by Anthony Georgieff

Locals refer to it as “The Lion's Head” – but, as you have deduced correctly, it's not a pub in South London

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It's a rock high above a meandering river on the southern Black Sea coast. It's located in an area declared a nature reserve, which has managed to protect it from the unbridled construction and entrepreneurship seen elsewhere south of Sozopol.

Downhill from The Lion's Head are the remnants of one of the oldest and most fascinating Thracian sanctuaries, a Stonehenge of sorts that used to be sealed off from the general public for many years because of the nearby residence of Communist dictator Todor Zhivkov. A walk northwards will take you to some of the few pristine Black Sea beaches remaining, the best of which are located near the river's estuary. And further north you will glimpse one of the few Bulgarian islands, a minuscule rock in the sea known to be the only natural habitat for cacti in these climes. The nearby wetland, hailed for its water lilies and – occasionally - swans, however, can be a bit of a letdown.

Where in Bulgaria are you?


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