I thoroughly recommend the area as a walking (or nature) holiday. The area is in SE Bulgaria, on the border with Turkey. It has exceptionally contrasting landscapes from the undeveloped coast of the Black Sea to low mountains and hilly landscapes with steep river valleys. It can be visited into September/ October. It allows a glimpse into the unspoilt rural Bulgaria of quiet villages with ramshackle houses surrounded by fruit trees and well-tended vegetables. Oak woodland cloaks the hills with some stunning open, flower-rich fields with goats (and I saw water buffalo) herded by shepherds.
One particularly impressive area was the broad meanders of the untamed Veleka River or the old forest, called the ‘Living Museum’ for its ancient trees, at Kondolovo.
Local culture is still strong, though threatened by abandonment. I attended a chapel blessing, involving much dancing and eating kurban, a local speciality – a stew made from a sacrificial lamb.
Strandja is easy to reach by flights to Burgas and hiring a car. I was superbly guided by Anja and Dave from VisitStrandja and they could speak Bulgarian, English, Dutch and German!
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