Ropotamo Reserve – information and map of hiking trails

Ropotamo Reserve and its surroundings are famous for its wild nature, rugged relief, various natural landmarks, rocky seashores, beach, dunes and swamps. Its location is close to the town of Primorsko, Bulgaria.

On the attached map below, the boundary of Ropotamo reserve is with a red line. The protected areas “Beglik Tash – Ropotamo” and “Rock formations, the fjords and the seal’s cave in the field of Cape Maslen Nos” are located close to it.


The hiking trails that cross the area according to the attached above map are:

  1. The main asphalt road that enters to the protected areas around the Ropotamo Reserve. Starts from the North beach of Primorsko and passes by the deserted Pearl residence. The car travel is allowed on this road.
  2. A path on rough terrain, leading to Cape “Maslen nos”, passing by the bays Kondrus, Mirius and Paliura. There is not asphalt on this trail, so if you intend to go by car, it has to be an off-road type.
  3. An exit for the Thracian sanctuary Beglik Tash. The car travel is allowed on this road.
  4. A hiking trail from Beglik Tash to the bay “St. Paraskeva”.
  5. A short hiking trail to the bay “St. Paraskeva”.
  6. An eco-path to the mouth of the Ropotamo River.
  7. A hiking trail leading to the rock formation “Lion’s Head” and the ancient fortress “Valchanovo Kale” (“The Valchan’s fortress” in translation).
  8. A walk to the mouth of the Ropotamo River, along Cape Kaya, starting from the dunes of Arkutino Bay. At the start of this route, you can watch out the water lilies at the Arkutino marsh. Besides, Arkutino Beach is an excellent place for sunbath and can see the rare Sea daffodil on the sand.
  9. A hiking trail to the Cape “Maslen nos”, starting from Beglik Tash.
  10. A walkway to the “Veselata skala” (“Merry Rock” in translation) for panoramic views of the Ropotamo River.

One more exciting thing that could do in the area is to take a boat trip upstream Ropotamo river.

Short information about the Ropotamo Reserve

This area became Reserve in 1940 for the preservation of the dense forests growing along the banks of the Ropotamo River. Later, in 1975 it was declared as a Ramsar site with an area of ​​97 ha. In 2003 the field was extended to 5500 ha. It includes the Arkutino marsh, The “Zmiiski” island (“Snake” Island in translation) and the remarkable rock formations – “The Lion’s Head” (turned into a logo of the Reserve – look at the title picture), “Veselata skala” (“The merry rock” in translation) and others.

Thracians had inhabited the area since the Early Iron Age – XV century BC. Later, here came Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines and Bulgarians. You can still see remnants of their lifestyle: “Valchanovo Kale” (The Valchan’s fortress), the sanctuary Beglik Tash, the “St. Paraskeva” church, fortress walls at the harbours, ceramics found in underwater exploration and now located in the museum of Primorsko and Kiten.

Ropotamo Reserve is a habitat for 50 species of mammals, including red deer, deer, mouflon, roe deer, wild boar, jackal, fox, bats, otter, etc. There are also over 260 species of birds among which the heron, duck, cormorant, little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius), pelican, sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Semicollared flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata). Besides, from here it passes the eastern European migratory route of the birds – Via Pontica.

Among the reptiles here are Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni ), Montpellier snake (Malpolon monspessulanus), European ratsnake (Zamenis situla), viper (Vipera ammodytes) and several types of lizards.

Protection of the Ropotamo Reserve

The entry into the Reserve requires the observance of specific rules, to protect natural resources: forbidden lighting a fire, camping, plant cutting, going out of the allowed hiking trails, disturbing of wild animals and driving with a motor vehicle. For more details, or if you intend to carry out particular activities other than a simple tourist walk, the full text of the laws can read here :

  1. Current prohibitions and regimes (the page of Bulgarian “Executive Environment Agency”)
  2. Мanagement plan for the Ropotamo Reserve (in the Bulgarian language issued in 2018 from the page of MOEW Bulgaria)

Moreover, the Reserve borders two protected areas that have forest status. The rules that have to observe in them are similar to those in the Reserve but with some reductions. For more details, or if you intend to carry out particular activities other than a simple tourist walk, the full text of the laws can read here :

  1. Protected area “Beglik Tash – Ropotamo” – current prohibitions and regimes ( the page of Bulgarian “Executive Environment Agency”).
  2. Protected area “The rock formations, the fjords and the sealing cave in the area of Maslen Nos” – current prohibitions and regimes (the page of Bulgarian “Executive Environment Agency”).
  3.  Bulgarian Forestry Act

The exact boundaries of the protected areas, Ropotamo Reserve and the forests can see here (“Protected areas in Bulgaria” layer must be bookmarked).

A popular science film about the Ropotamo Reserve

Watch the film “The Magic of Ropotamo” and learn more about the Reserve and the protected species. RIEW – Burgas (Regional Inspection Environment and Waters-Burgas) created the film, and there are excellent operator work and panoramic views from above. Could be watched with English subtitles from here.

If you are planning a more extended stay in the area, it is a good idea to choose Primorsko as a city for staying. It has many hotels and lodgings and can offer many entertainments to diversify your holiday at Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.

USEFUL: For planning your visit to the place or accommodation in the nearby settlements, can use the collection of assistive tools – Google Road Map with calculator in km, flights to Bulgaria, rental cars, weather forecast, hotel search, timetables of buses in the region, see this link.

Offers for hotels in Primorsko