Suha Reka takes its source from the Frangen plateau and flows into the Oltina Lake (North Dobrudzha, Romania). The total length of its Bulgarian section is 120 km. Over a century ago, due to systematic deforestation, the lower and the middle parts of the river were dried up. There is water only during snowmelt and following pouring rains. During the summer months, the river bed is almost completely dry. In some places one it cannot be even discerned from the karst terrain, while elsewhere if forms a gorge, 40-50 m high and between 100 and 200 m wide. Almost in all its sections, the dry valley is a beautiful natural phenomenon. The spots where the waters have cut deeply in the plain have been transformed into canyons, caves and rock formations. These scenic gorges attract tourists that want to be close to nature, appreciating both the place’s tranquility and beauty and the opportunities to release their adventure-seeking spirit.
In ancient times, Suha Reka was the largest source of fresh water in inland Dobrudzha. Even today, its valley is the home to a wide variety of animal and plant species, many of which are rare or endangered. In Suha Reka valley there are more than 460 plant species, 16 of which are listed in the Red Book of Bulgaria, as well as a large number of endangered animal species. There are significant populations of endangered species such as: the European wolf, the ground squirrel, the polecat, the steppe polecat, the spur-thighed and the Hermann's tortoises and the lined snake. There is a huge variety of birds – 118 species. Of the endangered species one can observe the long-legged buzzard, the ruddy shelduck, the lesser spotted eagle, the owl, the Egyptian vulture, the white stork, the red-footed falcon, the forest and the calandra lark, the nightjar, the little bittern, the short-toed eagle and many others. Suha Reka’s canyon crosses the path of one of the most important bird migration routes - Via Pontica, which is why it is listed as an area of importance for ornithology.
Apart from being a natural site, the Suha Reka canyon is also a place rich in archaeological finds (settlements, fortresses, rock monasteries, sketes). Suha Reka’s valley extends on a large portion of the Dobrichka Municipality. The tourists can enjoy the beautiful view by following routes in the following sections:
– village of Hitovo – village of Vodnyantzi – village of Karapelit – village of Malka Smolnitza;
– village of Dolina – village of Odrintzi – village of Novo Botevo;
– village of Kragulevo - village of Zhitnitza - village of Lyaskovo - village of Kamen.
Where: On the picturesque gorges of Suha Reka you can enjoy the following locations:
Walks requiring low physical activity:
– Walk around the village of Kamen;
– Walks along the Suha Reka valley near the villages Odrintzi – Novo Batovo.
Walks requiring higher physical activity:
– Passage through the Suha Reka valley near the village of Kragulevo (partially coincides with visits to the rock monasteries, included in the historical tourism routes)
– One-day route from Karapelit along the Suha Reka canyon towards the village of Zhitnitza, with the opportunity to visit the karst cave in the “Krali Markova Stapka” area (for more information see the additional sites described below)
When: Suha Reka valley is suitable for tourism in April, May, and June. During the other seasons access may be seriously limited. We recommend equipment and clothing similar to those used in mountain hiking.
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