If you are fond of outdoors activities and especially birdwatching, take the time to visit the Dragoman Marsh. Located just 35-40km away from Sofia, this area is part of Via Aristotelis: an important bird migration route passing through the area. In fact more than 160 bird species have been identified by bird watchers visiting the marshes along with dozens of amphibians and other species.
In February birdwatching isn’t the best activity to plan, but the marshes still offer an escapist break away from the noisy city. The marsh itself covers more than 300 hectars but the most easily accessible to the general public area is relatively small: only several hundred meters of wooden bridges serpent their way through the marsh frail.
So unless you are into exploring the 160+ species of birds and plant species this trip would be relatively short. Me and my brother spent less than an hour there because there were no birds at this time of the year. Nevertheless, we were quite happy to explore the place and take some shots in the area.
There was a creepy abandoned building nearby so we took the car jack with us just in case. But if you watch less horror movies you should be fine. Also I am sure my brother’s unspeakable hipster moustache kept monsters at a safe distance…
Anyway, there is a small wooden watchtower for those who’re brought their binoculars and are here to spot the fauna. For everyone else: the small tower offers a nice view of the area and a rest spot for couples to carve their names on the walls and scribble dramatic teen messages like “Here we were happy” which creepily reminded me of Joe Hill’s book Horns.
During this time of the year the water is frozen and its thick milky color contrasts nicely with the golden yellow of the frail. If you are looking for a spot to disconnect with urban reality: this is your best bet. And if you are into environmental protection you can also visit the nearby Wetlands Conservation Centre.
The area is protected under the UNESCO Ramsar convention and it is a wetland of designated international importance.
I was also happy to learn that a friend of mine was part of the volunteer corps which build the wooden crossings, so: Way to go, Desi :*
How to get there
Other Activities Nearby
Read more about Horse riding club Equita located midway between the marshes and Sofia
Disclaimer: All photos in this post were shot on Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 & DMC LX15, kindly provided by Panasonic Bulgaria. The only changes which have been made to the original photos are color temperature/contrast adjustments.