Lake “Studen kladenets” is a place of exceptional beauty with panorama views, interesting rocks, roaming birds of pray and rich biodiversity. The lake begins after the city of Kardzhali and ends at the dam near the village of Studen kladenets. Nature sites Sredna Arda, Yumruk skala and Golemiya sipey are ranged on its left shore. On the right (southern) shore of the lake is the game reserve Studen kladenets. In out of the hunting season you can enjoy this very special preserved natural setting. From the western border of the reserve you can admire spectacular views of lake Studen Kladenets, Sredna Arda, and Yumruk Skala. The reserve is famous for its enormous population of fallow deer. This wilderness area is also home to red deer, roe deer, European bison, otter, wild boar, fox, wild horses, and many other species. Vultures, black storks, and white-tailed eagles are regularly seen roaming the sky, while wolves come over from the neighboring Valchi Dol Nature Reserve located just a few flaps of the wings to the east. Among travel services are nature walking tours, wildlife photography, horse riding, hiking and biking tours, kayaking, and boat tours to show off the remarkable area.
The huge Stone mushrooms (2-3 m height) are situated north of the village of Beli plast, just along the main road from Haskovo – Stremtsi – Kardzhali. Their age is from 35 million years ago when the Rhodopes were a bottom of a warm sea. Then underwater volcanic activity started and shaped the rock. When the water moved away, the climate formed the rocks into mushrooms. They are even colored with the right painting – pink for the stumps and dark green/grey for the hats – because of the different minerals in the rock of course.
Close to the village of Chernichevo in the Eastern Rhodopes interesting sites are situated. There are a complex of necropolis and dolmens, Medieval fortresses, and two churches. The dolmens date from the Early-Iron age and are impressive with their huge monolithic structure. These are the oldest tombs which were very popular in Thracian times. Chernichevo is a nice and intersting village surrounded by rich biodiversity. Habar dere is a lovely nature area – great place for all dark-green nature lovers.
There is a place on Arda river where the scenery looks like a moon surface. This place is famous as the Devil’s canyon and Abrasive wells site which is located right after the dam of the Studen kladenets artificial lake. The area features with volcanic cliffs , abrasive rocks canyon with quartz veins and chalcedony spots and deep black water ripping the rock in two. The location is very picturesque , and rich of rock birds, reptiles and insects. It is attractive for eco and photo tourism , kayaking , hiking and geological tours . At the information center in the village of Studen kladenets one can see the exhibition dedicated to biodiversity of the region , to watch the landscape through a telescope tube, and to hire a nature guide.
The bridge over the river Krumovitsa nearby the village of Potochnitsa in the Eastern Rhodopes is a famous bird watching and wildlife destination. Krumovitsa river with its tributary Dyushan dere (gorge) are a favorite spot for ornithologists and nature lovers from all over Europe. River Krumovitsa is a IBA of global significance for the protection and monitoring of black stork, little eagle, Egyptian vulture and a large olive warbler.
“Veykata” is the Southernmost peak of Bulgaria, perched on the top of the largest nature area in the Eastern Rhodopes – “Gyumyurdzhinski snezhnik”. The peak Veykata can be reached on a hiking trail starting from the village of Gorno Kapinovo (Kirkovo area). The trail features with amazing panoramic views, abundant wildlife and incredible feeling to walk on the border ridge of the mountain, between Bulgaria and Greece, enjoying the Rhodope Mountains in the four cardinal directions.
The game reserve Studen kladenets is located on the southern shore of the lake Studen kladenets in the Eastern Rhodopes, Bulgaria. Part of the game area is the nature reserve “Valchi dol” which is a wild area of exclusive nature and biodiversity. Outside the hunting season (April to September) Studen kladenets offers nature tours and other ecotourism services like Bison watching , wild horses tarpan , red deer and fallow deer observations , watching vultures, wolf and fox from a special hide , watching black storks, cormorants and otters at the lake . There are also boat excursions , kayaking , hiking and mobile shelters rental , outdoor camping and tenting, guest rooms and meals on request.
In the shallow waters nearby Arda river in the center of the city of Kardzhali, from spring to the end of the summer, you may observe the heron’s colony. This is the only one nesting within the territory of a city in Bulgaria. From April to July the nesting species are the white heron, squacco heron, little bittern, night heron and pygmy cormorant. From the information center in Kardzhali you can hire a nature guide specialized for bird watching.