The site is a complex of three lakes in north-eastern Bulgaria, 5km north-east of Shabla town. The complex includes the lakes of Shabla and Ezerets, which are connected by an artificial canal and separated from the sea to the east by a 30-50 metre-wide sandbar. The third lake, 1.5 km to the south, is a saline lagoon named Shabla Tuzla, separated from the sea by high dunes. The lakes lie over Sarmatian limestone, and are fed mostly by ground waters. They have extensive fringes of emergent vegetation, mainly reed (Phragmites australis) with reed-mace Typha angustifolia, T. latifolia and sedge (Carex riparia). The lagoon has only a narrow fringe of emergent vegetation. The area around the governmental residence has park-like plantations of Eleagnus angustifolia, Syringa vulgaris, Ligustrum vulgare, Cotinus coggygria, Crataegus monogyna. To the north of Shabla Lake there are small plantations of Robinia pseudoacacia and Fraxinus americana, and to the south of it poplar Populus spp. plantations. The sand dunes and beach have communities of specialist psammophyte vegetation.