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Along the Southern Black Sea - part two


Another fantastic place for a boat trip is the Ropotamo River ... the Ropotamo is a protected nature reserve, and you will be able to see amazing rocks, cliffs as well as some fabulous wildlife

If you’re lucky you might spot an eagle owl or a huge white-tailed eagle. The Ropotamo River is found between Primorsko and Duni holiday town.

Primorsko - Some say Primorsko has the prettiest beach on the Black Sea coast. Under communism the town was the site of the ‘International Youth Resort’ centre which attracted young people from all over the world. The town is still popular with the younger clientele, and therefore not the most quiet and relaxing of places, with lots of outdoor cafes and lively nightlife.

Tzarevo - This southern Black Sea town can be found approximately 70 kms from Bourgas on a small peninsular between the Strandzha mountains and the sea. In Communist times the town was known as ‘Michurin’ after a Soviet plant breeder, and some of the locals still call it by this name today. Here you will find a park, harbour and small beach.

Just south of Tzarevo there are traces of an ancient fortress at the Papiya peak (502 m high). Not far away are the ancient villages of Kolodovo and Bulgaria. In the village of Bulgaria, the locals still practise the tradition of fire dancing. The ‘nestinarski’ dance barefoot over glowing embers! The feast day that the custom relates to (St Konstantin and St Elena) falls on May 21, however, in this village it is celebrated on the nearest weekend to June 4.

To the south-west of Bulgaria village are the nature reserves of Silkosiya and Tisovitsa.

As Tzarevo is less popular than the main package destinations, you will find that accommodation and eating out prices are a bit lower here.

Kosti Village is also not too far away and has an authentic Bulgarian atmosphere and spirit.

Strandzha Mountains - the largest nature park in Bulgaria, although the least explored! It is abundant in wildlife, and has lots of caves and traces of ancient civilisations. With its stone figures and fortress walls, it makes a great place for a day away from the hustle and bustle of the seaside.

Ahtopol - This southerly town is set on a cape, and is located about 87 kms south of Bourgas. It is a quiet and tranquil place with a small harbour for fishing, above which is a museum (whose exhibits focus on the times when it was a Greek settlement by the name of ‘Agathopolis’). The ‘Chapel of the Ascension’ can be found on the head of the peninsula which contains some 19th century fresos.

The rocky headlands separate several shingle beaches, but if you venture to the north you will find a larger sandy beach (past the resthomes). There are a few hotels and villas here (accommodation prices tend to be lower than higher up the coast), and some nice cafes and a market to visit.

Popular with visitors is the protected area of Silistar. The sea here is shallow and calm, so making it a favourite of families with children. There are lifeguards on duty on the lovely beach. The area is teeming with wildlife and birds.

Sinemorets - This hill-top town lies about 6 kms south of Ahtopol and close to the Turkish border. The south beach is covered in beautiful white sand and attracts a lot of young people, but can be busy in high season. If you feel like showing off what nature gave you, here is the place to do it! The north beach is absolutely amazing too. With green hills either side, the beach is a kilometre long and slows the flow of the Veleka River as it reaches the sea. It’s considered one of the most gorgeous places on the coast. The resort can be a little pricier than Ahtopol, and does seem to attract the more better-off Bulgarian clientele. There are several hotels and guesthouses to choose from, and some of the hotels here offer guided bird-watching tours in the Strandzha National Park.

For a fascinating insight into the wonderful town of Sozopol, watch this three minute video



Air - International flights to Bourgas

Public transport:
Buses - Bourgas is the main spot for buses serving the coastline from Nessebur to Ahtopol. There are also buses from Bourgas to Sofia, Prague, Bratislava and other locations in Europe, as well as Istanbul.
Taxis - numerous taxis and minibuses are available, also water transport to Sunny Beach from Nessebur.
Trains - most main towns are on the major train routes, overnight trains from the further away locations (Sofia etc) are available.

Car - the whole area is easily accessible, and there is new motorway link between Bourgas and the main E773 Sofia road. As with the northern coast, taking a map with you is a good idea, and learn to read some Cyrillic if you want to go off the beaten track!