What to see in and around Strandza

Villa Philadelphia is located in the Strandja National Reserve, which is one of the most important breeding areas in the country for Ciconia nigra, raptors such as Neophron percnopterus, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila pomarina, Aquila chrysaetos, Hieraaetus pennatus and Bubo bubo, and forest species such as Picus canus, Dendrocopos medius and Ficedula semitorquata. The mountain is also a major migratory bottleneck site, where more than 33,000 Ciconia ciconia pass overhead each autumn. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Phalacrocorax pygmeus (common on passage), Pelecanus crispus (common on passage), Crex crex (occurs on passage).

Villa Philadelphia is in the immediate vicinity of two major IBA Protected Landscapes: Veleka, 1,546 ha; and the Veleka Mouth, 1,511 ha; and a short drive to  a third: Silistar, 773 ha.  There are over a dozen more sites within a 90 kilometer radius of Villa Philadelphia (Atanasovo lake, 1,050 ha; Poda Lagoon, 101 ha; Izvorska Mouth, 151 ha; Ropotamo, 1,001 ha; Alepu lake, 167 ha; Maslen Nos, 18 ha; Pyassachni Dyuni, 12 ha; Arkoutino, 97 ha; Chengene Skele Cove, 160 ha; Cape Emine, 1 ha and others.)



Our major tours to Bulgaria are led by BirdLife members as well as on of the few organizers that is fully-sanctioned by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife International's Bulgarian Partner). Please visit www.friendsofbspb.org


We are probably the only bird-tour organizer which actively funds the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds' (BSPB) projects through these tours. 

Funded projects include: (1) Birding Olympics; (2) Administrative Court Costs for BSPB projects; (3) Imperial Eagle Breeding in Sakar (group donation); (4) Carcass donations during tours at Eygptian Vulture Feeding Station; (5) Sinemoretz' Avi-Fauna Mapping Project; (6) Scientific Publication projects. (6) Actively recruiting membership for the BSPB.

When going on birding tours in Bulgaria, you MUST consider if the organizer is (1) active in conservation efforts; (2) contributes to conservation efforts; (3) Includes full direct membership in BSPB for all tour attendees and (4) has a genuine concern of conservation issues in Bulgaria.

Our tour's sole purpose is promoting the protection of vital breeding grounds for resident and migratory species. A major portion of tour funds are used to explore and record avi-fauna regions within a 25-30km radius of Sinemoretz within the Strandja Reserve under direct supervision of The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.  A portion of these funds also are used towards the BSPB's Vulture Feeding Station in Madjarovo which has been working hard in revitalizing the breeding population of Egyptian Vulture.