This one-day guided tour will take you to explore the western vicinity of the city of Varna by car/minivan. The region's nature and birdlife are exceptionally rich and diverse in all seasons, as are the cultural heritage sites to be visited. We will be driving along the shores of the Varna - Beloslav Lake and will stop at Yatata Protected Area for birdwatching, then we will cross the lake complex and visit the in-situ Museum of Roman Mosaics in the town of Devnya. Driving further west we will pass through the town of Provadia and enjoy the stunning views from the fortress above the town, finishing our tour with the nature monument called The Stone Forest on our way back.Bird species to be seen on this tour: Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, White Stork, Long-legged Buzzard, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Great Reed Warbler, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Black-headed Bunting, Eagle Owl.
The tour starts at 8 AM from Varna with a drive west along the shores of the Varna - Beloslav Lake. Our first stop is Yatata Protected Area - a site with a great variety of birds in all seasons. During the tour we will drive most of the time along the Varna-Beloslav Lake Complex, which includes two lakes – Varna and Beloslav, located west of Varna and connected by an artificial canal. Annually, over 20,000 waterbirds of 64 species concentrate there. 201 bird species have been recorded in the complex, 79 of which are listed in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. The Varna – Beloslav Lake Complex is especially rewarding in spring and autumn, when thousands of soaring birds pass overhead following the Via Pontica migration flyway. Crossing the lake complex at the town of Beloslav, we will shortly reach and visit the in-situ Museum of Roman Mosaics and Roman villa of the III – IV c. in the town of Devnya. A big Roman building with exquisite mosaics was discovered in this place during archaeological excavations. The museum is erected over the foundations of this building. We will have our lunch at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant with ethnographic exposition and a pleasant garden and park in the vicinity of Devnya. After lunch we will continue our trip further west, with a visit to the Ovech fortress – another picturesque site with a medieval stone stronghold located east of the town of Provadia. Having enjoyed the panoramic views to the surrounding countryside and the birds animating the craggy landscape or passing over, we will continue our trip driving back, with a visit to the Stone Forest - a natural landmark located at about 18-20 km west of the city of Varna. It consists of an ensemble of stone columns, up to 10 meters high, hollow or thick cylinders, crossed cones, variously shaped and sized rock blocks and stone pieces. It is an entirely natural formation, famous as a sacred place since antiquity.The tour finises in the late afternoon in Varna.