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Black Sea Coast: Nessebur and Bourgas

The two largest towns on the southern Black Sea coast are Nessebur and Burgas. Both have their own attractions and are well worth a visit.

 

Burgas

With a population of some 229,000, Burgas is the second largest city on the Black Sea coast but its main attraction is without doubt the sea. With its international airport, Burgas is a great starting point for visiting the southern coast.

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Art and culture are mixed together in Burgas and there is much to see and do in the city and surrounds. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

The Museum of History - Hosts a large collection of archaeological items, and is an impressive building in itself.

Close to the marketplace in Bourgas you will find the lovely St Cyril and St Methodius Cathedral which contains some beautiful frescos.

The Ethnographic Museum is located in a house built in 1873, which is now a cultural monument. It has some fabulous exhibits including kukeri masks, traditional costumes, fabric and embroidery.

The Museum of Nature and Science has an exhibition of plants from the Strandzha region, and houses over 1,200 exhibits of insects and reptiles.

There is also a delightful Art Gallery displaying art by renowned Renaissance artists.

The Sea Garden - Located next to the sea up on a hill, this is a great place for a relaxing walk. Here you will find flowers, shaded paths and sculptures. The park covers a few kilometres and encompasses an open air theatre, small zoo, casino and several cafes and restaurants. The main Bourgas beach is found just down the garden steps.

Accommodation in Bourgas is easy to find. There are plenty of hotels to suit any pocket from the large expensive ones to small and cheerful. If you’re the outdoor type, then camping sites can be found nearby too.

Bourgas is not short of restaurants and bars either! Often they offer live music too. You will probably be spoilt for choice. Eating out in Bourgas is pretty reasonable cost-wise. If you want somewhere to sit and watch the world go by, then head for one of the numerous cafés on the tree-lined Aleksandrovska Street.

Around the city there are plenty of places to visit and admire. North of Bourgas, between the airport and the city, you will come across the Atanassovo Lake. The lake is popular for swimming and fishing, and part of it is a nature reserve. At 10 kms long, there is plenty of room for everyone!

Bourgas Lake is a great place to relax and watch the pelicans and herons, and Pomorie Lake (20 kms north of the city) is surrounded by salt mines.

Rowing tours are available on the Mandren Lake, which is located around 10 kms south of Bourgas ... this lake also has an abundance of water birds, especially during the summer months

The Mineral Baths were built over an old Roman town in the 16th century during the rule of the Ottomans. They offer treatments said to cure a variety of ailments. The water in the baths is chemically similar to those at Nessebur and Sunny Beach, although the water temperature here is slightly cooler. The baths can be found 15 kms from the city.

You may also like to visit Kraimorie village, just south of Bourgas, where there is a pleasant beach close by.

Nessebur

No mention of the Black Sea coast is complete without including Nessebur - an ancient town and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town of Nessebur is located on a small peninsula, 20 kms to the north of Bourgas on the southern Black Sea coast. The town is divided into two parts - the old town and the new town.

History
Nessebur has existed as a settlement for around 9000 years. In fact, it’s one of the oldest towns in Europe! In Roman times the town acted as a garrison, but apart from that its importance was quite low-key. In the second century AD it was settled by the Thracians, and at that time was known as ‘Mesambria.’