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Dobrich And Surrounding Areas

Dobrich lies in the most eastern part of the Danube plain in the fertile flat lands of the Dobrudzha Plateau, a region strangely reminiscent of the Cheshire Plains. Dobrich is Bulgaria's eighth largest town and is a municipal region covering 92 km of the Northern coastline as far down as Albena. The region as a whole is one of the least populated areas in Bulgaria.

 

Whilst the Dobrich region is one of the most beautiful in the country, the town itself is not outwardly pretty; large apartment blocks, many a legacy from the Communist era, dominate its centre but it contains a certain nostalgia, which hits you when you wander through its pedestrianised, tree-lined centre. Some of the attractive 19th century artisan houses still remain in the Old Quarter and there is a move to restore more of these buildings to beautify the town's superficially concrete appearance. However, times are changing in Dobrich and the town is gradually getting a new facelift. Retail businesses thrive here and it is a fantastic place for bargain hunters with most shops and businesses being located on the pedestrianised boulevard, which leads up to the massive open square.

There are good bus and train connections between Dobrich, Sofia, Varna and Rousse and frequent buses run to the beach resort of Albena during the summer season and the nearby town of Balchik. Varna airport is 40 km away. Within the town centre everything is within easy walking distance in a pleasant pedestrainised area.

ABOUT TOWN

Yordan Yovkov Historical Museum and House - named after Yovkov a famous Bulgarian writer, depicts the historical heritage of Dobrudzha. The museum possesses 163,000 exhibits including a noteworthy piece of art - the ceramic collection known as "The World of Yovkov's Personages" by the artist Stoimen Stoilov.

The Ethnographic Museum - is housed in one of the most interesting houses in the town, which dates back to the Bulgarian National Revival period. The house, built in 1860, was restored in 1970 and has been registered as a monument of culture and architecture. Its tiny rooms provide many exhibits of how people in the area lived during the National Revival period; there are many costumes and textiles, which are considered to be arts and crafts masterpieces. The museum educates visitors on the production processes of tailoring, knitting, wood turnery and baking bread. There is a bakery, a millet-ale shop, and a traditional style café, where visitors can try the famous byalo sladko, boza, and Bulgarian wine.

The Art Gallery - houses an impressive collection of religious icons in The Hall of the Icons. It is an impressive and colourful display showing the great skills of Bulgarian icon-painters. In addition, it features over 3,000 works of art, which include paintings, sculptures, black and white drawings, figurines, and works of plastic arts by artists of various generations. The museum is located in one of the stateliest buildings in the town.

St George's Church - was consecrated in 1843 and burnt down during the Crimean War (1853 - 1856). It was rebuilt in 1868 and now boasts a richly adorned iconostas. Kozma Blazhetov of Debar painted many of the icons.
St George's Park - first opened in 1867 and is now registered as a monument of landscape design. It is a beautiful park, renovated under the Beautiful Bulgaria project in 2003 and it offers a number of sports and recreation facilities.

The Nature and Animal Protection Centre - is the only one of its kind in Eastern Europe. It was created as part of a Bulgarian-Swiss project and now covers 16 hectares. Over 100 animal species from deer and llamas to Przhevalski's horses and exotic birds are housed in here in conditions that simulate their natural habitats. The centre is active in the promotion of breeding programmes and the re-introduction of endangered animal species.

OUT OF TOWN

Albena

Located in a picturesque bay in the north part of Bulgarian Black Sea Riviera, Albena lies 30 km from Dobrich, yet is easily accessible. Albena offers the best sandy beach on the /northern coast. It is a flat, smooth stretch 7 km long and 150 m wide. The rich vegetation of the Baltata Hill Reserve surrounds the resort, making it home to some very rare plants and animals.The resort offers a diverse range of lively entertainment and some excellent places to eat and drink.

Balchik

Lying 25 km away from Dobrich and it is a pleasant town with some fantastic views across the Black Sea. The major tourist attraction in the town is the Quiet Nook Palace and its magnificent park sprawling over an area of 35 hectares. The small palace was originally the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania. Marie was one of Queen Victoria's grandchildren who was "married off" in the spirit of détente. Between 1913 and 1940, Balchik belonged to Romania and Marie, who fell in love with the picturesque views, commissioned the palace and spent many summers here in the company of her Turkish lover. When she died she pledged that her heart be buried in the palace grounds. The town also has a yacht port and golf courses nearby.

Varna

The summer capital of Bulgaria, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city bursting with life. Bulgarian Royalty endorsed this notion by choosing the city for their summer residence. The city centre has a quaint "shabby chic" retro style, a city in part languishing in the old glory of the twenties, yet embracing the spirit of a new millennium. In Nezavisimost Square, the heart of the city, there is a refreshing fountain, which seems to cool down its summer visitors with its jet sprays. Pavement cafés and restaurants surround the square and it is a great place for sipping on a coffee and watching the world pass by. Off the main square, there are many delightful boutiques and shopping here is a pleasure.Plus in recent years several modern western style shopping malls with many western chains can be found in Varna.

Varna's Sea Garden is also a place to behold with acres of well-manicured parkland, which includes a zoo, planetarium, aquarium and outdoor theatre.An abundance of shopping malls can be found in Varna including Pfone Mall, Central Plaza, Mall Varna, Yavour Shopping Centre, Grand Mall Varna and the newest opened in 2010 Varna Towers.Plans for two more are underway to open over the next 2 years.


You don't need to be a golf fanatic to visit the region's golf courses. Each of the courses offers a variety of additional activities and leisure pursuits in addition to their professionally designed courses. Thracian Cliffs has a luxurious spa complex on site, which offers a wide range of health and wellness treatments. BlackSeaRama offers a diverse programme of other sports including swimming, tennis, and volleyball, whilst Lighthouse has a spa and wellness complex, riding centre, access to sandy beaches and a children's club. All of the golf resorts have a variety of top-notch restaurants, bars and cafes.

Kaliakra

This dramatic cape lies approximately 50 km from Dobrich. It was declared a protected area in 1941 and forms part of the EU's Natura list of preserved sites. It is a beautiful headland of reddish pink limestone cliffs, which stretch 70 metres deep into the sea. Standing on the grassy edge, looking downwards at the rocks in the clear ocean below is not for the faint- hearted. The sheer drop is unguarded and over the centuries, many have met their deaths here. Well-preserved, archaeological remnants of an ancient fortress are preserved here and a small cave-side museum houses precious pieces of pottery and jewellery. Once you have browsed the ancient exhibits you can take refreshment at the cliff-top restaurant, which caters for touristy tastes at tourist prices. If you enjoy bird watching, there are plenty of shags and cormorants to observe nesting amongst the rocks. Out of season, it is a peaceful place to just sit and ponder on the vastness of the sea. Years ago, dolphins and seal monks played in the waters below, but tourism has changed this and made their sightings all too infrequent.

Dobrich celebrates many cultural events across the year; the most important being "The Day of Dobrich" celebrated every September 25th to mark the anniversary of South Dobrudzha's reunification with Bulgaria. There are a number of concerts to mark the occasion including the "Hello Dobrich!" Pop Rock Marathon. The town also organizes the Sarandev European Pop Rock Competition, which is among the most prestigious forums for promising pop-rock performers. The competition also promotes various messages; "Say No to drugs! Have no fear! Protect the environment! Save mankind!"

Another cultural event is the annual International Youth Music Festival held in June in Albena. The festival is a forum for singers, musicians, chamber orchestras, choirs, bands and ensembles.

Dobrich Municipality has 25 sports clubs, which provide training and sporting events for 15 different sports. The Prostor Outdoor Sports Complex features tennis, basketball, football and volleyball, whilst the nearby Dobrotitsa Sports Complex contains an 800-seat sports hall, a 500-seat athletic track and a general exercise hall. Gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, and martial arts can be found at the Rusalka Sports Complex whilst the Mladost Sports Complex located in the town park has a weightlifting hall and four tennis courts. The town also has a number of stadia including the Druzhba Stadium again located in the town park.

Shopaholics agree that Dobrich is possibly one of the best town's in Bulgaria for retail therapy. There are literally hundreds of boutiques and a phenomenal amount of shoe shops. More importantly, prices in Dobrich are far lower than nearby towns and cities. The large chain stores in the town include DIY retailer, Mr Bricolage and Technopolis plus the new Aquario shopping centre mall.Plans for Mall Dobrich are underway for 2012.

EATING, DRINKING & WHERE TO STAY

Dobrich is buzzing with clubs, restaurants, cafes and bars making it a fun place to relax and there are plenty of good hotels in the town offering reasonably priced accommodation.

Bulgaria Hotel - is located in the heart of the centre, this hotel looks like a concrete monstrosity but the interior is pleasant and the hotel offers all modern facilities including a sports center has a consulting room, a swimming-pool with a bar; a fitness- hall; 2 saunas; solarium; massages; a whirlpool.

Rezidentzia Hotel - has 20 beds, four suits and four double rooms. There is a restaurant with a summer garden and barbeque as well as a swimming pool for the guests.

Fan Tai - a superb Chinese restaurant located behind the municipal building. The portions are huge, quality excellent and the prices are incredibly cheap.

Seasons - a mix of traditional and international cuisine in a lovely setting.Mozzarella - Located opposite the internet café in the centre, this restaurant offers great service and tasty food at low price

Flirt Vodka Bar - close to Seasons restaurant, this bar has an English menu, a great atmosphere and great prices.

Murphys Irish Bar - a lively place to hang out offering a traditional Irish atmosphere.