Sea Tourism

The Bulgarian Black Sea coast is a wonderful place for a summer holiday. Cape Emine is the place where the Balkan Mountains meet the sea, and this place conditionally divides the Black Sea coast into a northern and southern part. The coastline is 378 km long, with 209 beaches that have a total area of 16 square kilometers. Many are wide, while others are small and nested in picturesque marine bays. The beaches and the sea offer excellent conditions for various water sports such as surfing, water skiing, diving, underwater exploration, and fishing, whether from the surface or underwater. In 2011, the beaches at Albena, Bunite (Varna), Dyuni, Elenite, Pomorie (east beach), Harmanite (Sozopol), St. Vlas (central beach and Venid beach), Sunny Beach (north and south beach) and Sunny Day beach were all recognized for their excellence.

The saline content of the Black Sea is low, just 16% to 17% in the coastal waters, and the high and low tides are minimal. During the summer, the average water temperature is 22° to 24° С, and in the shallower areas as warm as 26°С, which makes it particularly pleasant for swimming.

During the past few years, some the elite marine complexes and resort towns have built yacht ports. The ports in the resorts Rusalka, Tyulenovo, Balchik, Golden Sands and Varna offer fine opportunities for yachting along the northern Black Sea coast. Options for yacht tourism on the southern Black Sea coast are offered in Burgas and at the resorts St. Vlas, Nesebar, Sozopol, and Dyuni.

Besides the combination of sun, sand and sea, the Black Sea resorts offer hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as ecotourism, photo safaris, and excursions to natural, cultural, and architectural landmarks. In the northern part of the Black Sea, there are three world-class golf courses.

Some of the Bulgarian rivers flow into the Black Sea. Their mouths are surrounded by dense, breezy, moisture-loving forests. A few of the rivers (the Ropotamo, Kamchia, and Veleka) are navigable for small motor boats and offer unforgettable trips for tourists. The unique dense forests of the rivers Batova, Kamchia, Ropotamo and Veleka are a haven for nature admirers. At the Southern Black Sea, visitors can enjoy the cool temeratures of Strandzha and the centuries-old traditions of the villages nestled in the mountain. Tourists can also enjoy the wonderful Black Sea lakes at Alepu, Arkutino, Atanasovsko, Beloslav, Burgas, Durankulak (where an eneolithic settlement mound dating to 4600 – 4200 years BC has been discovered, as well as a temple dedicated to the goddess Kibela), Ezeretsko, Pomorie, Shabla, Varna, the Balchik tuzla, the Nanevska tuzla, the Orlovo wetlands, and the Stomoplo wetlands. Numerous rare plants and animals can be seen in the lagoons and firths of these coastal lakes, and deposits of medicinal mud (firth mud) has been found at the Pomorie lake, Varna lake, Balchik Tuzla, Shabla, Rusalka and the Atanasovsko lake.

Along the coastline, there are also mineral springs, and the combination of these natural resources has led to the popularity of tourism that combines visits to spas, balneological centers, and wellness resorts with sea holidays.

Tourists also have the opportunity to visit the five Black Sea islands – St. Anastasia, St. Ivan (where the relics of St. John the Baptist were recently found), St. Peter, St. Kirik and Yulita, and St. Tomas.

The resorts located on the Black Sea are preeminently suited to family vacations as well as to individual holidays and entertainment. Albena, Rusalka, St. Konstantin and St. Helena, Riviera, Obzor, Elenite and Dyuni are some of the most preferred for families with children. Younger tourists prefer Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Primorsko, Kiten, and Lozenets, because of the many clubs and bars, and other entertainment options. Sunny Beach is the largest resort complex in the country, and it often hosts parties that include world- famous DJs and performers.

Sozopol and Nesebar (a UNESCO heritage site) are famous for their combination of beautiful coastal nature and historical landmarks. These two towns both have thousands of years of history, and attract a steady stream of summer tourists.

Excellent conditions for relaxation are offered in the resorts of Kranevo, Chayka, Sunny Day, St. Iliya, St. Vlas, Ravda, Pomorie, Chernomorets, Tsarevo, Ahtopol and Sinemorets.

The Bulgarian Black Sea resorts offer various accommodation options, from luxurious 4- or 5-star hotels to small romantic family hotels, all of which are up to global standards.

Some of the hotels at the Black Sea resorts work all year long, to host conventions and congresses and to conduct a variety of special events and promotions. Visitors to the Bulgarian Black Sea can enjoy many cultural events, such as the Kavarna Rock Fest, Varna Summer, Apolonia, Spirit of Burgas, the International Folklore Festival in Burgas, and demonstrations of fire dancing.

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