From north to south, the eastern border of Bulgaria stretches along the Black Sea coast with almost 400 km (250 mi) of shores of all kinds – from golden sand beaches to rugged rocky cliffs. Here’s why you should make this stunning spot your next port of call in Bulgaria.
Compared to the French Riviera or almost any coast in Western or Southern Europe, spending your holiday on the Bulgarian coast will cost you just a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. Bulgaria has one of the lowest living standards in Europe, which means you can have two ice creams for a dollar, or a cocktail for three dollars.
Party goers will love Sunny Beach. Its legendary Cacao Beach Club is where every summer Solar Summer Festival takes place, with international EDM DJs like Tiësto, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren and many more playing all night long.
Besides the most popular resorts, city beaches, and camping areas, the Black Sea has secret coves and beaches accessible only by car or through walking trails. Many of them are not mapped and the best way to discover them is to ask the locals.
Wild camping is legal and free in Bulgaria as long as you are not trespassing on private property. There are several wild camping spots on the Black Sea coast that are famous for their beautiful beaches shaded by forests and friendly atmosphere: Kamen Bryag, Krapets, Irakli, and Silistar to mention a few.
For those who need something more than a beach and a cocktail to have a good vacation, the historical towns of Nesebar, Sozopol, and Pomorie have attractions aplenty. Nesebar and Sozopol are famed for their charming Old Towns with wooden houses and centuries-old churches, while Pomorie is home to the magnificent Antique Beehive Tomb. Near the town of Primorsko, the ancient Thracian sanctuary of Begliktash in a beautiful forest also delights visitors.
Thrill seekers can try deep water soloing at the rocky coast of Kamen Bryag, while Tyulenovo village is a busy spot for cliff jumping all summer long. Rock climbers should stick to the north side of the coast as this is where the shore is dominated by rocks.
If you choose the south coast for your vacation, don’t miss paying a visit to Strandzha Mountain. This comparatively low mountain is strongly related to the culture of the ancient tribes inhabiting Bulgaria, the Thracians. Contact the Strandzha Nature Park to hire a guide and explore the Thracian sanctuaries, megaliths, and sacred places.
A brief recap of the unique Bulgarian tradition of July Morning goes something like this: friends from all over the country go to the seaside on June, 30 in the evening, where they dance, play the guitar and share drinks around bonfires until the dawn. Everyone then gathers on the shore to greet the rising sun, the first sun of July, at the sound of the Uriah Heep song “July Morning”. This hippie-like tradition is rooted in the communist era, but has gained immense popularity in the last several years.
The tiny village where the centuries-old ritual of firewalking is performed every year is located less than an hour’s drive from the coast, in the heart of Strandhza Mountain. Plan your trip so as to be in the village of Bulgari on June, 3, when after the sunset people called nestinari perform a semi-pagan dance barefoot on living embers.
The Kamchia River estuar is where you can join a kayaking tour and explore the 150-year-old forest with lianas hanging from the branches. The rowing is easy, the water is still, and the end is marked by blissful basking on the white sands of Kamchia Beach.