The “Point” is located near the north part of the Atanasovsko Lake, next to the Salt Pans. This is the oldest and most popular place for bird observation, just under the Via Pontica migration route. Every autumn, bird lovers from around the world gather here to enjoy the enormous flocks of white storks, pink pelicans, perns, spotted eagles, etc. To witness the Via Pontica migration, especially during the days of intense migration, is something incredible and unforgettable.
The observers open their optical viewing telescopes, bring out their binoculars and cameras and turn towards the sky. Some bird lovers stand there for hours, enjoying the magic of autumn bird migration. This has been their calling point for more than 30 years.
There is a beautiful panoramic view of the Atanasovsko Lake Reserve from the “Point”.
At the northeast end of Burgas you will find the bird paradise of Bulgaria – the Atanasovsko Lake. It’s a hypersaline seaside lake, divided in two parts by the Burgas – Varna road. The lake is approximately 9 km long and 4.3 km wide, its area is around 17 sq. km. It stands at 1.5 m under sea level. Its average depth is 30 cm.
There are 316 bird species found in the area (there is a total of 423 species on the territory of Bulgaria), which migrate, winter or nest in the reserve. Of those, 14 are world-wide endangered, 83 are in the Red Book of Bulgaria, and 170 are of European environmental significance.
This is the only place where the sandwich tern, the Mediterranean gull and the gull-billed tern breed.
Since it doesn’t freeze during the winter, the Atanasovsko Lake is a place of international significance for wintering waterfowl such as the common shelduck, the Eurasian widgeon, the northern pintail, the mallard, the Dalmatian pelican, etc.
The lake is under the Via Pontica migration route and is of European significance in terms of wandering birds, especially pelicans, eagles, harriers and storks.
The Atanasovsko Lake is one of the most significant places in Europe with a narrow front of migration. Every spring and autumn, millions of birds fly thousands of kilometres along the invisible Via Pontica skyway, from their wintering place to their breeding place and back.
In Latin Via Pontica means “Black Sea Road” and has survived as a name since Roman times, when there was an ancient roman road along the Black Sea Coast. Today it’s used as the name of the second largest bird migration route in Europe. In Bulgaria it goes along our Black Sea Coast. The birds mostly migrate along the seaside and within a few kilometres inland but often the migration front is broad and the migrating flocks can be seen hundreds of kilometres inland.
How to get there
By car – take the road to Varna from Burgas. At the junction towards Kableshkovo Village, follow the sign for Salt Pans – North. After going down the ramp, take the first left and go under the bridge of the main road Burgas – Varna. At the end of the road, turn right and in about 400 meters, you will be at the barrier of Black Sea Salt Pans.
Public transport – not very convenient, but you can use bus line 61, which goes to Rudnik Village. You will need to warn the driver that you want to get to Salt Pans – North. When you get off, cross the road and walk towards the salt pans.
Bike – long but very pleasant cycling. The route is long but you will have the opportunity to go through the Seaside Park of Burgas and bike along the Promenade alongside the Black Sea Coast. The adventure includes – biking past the mud and lye pools at the south end of Atanasovsko Lake; after going through the last barrier, you will need to keep left along the lake, until you reach the salt pans.