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Kibela Nature and Culture Laboratory

The Black Sea coast of the Dobrudja region is a unique place for those, who are questioning themselves about their life style and whether they are satisfied with their contact with the Nature. The region is a place, which offers a true pleasure to those who opt for differences. You can see, while laying on the beach (if you have time for that) a pair of dolphin lovers some 30 meters away from you.
You will never forget this….

Physical description of Coastal Dobrudja region

Situated in the North-Eastern part of Bulgaria, Coastal Dobrudja region is a flat country, bordering with the Black Sea to the East and the Romanian boarder to the North. The climate is moderate continental with sea influence, the relief is plane, uniform - altitude from 0 to 250 m, the average annual temperature is 12,2 0C, the average annual rainfall is approximately 500 mm/m2. The region is an unique combination of natural and seminatural ecosystems, it includes different biogeographical zones /Mediterranean, Eastern and Southern Siberian influence/. Above its territory passes Via Pontica bird migration route, which is one of the two main European routes. Coastal Dobroudja region consists of coastal wetlands of International importance /Ramsar Convention/, steppe areas and arable lands, where cereals, industrial crops and fodder varieties are mainly grown and which increase the attraction of the region. The coastal wetlands are the most important wintering places for the migrating birds, mainly for the Red-breasted goose - globally threatened species /almost 90% of them winter in the lake complex Shabla - Dourankoulak - 60 000 Red-breasted geese/.

The coast is still not spoiled by uncontrolled tourist invasion - the balance between the anthropogenic factor and nature has succeeded to preserve its biological heritage until now.

Air Communications

Varna international airport is 90 kilometers from Shabla.
Varna - Shabla - bus transportation
The length of the shore is 13.5 kilometers and the beaches lay on 133 ha in total.

Surface Communications

1. Dragoman - Sofia - Tarnovo - Varna - Shabla - Mangalia - Constantsa - Commonwealth of Independent States (Ex-USSR)
2. Adriatics - Macedonia - Gueshevo - Sofia - Varna - Shabla - Mahgalia - Constantsa - Commonwealth of Independent States
3. Istanbul - Malko Tarnovo - Bourgas - Varna - Balchik - Shabla - Mangalia - Constantsa- Odessa

Sea Communications

1. Black Sea, The Danube - via the Rhine - Main Channel - to the North Sea (connection to Europe and Scandinavian countries)
2. Black Sea via the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean
3. Black Sea - the Sea of Azov, via the Don river - Volga river channel to the Caspian Sea

General characteristics of the region


Northeastern Bulgaria


350 square kilometers


Plane, uniform, weak declination to southeast, altitude 0 to 100 m


From the village of Dourankoulak to the cape of Shabla - low, combined cliff sites with beach line.
From the cape of Shabla to the village of Tiulenovo the shore increases its height.


Mainly plane, occasionally with dunes
Weakly separated, highly eroded, underground and above - water rock and cave formations

Shore line

Geological structure

Sarmation deposits on lower chalk and valence; Sarmat - pale, cavernous, sound limestone located near to the surface.

Subsoil waters

Shallow (up to 5 m) - in the region of Dourankoulak, the Shabla lake and a narrow strip at the seashore, in the remaining area - from 15 to 30 m.

Fresh-water lakes

Generally strongly water-bearing region: Dourankoulak, Ezerets and Shabla Lakes

Mineral resources

Oil and gas - from the village of Tiulenovo to the cape of Shabla

Curative mud

Curative waters in the area of the cape of Shabla. The Shabla lagoon “Touzlata”


Moderate continental, with sea influence (breeze circulation)


Carbonates, typical and liquored black earth soils with a strong humus layer


1747 hectares of forests, including 70 hectares of reservations



Farming and livestock breeding Ecologically clean farming production and livestock breeding

Shabla Lake

It is a coastal lake linked by a canal to the lake Ezeretz to the north and separated from the sea by sand dunes. The Shabla lake has a total area of 510.8 ha and was designated a protected site from 1995. The security surrounding the government residence on the lake has provided a high level of protection to the habitat and fauna of a major part of the lake and its surroundings. Five hundrieds meters along the coast is a buffer zone and hunting is allowed only beyond it. There are significant populations of red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild boar, mouflons and European Jackal.
In 1998 some 59,000 red-breasted geese, close to the whole world population, was wintering on Shabla Lake. The most active season for birdwatching starts in November and continues till March. some seventy nine plant species have been recorded for Shabla Lake thus making it an important site to see. It is particularly known for the white and yellow water Lily. Seven Red Date book fish species occur in the lake.
The otter and the marbled polecat (threatened world wide) are found here.

Durankulak - Shabla wetlands

The Durankulak - Shabla wetland complex is rated as an Important Bird Area in Europe. They are important overwintering sites close to the Danube delta and on the Via Pontica migration route. In January there are between 180,000 and 330,00 white-fronted geese and between 100 and 900 greylag geese.

  • Globally threatened species breeding there are listed as: Lutra lutra, Crex crex, Astacus astacus, Hirudo medicinalis
  • Globally threatened winter migrants are listed as: Pelecanus crispus, Halietor pygmeus, Oxyura leucocephala, Anser erythropus, Branta ruficollis
  • European threatened species include: Aythya nyroca, Aythya ferina, Locustella lusciniodes

Durankulak Lake

It is spread over 350 ha coastal lake of natural origin, listed as a Ramsar site in 1984. There is a 500 m buffer zone where the use of pesticides is prohibited. 
The dunes between the lake and the sea, on its South and its North are impressive.
Charadius alexandrinus and Burhinus oedicnemus breed in the dunes and Glareola pratincola nests on the dry meadows.
The site is of a great importance as an overwintering and migration reserve (particularly Branta ruficollis), especially because the conditions in the Danube delta have deteriorated. There has been regular monitoring of winter populations since 1978. The birds move on in late March, early April.