“Kaliakra” Archeological and Natural Reserve
The Kaliakra Natural Reserve is one of the most beautiful reserves on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
In 1941, Kaliakra became one of the first protected areas in Bulgaria. In 1966, it was declared a Natural Reserve; since 2003 it is also an Archaeological Reserve. In archaeological terms, Cape Kaliakra is a classic antiquity and medieval fortified center, capital of the Despotate of Dobrudzha of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the residence of Despot Dobrotitza.
Today „Kaliakra” Reserve is one of the 100 National Tourist Sites.
Due to the natural protection provided by the high and steep shores and its strategic position, the place has been inhabited since ancient times. In the second half of the 4th c. BC the Thracian fortified town Tirizis was established here. In late antiquity (4th – 6th c.), the settlement on Cape Kaliakra, at this time already known as Acre, achieved significant territorial expansion.
The precipitate progress of the medieval town Kaliakra however, is largely associated with the 14th c., when it became the capital of the Despotate of Dobrudzha. The written sources and the epigraphic monuments provide evidence of an active religious life. At the Citadel, home of the Despot, stood a magnificent church building, of which almost no traces are left today. In the outer city there were several neighborhood churches, the remains of four of which were discovered during archaeological excavations. All of them burned down during the conquest of Kaliakra by the Ottoman Turks at the end of 14th century. In 1791 off the coast of Kaliakra raged the largest naval battle in the Black Sea, in which the Russian squadron led by Admiral Ushakov defeated the otherwise superior Turkish armada.
The name of the cape is associated with many legends. The most famous of them tells the story of 40 Bulgarian girls who, in order to escape the Turkish invaders, plaited their hair together and jumped into the depths of the sea. Today, at the beginning of the cape rises an obelisk called the “Gate of the 40 maids”.
Where: “Kaliakra” Natural and Archeological Reserve is located at 72 km in north from Varna.
Palace and Botanical Garden – Balchik
The palace and the botanical garden in Balchik, joined in an architectural and park complex, are a piece of heaven on earth and a must-see tourist attraction on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The complex appeared as a summer residence of the Romanian queen Maria (1875-1938).
The palace was designed by Italian architects and construction began in 1924. The architectural design combines Proto-Bulgarian, Gothic, Oriental and Moorish elements. Many gardens are created, which also bear the impact of different cultures, styles and beliefs. The credit for this eclectic style should be given to the queen – a follower of the Baha'i religion that praises equality between religions and unity of God, of faith and of the whole human race.
The residence was completed in 1936; Queen Maria died two years later.
As part of the residence, in 1926 the Swiss botanist Jules Jani designed and built a park complex. Twenty nine years later, the Sofia University “Saint Kliment Ohridski “ created at this place a botanical garden with an area of 65 decares. Today, it has more than 2 000 plant species from 85 families and over 800 genera. The collection of palm-trees, for example, includes 33 species, some of which more than 50 years old. Here you can see rare and exotic trees such as rubber tree, oriental raisin tree, paper mulberry, red juniper, ancient Ginkgo biloba, evergreen magnolia, etc. Of Interest is also the Metasequoia, which was considered extinct until during a scientific expedition in China a Bulgarian scholar found a living plant. The garden is world famous for its unique collection of large-sized cactuses, which is the second of this kind in Europe after the one in Monaco.
Price: 70 USD with 20 % VAT
All payments for the technical tour are made via bank transfer to the account specified in the registration tab on our website. In some exceptional cases CASH ONLY payments will be excepted during your registration upon arrival.