One of Bulgaria’s most scenic places, Atanasovsko Lake welcomes thousands of tourists from the country and abroad every year. Its appeal can be attributed to various reasons, but several of them are sticking out. The first one is connected to the Burgas salt mines and the curative properties of the lye and mud extracted in the region in a natural way. Treatment with them has a beneficial effect on the peripheral nervous system and the locomotor system, helps in the healing of various wounds and supports the metabolic and regenerative processes in the body.
The latest monitoring report on the condition of the lake shows that the water basins around it are daily visited by 4,000 people. The fact that the lake is a favourite place for recreation, nesting and wintering of an impressive number of birds – over 330 species, also attracts a lot of attention. Just to imagine the scale of this ornithological wealth, we will mention that the total number of bird species occurring in Bulgaria is 420.
The third reason for the interest in Atanasovsko Lake is the possibility to see the coastal lagoon - similar places in Europe are very few indeed. For this reason, it has been declared a protected area, as is the whole lake as it is part of the Natura 2000 network. Along with the lagoon, the varying colours on the lake, ranging from blue to green to red, bring much visual delight to the visitors. The fascinating red colour is due to the large amount of magnesium that is contained in its waters, as well as to a type of seaweed that grows in very salty waters. The change and variety of the water nuances are due to the salt production, as the tinges are most saturated now in the period of August and September.
For the sixth consecutive time, on August 10, the Atanasovsko Lake will host a one-day festival dedicated to salt. Every year, the organizers from Biodiversity Foundation together with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and Chernomorski Solnitsi AD (Black Sea Salt-Cellers company) set a different theme, this year's edition being called "The Salt of Life". More details about the program and the challenges awaiting visitors from Radostina Tsenova, expert with Biodiversity Foundation:
“In this edition of the festival we try to gather all the most interesting things that have happened around the lake or are connected to it. Several workshops for kids, exhibitions, a bazaar of products made from salt and lye, a tasting of chocolate with sea salt, a health talk on the benefits of lye and mud. There will also be a concert "in the dark", and the performers’ names will be kept secret until they go out on stage. Those wishing to participate in a game will also have this opportunity. We will hold a quiz with 38 questions as the guests will be able to find the answers scattered all over the festival grounds”.
A retrospective exhibition will showcase the achievements of the team with regard to the protection of animal and bird habitats, as well as solving the problem of water quality in the lagoon and the danger of floods. If all of this seems to be insufficient, but you are brave enough to get a little bit dirty, you can also participate in the Miss and Mr. Salty Mud contest. There are no restrictions on the age of the participants, but the sole condition is that they show charisma on the improvised stage.
English translation Rossitsa PetcovaPhotos: library