SUMMER PANORAMA OF THE BULGARIAN BLACK-SEA



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The 136 beaches along the Bulgarian Black-Sea coast occupy an area of 10.5 million sq m; 51 of them stretch along the North Black-Sea Coast and 49, along the South Black-Sea coast. There are 189-km-long rocky seacoast stretches; landslides occupy 38 km of the coast. The most spacious beach, Shkorpilovtsi, is located next to the Kamchia River.

 

What gives hope is that there are still uninhabited beaches waiting to be discovered.

The first tourists are the ornithologists who arrive at Cape Shabla and the Shablensko Ezero Nature Reserve (Shabla Lake) to watch the nesting bird colonies. Next to arrive are the archaeologists, scientists and lovers of extreme tourism, who stay in proximity to Kaliakra, Kamen Bryag, Yailata, Taukliman and Chirakman Cape, attracted by the secrets of the 101 cave dwellings that were inhabited in antiquity.

 

In the region of Kavarna, the pretty village of Sveti Nichola welcomes lovers of rural tourism, giving them a chance to enjoy ecologically clean food. Fans of eco- and rural tourism would rather stay in villas and small family hotels. Some of their owners have applied for funds under European fund programmes and already offer a complete tourist product: eco-, rural, culinary, route and cognitive tourism for amateur ornithologists and lovers of underwater fishing.

 

The Chukurovo Ethnographic Complex offers food from its own farm and wines from its own wine cellar. Its interior and exterior have been supplemented by expositions of craftsman-made objects and authentic costumes from Dobrudzha Region. The attractions are fascinating for guests of all ages: safari, photo hunt, wedding rituals with horses. In the Kaliman Inn near Varna tourists can see a unique collection of pigeons, perhaps the only one in this part of the country.

 

The spaces along the seacoast where recreational seaside tourism is concentrated appear to be narrow for lovers of extreme sensations. Those who have arrived to see unique artefacts can find them in the small seaside towns. In one of them, Balchik, they can see the statue of the Mother Goddess Cybele displayed in the town museum.

Tourists’ cameras might be insufficient to ‘perpetuate’ the images of the famous gardens and villas in the Romanian Queen’s palace in Balchik. Those who are ready to pay more can moor their yachts to a pier in Port Balchik.

North of Balchik is the ‘Black-Sea Rama’ golf course, which gives Balchik and Bulgaria as a whole the chance of becoming an international golf destination.

 

If you continue southwards to the Izvora Hotel Complex near the resort of Albena, you will be served local dishes and shown old crafts from Dobrudzha.

 

The only resort protected from the ‘invasion of on-going construction’ alongside the sea is Albena. Here things are peaceful and quiet at the beginning of every season because new hotels are only built in the place of old ones, while the rest of the hotels are renovated in a planned way. Tourist services are of high quality, regardless of the number of hotel stars.

 

In Irakli – the last virgin place along the Bulgarian Black-Sea Coast – feelings often run high between locals and environmentalists and victory inclines to either side in turns.

 

Apart from the typical villas in the Elenite Holiday Village, there is a completely finished hotel, the 5-star Royal Castle.

 

In the largest Bulgarian Black-Sea resort of Sunny Beach, construction work is not carried out any longer, because there’s nowhere to build more. Serious consideration has been given to the guests’ comfort in the resort. Regardless of the distance from the sea, guests do not feel it because each hotel has its own swimming pool.

 

With its 42 churches and wonderful architecture, Nesebar, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, continues to amaze visitors from all over the world.

 

Luxurious 4 and 5 star hotels are awaiting their guests in the small holiday villages of Ravda and Aheloi.

 

The panorama of the old town of Pomorie is changing; here investors are cautious. The new facilities are designed for rest and recreation, as well as for balneotherapy tourism. The new 5-star Sunset Resort Hotel complex now rises between the Old and the New Town. The Museum of Salt, which is the only one in South Europe, is in Pomorie, too.

 

Intensive construction of family and apartment hotels is going on in Sarafovo Quarter, despite its proximity to Burgas Airport.

 

Burgas and Kraimorie are sort of ‘intermediate stations’ to the dreamt-of South Black-Sea Coast which promises a romantic holiday with a lot of surfing and underwater fishing. If you arrive in August, you may be one of the thousands of admirers of the ‘Spirit of Burgas’ festival. The famous Sand Sculpture Gallery in the open stays there during the whole season.

 

Sozopol (ancient Apollonia) leaves the impression of an old town that was once romantic, now conquered not by Greek settlers and Byzantine troops, but by iron and concrete, and by romantically minded tourists. The recently discovered reliquary containing relics of St. John gives ground to talk about pilgrimage tourism and call Sozopol ‘the new Jerusalem’. It is worth seeing the St. St. Cyril and Methodius church where the saint’s relics are kept.

 

Modern and comparatively quiet is the Elenite resort, with its typical small villas, tennis courts and wonderful conditions for underwater fishing.

 

Strandzha Mountain, which stretches alongside the Bulgarian South Black-Sea Coast, is where everybody would feel like Indiana Jones, because apart from the seaside, recreational, rural, eco-, hunting and cultural tourism, it offers the best conditions for alternative tourism as well. If a symbol of Strandja were to be chosen, it would be the dolmens and lianas, the virgin forests alongside the rivers of Veleka and Ropotamo, and the periwinkle – the flower of the mountain.

 

It is only in the village of Hlyabovo, ‘the Bulgarian Stonehenge’ where stone tombs or dolmens – remains of an ancient 4000-year old civilisation – can be seen.

 

The lagoon near Arkutino looks like an equatorial forest with its unique white and yellow lianas and oddly shaped rocks.

 

The architectural reserve of the village of Brashlyan, 11 km from Malko Tarnovo, should not be missed, either. It is impressive with its 70 ochre-pained houses of wood and stone, each of them an architectural monument in itself, full of fragrance of wild carnations and strawberries.

 

It is only in the village of Stoilovo where you can enjoy a donkey safari.

 

The ancient village of Bulgari is the capital of fire-dancing. The ritual of fire-dancing is common within the territory of Tsarevo (Vasiliko) and it symbolically crosses the border to Turkey and Greece. The village of Vlahovo is the ‘Mecca’ of fire-dancers.

 

A short sea cruise to the Zmiyski (snake) island will be the final point of your journey alongside the Bulgarian Black-Sea Coast because near the village of Rezovo is the exact border line with Turkey.