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CAPE KALIAKRA, BULGARIA

Kaliakra is a long, narrow headland in the Southern Dobruja region of the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast located 30km from Lighthouse Golf & Spa Resort, Bulgaria. The coast is steep with vertical cliffs reaching 70 m down to the sea.

Kaliakra is a nature reserve, where dolphins, cormorants and pinnipeds can be observed. It also features the remnants of the fortified walls, water main, baths and residence of the despot Dobrotitsa from the short-lived principality of Karvuna's medieval capital. The Bolata Cove, with its small sheltered beach, lies just to the North at the mouth of a picturesque canyon, also a part of the nature reserve.

Probably the most popular legend to emerge from this region is the tale of forty Bulgarian girls, who rather than face the prospect of capture by the invading Ottoman hordes, preferred to tie their hair together and jump into the Black Sea. An obelisk which is dedicated to this legend and called “The Gate of the 40 Maidens” can be found at the entrance to the cape.

Another legend tells the story of Saint Nicholas, the patron of seamen, who was running away from the Ottomans when God made the earth under him longer and longer so he could escape, and the cape was formed this way. The saint was eventually captured and a chapel was built in 1993, symbolizing his grave. A dervish monastery is also said to have existed on the same place during Ottoman rule, which is thought to have preserved the relics of Muslim Bektashi saint Sarı Saltık.

A third legend is about Lysimachus, a successor of Alexander the Great, who seized the royal treasure and escaped to Kaliakra, dying in a major storm along with his whole fleet.

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