A quick guide to the Bulgarian seaside

The Black Sea Coast, from the Romanian border all the way to the Turkish border

Written by Boris Georgiev, edited by Scott Green, photographs by Unsplash

The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast might not be the most renowned or the longest at just 378 kilometers (235 miles), but it is, however, definitely worth visiting! Pristine beaches, smooth golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and many more hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. The entire coastline presents a diverse array of attractions and experiences, so don't hesitate and make it your next summer destination!

Quick note though, when you’re thinking of visiting the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria it is easiest to break it into two parts; the northern part (from the Romanian border to Varna) and the southern part (from Varna to the Turkish border), which we have done below. 

Northern part of the Black Sea Coast

Beginning from the point where Romania becomes Bulgaria, you will find the most diverse area of the seaside with wildly varying sights, from beaches with fist-sized rocks in the northernmost parts to the powdery smooth sands of Albena and Golden Sands. But let's not forget the steep rocky cliffs that hover over the sea around Tyulenovo and Kamen Bryag that were once inhabited by the now-extinct (in the area) monk seals.

This area is generally calmer and more welcoming to families with children, and older people. The bigger resorts in this area like those in Kranevo, Albena, and Golden Sands are spacious enough and don’t have an overly loud nightlife.

Albena is a semi-closed resort town and in order to enter with your car you have to pay a parking fee that is valid for 24 hours, with prices varying depending on the time of the year, so it is best to check with their official website. If you plan on staying more than a day and have booked a hotel, then you can request a visitor pass which will enable you to pass freely through the resort’s gates. Albena offers free transport options -blue line and yellow line electric buses- within the town and it is best to use these as driving your car while there in the summer months will be difficult as parking is often scarce.

Golden Sands is the third most visited tourist destination on the coastline, and one of the key reasons for this is the abundant sources of mineral water with healing properties that attract so many people. Golden Sands is regularly the host for events, seminars, business meetings, and team building due to its close proximity to Varna where a lot of businesses have their offices.

Food and overall cost of stay also are on the cheaper side when compared to the southern part of the coastline, and these destinations are primarily visited by Romanians, Polish, Russians, Ukrainians, and other foreigners, so the staff at many of the places you visit will speak English. If you’re thinking of visiting Varna, even just for the day, check out our article about the culinary side of Varna and enjoy some delicious meals.

Southern part of the Black Sea Coast

When you travel south of Varna you will come across settlements like Byala, Obzor, and Elenite which are all favored by locals as they have a calmer side to them. But once you keep going down from here, and depending on your taste, the southern part of the Black Sea Coast could get very interesting for some of you as you will shortly be near Sunny Beach.

This area actually consists of three places, St. Vlas, Sunny Beach, and Nessebar, all of which are interconnected and have public transport. This is the most densely populated resort on our coastline and is visited by many foreigners, as the main attraction in this area is the nightlife. There are bars and nightclubs everywhere, many of which offer group bar-hopping.

Accommodation around here can range from the ultra-luxury all-inclusive complexes in Sunny Beach and St. Vlas to renting a room or an apartment in an ordinary house in Nessebar, perhaps even right in the center of the historic Old Town which boats an ancient necropolis amongst other things and is a must-see attraction for any history fan.

Venturing further south you will come across Burgas - the fourth largest city in Bulgaria. The water here tends to be a bit warmer, as it is further south and there are many options for accommodation and transport to local beach spots.

The last stretch of the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast offers the towns of Chernomorets, Sozopol, Primorsko, Tsarevo, Ahtopol, and all the way down at the Turkish border, Rezovo. All are good options for a seaside holiday with golden powdery sand beaches. Sozopol is the biggest tourist center in this region and in the last few years it has been developing its “new town’’ which attracts younger tourists. Yes, there is nightlife there, but also plenty of room and places for everyone to enjoy their holiday.

A popular tip about this part of the seaside is that the further south you go, the calmer and quieter the beaches will get. The main road which goes all the way from Burgas to Rezovo has some amazing sights plus some lesser-known beaches that can only be accessed by parking your car on the side of the road and traversing your way on foot to the beach. It may be a little rough in the summer heat but it is well worth it to not be disturbed and have an entire beach to yourself.

The vast and beautiful Black Sea Coast has a spot for everyone - from funky party towns that never sleep, to breathtaking beaches hidden away along the busy roads. Find the right place for you, and give yourself a fantastic holiday before autumn arrives.

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