Bulgaria

Why to choose Bulgaria as the destination for your Nature holiday?

Still unknown to many foreign visitors, Bulgaria is actually a green country with four mild, but well discernable seasons and very variable terrain. High mountains, deep gorges, untouched forests, rivers, broad plains, numerous cliffs as well as the sea coast are situated in a relatively small territory making the country diverse and interesting. Because of its geographical position and the different habitats, the country boasts one of the richest biodiversity in Europe.

Birds

Bulgaria has more than 460 bird species, of which 267 breed here. During spring it is one of the best places in Europe to see species such as Olive-tree and Paddyfield warblers, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Isabelline and Pied wheatears, White-backed Woodpecker, Masked Shrike, Rock Nuthatch, Black-headed Bunting, Levant Sparrowhawk, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Long-legged Buzzard, especially in such combination. Many other rare or hard to find species are easy to observe here - Rock Partridge, Hazel Hen, owls and the woodpeckers are just a few. Bulgaria is definitely the best place in Europe to watch Wallcreeper. Additionally most of the species breed here in considerable numbers and the population of one million pairs of Corn Bunting is the simplest evidence of this.
The second biggest migration route in Europe follows the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Every year hundreds of thousands of raptors, storks, pelicans, waders and passerines fly over it to their wintering grounds, making the observation of the migration spectacular and unforgettable.
The Bulgarian Black Sea coast is also the haunt of many wintering species. The Red-breasted Goose is undoubtedly the highlight of them all. In January and February almost the whole winter population of this handsome bird can be found concentrated around two small lakes in the northeastern part of the country. The observation of 20,000 Red-breasted geese is an amazing event for any birdwatcher. Bulgaria is also the most important wintering ground for Pygmy Cormorant which has good numbers here - up to 12,000. Other globally threatened species found in Bulgaria during the winter are Lesser White-fronted Goose, White-headed Duck, Dalmatian Pelican, and Spotted Eagle. Many other raptors, geese, ducks and passerines spend the winter months here.

Mammals

The mammals family is also well presented, as 100 species are represented here, many of them by quite stable populations. More than six hundreds Brown bears and about one thousand wolves are to be found in the country. Many other species, such as Golden Jackal, Common Otter, Wild Cat, Badger, Suslick and others are actually quite numerous. Rare and difficult species such as Marbled and Steppe polecats also occur in very good numbers. Bulgaria has a uniquely high diversity of bats. Out of the 35 species found in Europe, 33 species are known to inhabit Bulgaria. The major reasons for the great species richness and abundance of bats are the countryпїЅs transitional geographic position, the mosaic of various habitats, the extensive farming activities in the semi-mountain regions, the high diversity of insects and last but not the least is the presence of over 5 400 caves.

Butterflies and moths

The butterfly and moth fauna is also considerable пїЅ more than 3000 species have been recorded, including 220 native butterfly species. The unique character of the Bulgarian butterfly fauna is determined by the number of Balkan-Anatolian and Balkan-Turanic species living in the southern part of the country, as well as more than thirty endemics and glacial relicts which occupy the Subalpine belts of the high mountains. The country holds important populations of several species restricted to Europe and considered globally threatened. There are many sites with well preserved butterfly habitats, especially in some river valleys and national park areas of Stara planina (the Balkan), Rila and Pirin Mountains.

Flora

Bulgaria has some of the richest flora in Europe: 3750 higher plant species and nearly 850 subspecies. Of special importance are the endemic and relict species which constitute quite a significant part of BulgariaпїЅs higher plant flora. About 170 species and 100 subspecies are identified as Bulgarian endemics. Characteristic and unique to Bulgaria are species such as Primula deorum, Lilium rhodopaeaum, Oxytropis urumovii, Betonica bulgarica and many others, most of which are concentrated in the largest mountain ranges. Balkan endemics number up to 300 species and subspecies. Among them are Pinus peuce, Haberlea rhodopensis, Sideritis scardica, Aquilegia aurea, Centranthus kellererii, Geum bulgaricum, Viola delphinantha and many others. Orchids, the most spectacular of plant families, are very well represented in Bulgaria - with 68 species. As well as the common orchids such as Early purple orchid, Green-winged orchid, Common spotted orchid, Fragrant orchid, Early marsh orchid, Red and White helleborine and others, a number of very rare orchids such as LadyпїЅs slipper, Violet birdпїЅs-nest orchid, Ghost orchid and others can be seen here.
So, two of the most frequently asked questions - why in Bulgaria and when - have easy answers. Virtually all year round the country can offer you an exciting wildlife or botanic holiday.

Wildlife photography

The beautiful nature with rich biodiversity and plenty of suitable, easy to approach sites make Bulgaria a great place for wildlife photography. Many of the photographersпїЅ favourite European species are represented by quite good populations in Bulgaria - the Roller, the Hoopoe, the Wryneck, the Bee-eater, the Golden Eagle etc.
Wild Echo already has a dozen of hides which provide excellent opportunities for bird and wildlife photography. We have run many photography tours and guided some of the leading European wildlife photographers.

Bats and caves in southern Bulgaria

Bats and caves in southern Bulgaria

Friday 28th April - Saturday 6th May 2023

COST: 1 480 EUR

Group size: 9 - 10 + leader

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Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians

Wednesday 10th - Sunday 21st May 2023

COST: 1 850 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Reptiles and amphibians

Reptiles and amphibians

Sunday 24th September - Thursday 5th October 2023

COST: 1 850 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Via Pontica - Early Autumn Migration

Via Pontica - Early Autumn Migration

Friday 2nd - Friday 9th September 2022

COST: 1 290 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Via Pontica - Late autumn migration

Via Pontica - Late autumn migration

Sunday 25th September - Sunday 2nd October 2022

COST: 1 210 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Red-breasted Geese Special

Red-breasted Geese Special

Sunday 5th - Thursday 9th February 2023

COST: 1 050 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Bulgaria in Winter

Bulgaria in Winter

Thursday 16th - Saturday 25th February 2023

COST: 1 480 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Hazel Groose and Rock Patridge

Hazel Groose and Rock Patridge

Saturday 1st - Friday 7th April 2023

COST: 1 150 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Birds and Thracians

Birds and Thracians

Wednesday 19th - Sunday 30th April 2023

COST: 1 720 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Bulgaria in Spring

Bulgaria in Spring

Saturday 6th - Thursday 18th May 2023

COST: 1 950 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Eastern and British Raptors

Eastern and British Raptors

Saturday 20th - Monday 29th May 2023

COST: 1 600 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Via Pontica - Early Autumn Migration

Via Pontica - Early Autumn Migration

Monday 28th August - Monday 4th September 2023

COST: 1 390 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Rock Partridge Special

Rock Partridge Special

COST: 780 EUR

Group size: 4 - 7 + leader

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Late spring botany

Late spring botany

COST: 2 750 EUR

Group size: 4 - 7 + leader

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Dragonflies of Bulgaria

Dragonflies of Bulgaria

Wednesday 7th - Tuesday 20th June 2023

COST: 2 100 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Early Butterflies

Early Butterflies

Tuesday 18th - Sunday 30th April 2023

COST: 1 850 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Butterflies of the West Balkan

Butterflies of the West Balkan

Friday 9th - Tuesday 20th June 2023

COST: 1 800 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Scarce Butterflies

Scarce Butterflies

Thursday 8th - Monday 19th June 2023

COST: 1 950 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Butterflies of the Balkans - Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Greece

Butterflies of the Balkans - Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Greece

Friday 7th - Friday 21st July 2023

COST: 2 300 EUR

Group size: 11 - 12 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Sunday 13th - Saturday 19th November 2022

COST: 1 650 EUR

Group size: 2 - 3 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Tuesday 6th - Monday 12th December 2022

COST: 1 650 EUR

Group size: 2 - 3 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Sunday 22nd - Saturday 28th January 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 4 + leader

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Red-breasted Geese photography

Red-breasted Geese photography

Friday 10th - Friday 17th February 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 4 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Wednesday 15th - Tuesday 21st February 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 4 + leader

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Woodpeckers in the lens

Woodpeckers in the lens

Thursday 30th March - Wednesday 5th April 2023

COST: 1 750 EUR

Group size: 4 - 5 + leader

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Tulips, orchids and butterflies photography

Tulips, orchids and butterflies photography

Monday 24th April - Tuesday 2nd May 2023

COST: 1 650 EUR

Group size: 4 - 6 + leader

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Spring Wetland Birds

Spring Wetland Birds

Friday 28th April - Friday 5th May 2023

COST: 1 700 EUR

Group size: 4 - 6 + leader

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Rollers and Bee-eaters

Rollers and Bee-eaters

Saturday 13th - Saturday 20th May 2023

COST: 1 850 EUR

Group size: 4 - 6 + leader

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Orchids photography in the prime time in Bulgaria

Orchids photography in the prime time in Bulgaria

Wednesday 7th - Wednesday 14th June 2023

COST: 1 750 EUR

Group size: 5 - 7 + leader

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Butterflies and Macro Photography

Butterflies and Macro Photography

Wednesday 21st - Wednesday 28th June 2023

COST: 1 450 EUR

Group size: 4 - 6 + leader

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Mountain Butterfly and Macro Photography

Mountain Butterfly and Macro Photography

Sunday 2nd - Monday 10th July 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 7 + leader

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Autumn Wetland Birds

Autumn Wetland Birds

Wednesday 2nd - Wednesday 9th August 2023

COST: 1 680 EUR

Group size: 4 - 6 + leader

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Woodpeckers in the lens

Woodpeckers in the lens

Tuesday 31st October - Monday 6th November 2023

COST: 1 750 EUR

Group size: 4 - 5 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Sunday 12th - Saturday 18th November 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 4 + leader

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Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Golden eagles and winter birds photography

Sunday 3rd - Saturday 9th December 2023

COST: 1 550 EUR

Group size: 4 - 4 + leader

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