Bulgarian Places By The Black Sea Coast
The Popular, The Cute, And The Ugly
Some of the more important places are marked on the map below. Here are text shortcuts for all locations:
Coastal towns and villages: Krapets | Shabla | Tyulenovo | Kamen Bryag | Kavarna | Balchik | Byala | Obzor | Nesebar | Ravda | Pomorie | Chernomorec | Sozopol | Primorsko | Tsarevo | Varvara | Ahtopol | Sinemorec | Rezovo
Regardless of the efforts of politicians to make Bulgaria popular because of its cultural landmarks, it remains best known for the Black Sea coast. This is fine, there's a lot to see and experience there (although you should know the coast is not the only place to visit in our country). On this page you'll find some information about most of the coastal towns and cities you can visit. Let's start with the big ones:
Varna is the largest city on the coast. It's a good place to visit and street traffic has nothing to do with the nervous Sofia. Besides the beach and bars you can visit the Sea Garden, the Archaeological Museum, the Varna Aquarium (with dolphins), and more. Here is a discussion on TripAdvisor suggesting some more places to visit.
Varna is connected very well with the rest of the country and the coastal cities. There are several trains per day to Sofia which will also take you to the most of North Bulgaria. Buses and mini-buses connect Varna with the nearby towns and resorts, to Burgas, and with the South Bulgaria (in which case they are faster than trains). There is also an international airport which will take you to some European countries.
Burgas is really similar to Varna as it's also a large city. It's on the south so it connects better with the South Bulgaria. Overland travel to Sofia from Burgas is 1-3 hours faster than to Varna (depending whether you take a bus or train). There is also an international airport.
Things to see in Burgas: the Sea Garden, the Ethnographic Museum, the Historical Museum, Burgas's Open Air Theatre, and more. If you have time and want to get out of the coast, go to Strandja mountain. There are summer music feasts every year in Burgas too.
From Burgas you can easily reach the ancient town of Nessebar and the peaceful Sozopol. There is land and boat transport to those and other towns and resorts on the south coast.
I think most of our sea resorts here are highly overrated. There's nothing much to see or do there except perhaps to lie on the beach, drink alcohol and meet girls. Here are the most popular resorts in short:
- Albena. Boring and expensive place with a bit too many hotels and too little to do.
- Kranevo. Smaller and less known resort - people claim it's nicer than Albena.
- Golden Sands. The oldest resort on the coast. I've never been there. It's easy to reach from Varna (18km by road).
- Sunny Beach. Overbuilt. Boring. Horrible. Stay away.
- Rusalka. More interesting and quiet place but it's on the North. Good only in the summer.
- St. St. Konstantin and Helena. It's very close to Varna. Here is how to reach the resort.
- Elenite is 7km away ot Sunny beach and 45km from Burgas.
- Duni is a "Royal"(?!) resort. Nothing interesting to tell about it.
- Kiten is at the south end of the coast. It's 55km south of Burgas.
This list does not include coastal towns most of which also function like resorts. Most of them are generally better and more interesting to visit. See the next section.
Smaller Towns On The Black Sea Coast
Instead of going to the resorts I recommend you visit either the big cities or the small towns on the coast (or both). This way instead of meeting only tourists you will be able to see some locals too. The cost of your stay will be lower in most cases too. Here is a list of the more interesting places on the coast, from north to south:
- Krapets is a northern village just 15km away of the Romanian border. It's known as one of the calm places on the coast and is perhaps interesting to visit. Just don't forget there are less sunny days there than on the south. You can reach Krapets by a daily bus from Varna or Sofia.
- Shabla is a small town with a beach. One of the interesting things to see there is the seamark on cape Shabla which is the tallest and oldest in Bulgaria. Shabla is reachable by bus from Dobrich and Varna.
- Tyulenovo is a very small village near Shabla. You may want to see the Oil Monument there.
- Kamen Bryag has tombs, Thracian altar of the sun, and archeological reserve. See some pictures.
- Kavarna is a town mostly known for its rock-feasts recently. Buses and mini-buses connect Kavarna with Varna and Dobrich.
- Balchik is close to Varna, Dobrich and Albena resort. One of the most remarkable things to see there is the Balchik Palace and the Botanical Gardens. Definitely worth a visit.
- Byala is a very small town between Varna and Burgas, reachable by bus from both cities. It has one of the cleanest beaches on the Bulgarian coast.
- Obzor is near Byala and has a very long beach.
- Nesebar is known for the Ancient City. The town and the resorts around it offer plenty of places to stay. The easiest way to reach Nesebar is by a bus from Burgas.
- Ravda is a village near Nesebar. You can reach it from Burgas and Nesebar by a bus or arrange a private boat.
- Pomorie offers many landmarks - history museum, architectural reserve, churches, natural landmarks, a museum of salt, and more. A mini-bus goes to and from Burgas each 30 minutes.
- Chernomorec is 24km South of Burgas. Easy to reach from there.
- Sozopol is a small town 35km Sough of Burgas, located at the foot of Strandja mountain. There are a lot of things to see there: architectural reserve, Thracian fortresses, ancient necropolis, churches, and museums. Here are some photos.
- Primorsko is a small town on a peninsula. One of the more famous things there is the natural phenomenon Beglik Tash.
- Tsarevo has a sea-port. Every hour a bus goes to Tsarevo from Burgas.
- Varvara is 9km South from Tsarevo. It's a very small village know for it's beautiful beach.
- Ahtopol is the southernmost town on the Bulgarian coast. Here are some pictures from Ahtopol.
- Sinemorets is a village southern from Ahtopol. Buses will take you there from Burgas or Tsarevo.
- Rezovo is on the Turskish border and the access to it is restricted. Your passport will be checked on the border inspection.
So here we are, covered almost all of the locations on the Bulgarian coast. It may take you a month or more to visit them all if you want to stay for a day or two.
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