If you take the main route from Sofia to Greece, it goes along river Struma. This river is famous as one of the best places for rafting in Bulgaria, but is equally famous among nature lovers with its beautiful surroundings and interesting natural habitats. About 20 km before the river flows into Greece it traverses a wide valley with low hills surrounded by high mountain picks. There, close to the river, is located the area called “Rupite”. Standing alone in the valley is the ancient volcano “Kojuh”, at the bottom of which there is a hot spring. Actually, for first-time visitors it would be difficult to guess that this is a volcano, as what is left from the ancient glory is just a steep hill covered with drought resistant bushes and low trees. From these steep rocks raprors watch the surroundings. In the bushes and on the ground nests warbles, buntings, shrikes, woodpeckers and many other birds.

Rock formations in the “Rupite” region.
Image copyright 2006 Emil Enchev

Habitat for many rare species of birds. In the spring and summer their slopes and the meadows below are rich with butterflies and other insects. A lot of reptiles and amphibians can be found here too.