Bulgaria

Lake Pomorie

what to see in Bulgaria during the summer
Lake Pomorie

Lake Pomorie is one of the most amazing and beautiful natural attractions in Bulgaria. This natural lake is located near the spa town of Pomorie (or rather, the point between Pomorie and Aheloy). The lake is very salty — Lake Pomorie is considered an “ultrasaline” lagoon.

Many tourists go to Lake Pomorie because of the curative mud obtained from the bottom of the lake. There are clinics that use this mud which, according to claims of several people who have tried mud baths there, provides incredible health benefits, from rejuvenating the skin to curing musculoskeletal problems. They even claim that the mud also does wonders in addressing infertility — several childless couples go to Lake Pomorie and smear themselves with mud, in hopes that they will be gifted with children that they so long for.

Mud baths at Lake Pomorie are a popular activity — but always do them with caution

Lake Pomorie is considered a large outdoor spa where people get this so-called medical treatment for free. People smear themselves with the black curative mud from head to foot, and wait until the mud dries.

But then, you should do this with caution — you just cannot jump on it and coat yourself with mud in hopes of a quick medical miracle and instant long life. As much as possible, we strongly recommend that you should seek the advice of a medical professional first before taking a mud bath at Lake Pomorie.

Lake Pomorie
Mud baths at Lake Pomorie

Mud baths have some side effects, too — it puts a huge burden to your cardiovascular system and can cause dehydration, nausea and even heat stroke (since a mud’s temperature can go up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit). If your skin is particularly sensitive, mud baths can cause skin irritation.

Another important thing you should remember: the mud at the most bottom part of the lake (as deep as 30 meters down below) accumulates very slowly — and that’s considered the best quality mud by many.

The water level in Lake Pomorie is lower than that of a sea. The lagoon is separated by a small dam and a sandy spit. Despite this, the pond is connected to the sea by a small canal closer to Aheloy. The total width of the isthmus at the widest point is 50 meters.

There’s something to say about the sandy spit. Despite the fact that it is not very far from Pomorie (only 30-40 minutes of walk), the crowds there are quite sparse. There are wild beaches teeming with crystal-clear sea water and curative black sand. It is worth noting that there’s also a nudist beach that is situated right next to the city.

Extraction of salt in Lake Pomorie

Due to Lake Pomorie’s high salinity, there’s an extraction of salt in it, which seems to be unstoppable. In the town of Pomorie you can find a unique place called the Museum of Salt — the only museum of its kind not only in Bulgaria, but also in the entire Eastern Europe. It is located literally on the lakeside. Interested visitors will get to hear about the process of obtaining salt as well as to see how this process works. The extraction of salt has never changed since the very beginning: evaporating of the sea water from the surface of lake due to the sun and the wind.

How to get to Lake Pomorie?

Lake Pomorie is located between Pomorie and Aheloy. Getting to Pomorie will not be difficult (though buses do not stop right near the lake). If you live directly in Pomorie and you want to get to the spit, you have to find in the old part of the city a street named Professor Stoyanov and to move in the direction of Sunny Beach.

We traveled from Nessebar to Pomorie by foot. We spent a good half of a day (we took breaks to take photos, to have lunch, to admire neighboring villages of Ravda and Aheloy, to swim in the sea near the spit), but we never regretted about it.

When we went to Pomorie for the second time, this time we took a bus from Nessebar (which cost 3.5 levs per person). We alighted then walked along the same street, Professor Stoyahnov. There may be a lot of tourists there, but it is quite surprising that a few of them have known or heard of the beautiful natural sights that are literally next to them.

Bus lines are well routed all over the territory of Bulgaria. Therefore, no matter where you rest, if you wish, you can get to Pomorie.

Another good option would be a car (personal or rented). But even in this case, there are some disadvantages. From the side of Pomorie, you can only get to the beginning of the spit. Further, the transit is partitioned off and closed. From the side of Aheloy this option is also quite useless (there is even a problem to walk pass).

For more convenience we lay out a map, which shows the city itself and Lake Pomorie:

Lake Pomorie — a paradise for birds

Lake Pomorie and its vicinity are quite impressive not only in terms of size, but also in terms of bird population. Yes, Lake Pomorie is also a bird sanctuary. Since January 2001, the lake and its surrounding land have been considered as a protected zone. Lake Pomorie is an important stopover for our migrating and wandering feathered friends. The lake is home to a total of 268 different species of birds, four of which are considered as “critically endangered.”

In spring, curious tourists will see contented birds, that build their nests right there (on a small man-made island). Most of birds can be seen here in summer. It is especially interesting to see how they teach young individuals to hunt, to fly, to dive.

Some of birds species that live at Lake Pomorie, are registered in the Red Book of Bulgaria.

There’s a visitor’s reception building where you can get more detailed information about the lake as well engage in safe bird watching. It is located next to the Museum of Salt.

Lake Pomorie
Pied avocet and chick in Lake Pomorie

In a small two-story building you can read a lot of information from information stands, listen to ornithologist guide and even enjoy a documentary film with detailed stories about the animal world of the pond. On the second floor of the building, you can go to a viewing platform to watch the birds through using powerful binoculars and telescopes. If you are curious enough, you can ask your tour guide and he will gladly tell you about every species of birds that he knows.

Across the lake, you can see long rows of wooden pegs, which are remainders of a previous bridge. The pegs themselves carry salt and they now provide a resting place for the birds.

Since Lake Pomorie is a bird sanctuary, it also provides food for the birds — fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates and some smaller mammals which also inhabit the lake. Hence, fishing there is strictly prohibited.

Plant life in Lake Pomorie

Across the length of the lake, there is a dam where you can see notice stands which provide information about plants that grow on Lake Pomorie and vicinity. Because of the lake’s high salt content, certain types of plants are able to thrive here. The lake is rich in algae (there are over 70 species of them) and over 80 different kinds of plants co-exist harmoniously.

In some areas of the lake you can see cattail and reed growing on the side of the dam. On the sand dunes between the lagoon and the sea, you can see other plants such as grow Apocynum venetum, Eryngium maritimum, Euphórbia and beachgrass.

Some more travel tips in Lake Pomorie

When going to Lake Pomorie, you will be astounded by its fabulously rich flora and fauna. So bringing your own camera and/or binoculars is a must. If you have a digital camera with a powerful zoom, the better. It allows you to view the birds to your heart’s content, without disturbing them.

It seems strange and even unrealistic to observe firsthand how sophisticated swans swim around their offspring, how a pelican cleans its feathers delicately or how a cormorant manages to sleep soundly on one of the pegs.

It is best to go to Lake Pomorie during a windy weather, as the breeze blows off annoying midges and mosquitoes.

Lake Pomorie

The huge lake is divided by dams for several ponds. According to information stands, it is possible to go there early in the day to walk safely on such improvised paths and observe flora and fauna. Now, most of that paths are partially hidden under the water. So we do not advise to take risks and walk along them.

A mud with impurities (such as hydrogen sulfide) is considered harmful if not used correctly. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you should seek a medical professional’s recommendation before smearing yourself with such mud.

Almost after the end of the spit, enterprising owners of hotels and cottages lease out rooms and even entire bungalows to tourists. Therefore, if you plan to swim in clear waters of the Black Sea, or be smeared with mud from Lake Pomorie, you can use a suitable opportunity and not to waste time for trip.

Useful links and interesting information:

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