Shumensko plateu Nature park … Here starts Bulgaria
Shumensko plateu Nature park is one of the unique places created by the nature of Bulgaria which sends us back in time to the spirits of our ancestors – a place, which guarantees to its visitors moving and unforgettable experience. It is a home of the human since the ancient times. During the different epochs, on its territory existed lots of Thracians, antique and medieval settlements and fortresses.
Shumensko plateu Nature park is situaded on the same name Shumensko plateu which is the highest one in North-Eastern Bulgaria. It has been announced for a preserved area on 5-th of February 1980 with the purpose to keep the valuable plant and animal species, the plateu-like landscape and the spots for recreation and tourism. The highest point is the Tarnov tabia peak – 501.9m, situated in the western part of the park. The relief is a plateu, rich in attractive carst shapes, rock phenomena, rock niches and around 60 caves, part of which have been already studied and investigated. Biserna and Tainite ponori caves are among the biggest 25 in the country.
The specific nature conditions of Shumensko plateu Nature park are good for the development of rich surface vegetation. Forests take 90% of the park territory. Dominating are the mixed deciduous forests. Biggest importance has the Balkan beach which has been preserved in Bukaka reserve. The exposed spaces in the park are a varicoloured mosaic of grasses and shrubs. The vascular plants there are 535 species, 64 of which are with a protected status. 19 species of orchids and over than 250 species of health plants can be met.
The Shumen plateu is a home of 345 species of invertebrates and of more than 240 species of vertebrates. The protected animal species are: Dobrudja hamster (Mesocricetus newtoni), marbled polecat, northern goshawk, lesser spotted eagle, black woodpecker, owl, Aesculapian snake, meadow viper etc.
The cultural and historical heritage includes a number of archeological and historical monuments and records. The rocky monasteries which came into being during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (XII – XIV century AC) are centre of religious and cultural life. They are situated on hard to be accessed rocky wreath on the eastern and southern slopes of the pateu.
The most significant historical and archeological object is the Shumen fortress. It represents a complicated complex of residential, cult and fortress buildings. Today this well-studied, preserved and partially restored historical and archeological reserve is included in the list of the One hundred National Tourist Objects.
In South-eastern part of the Shumen plateu is located the memorial ‘Founders of Bulgarian State’ built in honour of 1,300 years of foundation of Bulgaria which is also included in the list of the One hundred National Tourist Objects.
The park is an attractive place for recreation, sport and tourism. The main routes for walking lead the tourists to attractive nature landmarks and cultural and historical objects. All routes are marked and provided with information and indicative signs.
The tourists can take a rest in special corners for a short-term break – huts, alcoves, benches, tables, fireplaces or to use the places around them for practicing of different sports – football, volleyball, badminton etc.
On the territory of the park there are very good conditions for practicing of a specialized tourism and extreme sports – rock climbing, cave tourism, paragliding and moto-delta gliding. The nature park is a traditional place for organizing of regional and national competitions for sport-orientation. There are annual regional, national and international competitions for mountain biking.
On the park territory functions and tourist information centre where one can find information for places of interest, preserved territories, one can hire a guide, bike or to buy souvenirs etc.
Near the tourist center is the ‘Forest School’ which includes ‘Forest labyrinth’, ‘Open-air classroom’ and ‘Fairytale path’. There the youngest residents and guests of Shumen can learn more about nature, its inhabitants and the necessity of their protection.
Shumensko plateu Nature park is one must-see un-doubted challenge for everybody which you should visit in order to make sure by yourselves about the uniqueness of this place created by the nature and deserving admiration!