The nature is the biggest wealth of Malko Tarnovo town. The territory of the municipality entirely covers the Natural Park “Strandzha” territory. It has been established in 1995 year in order to be protected the natural and cultural potential of the mountain and the connected to it traditions and way of life. That is the largest protected territory in Bulgaria and one of the most precious Europe protected territories. It is situated on a surface area of 1161 km² and embraces the central Bulgarian Strandzha region with an outlet on the Black sea waterside between Tsarevo town and the village of Rezovo. Five reserves cover at about 1/20 part from its surface area. These are: the oldest Bulgarian reserve “Silkosiya” (1933 year), “Vitanovo”, “Tisovitsa”, “Sredoka” and “Lopushna”. The last one is a part of the World net biosphere reserves “Man and biosphere” of UNESCO. In the reserves’ zone are forbidden any activities. That is why the curious tourists could visit differentiated 11 protected places and 17 natural sightseeing where unimpeded to take a look at the wild wealth of the mountain.
The relief of Strandzha mountain is sculptured by the nature during the centuries. Despite of the not very high altitude the relief is attractive and strongly uneven. The rounded ridges, steep and indented on some places dough like river valleys are peculiar. The period of the last icings which are result of the falling down of the World Ocean’s level with several scores and the processes which have brought along the currant appearance are hidden in the mentioned reasons. The so called ‘drowned’ river valleys of all straight running into Black Sea rivers evidence about this.
From a bird’s eye view Strandzha mountain looks like an excited green sea without bristled up rock peaks typical for our high mountains. The highest peak Mahiada (1031 m altitude) belongs to the Turkish part of the mountain. In the Bulgarian part are distinguished both mountain ridges – Resovsko (peak Golyamoto gradishe – 709 m altitude) and Bosnensko (massif Golyamata Papiya – 501 m altitude).
Massifs and slopes are formed by the massive rock formations and rocky defiles in the west part of the park. The numerous caves with their branched galleries form an unknown and strange underground world. Many surprises are waiting the visitors of the karst particularly on the northern slopes where the rocks are covered with luxuriant vegetation from ivy, fern, bushes and small trees and hide the secret clefts, not founded recesses and holes and are often dangerous to the unprepared.
The main rivers in the park are Veleka and Rezovska. They spring up from the Turkish part of Strandzha and run into Bulgaria through wonderful rocky defiles and riversides. The length of Veleka river is 147 km and its more important feeders are Mladezhka, Mechi dol, Dyavolski dol, and Elenitsa rivers. The forests near its outfall are often poured on by the spring waters. In this way is formed a humid zone – a home for many vegetation and animal species. The length of Rezovska river is 112 km and its more important feeders on the territory of Bulgaria are Deliiska river and Dalbokiyat dol river.
In their upper streams the two rivers have a typical mountainous countenance – with rocky bed and many swift currents and shoots. Typical for the both rivers is the great number of picturesque meanders with almost vertical rocky riversides. In the low streams the valleys are broadened, the depth grows and the thick milk white morning fogs are often met phenomena in the summer. It looks like the sea is running into the mountain through great numbers of inlets and fiords. But if the Veleka river is explored, The Rezovska river is not so well known because of its border situation. The access to it is limited that’s why till nowadays the river remains folded in mystery.
The peculiar geographical location of Strandzha and closeness of three seas – Black sea, the sea of Marmora and Aegean sea form its climate as warmer and mild in compare to other our mountains and with a high air humidity especially along the river valleys. The winter is short and warm but the autumn-winter rainfalls are plentiful.
The riversides parts of the park in the region of Ahtopol – Rezovo are the places with most sunny days in the year.
Because of the open wide type of the mountain to north and north-east direction frequently phenomena are the cold rushes from north and north-west which define the sudden cold spells.
The mountain possesses with enormous resources for development of the climate healing. The healing qualities of the climate in the riverside region in a combination of beaches and sea are the reason of announcement of Ahtopol for a sea resort from a national significance and Sinemorets village from local one. According to the made full researches the climate in the region of Malko Tarnovo town is suitable about healing of allergies and nonspecific pulmonary diseases and is not a step back in this relation from the climate of Sandanski town.
From early spring till late autumn Strandzha forests and meadows generously offer the gifts of nature aromatic wild berries, mushrooms and healing herbs.
Spring is the time of blooming and reproduction. In the forest is been outlined the freshness of the green leaves of the east-beech tree being here from tertiary times. In the end of May if it is on your way to visit the forests from east beech-trees you will be astonished. In the shadow of the beech-trees are seen the violet blossoms of the evergreen Strandzha periwinkle – one of the both rhododendrons which are ranged in the Bulgarian nature. Only in Strandzha and Caucus you could see a periwinkle. It is beautiful but dangerous.The honey collected from its flowers could be poisonous in larger amounts. In the mountain are ranged in also habitats of Caucasian blueberry.
The summer in Strandzha is long and beneficial. Then the life-giving moisture streams from the cool and humid Strandzha gullies.
When you are passing by through the enchanting Strandzha forests in the early autumn and a fearful scream is heard, do not afraid, the red deer gives its matrimonial appeal. The century old Strandzha forests from beech, oak and cerris oak trees are a shelter for foxes, jackals, wild cats, badgers, does and wild pigs. The mountain remains one of the last shelters to the small screaming eagle, the Egyptian vulture and falcons and in the evening the silence is sounded by the appeal of the eagle owls and owlets. On the moon light if you are enough enduring you could watch the soundless game of the otters in the deep pools of Veleka and Rezovska rivers.
In the red book of Bulgaria are included: the wolf, the polecat, the marten, the otter and two species of bats.
Strandzha Mountain is crossed over by the big migratory road of the birds known from the antiquity as Via Pontica.
The bears have disappeared from Strandzha mountain before 300 years and the mountain cats in the beginning of XX century.
In natural park “Strandzha” you have to walk around very carefully in order not to damage the wild world and to be cautious because some of the attractive tree hollows are houses to forest inhabitants which do not like to be disturbed by intruders.
Visitation in Strandzha region is not only a nature adventure but guarantees recreation, spiritual enrichment and delight from the touching to the wild nature.