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Along the Southern Black Sea

The forceful attraction of the southern Black Sea coast of Bulgaria is its wonderful bays and spacious beaches with sand dunes. The main modern holiday resorts are there, including the famous Sunny Beach, but there are other less well known parts to explore of this utterly charming coastline. This area is the best choice for scenic bays and vast dazzling beaches, small romantic peninsulas and picturesque small old towns.

We take a trip along the stunning southern Black Sea coastline with its mix of history, culture and luxury!

Elenite Holiday Village - This is located about 12 kms north of Sunny Beach. It is mostly a package holiday place, but is well-run and cared for. It is made up of two villa areas, complete with bars, restaurants, sports facilities and a nice beach.

Sveti Vlas - This started out as a small village, but has grown immensely over recent years (Sunny Beach is only 6 kms away to the south). The beaches are long and wide, and the resort has the benefit of fabulous views of the Stara Planina mountain too. There is a relatively new pretty yacht harbour here. Sveti Vlas has a good selection of modern hotels, and numerous restaurants to choose from, although you could nip up to nearby Sunny Beach.

Sunny Beach - The largest and most well-known resort on the Black Sea coast. It is called ‘Slanchev Bryag’ in Bulgarian, and the Germans know it as ‘Sonnenstrand’! This is mostly a package holiday resort with copious amounts of hotels, bars and restaurants.

It is said by some that Sunny Beach is Bulgaria’s answer to Blackpool or Benidorm, so if this type of place is not for you, then head for the more upmarket destinations of Sveti Vlas or Nessebur instead. That said, the 8 kms long beach has obtained an international ‘Blue Flag’ award. If you’re planning on staying in Sunny Beach during the peak summer months, it’s best to book in advance in order to get a room in one of the nicer hotels.

Sozopol - Located approximately 34 kms south of Bourgas, Bulgaria Sozopol is one of the more popular of the southern beach resorts. It can get very busy during the summer months, and has a great variety of restaurants, cafes and night clubs. Prices in Sozopol are to the dearer end, although generally lower than in Sunny Beach and Golden Sands to the north.

There are two beaches in Sozopol - the Central beach and the Harmani beach. The latter is longer and wider, so may feel less crowded at peak times.

Why not take a stroll along the pretty cobbled lanes of Sozopol and take in some of the National Revival houses? You will marvel at the precarious looking overhanging upper stories and red-tiled roofs. If you are a sea-food lover, then Sozopol is the place for you! Enjoy a delicious plate of locally caught mussels in one of the cafes or restaurants on Morski Skali or Milet Street, both sea-facing with great views.

Sozopol boasts more than 45 architectural monuments. A selection of ‘must sees’ includes the house of Dimitur Laskaridis (built in the 17th century for this fish trader, and now an art gallery), the house of Una Psarianova (now a restaurant), and the house of ‘Grandmother’ Koukoulissa Hadzhinikolova (now a newspaper office). See the video of a visit to Sozopol at the end of this article.

When all the architecture has got too much for you, take time out to relax in the harbour, watching the colourful boats bobbing in the sea, and the local fishermen landing the day’s catch.

The Apolonia International Art Festival is held in Sozopol every September, attracting art lovers and artists from all over the world.

Accommodation in Sozopol is a mixture of private rooms and hotels. The best selection of hotels can be found in the new part of the town. Be warned that if you plan to go in September when the festival is on, you would be advised to book a room in advance, as the place gets pretty packed!

There is a selection of things to see and do around the Sozopol area too. You can take in some fantastic views around Cape Maslen, Alepou Beach and Arkoutino Beach.

The Island of St Ivan is the largest Bulgarian Black Sea island. It’s only 2 kms to the north and can be visited by boat.