They are located in the southern part of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, 7 km south of Sozopol, near the now old road to Primorsko, immediately after Holiday Village Djuni (1 km). The place is popular with the name "drivers’" beach, because of the proximity of the asphalt road to the beach. Alepu marsh is located at the foot of the Bakarlaka hills and Kukuv Bair to the north and Andrea Bair to the south, opposite the bay enclosed by Agalina cape to the north and Humata cape to the south.

Coordinates: 42°22’00.26” N, 27°42’29.10” E, 2 m above sea level




Category: Natural landmark

Area: 166.7 hectares

District: Burgas, Municipality: Sozopol, Town: Sozopol

Documents declaring it a natural landmark:

Order №709 of 22.07.1986

International status: Ramsar Convention

Purposes for declaring it a natural landmark:

1. Preservation of the natural habitats of protected and rare water birds as well as of the only habitat of water chestnut on the Black Sea Coast.

Mode of activities:

1. Prohibited: construction and any other activities which change the natural environment of the area or its water regime;

2. Prohibited: destroying marsh vegetation and collecting water chestnuts;

3. Prohibited: lighting campfires, setting fire to the reeds and other vegetation;

4. Prohibited: importation and breeding of species of vertebrate animals without consulting the Committee for Environmental Protection and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences;

5. Prohibited: killing, catching and disturbing of birds, destroying their nests and collecting their eggs;

6. Prohibited: hunting and fishing;

7. Prohibited: water pollution;

8. Allowed: livestock grazing before and after the birds’ breeding season (April 1 – July 30);

9. Allowed: gathering hay and traditional use of arable land.


Overlap: Protected Area (PA) under the Birds Directive: Ropotamo complex



Category: Natural Landmark

Area: 12.0 hectares

Location: District: Burgas, Municipality: Sozopol, Town/Village: Sozopol

Documents declaring it a natural landmark: Order №2109 of 20.12.1984

International status: Ramsar Convention

Purposes for declaring it a reserve: Preservation of the sand dunes


Mode of activities:

1. Prohibited: activities such as damaging stems, pruning, breaking branches, etc., which could lead to damaging trees;

2. Prohibited: picking or uprooting plants;

3. Prohibited: livestock grazing;

4. Prohibited: entering, camping, passing through, and parking of motor vehicles;

5. Prohibited: disturbing wild animals and taking away their offspring or eggs, destroying their nests and dens;

6. Prohibited: opening of quarries, conducting mining and other activities which could damaged or change the natural environment in the area and the water regime;

7. Prohibited: felling of trees, except sanitary and for cultivation;

8. Prohibited: any construction.

Overlap: ЗЗ from the Birds Directive: Ropotamo complex

Area Descriptions

THE SAND DUNES were declared a protected area in 1984, and ALEPU MARSH – in 1986 in order to protect the habitats of endangered and rare water bird species, the sand dunes, as well as the water chestnut. Both sites belong to the category “natural landmark”.

In 2002 they were granted an international status because they are on the territory of Ropotamo.

The name Alepu comes from the Greek Alepu (αλεπού) and means "fox" – hence fox’s marsh. One of the theories about the origin of the name is that it was as sly as a fox – sometimes it connected with the sea, and sometimes it drew away from it. This certainly happened long before an asphalt road was built between the marsh and the dunes. The beach is now known as the “drivers’ beach”.

The marsh is about 3.3 km long and up to 320 m wide. Its area is 0.2 km ², and its salinity is 1.3-7.0 ‰. It is a lagoon marsh. By origin it is a firth and is separated from the sea by a strip of interesting sand dunes. The area is an important habitat for many endangered species of water birds. Along with the sand dunes, it is a valuable and important conservation area.
Alepu is a popular place for nature lovers to watch rare birds as the marsh is a stop – a place to rest for migrating birds on the Via Pontica route. It is also a place for wintering of some bird species.

From a conservation perspective unregulated hunting in the area causes problems. The evidence of this is the "shot" information signs, often used as targets by poachers.

Related routes

Project: Green corridors - promotion of natural, cultural and historical heritage in the region of Burgas and Kirklareli. Grant Contract №РД-02-29-173/01.07.2011.

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