Bulgaria remains one of the lesser known Balkan states despite its wonderful Black Sea resorts and rich cultural history. There are Blue Flag beaches fringing the 230mile long stretch of coastline and picturesque mountains inland waiting to be explored The Black Sea coast of Bulgaria is a classic collection of broad bays, golden sweeps of glorious sand that softly, gently slope beneath the waves. These resorts have been a well kept secret. Now with fine hotels, hundreds of self catering apartments and a feast of water sports, the secret is out…………..
Major Resorts Sunny Beach is just that , a spectacular eight kilometre long stretch of sand which has been awarded the international
Blue Flag, so it is little wonder that this resort is so popular, it is by far the largest resort on the Black Sea coast, offering many hotels interspersed with restaurants, bars and shops. Getting around is easy with buses running up and down the main strip and also out to Varna and Bourgas.
Sunny Beach also boasts the best night-life on the coast with numerous lively night spots on offer. Just to the west of Sunny Beach lies its quiter neighbour, Nessebur. Here you will find an Old Town that is home to ancient monuments, quiet restaurants and fashionable cafes. Journey time from Bourgas airport: 35minutes approx. Golden Sands is the largest beach resort on the Northern Black Sea coast and the area is famous for the purest sand on the coast, so is ideal for families and couples.
Golden Sands offers a superb setting surrounded by greenery with fresh local mineral water available. Transfer time from Varna airport: 50-60minutes approx.
Albena is the most up market resort. Purpose built on four kilometres of fine golden sand, the beach is exceptionally good for children because it has a wide stretch of coastal shallows so they can paddle and swim in relative safety. There are also plenty of watersports, around 50 hotels within the complex. Much of the resort is traffic free and there’s a long seafront promenade lined with restaurants, bars and cafes.
Smaller Resorts St Konstantin One of the older tourist resorts on the coast, St Konstantin provides a relaxing elegant holiday destination and lies about ten kilometres north of Varna. It is set amidst a picturesque park with sandy beaches and mineral springs and it takes it’s name from a monastery that once stood nearby. Night-life is fairly low-key and mainly based around the resort’s hotels. Day trips can be taken to Varna and further up the coast to Golden Sands. Within St Konstantin there are various sporting facilities including tennis. Journey time from Varna Airport: 35 minutes approx Sozopol Sozopol has a good sand beach in the town but it’s rather small, so you’ll need to arrive early to get a decent sun-bed. Pomorie’s town beach is broken by a series of groynes (wooden barriers) designed to stop the sand from being eroded by the sea. It is sandy but narrow and it does get very busy. Quieter Resorts
Those who want less crowded beaches are perhaps a more genuinely Bulgarian atmosphere have several options: Ahtopol is a relaxed resort in the south set on a cape flanked by two long sandy beaches. The northern one is renowned throughout Eastern Europe as a nudist beach. About 5km south of the town is the outlet of the Veleka River, barred by a sandy spit offering seawater swimming to the east and cooler freshwater swimming in the river to the west. Kiten, also in the south, sits close to the beautiful horseshoe-shaped Atliman Beach, with its exceptional azure blue shallows.
Two smaller resorts between Varna and Bourgas are Byala and Obzor. If you want a low-key cosy resort with a few eateries combined with a good beach then these are ideal. For the ultimate in ‘get away from it all’ Black Sea coast beaches, you’ll need to head south into Strandja Nature Park. This protected corner of Bulgaria hugs the Turkish border. There is little in the way of tourist infrastructure there but you’ll definitely be rewarded by totally unspoilt strands. Silistar Beach is the best. Blessed with golden sand and shallow azure waters, it’s still relatively unknown – you’ll just have to hurry before the secret gets out.