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  • Author: Hanna Ollos
  • Date Posted: Feb 2, 2021
  • Category:
  • Address: Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Chervenata Stena Wilderness Candidate

The Chervenata Stena Strict Nature Reserve was created in 1962 and is embedded into the Chervenata Stena Biosphere Reserve since 2017. The area is situated in the Rhodope Mountains, about 30 km south of Plovdiv and is one of the most biodiverse areas in Europe characterized by wide variety of landscape and an immense variety of plant and animal species.

Chervenata Stena Strict Nature Reserve is part of a karstic marble massif, characterized by steep slopes and deep ravines. The area represents an outstanding example of undisturbed old Sub-Mediterranean forest of black pine and silver fir and fragments of relict hornbeam.

The territory is exclusive state property and is managed and protected by the Ministry of Environment and Water, through its Regional Inspectorate in Plovdiv.

European Wilderness Quality Standard Audit System

The 1 200 ha Chervenata Stena Wilderness was subject to a Pre-Audit in autumn 2019 and meets the Bronze Wilderness Quality Standard. After finalising the Quick-Audit, there is a large potential to expand Chervenata Stena Wilderness to the size ca 3 000 ha and in this way increase the Wilderness Quality Standard.

Wilderness information

  • Protected area: Chervenata Stena Biosphere Park
  • Wilderness: Chervenata Stena Wilderness – Candidate
  • Wilderness Quality Standard: Bronze
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • Size of the protected area: 65 409 ha
  • Size of the Wilderness: 1 200 ha (with potential for enlargement to 3 000 ha)
  • European Wilderness Quality Standard Pre-Audit: 2019
  • Wilderness Uniqueness: Large area of an outstanding example of undisturbed old Sub-Mediterranean forest with wide spectrum of habitat diversity.
  • Number of visitors per year to the protected area: To be verified
  • Number of visitors per year to the Wilderness: To be verified


The Chervenata Stena Wilderness is an area with several decade-long protection of a wide spectrum of habitats. It is an area of great international importance and a local hotspot for biodiversity that depends on spontaneous natural processes and ecosystem dynamics. The area is not populated and the majority of historical human impact has been significantly self-restored. This leads to an abundance of plant and animal life. The area contains representatives of flora and fauna typical for this part of Rhodope Mountains with many relicts and paleoendemic species including large yellow lady’s slipper, spurge laurel daphne, common lilac and many more. Brown bear, wolf, red fox, wild boar, chamois and many more rare and protected animals are also found here.

Wilderness Tourism Experience

From a touristic point of view, a part of Wilderness can be explored on foot following several marked trails (three are crossing the northern part of the Strict Nature Reserve and proposed Wilderness). These trails offer a variety of interesting activities like hiking, wildlife watching and rare plants sightings and exploring unique rock formations. There is a variety of interesting activities in the vicinity of the Wilderness within the territory Chervenata Stena Biosphere Park. The best way to explore the Wilderness is with a mountain guide that is passionate and knowledgeable about the area.

Contact details

  • Chervenata Stena Wilderness – Candidate
  • Chervenata Stena Biosphere Reserve
  • Address: Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water, blv. Marica 122
  • Postal code city: 4000, Plovdiv
  • Phone: +359 32 623 873
  • Website:

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