One of the most interesting mountains in Bulgaria
Strandzha is a mountain with a thousand-year history. As a coastal mountain it is inextricably bound up with the water and the sea. The rich ore and marble fields and dense oak forests, supplying abundant and quality shipbuilding material, have for centuries created an environment for the development of mining, seafaring and trade. It is not by accident that in 610 BC on a small peninsula in northern Strandzha was founded the famous ancient Greek colony Apollonia (nowadays - the town of Sozopol).
The oldest known to the science population of Strandzha and the rest of our lands are the ancient Thracians - many tribes of Indo-European origin, who formed as an ethnos in the middle of the second millennium BC, in the lands between the Aegean Sea and the Carpathians. Their constant wars with their neighbours led to a change in their tribal territories. In the region of Strandzha, different tribes lived in the different centuries of the first millennium BC - the ancient Thracian tribes of Thyni, Asti, Scyrmiadaes, and a few more to the north - Melanophagi and Nipsai. Historically, the Strandzha region was populated with three ethnographic groups - ruptsi, tronki and zagortsi. For centuries they have lived in a close daily cultural relationship.
The history of Strandzha can be said and written many - from the most ancient historical facts to the most up-to-date scientific research and evidence. "Stranger, you, who come here, be healthy!" - this blessing is carved on a marble tombstone, built in the sanctuary of an old Catholic church in the town of Malko Tarnovo (dates back to the 2nd century BC).
The nature of Strandzha Mountain is blessed because it combines the sea, the mountain and the Mediterranean sun. The hidden meaning of the ancient inscription is clear - Strandzha Mountain, populated by people since prehistoric times, according to the beliefs of the ancient people, gives a strong spirit and a strong body. To this day, anyone who comes to these lands is excited by the richness of Strandzha's nature, worshiped by the monuments of ancient culture, fascinated by the spiritual heritage preserved in the traditions, folklore and mythology of the local people. Strandzha is not a hiking trail but a wonderful and unique tourist adventure
In Strandzha Mountain everyone feels like a child of mother nature, well protected from the noise of modern civilization. The quiet humility of the small village churches and chapels strengthens the faith because in no other place it is preserved as well as in the small villages of Brashlian, Zabernovo, Kosti, Bulgari and many others. Around the ayazms (holly springs), the stories of wizards, fairies, and elves are still alive, just as the ancient custom of fire-dancing is alive. The old Strandzha houses, filled with warmth and hospitality, offer a healing feeling of true tranquillity.
The main rivers in Strandzha are the rivers "Veleka" and "Rezovska". Smaller ones are the rivers Mladezhka, Aydere, Strumnica, Dyavolska, Elenitsa and others. The remaining water resources of Strandzha Mountain are concentrated in the western karst region where there are over 120 springs. Local people worship some of the karst springs because they believe their water is holy and possesses healing power. The most healing spring is the "Big Ayazmo" spring near the village of Gramatikovo.