Kayaking the Veleka River: a picturesque adventure

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On our quest of the Black Sea coast, we found ourselves in Sinemorets, a small village on the far south of Bulgaria, only 15km to the north of the border with Turkey.

Situated on the foot of the Strandzha Mountain, it’s known for its awesome beaches, scenic viewpoints and natural beauty remaining relatively unaffected by the aggressive development that has taken place in most Bulgarian resorts.

On our third day there, we woke up to a grey sky and chilly temperature, and settled for enjoying the day away from the beach. After a walk through the forest, we decided to hire a kayak and go down the Veleka river. As most of our fellow holidaymakers were also looking for non-beach ways to spend the day, we had to way until the late afternoon before we can get a kayak, but with the sun setting around 8pm our 6:15pm start gave us plenty of time.

We headed north down the river, in the direction of the natural reserve, which was situated about an hour and a half away from our starting point. We knew we wouldn’t have enough hours of daylight to get there and come back, so we just went for a relaxed stroll. By that time, the sun had found its way through the clouds, and the afternoon was bright and warm.

The waters of the Veleka river coloured by the late afternoon sun

The waters of the Veleka river coloured by the late afternoon sun

The trip was stunningly picturesque! The river was lined with lush, green vegetation, whose shapes and forms were beautifully reflected in the water by the warm afternoon light. The banks of the river were dotted with fishermen, some professional other hobbyist, some alone, others with family and friends, enjoying the warmth of the setting sun.

The vegetation lining the banks of the Veleka river was lush and abundant

The vegetation lining the banks of the Veleka river was lush and abundant

You can hire the kayak from a next to the main bridge which crosses the Veleka river. The bridge is situated about 1km to the north of Sinemorets. If you’re coming from north, cross the bridge and then take the unsealed road on your right, and you’ll see the parking lot on your left. A two-person kayak costs only 15lv per hour.

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