One of the biggest prides of Bulgaria are its beautiful beaches. From the northernmost Durankulak to the southernmost Rezovo, there are countless places – big and small, more or less famous, where you can soak up some sun. So here are the top 10 Bulgarian seaside destinations that cater to all tastes.
Historical heritage may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are searching for a summer holiday destination. But if you find the prospect of lying on the beach for a week with nothing much to do rather daunting, these two towns may have just the right mix of history and chill.
Nessebar is over three millennia old. Its old town is situated on a peninsula, which is joined to the mainland by a thin sliver of land. Part of the list of UNESCO, this beautiful town showcases a motley collection of scenic ruins. Its biggest pride are the beautiful churches in various states of repair, the oldest of which dates back to the 4th century A.D. Don’t miss the rich collection of the archaeological museum.
Fun fact: Nessebar is possibly the birthplace of the famous fable writer Aesop.
Just like Nessebar, Sozopol was established in Antiquity. Some historians argue that this is the oldest town on the Bulgarian seaside. Throughout the ages, the town has acquired an unrivaled welcoming atmosphere. Nowadays it is a magnet among seaside destinations for artists of all kinds. In September the town holds one of the most popular art festivals in the country – Apollonia.
Fun fact: The elderly ladies of Sozopol make a unique dessert called “damga”. It is something like a 3D crispy pancake in the shape of a snowflake.
If you think that summer is made for partying, there are several locations on the Bulgarian seaside that you will like. There, the music plays day and night, and the fun never stops.
Notorious for the night clubs, the alcohol tourism, and the wild parties, Sunny Beach is one of those places that you either love or hate. It’s famous for its iconic bars and visiting DJs. The resort that never sleeps can offer you more than just nightlife. It’s near Burgas airport, Burgas itself, Nesebar and many more small towns around. Sunny Beach is having a wide beach with golden soft sand and almost always – perfect weather. They don’t call it Sunny for nothing. Also, nearby there are two aquaparks you can visit. After you have spent a fun day at the beach it is time for a fun night. There is a big variety of huge discos, bars and … beach bars. Everyone can find the place with the perfect atmosphere and music for their taste.
Fun fact: The local people say there is a current nearby that chases away all the rainy clouds, thus making Sunny Beach sunny.
This resort is in northern Bulgaria – near Varna. The place is famous for the purest quartz sand on the coast. Hence the name of the resort.
Golden Sands is rich in mineral water springs and lush woodlands of the Golden Sands Nature Park. Therefore, the town is one of the most popular tourist spots in Eastern Europe. The nightlife is quite rich too – all the party animals will be happy here. The guests can choose between a huge variety of restaurants, bars, casinos, and clubs.
Any beach is a great place to move your body. Beach volleyball, jogging during sunrise, and swimming are usually the summer sports of choice. But if you are a hardcore adventurer and these options are not interesting enough, here are two places where you can really test your limits.
Kamchiya-Shkorpilovtsi is the longest continuous beach strip in Bulgaria. There you can enjoy over 10 kilometers of fine golden sand, kissed by the sea waves. There you can up your running game and swap the beach jog for a beach half-marathon.
Important: The beach is crossed by the estuary of the Kamchiya river. Crossing this estuary could be potentially dangerous.
Krapets is one of the northernmost beaches in Bulgaria. It is far from the more popular destinations and has windy beaches which makes it a great choice for people addicted to their daily dose of adrenaline rush. This is one of the most popular gathering spots for kite surfers.
Furthermore, Krapets is the perfect base for ecotourism, because nearby are the Duranculak lake, Shabla lake, and Eserets lake. They are the home of a huge variety of birds and fish. Durankulak lake is even a reserve for endangered birds and also a historical sight. On the island in the lake was discovered the oldest prehistoric necropolis in continental Europe – a temple of the goddess Kibela.
There sometimes comes a point when you just want peace and quiet, preferably without any humans in your near vicinity. The Bulgarian seaside offers some great destinations suited even for those times.
Durankulak is not really in the middle of nowhere, just at the border with Romania. This is the northernmost beach destination in Bulgaria. It is one of the few wild beaches still preserved today and though there are sometimes ideas of “civilizing” the area, this has luckily not happened yet.
Fun fact: as it is also the easternmost point of Bulgaria, the sun rises in Durankulak approximately 18 minutes earlier than in Sofia. So you can sit down, watch the sun rays appear on the horizon and smugly think that you are the first person in the entire country to see it!
Rezovo is a small village on the Bulgarian-Turkish border. It is not your typical beach destination since it has no beach of its own. But if you are looking for peace and quiet, there are few better choices than this small fishing village. There may be only two restaurants in town, but one of them is so good that people come from nearby villages just to taste the cuisine of the Sea garden! And when you decide to soak up the sun, you can visit the famous Silistar beach, or go wild and swim in the nearly deserted waters of Lipite beach (Google maps code:2XXR+87 Sinemorets) – both situated a short drive away.
Fun fact: there is a brand of chocolate wafers called Rezovo. So while you are there, take a bite and get a taste of the place!
For a very long time, camping has been one of the classic ways to go vacationing in Bulgaria. This is why the Black seaside has many campsites that offer everything necessary for a great experience. You can either bring your own gear or rent it, and even glamping has been gaining traction recently.
This is one of the most iconic Bulgarian sea spots. It is one of four camping sites located on the beach strip between Chernomorets and Sozopol. If you are a person who can’t go for a long time without the conveniences of urban life, this is the perfect spot for you. Although, nearby you can find the first glamping in Bulgaria (glamour + camping = glamping) called Gora (“Forest” in English).
Fun fact: In the vicinity of Gradina camping there are some of the largest nudist beaches in Bulgaria.
This is the southernmost camping site of Bulgaria, located close to Rezovo village and the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Although there are some modern features and all necessary amenities, Silistar beach is synonymous with pristine beauty and wilderness. About 8 kilometers from the site you will find the Veleka river, around which there are several hiking trails.
Pro tip: You will find information about the more popular camping sites on the camping map of Bulgaria.
Kara dere beach is a place that goes into two categories – it is in the middle of nowhere since there is no infrastructure leading there and it is one of the very few places on the Bulgarian coast still permitting free camping. That’s the place for you if you feel like running away from cell phone service, therefore – your every day worries. A dirt road leads to the beach where you will find no electricity, tap water, or any other urban facilities, but amazing fine sand, clean seawater, spring water, mud baths, and even the opportunity to spot a dolphin in the bay.
If you choose Bulgaria for your summer sea vacation this year you will definitely find whatever you prefer. The seaside destinations on our part of the Black Sea are amazing, various and not too far from each other, so anyone can plan the perfect holiday for their taste.
Authors: Free Plovdiv Tour Guides – Tsveta Pancheva and Adelina Kalapchieva