THE VILLAGE OF STOILOVO – DOKUZAK WATERFALL – FOREST TRAIL IN STRANDJA
The village is located 5 km north of the main road Burgas – Malko Turnovo, 9 km away from Malko Turnovo and 83 km from Burgas, 300 m above sea level.
Coordinates: 42°02’18.99” N, 27°31’00.55” E 320 m above sea level
It is believed that Stoilovo is one of the oldest villages in Strandja. According to legends the first to settle here about 400 years ago was grandfather Stoil and his family. Hence the name of the village – derived from the first name of its first settler.
Traces of antiquity have been found around the village – Thracian mound necropolis and remnants of metallurgical activities.
Old houses built during the XVIII - XIX centuries have been preserved in Stoilovo. The most impressive of all was the house of Yanaki Koyundzhoolu. An architectural monument, the two storied building with carved ceilings and cupboards used to be the largest house in Strandja in the nineteenth century. Today, regretfully, it is abandoned and tumble-down.
The population, according to data from 01.02.2011 is 66 inhabitants.
It is located on a hill over the river valleys of Mechi Dol and Veleka rivers. The village offers beautiful views of the ridge of Bosna, with villages "perched" on its slopes, of Pétrova Niva with the monument to the participants in Preobrajensko Uprising, and of the centuries-old beech forests of Sredoka reserve, located on the steep right bank of Mechi Dol River.
The proximity of the three rivers – Veleka, Mechi Dol and Mladejka, and the abundance of hazel trees along their banks created the conditions for basket making – there were a lot of craftsmen who made baskets in the village. They supplied with baskets for fish, charcoal, grapes and chaff all the fishing, wine producing and charcoal making centers along the Black Sea coast. Today it is the only living craft in Strandja.
ST. ILIYA CHURCH
It was built in the late seventeenth century, and rebuilt several times. It has an interesting cruciform plan which no other church in Strandja area has. The church houses icons painted by the iconpainter from Sozopol – Socrat Georgiev –St. Mina and St. Bogoroditza.
Here are some of the oldest altar gates, dating from the seventeenth century
Interesting chapels around Stoilovo are:
St. Iliya- at the end of the village, to the east;
St. George- 4 km west of the village in Nivishte area;
St. Kostadin Stolnina - 1 km north of the village;
St. Trinity- about 3 km northeast of the village;
Stoilovo cave sanctuary St. Marina - about 5 km southeast of the village.
NATURAL SITESSREDOKA RESERVE
One of the five reserves within Natural Park Strandja.
It is located on the steep northern slopes of the lower reaches of Mechi Dol River. It was created to preserve the vast beech forests and habitats of rare and endangered plant species.
From the endemic species typical of Strandja, here grows firethorn, laurel, St. John's wort. Of the rare and endangered species – twin-flowered daphne, Caucasian whortleberry, etc. A high conservation value has the big habitat of laurel, located in the central part of the reserve, and the compact groups of holly, which reaches 6 meters in height and 10 cm in diameter.
"Sredoka" is the only reserve in Strandja with many meadows and open spaces – “kalunatsi” (open spaces covered with low shrubs) and pastures.
SREDOKA (Code in the register: 50)
Size: 607.8 ha
District: Burgas, Municipality: Malko Tarnovo, Town/Village: Malko Tarnovo, the village of Stoilovo
Documents declaring it a reserve: Order №75 of 18.01.1989
Purposes for decalring it a reserve: Typical of Strandja forest ecosystems
Mode of activities:
All activities are prohibited in the reserve except:
1. Safeguarding the reserve;
2. Visits for scientific purposes;
3. Passage of people along the marked trails, including those visiting it for educational purposes;
4. Collection of seeds, wild plants and animals for scientific purposes or to grow or breed them elsewhere in amounts, with methods and at times excluding damages to the ecosystems.
Overlap (partial or complete):
1. Natural Park: STRANDJA
2. ЗЗ under the Birds Directive: Strandja
DOKUZAK PROTECTED AREA
Coordinates at the waterfall: 42°01’22.21” N, 27°30’08.87” E, 251 m above sea level
It encompasses a beautiful karst area near Dokuzak River with the small waterfall known by the same name and the nine never failing springs. Along the river there are places for relaxation and fishing.
By the very waterfall there is a shelter with a fireplace, but it is questionable if there should be picnic areas so close to beautiful natural sites. Very often, groups of tourists who have come to enjoy the waterfall, come across a noisy company listening to music which is not typical of Strandja.
Dokuzak was declared a protected area in order to preserve the natural habitat of mountain tea. Here is its most compact habitat of the natural habitats scattered around the area. Attempts to grow it artificially have been successful. This makes it possible to restore its growth and use it to make wonderful tonic tea.
Category: DOKUZAK Protected Area
Size: 5.0 hectares
District: Burgas, Municipality: Malko Tarnovo, Town/Village: Malko Turnovo
Document declaring it a protected area:
Order №845 of 31.10.1991 г.
Purposes for declaring it a protected area: preservation of the natural habitat of mountain tea.
Mode of activities:
Prohibited: construction and any other activities which can change the natural environment of the area or the water regime;
Prohibited: importation of plant and animal species which are alien to the area;
Prohibited: felling of trees except sanitary;
Prohibited: grazing of any livestock;
Prohibited: disturbing the birds during their breeding season, destroying their nests, collecting their eggs and chicks.
Prohibited: picking of herbs, flowers, destroying wild plants;
Overlap (partial or complete):
1. Natural Park: STRANDJA
2. 33 under the Birds Directive
FOREST TRAIL IN STRANDJA
For a walk of about 2.5 hours.
42°01’19.30” N, 27°30’13.02” E; 250 m above sea level
The trail is the first interpretative trail in the park with modules and boards with interesting information about the biodiversity. It is managed by the Directorate of the Natural Park.
It starts at about 200 meters before Dokuzak waterfall, to the right of the road Malko Turnovo – the village of Stoilovo. At the beginning it follows an old dirt road that climbs through a mixed pine-oak forest. After walking for about 5 minutes from the starting point of the trail, you get to a playing facility below the road, on your left. It is called a "Forest Sniper" and can help you to get to know 7 species of trees and shrubs typical of Strandja. In about 15 minutes you can learn more about the woodpeckers and try the frequency with which they hit the trees. The trail continues to climb up the hill and reaches the bare ridge, where there is an information board about the mushrooms. To the left of the trail is the oldest tree in the area – 550 years old oak tree. About 100 meters away from it, next to the border with "Sredoka" reserve, the trail leads to an observation area, from which there is a view of the Bosna ridge and the villages on its slopes. A "forest xylophone" has been mounted on the same place and you can try “playing” the different trees that it was made of. From here the route heads north with a slight descent along the main ridge road and through little forests with individual centuries-old trees. The route goes through a pine forest and after a sharp turn at its end (to the right) leaves the road. It goes down past the last information board and through a mixed oak-beech forest continues to the northeast towards Mechi Dol River. When the trail reaches the river valley, it goes along its right bank (to the left), upstream to a platform from which a rope trolley starts. Immediately after it you cross (wade in) the river. After that you climb up a path through an oak forest and along a rocky terrain to reach the end point of the route in Kukulyat area, where you go out onto the asphalt road to the village of Stoilovo. You go down to the starting point (the waterfall) along that asphalt road.
The rope trolley can be used after an advance request at the Directorate of Patural Park of "Strandja".