A Country of Superb Variations
Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is famous for its long sandy beaches, and it’s easy to see why beach holidays in Bulgaria have been so popular for so long. The weather in summer is dependably warm and sunny, and the huge, purpose-built resorts of Sunny Beach, Golden Sands and Albena have everything you could wish for. The beaches are kept immaculately clean, the sea is warm and often shallow, so young children can swim safely, and there’s a wide range of water-sports on offer, all at very reasonable rates compared to Western Europe. Jet-skiing, water-skiing, parasailing, surfing and diving are just some of the available activities, while there are also some modern water-parks to enjoy on land, and numerous other diversions on hand such as tennis, horse-riding and cycling.
Almost everyone coming to these resorts will be on an organised, often all-inclusive, package deals, and most visitors are from overseas, especially Germany, Britain, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, so there’s a cosmopolitan atmosphere and you won’t encounter any language problems – hotel and restaurant staff are multilingual, and there are plenty of British pubs and a variety of international cuisine on offer. On the downside, there’s little authentic character here, and if these big package resorts don’t appeal, there are plenty of smaller resorts all along the coast where you can enjoy a more relaxed beach holiday in Bulgaria. Historic Nesebar, near Sunny Beach, is a fascinating ancient town full of medieval churches and Byzantine ruins, and it also has a superb beach close by, and some cosy harbourside cafes where you can sit back and relax with a coffee or a cold beer.
Varna, on the northern coast, is a great place to combine a beach holiday in Bulgaria with a city break. The city’s beach is particularly popular with younger Bulgarians, who are also attracted by the country’s best summertime nightlife, with a string of nightclubs, restaurants and cocktail bars just off the sands.
However, if you really want to get away from it all, head to the far south, where pretty little seaside towns such as Tsarevo and Ahtopol offer small, uncrowded beaches and a slower pace of life, as well as less expensive accommodation and more traditional restaurants.