When you think of deserts around the world, your initial thoughts probably wouldn’t turn to the European continent. The Namib, Sahara, Gobi, Antarctic, Black Rock to name a few but wait… Pobiti Kamani, Bulgaria?


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Pobiti Kamani Stones or the ‘The Stone Desert’ as it is commonly known, is an extraordinary site located just west of the Black Sea coastal city of Varna, Bulgaria.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is the only desert in Bulgaria but also one of only two natural deserts in Europe, the other being the Tabernas desert in Spain. This crazy environment situated at the side of a busy highway stretches for 13km and is home to a host of desert reptiles and vegetation.

Geologists and scientists have many theories to explain the origins of this bizarre place but nobody can say for certain how it has occurred. Theories include - but are not limited to - the pillars to be petrified trees or natural gas seepages known as ‘bubbling reefs’, or that they were formed millions of years ago by waves, wind and rain.



In the summer this is a hugely popular attraction for Bulgarians and foreigners alike. We visited on a cold day in November and were the only people there. We didn’t need to pay as the ticket office was closed for the winter, but the usual cost is 3BGN for an adult pass.

Standing at up to 9 metres tall, these limestone formations appear to be part of an ancient forest. A theory that has long been debunked but there are more theories to explain the phenomenon.

Have you visited? Let us know what you thought in the comments!