Poda Protected Area
Plan a day trip, have an unforgettable time with the birds of Poda Protected Area…
…and get a stamp for your The 100 National Tourism Sites collection.
You can visit here for an hour, or spend the whole day. You will have unforgettable moments with the diverse feathered inhabitants of the area, watching them from the observation terrace of Poda Nature Conservation Centre, or seeing them from the visitor’s trail. You can use our binoculars and spotting scopes, and our charming bird experts will be happy to share with you all the interesting facts they know about birds.
Poda Protected Area is located at the southeastern end of the city of Burgas and is among the few places in Europe where 315 species of birds have been recorded on an area of no more than 1 sq. kilometer – ¼ of the bird diversity of Europe! This is the only place on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast where you can find a mixed colony of spoonbill, glossy ibis, pygmy cormorant, night heron, red heron, squacco heron, little and great egret.
Plan a day trip to our amazing nature conservation centre and spend a day with the wonderful wildlife that lives at the outskirts of the coastal city, on the main road to Sozopol. If you are a fervent photographer, do not miss the chance to hire a photo hide at Poda and take pictures of our rare and charming feathered stars!
Monday to Sunday (incl. on national holidays)
9 am – 5 pm
Adults: 6 leva
Students: 3 leva
Accompanied children up to 6 years of age: free entrance
Talk ‘n’ Tour:
Our bird experts can offer you an interesting talk about the history and the wildlife of Poda Protected Area, along with a guided tour of our small but informative exhibition at the nature conservation centre. Price: 20 leva
The price of renting our photo hides depends on the number of photographers and the time they want to use the hides for. To use our accommodation (for up to two people), please contact us in advance.
How do I get there?
Coming from Burgas (travelling south): pass by Lukoil Petrol Station; drive on the bridge across the canal; pass by Petrol Petrol Station; take the exit for Malko Tarnovo-Kraymorie; use the overpass to change directions back to Burgas. Once you are on the main road to Burgas, pass by the bus stop and in 160 metres stop at the parking lot by the road – you are now at the parking lot of Poda Nature Conservation Centre.
Coming from Sozopol (travelling north): after you pass under the overpass of the Kraymorie/Malko Turnovo road, pass by the bus stop and in 160 metres stop at the parking lot by the road – you are now at the parking lot of Poda Nature Conservation Centre.
From the parking lot/bus stop you need to walk on the old bridge over the canal and you will reach Poda Nature Conservation Centre of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds.
GPS coordinates of the parking lot: 42.442767 N and 27.469618 Е.
Our little shop
In the shop corner of the Nature Conservation Centre you can find souvenirs from the protected area – pin badges, magnets, T-shirts, bird feeders and nest boxes for birds. Here you can buy books that will teach you how to identify birds and will reveal the natural beauty of Bulgaria. The shop corner also sells refreshing drinks.
What can I see now?
Winter in Poda Protected Area is not an ‘empty’ season. The marsh and the sea coast provide enough food and peace for many species of birds during the cold months. Some birds have come from Northern Europe to spend the winter here.
Most winter bird visitors can be observed from the terrace of the centre to avoid disturbance. This is particularly important in this season when birds have to save energy as it is harder for them to restore it.
If you come to visit Poda in the winter, you can see all three species of European swans– mute, whooper and tundra swans, even on the coldest of days. Also, you can see almost all species of European ducks, coots, grebes, great egrets, bittern and some raptors, for example white-tailed eagle, dozens of marsh harriers and many other species of birds.
The globally endangered Dalmatian pelicans are also regulars here, as well as another globally endangered species – the white-headed duck. The latter is seen only occasionally, in contrast to the pelicans which are here every day.
What can I do there?
birdwatching: you can use our binoculars and spotting scopes and make your observations directly from the terrace of the centre;
have a talk with our experts to learn the most interesting details about the life of birds, as well as a few tricks for more successful birdwatching;
go for a walk on the visitor’s trail in the protected area;
watch and photograph birds from the specially designed photo hides;
spend the night at the centre and observe and photograph birds from dawn till dusk;
see the exhibition and learn fun and interesting facts about the wildlife in Poda Protected area and the wetlands around the city of Burgas.
Internship at PODA Reserve, Bulgaria
NATURE CONSERVATION ON THE BLACK SEA COAST
The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife Bulgaria (BSPB) provides opportunity for internship at PODA Reserve.
PODA Reserve is a marshland on the Black Sea Coast near the city of Burgas. Situated at the westernmost point of the Black Sea it is a site with very intensive and narrow-fronted bird migration. During the summer time PODA holds the only on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast mixed colony of Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Pygmy Cormorant and six species of egrets and herons. PODA is one of the richest in Europe sites with 315 bird species on just one square kilometer. Other wildlife of the site is equally interesting with one of the densiest in Bulgaria populations of the Blotched snake, good population of the Syrian spadefoot, several pairs of Otter, bats, interesting insects and rare plant communities. PODA is recognised as one of the best in Europe birdwatching sites and migration watch points for birds.
Since the year 2000 PODA Centre accepts internship students from different European universities. Under the supervision of recognized experts they have the opportunity to get conservation training by direct participation in research, monitoring and practical management of protected areas and endangered species. Socio–economic studies (tourist flow, visitors’ expectations, etc.) are possible, too. As a rule, these activities are in direct correspondence with the needs of PODA Protected Site Management Plan and its actualisation. Meantime the internship students have the task to introduce foreign visitors with PODA and its wildlife, to do educational activities with school and university students. They participate also in the maintenance of the Center and the Protected Site by cleaning the building, visitors’ trails, observation and photographic hides, and in the overall life of the Centre.
The concrete education programs are open and can be designed according to the profile and interests of the students, the requirements of their universities, the specific season of the internship or other.
What we offer:
– Extremely interesting and exciting stay and excellent opportunities for observation and working with wetland and Southern European birds, including some globally endangered species;
– Unique natural site on the coast and close to a big city;
– Accommodation in the Conservation Centre for a minimal payment to cover the overhead expenses for research guidance, equipment, Internet, electricity, water, etc. (300 Euro per person per month).
Travel, food and all other expenses for insurance, personal needs, entertainment, etc. are on behalf of the internship student.
The students have possibility to visit some of the most famous natural and cultural sites in Bulgaria, such as the neighboring Strandzha National Park, the BSPB Nature Conservation Centre Eastern Rhodopes (best vultures and other raptors’ region in Bulgaria), interesting historical places on the Black Sea Coast, such as the UNESCO site Nesebar, old town of Sozopol and other. Besides the regular public transport, there is a bicycle path from PODA to Burgas, which provide easy access to the centre of the city.
In case of interest, you can send a motivation letter and CV in English to the e-mail of PODA Centre: .