guided tour that takes you to the west of Varna to explore a region with exceptional natural beauty, and which is also very rich in birdlife, archaeological and historical monuments.The tour starts and ends in Varna, visiting the towns of Shumen and Provadia. The sites we visit include the Madara archaeological reserve- a UNESCO world heritage site, the Shumen Plateau Nature Park with Shumen fortress, the Ovech Fortress in Provadia and, possibly, Yatata Nature Reserve . All of these sites are situated in picturesque surroundings, with exceptionally rich birdlife. Bird species to be seen on this tour, depending on the season: Egyptian Vulture, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Black Stork, White Stork, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Black-headed Bunting, Sombre Tit.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Madara Rider, Shumen, Shumen ProvinceWe will pick you up from your accommodation / hotel in Varna at 9 AM. In about an hour drive we will reach our first destination, the Madara Archaeological Reserve, featuring a rock relief sculpture from the dawn of the Bulgarian state back in the 8th century. Because of its uniqueness the Madara Rider relief is included in the list of the UNESCO world cultural heritage sites.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Shumen Fortress, Shumen, Shumen ProvinceHaving spent about an hour at Madara, we will continue our trip to the town of Shumen. There we’ll visit the Shumen fortress located on a high plateau 2 km from the town and dated as far back as the Troyan war (about 13 c BC). Shumen Fortress (the Old Town) is the most significant historical and archaeological site on the territory of the nature park. It is a sophisticated complex of residential, religious, and fortification buildings. Today Shumen Fortress is a well-researched, preserved, and partially restored historical and archaeological reserve. The plateau itself was declared a nature park in 1980 with the aim of preserving its valuable flora and fauna species, its tableland landscape and its tourist spots and places for rest. We may have, of course, a walk in the old part of the town, where we’ll have our lunch.Duration: 3 hoursStop At: Ovech FortressOn our back way to Varna, we will visit the Ovech fortress – another picturesque site with a stone stronghold located east of the town of Provadia. The area abounds in unique natural formations such as attractive surface and underground karst caves. There are also ponors, sinkholes, picturesque valley formations shaped as small canyons and inaccessible rock rims, etc.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Municipality BeloslavDepending on the preferences of the group, we may visit also Yatata Nature Reserve – a haven for aquatic birds, located near the Varna - Beloslav Lake and included in the Natura 2000 network in Europe. Yatata is important for the nesting Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Stilt and Gadwall. During migration and in winter the site is among the most significant places in Bulgaria for many rare and endangered species, such as the Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, White Stork, Glossy Ibis and Whooper Swan. A half an hour drive will bring you back to your accommodation in Varna.Duration: 1 hour