Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic

Bulgaria and Romania in winter, 7-10 days

This tour is without a doubt one of the most spectacular winter holidays in Europe. We take you to Northern Bulgaria and to the finest birdwatching sites in Romania along the Black Sea Coast and the famous Danube Delta region. Winter is an excellent time for birding along the coast, not only for the long list of possible species, but because the area is the wintering place for probably most of the entire World population of Red-breasted Geese, which are gathering here in huge numbers. White-headed Ducks are also congregating in freshwater lakes, together with Black-necked Grebes and Smew. The rocky, dry steppe areas of Dobrogea host flocks of various passerines, including the exciting Calandra Lark. Hen Harrier and Merlin are all here as well and they are easy to see.

A 3-day extension gives you the possibility to visit the Southern Carpathians, the magical land of Count Dracula on a horse sledge in quest for Ural Owl, Nutcracker, Crossbill, Wallcreeper, Hawfinch, Brown Bear, and we may encounter the tracks of Wolf, Lynx and Wild Cat.

We can also organise and include a 2 days Danube Delta boat trip in the programme depending on the size of the group.


Fact File

  • - 2 days in Bulgaria
  • - 5-8 days in Romania
  • - start and finish in Bucharest
  • - visiting the Black Sea Coast and the Southern Carpathians
  • - using 2 or 3 accommodations


- 2 days at Durankulak Lake in Bulgaria

- 1 day in Histria and Vadu, one of the best birding areas in Europe

- visit to the famous Babadag Forest

- 3 days in the Southern Carpathians

- superb scenery, rare bird species


3 nights in a hotel at the Bulgarian border

3 nights in Mamaia, a resort at the Black Sea

3 nights in Zarnesti in the Southern Carpathians

Departure Dates


Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- flight to and from Bucharest;

- optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;

- airport and other departure taxes, tips;

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;

- excess baggage charges;

- telephone calls;

- alcoholic beverages;

- compulsory personal insurance.

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.

Activity level

Generally easy to moderate walks

Some longer drives expected

Optional programmes

A 2-day Danube Delta boat trip on an exclusive chartered floating hotel with en-suite facilities




After our arrival to Bucharest Airport we drive to our hotel near the Black Sea Coast a few kilometers from the Bulgarian border. From there we make a short drive to visit the nearby Durankulak Lake in Bulgaria, which is the most famous and most reliable site for the masses of Red-breasted Geese. We probably will see the spectacle of tens of thousand of these beautiful birds in flight and feeding on the abandoned arable lands. If time permits we will look for Skuas, Mediterranean Shearwater, Great Black-headed Gull and Black-necked Grebe along the seashore.

Accommodation: small hotel close to the Bulgarian border


In case of bad luck on the previous day we have an extra chance to go back to Durankulak Lake to look for Red-breasted Geese, or we drive north to Mamaia, a nice resort on the coast where we will be based in an elegant hotel for the next 3 nights. On the way we stop at Lake Techirghiol, a famous wintering site for White headed Ducks, where there are also hundreds of Black-necked Grebes and Smews, and plenty of Mediterranean Gulls fly in to overnight.

Accommodation: Mamaia


From our base in Mamaia we will explore Dobrogea during the next three days. We will visit the best wetland areas of the region, Vadu and Istria. The shallow lagoons and lakes might bring us Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, and we might also find Dalmatian Pelicans, while the reedbeds hold Penduline and Bearded Tits, Great Bittern. The dry steppe is excellent for raptors, such as Long-legged Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard and Merlin.

One of the mornings will be dedicated to explore a different habitat along the coast, Babadag Forest. We will walk short distances in the oak woods searching for Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Sombre Tit, Short-toed Treeceeper, Grey-headed Woodpecker and around the villages Syrian Woodpecker.

Accommodation: Mamaia


After a short morning birding we drive to Bucharest to catch our plane to London.

Those staying for an extra 3 days will continue driving towards the Southern Carpathian Mountains, in the neighbourhoods of Brasov where we will spend 3 nights. The landscape is characterised by high mountains, vast forest and alpine meadows. During our stay in this beautiful area we will search for Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Common Crossbill and the elusive Ural Owl and we will try to access nearby gorges for wintering Wallcreepers. We will obtain information about the movements of Brown Bears from our host and local forestry and we might go for an optional bearwatching, which often brings other surprises. The best areas for Bears are rich in other wildlife as well, and though we need big luck to see Wildcat, Lynx, or Wolf we might see their footprints in the snow.

One of the afternoons we might choose another optional program to visit the Wolf cabins on a horse sledge. The local Kukujsa liquor will keep our high spirits during the ride!

Accommodation: Zarnesti


Drive to Bucharest Airport to catch the plain back home.