The newbie on the holiday scene
Bulgaria was a bit of a late bloomer on the tourism front. While Spain, France and Italy were travel industry debutantes in the Fifties, Bulgaria wasn’t formally introduced to the world until the Nineties came around.
It was well worth the wait, though. For starters, the beaches on the Black Sea Coast are world-class. Nature took a ‘bigger is better’ approach when it created these seaside stretches, and if you need proof, just take a look at Sunny Beach. This 8-kilometre sweep of sand is backed by hotels, bars and clubs. And if you fancy something a bit quieter, head a bit further south to Duni. Beaches don’t get much more untouched than the ones you’ll find at Alepou and Arkoutino.
History and heritage sites
Coastline aside, Bulgaria showcases 13 centuries’ worth of history with forensic detail. Between its borders, the country notches up more than 200 museums, 160 monasteries and 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The majority of them are in Bulgaria’s cosmopolitan capital, Sofia. But you’ll find plenty more in the way of ancient sights in cities like Bourgas, Nessebar and Varna.
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Set on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, Sunny Beach is a real big gun of a holiday resort. This modern, purpose-built resort is the country’s biggest and it really packs in the nightlife. You’ll find this place brim-full of clubs, hotels and restaurants. It also comes with a whopping 8-kilometre beach and easy access to Bulgaria’s biggest waterpark.
A millennium ago, Roman emperors came to Obzor, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea Riviera, for some much-needed R&R. The idea caught on, and today this up-and coming small town is really popular for its laid-back appeal. The lush backdrop of the Stara Planina mountains and the long, sandy beach keep the relaxed feel going, though there are plenty of bars and restaurants to pick up the pace in the evenings.
Dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, Nessebar is a Balkan beauty spot with a spectacular old town poking out from its coastline. Over 3,000 years of civilisation have left their mark here, from the Romans to the Ottomans. But you won’t just find ancient history. It’s a bubbling beach town, too. Its seafront has a row of modern hotels stretching out in front of a pristine beach.
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