Silkosiya is Bulgaria’s first reserve. It has had this status since 1933. It is sitiuated in Strandzha Mountain, on the left bank of the Veleka River between the villages of Balgari and Kosti. It is a strict nature reserve – all kinds of human activity is forbidden except for visiting for scientific purposes and walking along the marked trails. The valuables this territory protects are various members of the flora and fauna – over 50 protected animal species (birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and others), beech and oak forests where the impressive Oriental durmast and the Oriental beech are found and the Strandzha-characteristic evergreen bushes. Because of the rich plant diversity the reserve is also known as “natural botanical garden.”
Pontic rhododendron, cherry laurel, holly and pontic daphne may sound a bit unusual but these are all typical evergreen bushes that are found in Silkosiya. Together with the beech and oak trees, the forests take up 80% of the reserve’s territory. The area is also home to various members of the bird kingdom – Eurasian jay, golden oriole, chaffinch, nightingale and many others. The reserve is also a gathering place for wolves, boars, wild cats, beech martens, pine martens and others.