Nature Conservation Centre Eastern Rhodopes

Plan a trip to our Nature Conservation Centre Eastern Rhodopes…

…and get a stamp for your The 100 National Tourism Sites collection.

In case you have nothing planned but you need to go on a trip for a day or two, do not forget that the Eastern Rhodope Mountains can always surprise you with many exciting experiences and unforgettable sights. Explore the amazing volcanic rocks along both banks of Arda River. Get to Ivaylovgrad Reservoir by land or by water. And all that – surrounded by the pristine animal and plant life of this spot of the wild in Bulgaria.

The Eastern Rhodope Mountains are the region with the highest biodiversity in Bulgaria. Exploring its treasures can start with the birds – the griffon and Egyptian vultures, the black storks and the passerine birds. Then you can move on to the mammals – wolves, foxes, jackals, otters, rare species of bats, deer. And you can finish with the orchids that can be found at very few places in the wild in Bulgaria, one of them being the Eastern Rhodope Mountains.
© Bogdan Boev/White and Black stork

Opening hours

APRIL to SEPTEMBER

Monday to Sunday (incl. on national holidays)
9 am – 6 pm

OCTOBER to MARCH

Monday to Friday(incl. on national holidays)

9 am – 5 pm

Visits during the weekend upon reservation in advance.

Entrance fee

Adults: 4 leva

Students: 2 leva

How to get there?

Eastern Rhodopes Nature Conservation Centre is located close to the town of Madzharovo, on the main road leading to it, directly after the bridge over Arda River.

If you come from the town of Haskovo or Harmanli, make a left turn immediately after the bridge over Arda River and you will be on the parking lot of the Centre.

If you come from the town of Svilengrad or the village of Lyubimets, you need to pass through the village of Borislavtsi. After you turn left on the main road to Madzharovo and the village of Senoklas (follow the signs), you will cross the bridge over the river. Make a left turn immediately after the bridge and you will be on the parking lot of the Centre.

Our little shop

Visitors can buy souvenirs from this protected area – pin badges, magnets, T-shirts, semiprecious stones from the banks of Arda River, etc. in the little shop in the nature conservation centre. Here you can also buy books on Bulgarian nature.

© Franz Robiller / Griffon vultures

What can I see now?

Winter is very peaceful along the Arda Valley. And as there are not as many tourists as in the summer, you can observe the griffon vultures undisturbed; it is the beginning of their breeding season. Among the silent volcanic cliffs on both sides of the river you will spot the silhouettes of other raptors too – white-tailed eagle, common buzzard, goshawk, sparrowhawk, etc.

As temperatures drop and the first snow falls, the numbers of waterfowl along the Arda River and in the neighbouring reservoirs (Ivaylovgrad, Studen Kladenets and Kardzhali) rise. You can see large groups of mallards, coots, grebes, teals, cormorants and pygmy cormorants, great egrets and grey herons.

The wildlife of the Eastern Rhodope Mountains does not end with its birds. Along the banks of the river you will find otter footprints, and on the cliffs or in the sparse oak forests you can spot a fox, hare, jackal and even wolf.

©-SWD-Griffon-vultures
© Bogdan Boev

What can I do there?

stay at the hotel at our nature conservation centre

have a tasty meal at our restaurant with garden above Arda River;

stay at our camping site, if you prefer to be closer to nature;

observe and photograph birds from our three specialized hides that are open all year round;

observe vultures and other species of birds with binoculars and a spotting scope that are at your disposal at the nature conservation centre;

Archive-BSPB-NCC Iztochni Rodopi
© Iliya Iliev

visit the interactive exhibition room where you can learn more interesting facts about the wildlife in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and its most famous members – the vultures;

visit some of the most impressive protected areas in the area – the nature site Kovan Kaya and Patronka, Momina Skala, Chernata Skala, and Gyurghena Protected Areas.

go to the beach on the banks of Arda, or go fishing.

© Iliya Iliev

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